Why Mobile Voice Quality Still Stinks—and How to Fix It
Technologies such as VoLTE and HD Voice could improve sound quality, but cellular carriers aren’t deploying them fast enough. …But the connection keeps cutting out, and what I can hear is almost unintelligible.
After several rings, John Beerends picks up my call on his cellphone. Beerends, a senior researcher at the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research, in Delft, is one of the world’s top experts on sound perception, and I’ve called from Boston to ask his opinion on the quality of audio on mobile phones. But the connection keeps cutting out, and what I can hear is almost unintelligible. I must sound just as bad, because he asks me to dial him back on his landline. This time, his voice is much clearer. And he immediately confirms what now seems glaringly obvious: Despite their ubiquity and decades-long existence, cellphones still make for pretty poor phones.