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Making full use of VoIP based HD Voice

Updated on July 12, 2011

The Benefits of HD Voice

The breakthrough technology of HD voice hasn't yet been felt by the retail consumer because most calls these days still involve the PSTN system either at the originating end or the receiving end. The PSTN phone system works in a very specific manner which doesn't allow a different codec to be transmitted over its lines. Because of this, even if a VoIP signal is HD encoded it's wasted because when the signal moves to the PSTN line, it has to be downgraded. Therefore, only in a true VoIP to VoIP call will the participants hear what HD voice sounds like.

The difference is amazing. We're all used to how voice sounds over the phone and so we don't know that something better exists. We've all put up with the limitations of phones without giving them a second thought. For example, when talking face to face with someone, how often have you ever had to repeat yourself so that certain letters are clear? Now look at what we're used to with phone lines think about how many times you've had to say "d for delta!" just to ensure that the other person didn't write "b" or "p" instead. This is because the encoding used for the PSTN system cuts out some higher and lower frequencies of the voice spectrum.

HD voice however, uses a coded which allows much more of the voice spectrum to be transmitted. And with Internet speeds as fast as they are these days, it's not at all a problem in terms of bandwidth.

HD voice with VoIP
HD voice with VoIP

Getting the right hardware

Though anyone can hear the improvement using HD voice, the experience can be improved dramatically when the hardware is built to take advantage of the network's capabilities. Understandably, regular phones never have these modifications because they will work only with the normal phone line. Even if they're plugged into an ATA adapter, the adapter will have to send and receive only regular phone signals.

But VoIP phones have no such restriction. The mouthpiece is particularly important when attempting to maximize the voice quality. It must be designed in such a way that it captures more of the voice frequencies than a regular telephone does. It can achieve this by having a more curved design that "cups" the voice as it comes through. Good VoIP phones will have this feature.

The main benefit of HD voice will be felt when employees talk to each other since it's guaranteed that the call will be entirely over VoIP without any PSTN intervention whatsoever. Scalable HD voice systems are one of the biggest attractions of a VoIP system. Open an SIP account today and be up and running within just 15 minutes!


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