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Apple selected leading Audience noise cancellation technology for iPhone 4

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
While it was known that Apple's iPhone 4 incorporated dual microphones for noise cancellation, teardown experts at iFixit and Chipworks have now identified the audio chip as being a product of Audience, recognized to be the industry's leading vendor.

As described in a report by iFixit, the identity of the iPhone 4 audio processing chip was originally obscured because it remained white labeled.

The site states that "Apple asked the manufacturer to remove their branding from the package to make it difficult for folks like us to identify," and added that the part number didn't match any recognizable components during the initial teardown when iPhone 4 first came out last summer.



Both the GSM/UMTS and CDMA version introduced for Verizon Wireless this spring (pictured above) use the same mystery chip. Its identity has now been revealed thanks to a chip decapping by Chipworks, conclusively indicating that Apple uses a low power audio signal processor designed by Audience, providing analog front ends and an embedded DSP (digital signal processor).




The group notes that due to Audience's chip, "the iPhone's audio cancellation capabilities are very impressive, outperforming just every non-Audience powered cell phone weve tried."

The now discontinued Google Nexus One also used an Audience chip for noise cancellation, beating Apple to market with the technology but ultimately failing to sell in comparable volumes.
post #2 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

While it was known that Apple's iPhone 4 incorporated dual microphones for noise cancellation, teardown experts at iFixit and Chipworks have now identified the audio chip as being a product of Audience, recognized to be the industry's leading vendor. ...

This is so surprising because usually Apple saves a few cents by going with the second or even third best option given that they don't really care about quality and are really all about whatever is cheapest.
post #3 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

This is so surprising because usually Apple saves a few cents by going with the second or even third best option given that they don't really care about quality and are really all about whatever is cheapest.

It said "leading vendor" and it said :"the iPhone's audio cancellation capabilities are very impressive, outperforming just every non-Audience powered cell phone weve tried."


not sure where you are coming from
post #4 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenwk View Post

It said "leading vendor" and it said :"the iPhone's audio cancellation capabilities are very impressive, outperforming just every non-Audience powered cell phone weve tried."


not sure where you are coming from

He's (incorrectly) saying that this practice is not typical of Apple and they normally choose cheaper components and sacrifice quality. Of course, such statements have little basis in fact or reality. Apples attention to detail is phenomenal, it's a major reason why I love a lot of their products.
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post #5 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenwk View Post

It said "leading vendor" and it said :"the iPhone's audio cancellation capabilities are very impressive, outperforming just every non-Audience powered cell phone weve tried."


not sure where you are coming from

Ever heard of sarcasm........
post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

This is so surprising because usually Apple saves a few cents by going with the second or even third best option given that they don't really care about quality and are really all about whatever is cheapest.

Yeah, that Retina Display is second-rate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deanbar View Post

Ever heard of sarcasm........

If it was indeed sarcasm, he should have used a smiley. There are many non-native English speakers on this forum who would have a difficult time in identifying sarcasm.

Even native English speakers can find online sarcasm hard to identify.
post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

... If it was indeed sarcasm, he should have used a smiley. There are many non-native English speakers on this forum who would have a difficult time in identifying sarcasm.

Even native English speakers can find online sarcasm hard to identify.

Yeah, it was sarcasm. I understand that it's hard to figure out sometimes, but come on .... it couldn't have been more obvious.

Everything I said was complete hyperbole and the exact opposite of everything that is true about Apple. It wasn't like it was an ambiguous statement.

I thought I could rely on the readers of an Apple related rumour site to know something about the company they are reading stories about.
post #8 of 28
I guess noise cancelation is like voice to text and text to voice technologies. Even with the leading tech it still seems pretty poor all around. I’m amazed at the things people pick up when they are talking with me on the phone. Things I’d not even notice have caused the person on the other end to pull the phone away because it’s so loud.
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post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"Apple asked the manufacturer to remove their branding from the package to make it difficult for folks like us to identify," and added that the part number didn't match any recognizable components during the initial teardown when iPhone 4 first came out last summer.
...
Its identity has now been revealed thanks to a chip decapping by Chipworks, conclusively indicating that Apple uses a low power audio signal processor designed by Audience, providing analog front ends and an embedded DSP (digital signal processor).

It's amazing to me the kind of detective work that can be done nowadays. Wow!
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Yeah, it was sarcasm. I understand that it's hard to figure out sometimes, but come on .... it couldn't have been more obvious.

Everything I said was complete hyperbole and the exact opposite of everything that is true about Apple. It wasn't like it was an ambiguous statement.

I thought I could rely on the readers of an Apple related rumour site to know something about the company they are reading stories about.

I'm just surprised that about six trolls didn't leap to agree with you.
post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Yeah, it was sarcasm. I understand that it's hard to figure out sometimes, but come on .... it couldn't have been more obvious.

Yes, it could.
post #12 of 28
There's apparently a few smartphone manufacture's using Audience's noise-cancellation tech. Among them are HTC, Samsung and Motorola in addition to Apple.

FWIW, it was reported last October that the iPhone4 used the chipset. Guess very few people were paying attention or it wasn't important at the time.

http://pocketnow.com/tech-news/dynam...y-used-by-oems
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post #13 of 28
I believe this depends on what is going on in that moment. The microphone is listening for whatever noise it can find. If you aren't talking and a noise happens in the background. The microphone will grab that sound. Which may come across a lot louder than your normal speaking voice.

I think phones do a pretty good job of isolating your voice from other background noise at the same time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I guess noise cancelation is like voice to text and text to voice technologies. Even with the leading tech it still seems pretty poor all around. Im amazed at the things people pick up when they are talking with me on the phone. Things Id not even notice have caused the person on the other end to pull the phone away because its so loud.
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by sessamoid View Post

Yes, it could.

Oh, please. The sarcasm was completely obvious. Some folks simply read things in a very literal manner. That's just the way they're tuned.
post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

I believe this depends on what is going on in that moment. The microphone is listening for whatever noise it can find. If you aren't talking and a noise happens in the background. The microphone will grab that sound. Which may come across a lot louder than your normal speaking voice.

I think phones do a pretty good job of isolating your voice from other background noise at the same time.

http://pocketnow.com/thought/iphone-...-demonstration

You can hear from that demonstration that whilst it works very poorly on the first two sounds, it does a remarkable job taking out the loud concert noise.
post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Yeah, it was sarcasm. I understand that it's hard to figure out sometimes, but come on .... it couldn't have been more obvious.

Everything I said was complete hyperbole and the exact opposite of everything that is true about Apple. It wasn't like it was an ambiguous statement.

I thought I could rely on the readers of an Apple related rumour site to know something about the company they are reading stories about.

Sorry I should have read your post again as I misread it as

"This is NOT surprising because usually Apple saves a few cents"

instead of "This is so surprising because usually Apple saves a few cents "

I need to slow down
post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Yeah, it was sarcasm. I understand that it's hard to figure out sometimes, but come on .... it couldn't have been more obvious.

Everything I said was complete hyperbole and the exact opposite of everything that is true about Apple. It wasn't like it was an ambiguous statement.

I thought I could rely on the readers of an Apple related rumour site to know something about the company they are reading stories about.

I knew it was sarcasm from the 1st sentence. Then again I've read many of your post so I've got the goods on you!
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I guess noise cancelation is like voice to text and text to voice technologies. Even with the leading tech it still seems pretty poor all around. Im amazed at the things people pick up when they are talking with me on the phone. Things Id not even notice have caused the person on the other end to pull the phone away because its so loud.

I don't REALLY have any idea how it works. But I assume it's like green screening in video i.e. identifying the foreground (voice) from the background (noise) in frequencies and intelligently canceling out the noise by feeding back its frequencies. If you add a frequency to a frequency, you get zero sound. The trick is identifying which are which.
post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Yeah, it was sarcasm. I understand that it's hard to figure out sometimes, but come on .... it couldn't have been more obvious.

Everything I said was complete hyperbole and the exact opposite of everything that is true about Apple. It wasn't like it was an ambiguous statement.

I thought I could rely on the readers of an Apple related rumour site to know something about the company they are reading stories about.

As the Probverb says: "If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas."

And unfortunately, with the number of trolls that like to flock here, one just can't be sure what is a bucket of shit or a pound of gold.
post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by CILG View Post

Oh, please. The sarcasm was completely obvious. Some folks simply read things in a very literal manner. That's just the way they're tuned.

I disagree. Sarcasm is much easier to identify in the tone of someone's voice or their facial expression as they say something. When it's just text on a screen with no emoticons or words to specifically indicate sarcasm then it's easy to take someone literally. They could be ignorant of the facts or one of the many trolls plaguing blog comment systems. It might also be easier to identify sarcasm when you know the person making the comment. Since I neither know him or saw any sarcasm indicators, I immediately questioned whether he was serious or whether it was sarcasm, but I didn't take him literally. When I read more comments my suspicion of it being sarcasm was confirmed.
post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhciR View Post

I disagree. Sarcasm is much easier to identify in the tone of someone's voice or their facial expression as they say something. When it's just text on a screen with no emoticons or words to specifically indicate sarcasm then it's easy to take someone literally. They could be ignorant of the facts or one of the many trolls plaguing blog comment systems. It might also be easier to identify sarcasm when you know the person making the comment. Since I neither know him or saw any sarcasm indicators, I immediately questioned whether he was serious or whether it was sarcasm, but I didn't take him literally. When I read more comments my suspicion of it being sarcasm was confirmed.

+ I agree with this. I knew him. But your point is well taken.
post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Everything I said was complete hyperbole and the exact opposite of everything that is true about Apple.

The cameras on the iPad 2 would love to disagree with you right about now...
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

I believe this depends on what is going on in that moment. The microphone is listening for whatever noise it can find. If you aren't talking and a noise happens in the background. The microphone will grab that sound. Which may come across a lot louder than your normal speaking voice.

I think phones do a pretty good job of isolating your voice from other background noise at the same time.

Try the Samsung Focus, or any of the Galaxy S devices. These phones are far superior to the Iphone in terms of call quality. The Iphone is the best all around device IMO but as a phone it is still very much lacking, regardless of who manufactures the components.
post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boogerman2000 View Post

Try the Samsung Focus, or any of the Galaxy S devices. These phones are far superior to the Iphone in terms of call quality. The Iphone is the best all around device IMO but as a phone it is still very much lacking, regardless of who manufactures the components.

You may be right. I don't make a lot of voice calls or have used many phones. IMO today's user has changed their usage though. If I'm in a noisy venue, I don't use voice so voice quality is low on my list of features. I text in those atmospheres and all my friends do too. I think this generation's top feature is the ease of texting first voice second.
post #25 of 28
This is interesting, I would like to learn more about this noise suppressing tech.

Does anyone know if it works while the phone is being used with a headset or in-car (bluetooth) hands-free?
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Yeah, it was sarcasm. I understand that it's hard to figure out sometimes, but come on .... it couldn't have been more obvious.

Everything I said was complete hyperbole and the exact opposite of everything that is true about Apple. It wasn't like it was an ambiguous statement.

I thought I could rely on the readers of an Apple related rumour site to know something about the company they are reading stories about.



Right, and about every other Apple-smasher, troll, and lest we get political -- wingnut, says a statement that is EXACTLY opposite of the truth.

We live in a new age, where people are electronically too far removed for us to punch them in the nose.

Therefore; add a /sarcasm tag if you are merely being CONTRARY to sanity. Sometimes I don't use the sarcasm tag -- but I make sure I'm funny first
post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljocampo View Post

I don't REALLY have any idea how it works. But I assume it's like green screening in video i.e. identifying the foreground (voice) from the background (noise) in frequencies and intelligently canceling out the noise by feeding back its frequencies. If you add a frequency to a frequency, you get zero sound. The trick is identifying which are which.

Hi there
Long time reader, first time poster!
I'm an Audio Engineer, so I can explain this. The simplest form of noise cancellation employs two microphones. The idea is that both microphones pick up the background noise at approximately the same volume, but the mic near the mouth also picks up the voice and the other (noise cancelling) mic picks up mostly background noise. The signal from the noise cancelling mic is phase inverted and then combined with the signal from the voice mic. When this is done, the signal common to both (i.e. the background noise) is significantly reduced. This technique is used in sports stadiums, to allow a broadcaster to be heard in the presence of significant crowd noise.
In the case of the iPhone4, digital signal processing algorithms are also applied to further assist the noise cancelling effect.
Something to note is that if the noise cancelling mic is blocked by the hand or fingers, then the process will not work effectively.
post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by dubston View Post

Something to note is that if the noise cancelling mic is blocked by the hand or fingers, then the process will not work effectively.

Or poorly designed cases - a few friends and family members drive me nuts with their poor calls due to crappy cases
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