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Apple iPhone 5 has three microphones and HD voice support, what's in it for you

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Apple iPhone 5 has three microphones and HD voice support, what's in it for you
The Apple iPhone 5 showed up with not one or two, but three microphones - front, back, and on the bottom of its case. We had the Huawei Ascend Mate ensure stellar call quality with The iPhone 5 also supports wideband audio, which is popular under its commercial name HD voice, but about 80 handsets currently, among which a lot of Android handsets, also support it.

What are the potential benefits from this three-mics setup on the iPhone 5, though? First, the microphones - three means now Apple can use some advanced beam-forming directional audio techniques. Beam-forming uses two or more microphones pointed in different directions with a narrower coverage fields for picking up targeted sounds. 

Apple iPhone 5 has three microphones and HD voice support, what's in it for you
Apple iPhone 5 has three microphones and HD voice support, what's in it for you
The third mic on the iPhone 5 is between the camera lens and the LED flash on the back

The third mic on the iPhone 5 is between the camera lens and the LED flash on the back

In the case of the iPhone 5, we have one in the front, one on the back, around the camera area, and one on the bottom - a setup that pretty much ensures directional coverage from all angles, regardless of the phone's position. When each microphone picks up the sound coming from its respective direction, a specialized processor then analyzes the sound data, loaded with the location and type algorithm of the mics, and then relays to the listener the cleaned up sound, depending on the output required. 

This getup can virtually eliminate background noises, and only relay crystal clear sounding voice to the caller on the other side, for example. It can also help with recording fuller audio in your 1080 video footage taken with the iPhone 5, improve Siri's recognition of your accents, make for clearer conference and FaceTime calls, and so on.

Speaking of voice clarity, the wideband audio function, or HD voice, in the newest iPhone, doubles both the sound spectrum width and the sampling rate, bringing it closer to the true human speech range, so voices come out exceptionally loud and clear, with half of the bandwidth needed by traditional solutions. Currently about 45 carriers in 35 countries support HD voice on their network, and Apple said it specific implementation in the iPhone 5 is compatible with 20 of those, but didn't give specifics.

In the US, only Sprint is out with HD voice capability, but not the type you'll find in the iPhone 5, although when the carrier rolls its LTE network next year, high-def VoLTE could be an option, judging from Apple's handset specs. Ditto with Verizon, AT&T, and the others with LTE networks, which said they will be rolling VoLTE. Qualcomm's radio supports this in theory, but it's not a matter of simple software update for the iPhone 5, when the US carriers launch it, so we might see it fully supported with next year's iPhone at the earliest.

Europe is ahead in HD voice implementation, as it has agreed on a de facto standard, and now more than 10 carriers there, amongst which DT, support it, about six in Africa have it, Telstra in Australia, and so on. It remains to be tested how much of a difference would the high-def voice transmission make on compatible networks, and we are sure comparisons with the iPhone 4S will start popping up soon enough after the iPhone 5 launches.

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posted on 14 Sep 2012, 06:05 4

1. StreetNerd (Posts: 836; Member since: 08 Dec 2010)


posted on 14 Sep 2012, 07:07 1

10. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 4328; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)

Not surprised with apple endorsing their phone in the video with the name John "Appleseed"!! :D

posted on 14 Sep 2012, 09:52 1

18. AeroPrime (Posts: 175; Member since: 21 Feb 2011)

Can anyone tell me what's the big deal about apple products? What innovation have they done? I don't need anyone to explain rocket science theory. Just tell the big engineering factor and the significant? Am i paying for the badge or name or some crap piece of engineering? Think?!

posted on 14 Sep 2012, 06:19 1

4. MalakiMills (Posts: 257; Member since: 15 Jun 2010)

Aren't the vast majority of phones nowadays built with multiple microphones. For noise cancellation and what not. The droid x was one of the first to do it, and that was in 2010!

posted on 14 Sep 2012, 08:25 1

14. gwhyte01 (Posts: 44; Member since: 09 Jul 2008)

Sorry bro, but the HTC touch pro 2 was the first with multiple microphones.

posted on 14 Sep 2012, 06:21 2

5. loken (Posts: 462; Member since: 09 May 2012)

Not enough for innovation sorry try xloud , bravia engine , floating touch , ip67x clear phase tech , stacked cmos hdr vid , on sensor lens technology... few of what i can name of sony's innovation / tech
also dont forget clear bass tech

posted on 14 Sep 2012, 06:24

6. Angkor (Posts: 108; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)

How about 3D HD voice?

posted on 14 Sep 2012, 06:39

7. loken (Posts: 462; Member since: 09 May 2012)

“We are not afraid of lawsuits, because we have an extensive portfolio of intellectual property rights,” - Sony
JUST sue Apple for copying their design of a phone omg!

posted on 14 Sep 2012, 06:56

8. raunak (Posts: 507; Member since: 12 Oct 2011)

nokia lumia 920 also has three microphones, read it somewhere

posted on 14 Sep 2012, 06:59 5

9. muhsen (Posts: 281; Member since: 07 Jun 2012)

helloooooooo,there r nokia 808 PV and nokia lumia 920 where they both have 3mics, not just for hd voice and noise cancellation but for rich audio recording in vids
i don't why phonearena always forget nokia in major things where nokia is the most participant
there's an article claims that iphone 3gs defined smartphone support because it has been supported for 3 years!duhhhhhhh, r they too blind to not see that all nokia smartphones since n95 get support for at least 3 years?! not to mention that the 5800 is 4 year old and still gets updates with new features,nokia even support their 50$ phones for couple of years!

posted on 14 Sep 2012, 07:50 1

12. kalamazoo (Posts: 5; Member since: 14 Sep 2012)

The 920 records in mono, Damian said it - twitter.com/PhoneDaz/status/244318349260124161

posted on 14 Sep 2012, 10:31

19. chaoticrazor (Posts: 2347; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)

whatever people say about nokia no one can deny they support all there phones longer then any other company.
my old n8 had an update recently and my nokia 808 juts got fp2. all these updates for a branded dead OS

but i love all the articles about minor things on the iphone and then they try to big them up as if its something major

the 808 was a huge leap in innovation yet look at the welcome it recieved from many reviewers ( cnet asia was the most apple biased ever)

posted on 14 Sep 2012, 07:35

11. Adithya7184 (Posts: 319; Member since: 05 Mar 2011)

lol...iphone innovation till i50 series

posted on 14 Sep 2012, 08:07

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

What's in it for me? Nothing. It doesn't work on US carriers.

posted on 14 Sep 2012, 09:26

17. antmiu2 (Posts: 385; Member since: 19 Jun 2011)

hd voice so its 720p? lol marketing scam

posted on 15 Sep 2012, 16:05

26. darkkjedii (Posts: 25042; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

Can't wait to grab one

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