With the popularity and technological advancement of Bluetooth earbuds, more people use Bluetooth earbuds to talk to others. Especially business people who often have to communicate with customers or hold video conferences.
If the earbuds microphone quality is not acceptable, it will affect the entire meeting process. Therefore, the quality of the microphone is the deciding factor in choosing Bluetooth earbuds for calls.
If you want to buy a pair of Bluetooth earbuds with good call quality, then you should follow the brief instructions below to purchase a microphone that suits you.
Before buying, ask yourself the following questions to help you make the right choice:
- What is the pickup pattern of a microphone?
- Which microphone is better?
- Is the microphone of the Bluetooth earbuds equipped with noise-canceling technology?
- How far is the microphone from the mouth?
- Does the design of the Bluetooth earbuds fit your ears?
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How to Choose Earbuds for Calls?
Microphones work by converting sound waves into audio. The conversion process varies according to the microphone type, but each has a diaphragm that can vibrate with external sound waves.
Its vibration makes the microphone vibrate and then converts sound waves into an electric current, becoming a sound signal. Without the diaphragm, the microphone cannot perform this conversion process.
At the other end of the audio chain, the speaker is also a transducer that converts the sound signal’s current into useful energy, which is the sound we hear in the earbuds.
What type of microphone do I need?
There are two most popular technologies for microphones used in earbuds:
- A condenser microphone (ECM)
- Microelectromechanical microphone (MEMS).
Both of them cause changes in electrical energy through the diaphragm deflection. The converted energy is then amplified to transmit a sound signal picked up by the host system.
However, the electrical energy changes of the MEMS microphone will be converted and encoded.
Comparing MEMS vs ECM Microphone Technologies
Although the operation mode is similar, ECM and MEMS technology is entirely different.
- MEMS microphone is a relatively new technology on the market. Its size is small, so it is very suitable for small devices, so that true wireless Bluetooth earbuds can also be equipped with a built-in microphone.
- MEMS has a relatively low output impedance, which makes it ideal for noise filtering.
- The larger ECM size makes it easier to promote design upgrades, and it is also often used on equipment that needs to be dust and moisture-proof.
MEMS microphones have more advantages, so many products are used today, such as smartphones, earphones, tablet computers, hearing aids, and automobiles.
How to choose wireless earbuds?
When talking with others, another party can’t hear your voice. You have to repeat what you have said repeatedly, which will be very annoying. So you must know how to choose a pair of headphones with good call quality.
01. Voice Pickup
This refers to the ability of the microphone to pick up sound with appropriate volume and clarity.
Some high-end earbuds have a built-in voice assistant option. This allows you to use your phone voice assistant (Siri, Cortana, or Alexa) to do whatever you want without using the phone.
When you speak and execute a voice command, the voice assistant will answer your voice without touching or sliding the mobile phone screen. It is very suitable for driving, exercising, cooking, and all activities that require frequent hands-on activities.
The frequency range and sensitivity of the microphone determine the quality of the voice pickup. If a voice assistant is often used throughout the day, then a sensitive and wide frequency range microphone is needed.
However, having a very sensitive microphone may also have adverse effects because it will pick up any surrounding sounds, so noise filtering becomes very important.
02. Noise Filtering
A noise-filtered microphone is essential, mostly if it is used in a noisy environment. In addition to filtering background noise, you must also isolate your voice so that the receiver can hear your voice clearly without speaking loudly.
Chip noise filtering
The type of microphone (ECM or MEMS) can help with noise filtering at the wafer level. As mentioned earlier, the relatively low output impedance of MEMS microphones has better noise filtering capabilities than ECM microphones.
Active noise cancelling microphone
Before we discuss Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) further, we must know that this feature often misleads you in product specifications.
Sometimes manufacturers will declare their headphones like active noise-canceling headphones and announce that they have CVC noise cancellation technology. Really? Not really.
CVC is the microphone ANC technology specializing in processing the noise and voice clarity through the microphone.
Don’t confuse the ANC of the microphone with the ANC technology in the Sony WH-1000XM3 earbuds. The latter is used to reduce noise so that users can listen to music at ease.
How does ANC filter noise?
ANC technology works based on the concept of digital signal processing (DSP), which analyzes and improves actual signals such as voice, audio, and film to optimize their efficiency.
For ANC to work correctly, the earbuds need multiple microphones to receive a sound at different distances.
The microphone closest to you can hear your voice, while other microphones can listen to the surrounding noise and filter it through the DSP, leaving only your voice in the end.
This is done through special converters that receive the analog signal and digitize it to produce a higher quality signal than the original signal.
A good example is the Jabra Elite Active 85t Bluetooth earbuds, which have a 6-microphone system to improve ANC’s efficiency.
Some examples of ANC technology include:
- Qualcomm’s clear voice capture (CVC) — CVC’s technology can work on the transmission and reception paths of voice calls to achieve the best noise filtering and voice quality in wireless communications.
- Jabra Noise Blackout — Jabra products use its proprietary technology to ensure its wireless headphones’ clarity and noise-free. Use DSP to optimize its digital transmission system to reduce the noise of digital audio signals further.
03. Microphone position
The design of each earbud are different, but the closer the microphone is to the mouth, the more precise the voice reception and the lower the environmental noise.
For example, the classic microphone rod design of Airpods allows the microphone to be as close to the ear as possible, so many manufacturers also use this design to improve the call reception quality of true wireless Bluetooth earbuds.
04. Comfortable fit
If you are looking for in-ear earbuds with a microphone and wear them for a long time, you need to choose those comfortable and close-fitting earbuds to facilitate calls.
Before deciding whether it is comfortable, use headphones and test the microphone for about 10 to 20 minutes. A suitable earplug may generally provide better sealing effect results so that the listener can hear and communicate clearly.
Also, design and weight must be considered. For example, if you use wired earbuds with a microphone during a morning run, you must be careful not to let the headphone cord get entangled with you. In terms of weight, ideally, lighter and more comfortable.
Top 5 Best Earbuds for Calls in Loud Environment Review
Choosing a good pair of Bluetooth earbuds for calls is no easy task because there are too many factors to consider.
However, we hope that this article can provide you with a wealth of information and knowledge and help you narrow down your choices.
Here are some recommended true wireless Bluetooth earbuds that we have tested and found excellent call quality:
Apple Airpods Pro
Using beamforming dual microphones and independent call microphones, even when you are riding a motorcycle, the call can still be heard, not affected by wind. The quality of the call has surprised iOS and Android users! Of course, Apple’s other Airpods 2 without noise reduction is also the right choice.
Jabra Elite 85t
The six-microphone system can be well integrated with Jabra’s DSP and beamforming technology and adopt the latest wind noise protection algorithm, delivering clear voice transmission during outdoor calls without being disturbed by wind noise. If you have budget considerations, you can also choose the Elite 75 series or Elite 65t series of true wireless at the same home, and the call quality is high.
Jabra Evolve 75
If you want the best Bluetooth headset for phone calls, then Jabra is a brand know. In particular, the Jabra Evolve series is great for connecting wirelessly to your mobile device and your computer. If you are looking for a mono headset, read and buy the Jabra Evolve 65 headset. Like all great sound-canceling headphones, this Jabra product is not cheap. However. For the 150 price tag, you’ll find a whole host of interesting features.
Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus
Samsung Buds Plus looks the same as the original Galaxy Buds. Still, their battery life is rated for 11 hours of music playback (above 6), and they pack good sound for external help and reduce noise when calling by packing an extra microphone in each bud. They are comfortable to wear and have a feature that lets your voice be heard on earbuds while making calls (this is a setting in the app under “Advanced”).
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2
The second-generation high call quality Momentum True Wireless 2 earbuds. They are a little smaller with apple AirPods pro. It comes with a comfortable design, better than the original one. Momentum True Wireless 2 is eliminating the dynamic sound that rivals the AirPod Pro. Life expectancy has improved (up to 4 hours vs. 7 hours), and better noise reduction when making calls.
How to Use Earphones as a Microphone?
According to the diaphragm principle, both the microphone and the earphone work to respond to external sound waves and then convert the sound into an electronic signal and turn it into sound again.
This means that the earbuds can be used as a microphone. That being said, the sound quality of an earbuds microphone is far inferior to that of a professional microphone.
How do you use the microphone on earbuds?
A microphone is a transducer, a device that converts energy into different forms. In this case, the sound energy is converted into an audio signal and then transmitted to the person on the other side of the phone.
The speaker that lets this person hear you is also a transducer, which converts the transmitted audio signal back into acoustic energy.
This conversion happens very quickly, so as if you are attending to the other person’s voice, it is a series of ultra-fast conversions at the same time.
How to test the earbuds microphone?
The easiest way is to connect it to a mobile phone and make a call. If the person on the other end of the call can hear you clearly, the headset microphone quality with the swim bladder is not bad.
You can also test the microphone on your computer or use this network microphone test to confirm that the microphone is set up correctly.