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Here's how HD voice sounds (hint: it’s stunning)

Posted: , by Victor H.

Here's how HD voice sounds (hint: it’s stunning)
With voice over LTE almost around the corner, the time for better quality voice after decades of having to deal with dull sound on phones seems to have finally come. To Australia at least, where local telco Telstra has launched HD voice, which it calls “the first major advance in mobile voice quality in 20 years.”

To cut it short, HD Voice aims to bring crystal clear voice quality and bring superior background noise cancellation but only on calls made between compatible phones on Telstra’s network.

The technology uses Wideband Adaptive Multi-Rate coding (WB-AMR). Basically, this allows voice to travel in the 50 to 7,000Hz, while standard voice is transferred in a much narrower and thus inferior frequency range of only between 300 and 3,400Hz. 

“The wider dynamic range means over twice the range of voice frequencies are transmitted allowing customers to hear the full range of a person's voice and makes it much clearer to distinguish between similar sounds like 'S' and 'F',” Telstra explains.

But nothing will convince you better than the amazing interactive demo below. Can you hear the difference? How important is that for you?

via GigaOM


20 Comments
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posted on 26 Jan 2012, 07:01

1. iKingTrust (banned) (Posts: 716; Member since: 27 Jul 2011)


ok, cool

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 15:50 6

14. Synack (Posts: 666; Member since: 05 Jul 2011)


What is HAYCH DEEEE?????????

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 17:58 1

15. cnpthe3rd (Posts: 49; Member since: 01 Feb 2009)


Well I compared the Haych Deee recording to a recording I made of my T-Mobile Galaxy s2 in a noisy environment and it sounds just as good to me, and as far as I know T-Mobile USA does not use Haych Deee technology.

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 18:23 1

18. jasrockett (Posts: 20; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)


Dats propu bloudy english mate. Not dat butchud vershn dats usd up norf. . . . . . . .and yes it will be a great improvement, I could clearly hear the potential. Theres still a lot more that can be done though.

posted on 27 Jan 2012, 08:04

20. fervid (Posts: 173; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


I have to buy a new Haych Deee TV now I guess. I wonder if they are available in ten aideee puhee koaladee or ifun they go higha?

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 07:14 6

2. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


is better, but not by a huge amount. still sounds like its coming through a megaphone though. i was expecting it to sound like normal voice. boo! lol. Oh well, any help in the voice quality is definitely appreciated.

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 08:13 7

4. iamcc (Posts: 1319; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)


I work with hearing loss and if they frequency difference listed is accurate I can tell you right now the sound different will be phenomenal. Adding that range beyond 3000 is crucial to speech understanding and the clarity improvement will be huge.

I can't wait!

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 09:37 4

6. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


lol. i could go for an improvement. i cant always understand what peeps are saying on the other side. maybe my hopes were just too high. they say HD and i think radio/cd quality. maybe one day. :)

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 15:39 3

13. iamcc (Posts: 1319; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)


Well, the frequencies described in the article are where the majority of consonant sounds are in human speech.

Consonant sounds make up for 80% of speech understanding or "clarity" and vowel sounds (which are mostly in the frequencies phones currently support) are mainly just volume when relating to speech.

Adding in these frequencies will absolutely give the feeling of "HD" when compared to speaking over a phone that does not support those frequencies.

I often have patients who have high frequency hearing losses tell me that wearing hearing aids makes it feel like they are hearing in "HD" as opposed to "SD". At least that's how they describe the difference.

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 07:59 3

3. BikeRunBrian (Posts: 11; Member since: 10 Feb 2010)


As long as I don't need to have that giant microphone on the front of it, sounds great!

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 09:24

5. McLTE (Posts: 688; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


LOL - thanks for the early morning chuckle!

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 18:09

17. cnpthe3rd (Posts: 49; Member since: 01 Feb 2009)


they are working on a smaller "giant microphone" for it these things take time. the good news they will include a cool carrying case for the microphone

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 09:43

7. davin8r (Posts: 45; Member since: 28 Apr 2011)


My question is will HD voice allow both sides to hear each other at the same time, without that infuriating silent pause when conversation overlaps?

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 10:01

8. halcyoncmdr (Posts: 19; Member since: 04 Feb 2009)


That pause is because it isn't running full duplex.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_duplex#Full-duplex

It could be the network, or it could be the phones. I don't have that issue with my phone on Sprint. But I have a friend who had the issue on the same network with a different (piece of crap) phone.

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 11:49

9. MorePhonesThanNeeded (Posts: 618; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


Lol, what is he using a CB radio? Full Duplex is how the vast majority of phones run, it would be murder suicide to not have it as out here in the U.S. people talk on their phones, have arguments on their phones and basically do what they do in person, try to talk over the other person. Imagine if it was half duplex and they had to wait to talk, lol. They would be infuriated even more, lol.

Nice idea but I am wondering if this sort of frequency is already being used in cell phones right now, like the higher end models? Will have to check specs on these phones to see what their audio ranges are to see who is already HD ready in the telephony department.

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 12:12

10. Orbitman (Posts: 110; Member since: 09 Oct 2011)


am i the only one that was drawn to this article because of the cute blonde? lol

anywho, im excited for this "HAYTCH-D" voice! =)

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 18:03

16. cnpthe3rd (Posts: 49; Member since: 01 Feb 2009)


the girl is cute and has a great voice but I dont hear any difference in that recording of her singing, I can hear a difference in the second video but I compared the Haych Deee recording to a recording I made of my T-Mobile Galaxy s2 in a noisy environment and it sounds just as good to me, and as far as I know T-Mobile USA does not use Haych Deee technology.

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 13:59 4

11. Muhannad (Posts: 455; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)


The blonde girl is really cute!

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 15:29 1

12. phones522 (Posts: 94; Member since: 27 Jan 2010)


the guy it the second video cant say HD he kept saying haichD

posted on 26 Jan 2012, 19:49 2

19. campyguy (Posts: 2; Member since: 26 Jan 2012)


New here. Good to see a bunch of people making fun of Aussie accents even though they can sound more like NA inhabitants if they want to.

PA, two points. Telstra launched HD Voice on their network over 7 months ago, this isn't news - maybe that they're using the same frequencies as ATTWS and some of the same phones, so why aren't we getting HDV like the UK, AUS, and heck, even Monrovia do? And, GigaOm's article is about codecs over VOIP, not HD Voice as it's been implemented, so the link and 7-month old videos don't jive...

And, the (really) hot blonde is Tenielle Musulin, coming to Nashville from NW Australia.

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