How do I make my voice call HD?

What is an HD voice call?

HD voice, short for High Definition Voice, is a voice calling technology that provides improved call quality through various digital techniques. According to Microsoft, HD voice is also referred to as advanced calling or wideband audio. The key aspect that differentiates HD voice from standard voice calls is the use of a wider frequency bandwidth to transmit sound which results in superior clarity.

Specifically, HD voice works by encoding speech sound waves at a 16 Hz sampling frequency as opposed to the 8 Hz frequency for traditional phone calls. This allows entire human vocal range from 80 to 14,000 Hz to be encoded instead of the limited 300 to 3400 Hz used in conventional phone calls.

To achieve this improved fidelity and bandwidth (meaning wider frequency range of sounds), HD voice utilizes several core technologies like:

  • VoLTE (Voice over LTE) – It utilizes 4G’s fatter data pipe to enable the transfer of higher quality voice packets.
  • VoWiFi (Voice over Wi-Fi) – Lets calls transmit over Wi-Fi networks instead of typical cellphone towers.
  • AMR-WB codec (Adaptive Multi-Rate WideBand codec) – The advanced digital compression protocol used to encode voice at 16kHz HD quality.

The combination of these allow HD voice calls to be crystal clear, sound more life-like, convey subtle tones better, reduce background noise, and improve call volume.

Requirements for HD Voice Calls

In order for an HD voice call to occur, several requirements must be met[1]:

  • The phone must support HD voice – Most newer smartphones support HD voice, but older models may not.
  • The carrier must support HD voice – Major carriers like AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile all support HD voice on their networks.
  • Both parties must be on HD capable devices and an HD voice supported network – If one person is not on an HD device or network, the call will revert to standard voice quality.

So in summary, to achieve that crystal clear HD calling experience, both callers need compatible HD phones and their carriers/networks need to support the HD voice technology. If any one requirement is not met, the HD voice call cannot be established.

Enabling HD Voice on Android

To enable HD voice on your Android smartphone, first confirm that your device supports HD voice by checking the phone specifications or user manual. Most newer Android smartphones, especially those that work on 4G LTE networks, are capable of making HD voice calls.

You’ll also need to ensure VoLTE (Voice over LTE) is enabled on your device. This allows calls to be made using the 4G LTE data network instead of the traditional voice network. On most Android phones, you can enable VoLTE by going to Settings > Network & Internet > Mobile Network > Advanced > Enhanced Calling. Turn on the option for “Enhanced Calling” or VoLTE.

Additionally, be sure to use the native phone and contacts apps on your Android device instead of third-party apps. The native apps are optimized to make HD voice calls over VoLTE. You may not get the HD quality if using WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or other communication apps.

Once VoLTE is up and running, you can start making HD quality calls to other users that also have HD voice enabled phones. You’ll enjoy crystal clear call quality almost like talking to someone in the same room.

Enabling HD voice on iPhone

To enable HD voice on an iPhone, you first need to confirm your carrier supports the feature. Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and other major carriers have widely deployed HD voice across their networks as of 2022. Next, ensure VoLTE (Voice over LTE) is enabled in your iPhone’s Settings under Cellular > Cellular Data Options according to this Verizon support article.

Finally, use the native Phone app when making calls. The Phone app will activate the HD voice feature when supported on an iPhone. FaceTime and third-party apps may not fully support HD calling.

Checking if a call is HD

There are two ways to check if your current phone call is in HD audio:

  1. During call setup, look for the “HD” indicator on your phone’s screen. Android and iOS devices will typically display “HD Call” or “HD Voice” when connecting an HD call. Some devices may show other indicators like “VoLTE” or “Ultra HD”


  2. Once the call is connected, look for an HD icon in your status bar. On Android this is usually an “HD” icon, while iOS displays a small wifi/LTE symbol. Tapping the icon typically shows if VoLTE or HD Voice is enabled.


Improving HD call quality

There are a few things you can do to improve the quality of HD voice calls:

Strong cellular or WiFi signal

Making sure you have a strong cellular network signal or WiFi connection will help minimize audio issues like choppy audio or dropped calls. Move closer to a window or go outside if your signal seems weak. Upgrading to a newer phone that supports more 4G or 5G bands can also help strengthen the connection (Source).

Proper phone maintenance

Keeping your phone’s operating system and apps up-to-date will ensure optimal performance for HD calls. Also check for debris blocking the microphone or earpiece which could muffle sounds. Restart your phone periodically to clear out memory issues.

Reduce background noise

Find a quiet location when placing HD calls to maximize call clarity. Tools like noise cancellation and voice isolation can help dampen background sounds. Use headphones or a headset to place calls if ambient noise is unavoidable.

HD voice issues

Some common issues that can occur with HD voice calls include dropped calls, voice distortions, and echoing.

Dropped calls can happen if you move out of your carrier’s HD Voice coverage area during a call. As HD voice requires a strong 4G LTE or VoLTE connection, any disruption in that connection may result in the call dropping. Try to avoid initiating HD calls in areas with poor 4G coverage.

Voice distortions like static, cracking, or clipping sounds may indicate a weak HD network connection. This often occurs when transitioning between 3G and 4G networks. Make sure HD Voice is enabled properly in your phone’s settings. Toggling Airplane mode can sometimes help in resetting the connection.

Echoing on HD calls can also point to network issues, with latency causing voice data packets to arrive at slightly different times. If you consistently face echo problems, report the issue to your mobile carrier so they can investigate network performance in your area.

HD voice call limits

HD voice calls have some limitations to be aware of:

HD voice requires a VoLTE (Voice over LTE) network. Both parties in the call must be connected to a 4G LTE network that supports VoLTE in order to achieve HD call quality. If either user falls back to 3G or 2G during the call, the HD quality will be lost.

Only certain devices are capable of HD voice calls. Both phones involved in the call must support HD Voice and be on the same carrier’s VoLTE network. If one of the devices is not HD voice capable, the call may revert to standard definition quality.

HD voice does not work with conference calls. If you try to add a third caller, the call will revert to standard quality. This is a limitation of the VoLTE technology that does not allow multiple HD voice streams in a single call.


HD Voice = VoLTE? Under what circumstances is it used?
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The future of HD voice

HD voice is expected to continue expanding in coverage and quality as carriers rollout new networks and technologies. More operators around the world are deploying services to support HD voice calls and enable higher-definition calling to more devices and networks according to the GSMA [1]. With the increasing focus around 5G networks, there will likely be continued integrations between enhanced voice services and next generation network technologies.

New audio codecs like Enhanced Voice Services (EVS) are also being adopted to take the voice call quality of HD voice to the next level. As explained by 5G Americas [2], these advanced codecs allow for more natural and human-like speech by capturing a wider audio bandwidth. They enable even higher fidelity calls than existing HD voice services.

The rollout of 5G networks is opening the door for further innovations around voice services. As outlined by RingCentral [3], 5G integration could enable richer voice interactions by incorporating more contextual data into calls. This means calls may be able to automatically pull up relevant documents, integrate visual components through video feeds, or enable screen sharing to enhance the communication.

FAQs about HD voice

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about HD voice technology:

What is HD voice?

HD voice refers to high-definition voice calls that provide higher audio quality than traditional phone calls. HD calls use wideband audio which extends the frequency range, allowing you to hear more details in the call.

Do both callers need HD voice compatible phones?

Yes, to make an HD quality call, both devices on the call need to support HD voice and be on networks that carry HD voice. If one device does not have HD voice capability, the call will revert back to standard definition quality.

Does HD voice work for conference calls?

HD voice is available on certain conference call services that support the technology. As long as all participants are using HD voice compatible devices and networks, group calls with multiple people can be conducted in HD quality.

Does HD voice use more data?

No, enabling HD voice does not use additional data. HD calls are still transmitted as voice calls over phone networks. The only requirement is that both networks involved support carrying HD voice traffic.

I’ve provided answers to some common questions about how HD voice services work. Let me know if you need any clarification or have additional questions!

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