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Industry News

17 January 2024

4 minutes read

Poly's Innovative Technologies Tackle Ambient Noise in Communication Headsets

Beat the Noise with Poly

Beat the noise 11 33 55

In this article

Introduction

Noise is all around us, during a recent survey in 2021, 94% of workers have experienced some form of ambient noise during calls*. This was an increase from just 71% of workers back in 2017. Noise not only impacts a user’s ability to concentrate and focus on the task in hand, but without a good quality noise-cancelling microphone it also impact other participants on conference calls. Poly headsets are used in the most demanding environments where clear audio is critical including emergency dispatch and command and control applications.

Ambient Noise is a main issue for loss of concentration & productivity

When considering noise canceling headsets it’s important to note that different technology is used to reduce noise for the headset wearer and hence acts on the receive side (typically this is active noise canceling) compared to noise canceling for the far end, which acts on the microphone (transmitting) side.

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Noise Cancelling Microphone Boom

To ensure that background noise does not interrupt the call, many Poly headsets include a noise canceling microphone boom. These booms include a special directional dual port microphone that picks up sound in a specific pattern that is focused towards the user’s mouth. Sounds that come from all directions, such as background noise, are picked up with equal amplitude on both microphone ports and hence cancel each other out, reducing the background noise heard by the far end (the caller/s).

To provide the best noise reduction the optimum position for a noise canceling microphone boom is directly in front of the user’s mouth. Since this can be distracting to the user, as its in their eyeline, a compromise is made so that the microphone boom is typically located at the corner of the mouth. The microphone booms can be bent so that the microphone is in the correct position.

Acoustic Fence Technology

Transmit noise reduction can be enhanced when additional, physically separated microphones are added, such as those on Poly headsets with Acoustic Fence technology.

Single additional microphone: Poly’s Acoustic Fence technology, as found in the Blackwire 8225, uses a long noise canceling microphone boom with an additional microphone located on the ear cup. This additional microphone picks up the background noise and using DSP this noise is minimized from the user’s voice.

Multiple additional microphones: The Voyager Focus 2 provides even greater transmit noise reduction despite its shorter microphone boom. In this implementation Poly’s Acoustic Fence technology uses four microphones in total, two microphones on the boom and one on each ear cup, to create a virtual pick-up bubble focused at the front of the user’s mouth. Anything outside of this bubble (typically noise) is ignored.

Close Conversation Limiting

Using proprietary Digital Signal Processing (DSP) Poly can further reduce any transmit noise. The Poly Savi 8200 Series use a noise canceling microphone boom plus a feature called close conversation limiting, which is designed to reduce the level of nearby conversations. The actual level of noise reduction can be configured via Poly software.

Noise Cancelling Microphone Boomless

For products without a microphone boom such as the Voyager Free 60 UC, Voyager Surround 80 UC and Voyager 6200 UC, multiple microphones are used along with beam-forming technology to focus on the user’s voice while minimizing background noise.

Boomless noise cancelling refers to a technology or design approach used in certain communication devices, such as headsets or earbuds, that eliminates the need for a physical boom microphone while still providing effective noise cancellation.

WindSmart

Poly’s WindSmart technology is a proprietary technology developed for wireless headset products. WindSmart is designed to reduce the impact of wind noise during phone calls or voice communication in outdoor environments. It employs advanced algorithms and microphone design to suppress wind noise and deliver clearer audio quality to the listener. WindSmart technology helps improve the overall voice clarity and user experience, particularly in windy conditions.

Active Noise Cancelling

Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) is a technology used in headphones, earbuds, or other audio devices to reduce unwanted ambient noise. It works by using built-in microphones to capture external sounds and then generating anti-noise signals to cancel out those unwanted sounds.

By actively countering external noise, ANC helps create a quieter and more immersive audio experience. It is particularly useful in environments with constant or repetitive background noise, allowing users to enjoy their music, podcasts, or calls without the distraction of surrounding sounds.

Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling

With Hybrid ANC additional microphones are placed outside the earcup (in addition to the microphones inside the earcup) that measures both what the user hears and the background noise, this allows a wider frequency of background noise to be reduce while maintaining more natural sidetone for the user during calls.

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