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Sound Quality

Discussion in 'Complaints & Praise' started by Number Six, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. FifthCat

    FifthCat Member

    trueCall Model:
    trueCall Call Blocker + Recorder
    Country:
    England's Lake District
    Thank you. I appreciate your good intentions.

    Just to clarify: the recording will help because I have my own limitations which are hard to gauge by others. By using the recording I will be able to ascertain whether or not I will be able to use the device given my problem.

    The recording should come from a sound file saved/exported by the Recorder software sold optionally with the device. Using a microphone would not be a correct way of doing this, you are absolutely right.

    Much as I appreciate everybody's personal views and time spent on providing them, they do not help because I simply need to hear it myself, given that there is a controversy regarding sound quality.

    Does this help?
     
  2. FifthCat

    FifthCat Member

    trueCall Model:
    trueCall Call Blocker + Recorder
    Country:
    England's Lake District
    I have now heard two samples of trueCall recordings. Both are wav files saved by the Recorder utility, as far as I know. I listened to both on good quality audio equipment. One sample has been kindly provided by the company with some helpful assistance from Top Cat here, one by a friend who has the most recent model of trueCall Call Blocker.

    I must say that the noise between the speech segments is quite high in the second recording; the friend indicated that this level of noise is average in his installation. This noise in between the speech segments indicates (unless the device is broken) a high dynamics compression ratio which is used to reduce the range of volumes recorded, and so the required bandwidth (related to bit-rate known to portable music users) in transmission and memory in storage. This high level of noise when nothing is said can also be the reason for the unit 'not noticing' that the caller hung up, and recording what should be silence, but is in fact highly amplified noise, a problem reported on this forum by a few users.

    I am not sure why the drastic memory-saving measures from several years ago persist from the original design, while memory prices crashed during last year. These measures do degrade the user experience and may be causing device malfunctioning.

    The speech itself is not distorted more than on a poor phone line or a cheap 'normal' answering machine, so it is just about acceptable as far as I am concerned. The noise between the speech segments is annoying, but does not influence my hearing/understanding of the recorded message too badly in neither of the two recordings. I suspect that any higher levels would be a problem for me. YMMV

    I am sure that someone technical from trueCall is watching these threads - comment please? Am I meowing at the wrong tree here?

    All the best,
    FC
     
  3. Top Cat

    Top Cat Administrator Staff Member

    trueCall Model:
    trueCall Classic + Extra + Recorder
    Country:
    Englishman in Wales!
    I disagree. It is normal to hear messages either via the built-in speaker or via a phone handset. Those signal paths will add their own distortion/noise.
     
  4. Top Cat

    Top Cat Administrator Staff Member

    trueCall Model:
    trueCall Classic + Extra + Recorder
    Country:
    Englishman in Wales!
    We're talking about normal use here, not forensics.
     
  5. FifthCat

    FifthCat Member

    trueCall Model:
    trueCall Call Blocker + Recorder
    Country:
    England's Lake District
    But, TC, not to make a too fine point of it, is the use of trueCall recordings as formal evidence not one of its official selling points? So have you just said it should not be? On the Official Forum? Or am I meowing at the wrong end of the stick, you meant to say something else and I, being a dumb foreign cat, misunderstood you and I am being catty on top of it all? :bye: No, I am not really completely serious here, but you sort of asked for this reply. I must say that emails and fora, as useful as they are, have a strange property of aggravating what does not need to be aggravated. I am sorry if I am stroking you the wrong way and getting your back up - I certainly don't mean to.
     
  6. FifthCat

    FifthCat Member

    trueCall Model:
    trueCall Call Blocker + Recorder
    Country:
    England's Lake District
    Pretty much like Dawrf, I am not too sure what you are disagreeing with here. I think we are in agreement. If I listen to the recording on better kit I should get better sound, no? So if the sound is still distorted then it means it is the software plus the electronics, not the speaker. And this is exactly what I wanted to ascertain. If the samples sounded very good played on a good audio, it would mean it is just the audio part of the unit is not so good or faulty. Developing, writing and testing of time series (signal) processing and analysis procedures is a part of my work, so I just can't keep away from this, sorry.

    Incidentally, trueCall is now on my Christmas list.
     
  7. pierrot

    pierrot Member

    trueCall Model:
    trueCall Call Blocker + Recorder
    Country:
    UK
    It is true that the Record Message/Call quality is poor. In fact the worst aspect of the equipment. The sampling rate seems far too low and the auto gain control reacts too quickly and raises the noise level in between voice.
    I have not heard a poorer quality recorder on a telephone unit. It's a real shame, but the rest of the units performance is fine.
     
  8. boswell

    boswell Member

    trueCall Model:
    trueCall Classic
    Country:
    UK
    I agree the high noise level can and does cause trueCall to misinterpret signal and record noise, but reducing my message options cut down these instances.
    I'm not looking for HiFi quality (never had that on any phone) but audio is the whole point of telephony. I thought tape was bad until digital came along! ;)

    In general though whilst I agree the sound quality is a little disappointing, I'd describe it as just adequate, it manages, just. It is something trueCall should actively seek to improve (hopefully with firmware uplink).

    However, niggles aside, the advantages of trueCall for this household, including the support from trueCall, far outweighs the poor sound and there appears to be nothing better.
     
  9. Clive Daubney

    Clive Daubney New Member

    trueCall Model:
    trueCall Classic

    I think that your problem is the machine. I have had my machine for a couple of years and everything is O.K. The sound quality must depend on the connection and the phone that is sending you the message. My Uncle has had a machine for several more years than I have had mine and he has had no problems. The button on top of the machine is, certainly on my machine, is quite substantial. I would recommend that you contact trueCall and have your unit replaced.
    Clive.
     
  10. Jonathan57

    Jonathan57 New Member

    trueCall Model:
    trueCall Call Blocker + Recorder
    Country:
    UK
    I have got my trueCall callblocker set up on whisper. When an incoming call gets caught by whisper, I can hear the trueCall telling me that I have a call from caller X but the diction should be a lot clearer. it tells me to press 1 to accept the call, any further instructions are totally inaudible, drowned out by fuzzy noise. This is not good enough. Recently I needed to listen to a recording of a call carefully. The white noise made this difficult. I downloaded an audio editing programme and the visually showed the amount of white noise. I edited out some of the white noise and the result was usable but I was unable to edit all the white noise out. The recordings should be clear enough to use without editing.
     
  11. ByteOfTheCherry

    ByteOfTheCherry New Member

    trueCall Model:
    trueCall Call Blocker
    Country:
    UK
    Another brand new member and I regretfully have the same problem as Jonathan57..my wife and I are elderly and although not decrepit we find the sound indistinct/distorted/white background noise on message playback and the with audio overlap after pressing 1..also the weblink software is very 'clunky' and needs refineing/tweaking but that's another subject..the concept of the unit is great but the audio implementation is 'not good'..my wife want 'rid off' and is willing to go back to the cold calling scenario we have just come from...
     
  12. Top Cat

    Top Cat Administrator Staff Member

    trueCall Model:
    trueCall Classic + Extra + Recorder
    Country:
    Englishman in Wales!
    I recommend you contact customer support about this - sometimes the noise/distortion is cause by line termination problems which might be fixable by a new ADSL filter or something (you are using broadband?).
     
  13. ByteOfTheCherry

    ByteOfTheCherry New Member

    trueCall Model:
    trueCall Call Blocker
    Country:
    UK
    I'm in agreement..bypassing the playback speaker aspect...my BT 1571 service was crystal clear through my panasonic cordless 4 handset system..however the trueCall unit is markedly worse, still background noise coming through..this considering the unit output goes straight into the base station, I would say cheap sound chip/sloppy voice programing on spoken anouncements...I'm a musician and my wife is a very good singer and I've produced much of her stuff (digitally) so consider myself 'able' to pass 'informed' opinion..and concerning my earlier post I've fitted the BT master socket ADSL filter faceplate which is considred superior to the standard in-line ADSL filters
     
  14. Top Cat

    Top Cat Administrator Staff Member

    trueCall Model:
    trueCall Classic + Extra + Recorder
    Country:
    Englishman in Wales!
    There are sometimes duff components in ADSL filters - whatever the source. It has to be worth a call to trueCall anyway - if nothing else to make sure they are aware of problems.

    I am not troubled by poor recording quality, not necessarily because my unit is better than anyone else's - but simply because I don't get messages I have much need to listen to. Using the unit for its intended purpose (filtering out unwanted calls), anybody I actually want to speak to or receive a message from gets handed on to the DECT phone - and that is set to cut in and take a message before the trueCall does. The only people who get to leave a message on the trueCall are those I am probably going to ignore anyway.
     
  15. Andy C

    Andy C Member

    trueCall Model:
    trueCall Call Blocker
    Country:
    UK
    I mentioned this on a call to Support who suggested:-
    • An ADSL splitter (even though I'm on cable) might reduce the noise
    • Moving the trueCall box a little away from the cordless phone base unit to avoid possible wireless interference
    • I also read another suggestion to record your TC messages using a corded phone. I have a cordless Panasonic DECT phone with 3 handsets
    Not tried any of them yet (I can probably live with the sound quality on my VoiceMails) and the marketeers will just have to suffer) but wondered if anyone else has.
     
  16. Number Six

    Number Six Member

    trueCall Model:
    trueCall Call Blocker + Recorder
    Country:
    UK
    Hello Colleagues,

    Many thanks for your welcome contributions. Much appreciated.

    I got the same advice as Andy C [above] last year and faithfully did all the things trueCall technical support recommended, sadly without any noticeable improvement. truseCall advised that I "piggyback" a second DSL splitter in top of the first. And no this hasn't made any diference either.

    I suppose I really ought to get round to sending the unit back to get it checked .. .. .. ..
     
  17. Pony

    Pony New Member

    trueCall Model:
    trueCall Call Blocker + Recorder
    Country:
    UK
    All those ( 6 or so) folk whom I have played it to find the sound quality perfectly adequate - very much like most other ansaphones or hands free phones. Many calls (esp.) from overseas call-centers have been compressed down way below Telco standards and can't be improved even with a hi-fi recorder!
     
    Top Cat likes this.
  18. Number Six

    Number Six Member

    trueCall Model:
    trueCall Call Blocker + Recorder
    Country:
    UK
    Hello Colleagues,

    This post has attracted 2,300 views so far. Wow! So it must be a "go to" topic.

    My son's just bought a BT8500 phone/ansafone with trueCall techology inbuilt. And it says so on the label stuck to the unit.

    He's kindly let me borrow his phone for a week or so. To do a head-to-head between the BT phone and my trueCall unit.

    Hopefully this should help pinpoint the fix for my sound quality problem. Is it perhaps the line [as our colleague Pony thinks]. Or is it the unit perhaps?

    Will keep you "posted". And remember we are not just numbers!

    Take care

    Number Six
     
  19. FifthCat

    FifthCat Member

    trueCall Model:
    trueCall Call Blocker + Recorder
    Country:
    England's Lake District
    Hello again,

    I'd thought I'd give it a year, gave it a year and 2/3, and just ordered a unit following the advice above.

    I still don't agree with the car argument, although I have to say I never had a ride in an Aston-Martin, to continue using the same logic, which is slightly different from my own warped one. But I decided to order the best steak in town with (allegedly) cold chips and I am going to report my impressions on both as soon as I have got my teeth into them.

    What's the worst that can happen anyway? Amazon is great with handling returns.

    All the best,
    FC
     

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