HD Voice Resources
Learn more about HD Voice with these educational resources.
Simply put, HD voice makes everything (voice) better. With an HD voice call delivering twice the sound as a narrowband one, there's much more audio information provided for the brain to process, resulting in less fatigue and better comprehension. Computer-based processes like voice recognition and speech-to-text also gain from HD voice, with better accuracy.
Advocates of HD voice use the cliche' of a call sounding as clear and natural as if you are talking to someone in the same room, and there's a laundry list of reasons for wideband goodness ranging from being able to understand a three year old (higher voices get clipped) to public safety.
During a narrowband call, your brain is quietly working to "fill in the blanks" by interpreting word sounds that have been clipped to fit into a sound range of 300Hz to 3400Hz. All the information you normally hear between 20Hz to 300Hz and 3400Hz to 20,000Hz is gone, so your brain has to figure out what is being said by using contextual clues.
For short and clear calls, this isn't a big headache, but the longer the call, the more work your brain ends up doing without you thinking about it. (Yes, there's a reason why you dread hour-long calls and long for them to be over).
Acronyms are "notorious" for being hard to understand during a narrowband call, says HD voice expert and Polycom CTO Jeff Rodman. In addition, similar-sounding words like "sail" and "fail" also cause confusion. A narrowband call can result in a lot of repetition and additional explanation -- or people just don't get it the first time through and have to get clarification via email... or another phone call.
Because HD voice provides more sound information, it's easy to understand the difference between FEC, FCC, SEC, and FTC on a call. In professions where accuracy and speed counts -- such as medical, legal, and financial -- HD voice is a clear winner because information is communicated more accurately the first time around. Technical conversations are easier because terms can be clearly understood.
As a result, it is rare that speakers are asked to repeat themselves -- an occurrence that happens all too often in narrowband.
In addition, individual voices -- people -- are highlighted in HD voice, making it easier to know who is talking during a call.
If there's just one "must have" app for HD voice, it is conferencing. The combination of reduced fatigue and better compensation and clarity enable people to worry more about the content of discussions, rather than trying to struggle understanding what is being said.
Executives at Fortune 500 companies -- the "C-Level" guys -- are starting to insist upon conducting conference calls in HD voice for the efficiency it brings. Time is money, and HD voice enables people to focus on the job at hand and to get it done more quickly.
HD voice is a clear winner when it comes to international calls and another "must have" for businesses regularly doing business with non-native speakers of another language.
For most of us, it is a challenge to speak another language. There are accent issues, vocabulary issues, and even tone can be used differently to communicate nuances. Put all of those factors into a narrowband call and the ability to clearly communicate between offices in Europe and Asia becomes much more difficult.
Using HD voice, non-native speakers will be able to more clearly understand what is being said and be more clearly understood when they speak. And if everyone is a non-native speaker of the common language being used during a call, HD voice might make the difference between communication and confusion.
HD voice provides much better raw information for both humans and computers to process when it comes to creating transcriptions. Human beings can more easily hear what is being said in a recording, saving time. Any automated speech-to-text process -- ranging from transcription to emailing phone messages -- benefits.