Apple's iPhone 8 supports EVS for high-quality audio over LTE

in iPhone edited September 2017
Gone largely unnoticed in the aftermath of Apple's iPhone unveiling, the new iPhone 8 lineup now supports the enhanced voice services (EVS) codec, promising higher quality calls over LTE networks that support the feature.

Takashi Tanaka, CEO of Japanese cellular carrier KDDI, mentioned the new iPhone 8 feature in passing during a recent interview with Engadget Japan. Tanaka's statement was noticed by Mac Otakara on Monday.

Compared to its predecessor, the AMR-WB coding standard that currently enjoys integration with many voice over LTE systems, EVS presents a wider frequency range, increased compression stability, backwards compatibility with legacy standards and more. Specifically, EVS operates in the 50Hz to 14.4KHz frequency range, while AMR-WB tops out at 7KHz. The increased frequency ceiling combines with cutting edge backend technology to greatly improve audio reproduction, noticeably so as compared to legacy standards.

According to Tanaka and others who have used EVS, the codec produces richer, more lifelike voice audio, a noticeable upgrade over 3G non-LTE solutions.

Certified by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) in 2016, EVS has seen rapid deployment in Europe and Asia, and is slowly making its way into the U.S. with the help of hardware component manufacturers. T-Mobile was the first to deploy EVS in 2016, and others like Verizon are expected to follow suit with their own branded offerings.

Apple's first iPhone to support EVS, or at least pack in compatible silicon, was the iPhone 7 with its X12 modem from Qualcomm. It is unclear whether the feature was enabled, as Apple handicapped the X12 in a bid to keep parity with Intel modems used in a large percentage of last year's iPhones. The current iPhone 8 and 8 Plus also use Qualcomm silicon in the X16, which again builds in support for the advanced codec.

The situation appears to have changed for 2017, as Apple has confirmed to AppleInsider that iPhone 8 and 8 Plus support EVS on both Qualcomm and Intel models. For users, that leaves finding a carrier that supports EVS as the lone remaining hurdle to enjoying the best audio quality available.


  • Reply 1 of 7
    I’m personally waiting for the x but got my wife a new 8 and the call quality is noticeably better especially when using speaker phone.
  • Reply 2 of 7
    The calls that I have made and received on my iPhone 8  do noticeably sound better. 
  • Reply 3 of 7
    I’m personally waiting for the x but got my wife a new 8 and the call quality is noticeably better especially when using speaker phone.
    And @LukeCage what service provider are you two using? Presumably TMO...
  • Reply 4 of 7
    Which USA carrier supports EVS to take advantage of this feature in iPhone ?
  • Reply 5 of 7
    You get better sounding called over Wifi Calling also!!! I've notice that many people don't realize they have this ability and it's just been left off instead of turning it on. T-Mobile is no longer the only one supporting this feature. It really comes in handy for me at work because Cell service inside is like 1 bar. But it's all the Refrigerated Insulated Rooms which is all metal walls and ceiling acting like a Faraday cage killing everything. I dropped a single Antenna from a duel Antenna Wifi Router. A cheap router with removable antenna's, got a antenna extension cable. Ran that down though the Ceiling, nice and clean. Don't really even know it's there. In the Packaging Room, and that signal not only strong in that room, but it much bounce around in the other 2 production rooms, going through the curtain doorways. I'm pretty Impressed.

    It's good enough I can do Wifi calling in there. I'm really the only one. No one else has access to that Network. We don't want people using their phones in there. It's a food environment. Handling a phone for them is a No, No!!! But now if I have to call Tech Support on something, and it's happened a couple times over the years, there's no running to my Office in the middle of the factory, using my Office phone, try what they tell me, if I can remember it all, or write it down, rush over, see if it works, then come back and so on and so on. Now I can just call on my Cell. It's so useful, I really need to do another setup in another Packaging Room that's quite a bit away and not linked. It's a dead zone in that room. It would be useful for our Laptop to connect over the internet/Local Network that we use for the label printer in that room. Instead of having to take it out of there and back to the front office to load up a label and then bring it back and connect again. So that's on my list of things to do.

    My brother has a Cell tower not that far away, it looks like fake tree. Where it's at, it's like a bowl and so it's a dead zone for cell service. Drive a block or so away and all is good. Wifi calling comes in handy there also. To turn Wifi Calling ON, go into settings, scroll down until you see Phone, and click on that, then you'll see Wifi calling which is either On/Off unless you don't have that option for the Cell service you have.
  • Reply 6 of 7
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,742member
    People still make phone calls?
  • Reply 7 of 7
    I’m personally waiting for the x but got my wife a new 8 and the call quality is noticeably better especially when using speaker phone.
    And @LukeCage what service provider are you two using? Presumably TMO...
    You bet I’m using T-Mobile, I also turned on WiFi calling so that might also be a factor in the voice improvement. 
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