- 12-27-2011, 12:08 AM #1
I have a theory about the cause of our muffled voice issue, but first let me address the other theories that have been floating around.
The first theory is that the Titan has a poor quality microphone. This theory can be debunked rather easily. Just record a video of yourself speaking. The recorded audio is very clear.
The second theory is that the microphone holes on the unibody shell aren't lined up properly. If this were the case, I would expect some European Titan owners to experience the issue as well because their shell should be identical. Also, the microphone holes do appear to line up correctly upon close inspection.
The third theory is that it's a software issue. I agree with this theory, but let me expound on it a bit. The first piece of evidence is obvious. European Titan owners are running a different software build and haven't been complaining about muffled voice, at least as far as I've seen.
Now for the second piece of evidence. As you may already know, there are two microphones on the HTC Titan. The microphone on the bottom of the device is used to pick up your voice during normal non-speakerphone calls. The microphone on the top is used for noise cancellation during normal non-speakerphone calls. This is accomplished by taking the audio recorded by the bottom mic and cancelling out any audio recorded by the top mic. In theory, the sensitivity of the top mic should be set high enough to record some ambient noise but low enough that it doesn't pick up and cancel out your voice. I believe the sensitivity of the top mic is set too high and a bit of voice is being recorded by it and then canceled out of the audio sent to the other party, making our voice sound muffled.
To test this, I recorded three phone calls from my Titan.
On the first call, I held the phone to my ear in standard fashion. My voice was understandable, but definitely a bit muffled.
On the second call, I tried to speak directly into the bottom mic by holding the phone face up in front of my mouth. To my surprise, my voice was more muffled despite speaking more directly into the bottom mic. However, when I thought about it, it made sense. My voice was also directed more towards the top mic when I held the phone this way, thus more of my voice was getting cancelled out.
On the third call, I again held the phone face up directly in front of my mouth, but I rotated it around so I was speaking directly into the top mic. Can you guess what was heard on the other end? If you said nothing, you're absolutely correct. My voice was completely cancelled out when speaking directly into the top mic.
With all of this in mind, it's time we try a fix. In theory, if we can completely prevent the top mic from recording any audio, nothing will get cancelled out. This may lead to a tiny bit of background noise in your calls, but at least your voice should sound clear to the other party. I would like to see some ideas on how to best disable the top mic. Remember though, covering the top mic hole on the unibody shell won't do a lot because sound can still get to the microphone through the front speaker grill. My first idea is to put a small piece of electrical tape over the microphone on the actual phone body, not on the shell. Unfortunately I'm on vacation now and can't try this myself just yet, but maybe some of you can, or maybe you have an even better idea to disable the top mic.
If you do attempt to do this, please do some tests and let us know if you sound any clearer to other parties.
Last edited by gtg465x; 12-27-2011 at 12:14 AM.
- 12-27-2011, 02:18 AM #2
Ah, quite nice! Kudos on the testing. If the hardware and design is the same as the international Titans, that does leave only the software (well, and network, but that one would not be true either). In any case, regardless of the few muffled-voice positives I received, I shall stick with my Titan.
I wonder what the case is with the new Titans, since many say that they had fewer call problems with the units from the newer batches. Hmmm. Well, I will post if/when I test!
- 12-27-2011, 05:06 AM #3
12-27-2011, 04:06 PM #5
- 435 Posts
Agree with this.
Try another test: speak directly into the middle of the rear cover. Some will be picked up by the lower mic and some will be picked up by the upper mic. This would seem to be able to reproduce the robot/under water sounds as the noise cancelation system struggles.
I believe the case is directing too much of your voice back up to the upper mic while on a call. I think they MAY be able to fix this in software if they get really fancy with signals (and everyone's cover is about the same). Worst case, they give us an option for setting a few levels of noise cancelation (including 'off'), which would work, as you mention.
12-27-2011, 07:12 PM #8
- 20 Posts
@gtg465x Thanks so much for taking your time to do your testing. All of us here just about within our 30 day return window, and ascertaining whether this is a firmware/software fixable issue is so important.
I'm a U.S. att user. I just phoned HTC at 866-449-8358 and reported the issue. They said it had not been reported before. this is BS. Hundreds are complaining online and several have said specifically that they have called HTC to report it.
SO I ASK: if you're a U.S. customer, please call 866-449-8358 and report it as "muffled microphone" or "muffled call quality" and describe it for them. We have to get an official answer. I hate the idea of returning the phone and getting another one with the same problem. Or getting a different phone like the Samsung.
Last edited by petroll; 12-28-2011 at 01:04 AM.
- 12-27-2011, 07:22 PM #9
@ petroll: As my Wife has the same problem as everyone else on this thread with her Titan, I will most certainly call HTC. Thanks for the number.
@ airsmith81: Please let us know how things turn out if the tape idea works. Seems almost to easy, and just crazy enough to work!!
And of course, @ gtg465x: Thanks for kicking off this discussion not just with complaints, but with step by step ideas to look at it.
12-27-2011, 08:57 PM #10
- 393 Posts
We have 4 At&t TITANs (two bought on launch day from stores, 2 bought from Amazon). None of them have had the muffled "bug" you're talking about.
I call my other family members using their TITANs all the time, and never noticed it from my end.
We have gone with and without cases (cheap ones off Ebay).. No change..
- 12-28-2011, 09:39 PM #11
So I tried it out and put tape over the top mic. I recorded a few greetings for my voice mail and there is absolutely a difference between having the tape on and not having the tape on. I'm actually pretty satisfied with the quality than my previous greeting were my voice was very muffled. Another thing is that my service was only at 3 bars when I did my test. Hopefully the quality will improve more with full bars, but from what I heard it's a big difference and I'm liking it.
Sent from my PI39100 using Board Express
12-28-2011, 09:40 PM #12
- 111 Posts
This was brilliant.
I madea few test calls after reading this and the last I covered up the top back noise cancellation mics with my finger and it sounded fine.
I am confident of a firmware fix now. Considering covering the holes temp wise with a bit of tape.
- 12-28-2011, 09:48 PM #13
12-28-2011, 09:59 PM #15
- 111 Posts
- 12-28-2011, 10:44 PM #16
Okay, guys, I have been watching this thread for a couple of days, and I have to ask: now that you have figured out that a piece of tape or placing your finger in just the right spot will help with the issue, what is the next move?
I don't have a dog in this fight since I have already returned my Titan, but if this somehow gets rectified because of the efforts put forth here, I say congratulations to you all!
However, in other threads, I have seen that HTC is refusing to acknowledge that muffled call quality is a problem at all, much less offering up a firmware patch to fix the issue, so what does that leave as the logical solution? Leave a piece of tape strategically placed on a brand new handset?
For a fledgling OS that has as much promise as WP does, I'm sorry, but I can't the benefit of showing someone your new phone and touting all the cool things it does, but then having to offer up the caveat, "but, Dude, don't take off the tape, or the caller won't be able to understand what you say"...
Now, I am not stupid, I expect to be flamed for this...fire away!
- 12-28-2011, 11:16 PM #17
12-29-2011, 11:45 AM #21
- 20 Posts
12-29-2011, 12:54 PM #23
- 90 Posts
One of the main reasons I went from the Focus S to the Titan was so I could get my $199 back and score the Titan for a penny. Also I thought the bigger screen was a selling point and the additional settings HTC includes that Samsung doesn't have.Samsung Focus → Samsung Focus S → HTC Titan → Nokia Lumia 920 :)