Speakerphone volume: Think about it...

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Lips2000

Member
Bronze
Jun 4, 2007
100
0
16
Houston, TX
#1
As most of you have read or discovered for yourselves, the speaker volume is dramatically different while on a call than while listening to music or videos.

Ever stop to wonder "Why?"

To me, it's simple...

Because the speaker is positioned in such close proximity to the microphone, I believe the speaker audio level is decreased to prevent feedback to the mic. Too loud and the speaker and mic enter a feedback loop from hell.

Because the iPhone has a full duplex speakerphone, the mic is constantly "live" which enables you to "talk over" the other person on the call even as they jabber away (thinking of my mother here). Without full-duplex, you would have to wait for the person talking to stop talking or activate a Mic Switch (ala: Walkie Talkies) in order to carry on a conversation.

I am sure there is an algorithm of some sort to monitor feedback but the fix would be a better algorithm or placing the mic away from the speaker.

Just my $0.02...

Mark
 

Ace4261991

New Member
Silver
Jun 18, 2007
530
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0
#2
yeah that is kinda dumb how they placed the mic so close to the speakerphone.they hsould have turned the mic into another speaker for better sound and then placed a small mic (like all other phones have) somewere else on the phone
 

TrippalHealicks

New Member
Gold
Mar 2, 2007
1,341
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0
#3
Because the speaker is positioned in such close proximity to the microphone, I believe the speaker audio level is decreased to prevent feedback to the mic. Too loud and the speaker and mic enter a feedback loop from hell.

Makes sense, actually. Nice post. ;)
 

adseguy

New Member
Bronze
Jul 1, 2007
401
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0
#5
Not putting your theory down...but I'm gonna poke a hole in it.

Most other phones have a speaker that is much much louder (I'd say 2x-3x louder) Most are place either on the back side of the phone or just use the smaller speaker amplified much louder. The position of the speaker vs. mic is farther, but IMO not significant enough. Music isn't too loud either which leads me to believe the speaker jus isn't very powerful nor large. Feel free to poke holes in me:p
 

Lips2000

Member
Bronze
Jun 4, 2007
100
0
16
Houston, TX
#6
Not putting your theory down...but I'm gonna poke a hole in it.

Most other phones have a speaker that is much much louder (I'd say 2x-3x louder) Most are place either on the back side of the phone or just use the smaller speaker amplified much louder. The position of the speaker vs. mic is farther, but IMO not significant enough. Music isn't too loud either which leads me to believe the speaker jus isn't very powerful nor large. Feel free to poke holes in me:p
To a certain extent, you are correct but...

With the iPhone, the speaker and the mic are less then 1 (ONE!) inch from each other. That is pretty darn close.

For a reference, I looked at my Treo 700w. If laid on a table, the mic is facing due South and directed away from the top of the phone. The speaker is almost 4 inches away and on the back of the phone pointing down. Very little chance for feedback there and the speaker volume would go to 11. ;)

Not saying it is a perfect theory; it just makes sense to me.

Mark
 

katra

Member
Bronze
Jun 26, 2007
229
0
18
#9
I myself previously had a treo 700p and it had the same volume issues as the iPhone...everything was way too low.

so i bought a third party App and it boosted the volume super freaking loud ! :laugh2::laugh2::laugh2: (ofcourse you can adjust it to how ever you want it)

If you guys are wondering if the same can be done for the iPhone...then yes it can. it's not a matter of hardware it's just a matter of Apple putting in the right freaking parameters on the iPhone's firmware.:p
 

stuart9682

New Member
Bronze
May 29, 2007
116
0
0
#11
I don't know if the iPhone is like this but I know that my older sanyo sprint phone would over-ride the microphone (i.e. if someone on the other line was talking, the mic was inactive to interrupt them). I would think that the iPhone is similar... somebody try it out: call a friend & put them on speaker and then try to interrupt them. Does it work?
 

Kev1000000

New Member
Bronze
Jun 26, 2007
234
0
0
#12
I don't know if the iPhone is like this but I know that my older sanyo sprint phone would over-ride the microphone (i.e. if someone on the other line was talking, the mic was inactive to interrupt them). I would think that the iPhone is similar... somebody try it out: call a friend & put them on speaker and then try to interrupt them. Does it work?
You are correct. Most phones that have speakerphones mute the mic while the person is talking. If you start talking, it un-mutes the mic and cuts off the speaker.

There should be no reason for the low volume.
 

taloula

New Member
Jul 18, 2007
14
0
0
#13
Speakerphone on my iPhone, was such a big big dissapointment.


I use "ical" for my daily client booking/rebooking. Having to remove my ear, pull up ical, and hit speaker phone....
I STILL have to put touloula(my iPhone) up to my ear, JUST to hear the speakerphone volume.

pointless then, ain't it?
I can hear the suggestions now... use my jawbone.

I can't ...I own a high end salon...it is just a wee bit tacky. (hope not to offend anyone)

I've never strayed to a third party...
it's very scawwwry, to me.

~T
 

uptick

New Member
Jul 2, 2007
9
0
0
NY
#14
Maybe a solution to the "bottom speaker-too-close-to-mic" problem is to add a second speaker to the top edge of the phone, or boost the audio output of the surface slit "earpiece" speaker when the phone is used in speakerphone mode.

Also, having the second speaker (with spatial distance from the first) output at speakerphone levels would be an ideal way to achieve "stereo" audio output when watching a video or listening to tunes without the earphones. :D

I find that the sound from the bottom speaker is highly directional, meaning that if I angle the phone a certain way or cup the speaker with my hand, the sound quality and sound level changes noticeably. Oftentimes when I have my phone in my pocket, the speaker is facing the bottom of my pocket, in effect muting every potential ring or audible alert. Having a second speaker on the top edge / opposite side of the bottom speaker would help in those cases when the bottom speaker is blocked.
 

Hawk

Genius
Gold
Aug 2, 2007
6,682
241
83
48
ATL
#15
To add Fuel to the proverbial fire...
The other reason that the speakers appear to be such a low volume is just placement in general. pointing straigt down when holding the phone upright.
Or straight left or straight right when holding the phone sideways. None of those directions are at the user, which is why it sounds so diminished.
Here is a test for you.
Dock the iPhone and play a song through the speaker. While it's playing, undock it. hear the difference? It's because the dock actually has a "re-direct" for the speakers built in to direct the sound towards whatever your iPhone is facing.
When I watch my video podcasts, the speakers are to the right and I have my righ hand cupped a little and the volume is spectacular. Played "Happy Tree Friends" for 7 people on a bench outside and everyone heard it fine.


*** Side note. There is a volume limiter in the I-pod settings. check to make sure that you are setup to get the maximum volume from the iPhone.***