Call Quality

Discussion in 'Android General Discussions' started by thelion, Dec 26, 2009.

  1. thelion
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    thelion New Member

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    So, I had a (3) Droid(s). One of which I had after the update. All three had severe call quality issues so I got an Eris (huge mistake).

    VZW has now decided they will give me back my Droid if I want it. I have to decide by Tuesday. So here is my question:

    Has anyone discovered any sort of fix for the call quality issues on the Droid? Basically, where I live I get great reception on any phone except my Droid. All three made it sound like I was crackling paper into the phone. Any ideas? Is this common?

    I really hate the Eris. I mean really, really hate it. I loved my Droid except for the call quality. It was literally everything I wanted in a phone ... except the whole phone issue. :)
  2. kevdog
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    kevdog New Member

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    Did you ever do a *22899 to set the phone to use the most local towers?
  3. dezymond
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    dezymond Tech Support Mod Staff Member Premium Member

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    did you check out Viperboy's sticky on the Tech Issue sub forum?
  4. thelion
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    thelion New Member

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    Yes I did *2899, and no I didn't bug Viperboy because he seems busy enough and I have dealt with TONS of techs from VZW.
  5. viperboy
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    viperboy New Member

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    *22899 is just like *228 option 1. I would recommend doing *228 option 2 if you are trying to do just the PRL update.

    And check out my thread in my sig. The fix for your audio issue is in that first post. It should really help. Let me know if it doesn't.
  6. thelion
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    thelion New Member

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    I did the option 2 on *228 as well. Le sigh.

    I looked into the solution in that link. Question: I was told by a few reps that doing this could cause my phone not to work in some areas. True? Not true? Too few areas to care about?

    I really want my Droid back but not if it cannot call people...
  7. jsb432
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    jsb432 New Member

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    My belief is that the relatively poor audio quality is inherent in the current hardware/firmware setup. Hopefully it's a firmware issue that can/will be resolved soon - that's what I was hoping for when I decided to keep the Droid past the 30 day return window.

    With all due respect to Viperboy, who seems to be quite knowledgeable and very eager to help, switching to another codec does not and will not solve the problem There is an audio processing problem with the device, that manifests in "noise" on both phone calls and music playing (mp3's, Pandora, etc.). I've experienced BOTH on 100% of the phones I've tried (about 15) and unless all the bad devices were shipped to New England, New York, and at least one to TX (where my first Droid was FedEx'd from) - it's just the way the thing is right now. The only reason there aren't more complaints...frankly, we're just too particular -and the majority of people either don't notice/aren't bothered by the noise, or they came from a combination of device/provider that was worse and so this really is an improvement for them. I've had a Blackberry on VZW for years and they've always been practically "pin drop" clear just about everywhere I went. If the Droid can't even come close to that - it's a Droid-Motorola and/or Android-Google problem, plain and simple.

    I keep an eye on many forums and have tried all the fixes I've come across (it still cracks me up when people suggest dialing *228 to update their towers, I know they're trying to be helpful, but come on....)

    Again, this is just a summary of my experience, and a distillation of what I've gathered online...but until I get a Droid in my hands that sounds clean, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
  8. thelion
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    thelion New Member

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    jsb, it isn't the "noise" problem for me. That never was an issue for me. It is the fact that I had severe static on my end (ok, maybe severe is a bit harsh - bad for how far technology has come) and people reported me dropping in and out of conversations.

    My first Nokia wasn't this bad. Fix yourself, Droid. :( I miss you.
  9. jsb432
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    jsb432 New Member

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    lion, I suspect part of the problem is in the varied perceptions and descriptions of the audio quality issues some of us are having. Kind of like how people try to describe the noise their car is making when describing it to their mechanic...one man's thunk is another man's clunk. Ask a hundred people to describe the same conditions, and you'll get 101 descriptions - but the problem is the same. Possibly the case here.

    It's compounded by the variables in each unique phone call combination of the devices on either end, and the wireless and wired network path on each call. So, it's impossible to really compare the various fixes being suggested and relatively difficult to determine whether things are getting any better.

    That said, in my opinion, one of the best repeatable tests is to call voicemail. When I call on my Droid, I hear the woman's voice fairly clearly - but the problem is that I hear a static/hiss for milliseconds before and after her voice. I just keep hitting the wrong password to get her to keep talking, and make sure it's really there. Then I pick up my wife's phone (Curve 8330, VZW, the same model I had until a month ago) and do the same thing. Crystal freakin' clear. This is a highly repeatable test that at the very least, eliminates (or at least seriously minimizes) the other device and cell tower/network connection variables. This "noise" is present during calls, and contributes to the difficulty in maintaining the conversation. Voicemail is one-way, but conversations are duplex - so that complicates (and in my opinion degredates) it further.

    If what you describe as "dropping in and out of conversations" is what I think it is, that also seems to be a problem occasionally.

    FWIW, and slightly off topic, but I believe related - the other standard "repeatable" test I use is on the music side. I can play a song via either the music player or Pandora, then turn the volume all the way down (via the volume rocker on the phone) and hold the speaker to my ear. I hear "noise", it's a very low, hiss/static/whatever that just should not be there. I'm no harware or software engineer - but I think that the two are related....
  10. masters
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    masters New Member

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    *228 does nothing for call quality.. It only changes the Preferred Roaming List , or the signal strength IF there are more towers in your area..

    Try this, it changes the codec or the quality of the sound.. It changes how the phone handles the conversion from sound to digital..
    ##7764726 (##PROGRAM)
    CALL Button
    Enter SPC Password - 000000
    VERIFY
    04 Vocode
    Select EVRC-B

    If you don't know what EVRC-B is then..
    Let me google that for you


    .
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2009
  11. jsb432
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    jsb432 New Member

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    Seriously, the EVRC-B thing? Ummmm.....I don't mean to be rude, but when I said "I've tried all the fixes I've come across" - that included the two most common things that so many people seem to love throwing out there over the past 5-6 weeks - changing the codec and updating your roaming. It also includes countless hours keeping an eye on (and actually searching) about a half dozen Droid/Android forums, including Motorola's - as well as speaking with VZW and Motorola techs - and trying those suggestions on multiple devices.

    Again, please don't take this the wrong way, but suggestions from Tier 1 CSR/techs that are reading troubleshooting steps off their monitor on a call center floor in Asia are not going to improve the situation. What I am describing is a real and so far unfixed/unfixable problem with the device.

    The EVRC-B switch may very well make a difference in the "quality" of certain aspects of a call - however, it made absolutely no difference in the problem I described above. Also, it would have absolutely nothing to do with the music audio quality issue.

    I'm curious if you have good hearing and if you've tried either of the troubleshooting steps I described above (in a completely quiet room)?
  12. masters
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    masters New Member

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    I was responding to thelion not the jsb "seriously"..

    *228 helps with reception (sometimes)
    EVRC-B helps with (mostly outgoing) call sound quality..

    "seriously" jsb, you have a problem
  13. darreno1
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    darreno1 New Member

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    You obviously speak for yourself. I have no such audio quality problems. My mp3s sound crystal clear and I've called and listen to myself a few times on various phones and the quality was very good. Also no one has complained as of yet. I also use ORB via 3g and it sounds extremely clear. If you're getting noise on so many different phones, maybe it's a problem with your area. Or I have a 'special' Droid.
  14. jsb432
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    jsb432 New Member

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    Interesting. You didn't mention that in the response. But even so, your comment about the codec switch was redundant, since it was mentioned by ViperBoy a few posts earlier....in a one page thread.

    Sure, I have a problem. I have lots of problems, just like most folks. Most are small and don't have much of an impact on anything, but that doesn't mean I don't put a little effort into resolving them. (Hence my attempt to add to the discussion the OP started about "call quality".) One of my problems is having a phone that doesn't live up to my standards. They may be unreasonable standards, but I don't think so considering that this is the newest device on the best network and costs anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 and up per year to use. AND it doesn't sound nearly as good as cheaper, 5 year old devices on the same network.

    Sorry you took my post so personally.
  15. jsb432
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    jsb432 New Member

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    Yes, I do speak for myself, in fact, I noted very clearly "this is just a summary of my experience". I never claimed to speak for the Droid Owners Association of New England/New York. However I did mention that I've gathered a fair amount of research online and I can say that I am absolutely not the only person with call quality issues or concerns.

    I'm thrilled that you have a crystal clear device. Maybe as you say it is a problem with my area - if by my area you mean Boston, suburban Boston, Rhode Island, NYC and Long Island. Then again, as I said pretty clearly USING ANOTHER VZW PHONE IN THE EXACT SAME LOCATIONS, I GET NO NOISE. And to repeat the other point - I still get the noise playing music, even in airplane mode, which I failed to mention earlier but really shouldn't have any bearing on music quality.

    I guess there will always be fanboys that will take personal offense to any criticism of their beloved toys, but some people do have issues with the Droid and come to forums like this occasionally to try to resolve them.

    Neither you nor Masters answered my question about whether you've done either of my repeatable tests and had heard absolutely no noise.
  16. Rudy
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    Rudy New Member

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    (is quietly waiting for one of them to draw a weapon, looks in jsb's general direction)
  17. thelion
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    thelion New Member

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    Whoa boys. Simmer down, ok?

    Jsb, could it perhaps be a device issue you are having? I know for me, I had no sound quality issues with music or on my end after my second device and after the update and doing the *228. The problem was how I sounded to other folks.

    As for all of you let's take a deep breath and focus on the real problem: figuring out if I want to go back to the Droid or not :)
  18. Rudy
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    Rudy New Member

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    short answer yes.

    long answer... take it away jsb.
  19. darreno1
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    darreno1 New Member

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    Do you even read what you write? Your statements were far from 'you speaking for yourself'. You seemed to imply that ALL Droids have an issue. Start with your very first paragraph again. Because you've had some strange problem with your Droid(s) doesn't mean it's an inherent problem with all of them.

    And BTW the 'fanboys' have just as much right to post and to disagree.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2009
  20. viperboy
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    viperboy New Member

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    It is possible that it could not work depending on the tower you're on. However, almost all of them support this codec now. There is something odd with it not working if you had Alltel from what I saw people saying on the forums. I'm not in an area where there was previously Alltel, so I couldn't confirm first hand.

    Right, it does seem to be something in the SW.

    It might not completely solve the problem, but it really does help (Read my Tech thread, if you'd like).

    What's funny about that? *228-2 DOES update the PRL which contains the list of available towers. Doing it every day isn't going to do anything for you, but it is good to do it about once a month - atleast that's what I do.
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