Mobile Phone Vendors Focusing On Voice Quality

Posted at 5:04 PM, Jun 02, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-09 02:39:03-04

CONSUMER REPORTS - “Can you hear me now?” For many people, trying to hear a cell phone conversation can be challenging. Consumer Reports says “listen up,” help may be on the way.

Sound quality on cellphones is not great.

Consumer Reports’ tests voice quality using a device that reflects cellphone conversations in both noisy and quiet environments. None of the 149 cellphones in Consumer Reports’ ratings got an excellent or even a very good rating, for voice quality.

There’s a promising new development in voice quality already available to many smartphone users: High Definition – or HD Voice.

It may be worth trying.

“It’s very early in the roll out right now and the technology has some limitations, but it’s promising,” said Consumer Reports’ senior mobile editor and content manager, Michael Gikas. “Our preliminary tests found a noticeable difference. Speech not only sounded fuller, it was easier to understand.”

All the major carriers are starting to roll it out. If high definition is available, make sure it’s activated on your phone. Look for options like HD Voice, Voice over LTE, Advanced Calling, or Voice and Data.

If you don’t have HD Voice, there are several things you can do, which may improve your audio right now.

Try turning on the setting for noise reduction. You can also play around with other personal call sounds, like: Soft Sound and Clear Sound.

The good news is, none of it costs extra – including HD Voice… yet.

Before you get too excited, there are some limitations with HD Voice. It works only between compatible phones within networks. For example, Sprint customers can’t have HD Voice-quality conversations with their Verizon friends.