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There are two things that I’ve become obsessed with over the past few years: voice interaction and voice quality. The first is borne from working on the Ubi and UCIC and the second is from having made over 20,000 cold calls over the past decade.

One of the worst things that can happen on any call is poor voice quality. This can make an already tense call intolerably difficult. While a wired handset to a “landline” (corporate PBX) usually gives the best quality, now being completely mobile, I’ve needed to find a way to get good quality with a cellphone.

The biggest challenge was finding locations with great LTE coverage (5 bars) to take/make calls. The second was to get the appropriate mic/headset. For several years, people on the other end of my calls suffered from earbud type headphones being used for calls. The mics on these headsets are almost always bad — regardless of the quality of the earbuds. The other issue is that the distance from mic to mouth varies as the mic on the earbud swings around. You end up needing to hold the mic close to your mouth and making sure it’s facing the right direction.

My secret weapon is a Jabra headset — the Evolve 40. Although other headsets might work, I find having a boom mic with noise cancellation means even in a loud environment I can have a decent conversation. Yes, it looks awkward, especially while driving or walking, but it means much better quality of calls.

My view on phone calls is that if the quality isn’t going to be good that it’s better to postpone rather than suffer through.

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