Noise Cancellation and VoIP
Implementing Noise Cancellation
Strictly speaking, there are two kinds of solutions when dealing with excessive noise in the background. The first refers to headphones and the ability to hear sounds clearly even in a busy environment. It consists of creating a kind of "seal" either inside or around your ears in order to only allow through the sound that you want to hear. The second method deals with using software to generate "anti noise" sounds that cancel whatever is happening in the background. The latter technique requires a separate power source.
When talking about noise cancellation with VoIP, in addition to the above problem, we have the additional challenge of ensuring that the noise doesn't get sent over to the other end. Once again, we have software solutions and a hardware one. An expensive VoIP phone would have an inbuilt ability to filter out excessive noise. Unfortunately, this would require each and every employee in your business to have such a device. The power of VoIP lies in the fact that you can use it anywhere at any time either with a smartphone, or a tablet, or a PC. There is no guarantee that any of these will have noise cancellation hardware built into them.
Fortunately as an Internet-based application, there is another solution – the use of software at the server end instead.
Noise Cancellation at the Server or with a Proxy
Even if your employees are spread out all over the world, the voice data will still flow through a single SIP hosted VoIP provider. We can use this chokepoint in order to perform all kinds of processing on the incoming and outgoing signals. This means sampling the early few seconds of voice data and generating the requisite "anti noise" signals to cancel it out. The solution doesn't require any change whatsoever at the client side. What's more, it can be implemented at any time simply by adding the modules to the VoIP software. It's just another example of how software in the cloud can keep getting better without any additional costs to the users.
If your SIP service provider doesn't implement noise cancellation, there is still an alternative that you can use yourself. By filtering all of you VoIP calls through a proxy on your network, you can perform the requisite processing yourself. There are many ready made solutions on the market that don't require you to purchase any expensive SIP PBX phones. If you're just starting out, you may want to ask your service provider whether they provide this functionality out-of-the-box and if not, you may want to try elsewhere. Ultimately, there are a lot of options to choose from and you can utilize one that is uniquely suited to your business.