When your custom music and message on hold is produced by Easy On Hold, the highest recording studio standards are upheld. Files are 100% digital and of the highest quality sound. Our voice studio uses industry-standard equipment and practices. When you receive your digital audio, it sounds clear. Perfect. So why doesn’t it sound as good when you hear it on your phone system?
Listening On A Telephone Device Limits Sound Frequencies
Telephones are unable to transmit high-quality audio. Frequency response is a term that refers to a range of sound, typically measured in Hertz, a measurement of cycles per second. The smaller the number, the lower the frequency. The human ear is said to be able to hear between 20 and 20,000 Hertz. (more information). Now take a look at various communications systems and notice that the smallest frequency range (or poorest sound) is represented by the telephone.
|Public Switched Telephone Network
||300Hz to 3kHz
||100Hz to 5kHz
||50Hz to 15kHz
|Consumer stereo system
||20Hz to 20kHz
|Professional audio equipment
||5Hz to 24kHz
(Chart courtesy of diracdelta.co.uk.)
Your Phone System Has Its Own Limits On Sound
Understanding why your particular phone system does not produce better sound would require a discussion of bit rate, throughput, bandwidth, compression, encoding and the like. The summation of these variables is the reason your phone system sounds the way it does. Phone systems use various methods to squeeze sound into small spaces. The result can be disappointing and unpredictable. Yet, we’re all used to it. We all know that the tiny little speaker on the telephone handset is going to sound “tinny” to some extent.
External Player Settings
If your phone system uses an external player as the music on hold source, that music on hold device may be putting too much audio into the phone system (overdriving), causing the sound to be distorted. The overall volume may not change because the phone system is compensating for the audio level, attempting to maintain a sound limit. Try backing off the volume of the playback device. Most phone systems require a 600-Ohm input from an external device.
File Format May Be Incorrect
If your phone system uses an audio file upload as the music on hold source, the correct file format must be used. These files are highly compressed, as the phone system is designed to conserve memory. The file compression further reduces sound quality in many cases. This is another reason why an external device is the best choice, if possible, for music and messaging on hold.
VOIP System May Be Converting Files
Once an audio file is uploaded to a VOIP Off-Site (hosted) phone system, the host may process or compress the audio file further, possibly converting it to a different format. This process can vary between phone system providers. Again, this is out of your control. Some VOIP systems do not allow a volume control for audio playback, so it may be best to send the audio file to your phone system host and request that they make the music sound as pleasant as possible.
Listening On A Cell Phone
Cell phones employ noise-cancelling technology, which can cause sound distortion. By emphasizing voice frequencies, a cell transmission can help your call recipient find your voice among the background and wind noise. The result when listening to music, however, is that a warble or distortion occurs. When testing your music on hold, use a land-line phone for the most accurate results.