Sunday, July 15, 2012

Why does audio on my cell phone suck?



Is there any way to enhance the voice quality on my phone? I have an AT&T Blackberry Torch 9810 and have always had a Blackberry in some shape or form... There is something to be said about the old analog High Definition Voice by Orange in the U.K.technology... Yes, it often had a lot of static if you are in a weak signal area and the battery life was terrible, but the voice and audio clarity sounded very clear and crisp; like a landline and there was no 1-3 second delay/lag as the audio was digitized and then re-digitized across the network... I know that analog was totally unsecured and anyone with a handheld scanner from Radioshack could listen to your calls...but at least you sounded good on the phone. Now everything sounds digitally enhanced. Back then cell towers were farther and farther apart because the phones had a lot more transmitting power (wattage)...especially those mounted in your car. Never had one of those funky bag-phone things which looked like a giant "man purse"... I also have a Verizon Apple iPhone 4 (CDMA - Blackberry is GSM) and the audio sounds the same, if not worse. I thought GSM was supposed to have superior call clarity or voice clarity. I remember before TMobile was in the United States, I had OmniPoint (back in 1998) which was later acquired by Voicestream in 2000. Shortly after that point, as Voicestream grew as it acquired other cellular companies, the voice quality changed dramatically for the worse...sadly. AT&T was analog back in the day too and then phased it out for TDMA...

The Get Smart Shoe Phone
The Get Smart Shoe Phone
Ever listen to an radio call-in show and you can hardly hear the caller or make out what they are saying? Never the case when the phones were analog before they switched to CDMA/TDMA and then GSM... Wish we had that enhanced voice quality back. Any chance that could be the case with LTE now? I don't know enough about the technology and bandwidth or available channels, but I know that Sirius Satellite does something very unique: For "talk" channels it decrease the quality of the stream because it's talk radio... and for music channels, it increases the quality of the audio and uses the extra bandwidth from the talk channels that are using less so the music sounds better. Since LTE has more bandwidth, is this something AT&T would consider doing? LTE is at least 10x faster than 3G and since unlimited data has been phased-out and the "data hogs" are getting kicked to the curb or at least paying for their crazy usage, wouldn't you think an effort would be made to improve voice clarity? Especially since true 4G LTE is supposed to me 100 megabits a second, though no national carrier is anywhere near this capacity.

I know my desk phone (VoIP Polycom phone) has something called "HD Voice" and the sound is SoundPoint_IP_550_VoiceIPSolutions.com_.pngamazing... and I heard a rumor that TMobile North America may be rolling this out and that it may be available with Sprint on their new HTC EVO when they roll out LTE in select markets (on a side note, they started selling LTE phones LONG before they had implemented the new LTE technology while phasing out their "4G WiMax" service...I wonder if Sprint customers knew they were buying a 4G LTE phone that they couldn't use for months or a year...maybe more as it was JUST in the news that they activated LTE today or yesterday in a handful [less than a dozen] markets? I would be a super upset customer if I knew that...'unlimited data' or not!)... It idea of HD Voice or higher quality audio has been out for awhile and called "Widband Audio" since the 1930's, I believe. I know HD Voice is available in Europe and other nations in the East via TMobile and by Orange but am wondering what about all of us "across the pond" in North America? :smileyindifferent: Why are we stuck using using the frequency/audio spectrum from the 1930's in the year 2012? "Good grief!", as Charlie Brown would say...

I would love to have that old voice quality back or for people to actually be heard clearly when they call in to talk shows. I am a regular contributor to a couple of radio shows that call me for comment on various topics and I ALWAYS have to use my office phone or some other landline because they will not put me on via cell - even with 5 bars and perfect reception. Go figure...

Not the right forum or company but I am reminded of the annoying, "Can you hear me now?!? Good." Verizon Wireless guy... Yeah, I can hear you VZW guy... but can barely understand you because your voice is choppy and skips in and out because it's been digitized and re-digitized a million times into an incoherent mess.

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