Report: iPhone 4 Uses Audience Noise Cancelling Tech

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Apple is using noise cancelling technology from Audience in the iPhone 4, the same technology used in Google’s short lived Nexus One Android device, according to some research from iFixIt (with help from ChipWorks). The Audience processor found is why you can use your iPhone 4 in a crowded and noisy environment and still be heard by the person at the other end of your call (assuming AT&T doesn’t drop the call).

This information isn’t particularly relevant to anyone outside the rarefied field of chip nerds and those curious about what their iPhones are made of — and possibly Apple’s competition. The chip involved, for instance, was “white labeled,” meaning that the normal branding and manufacturing information was not printed on it (as you can see in photos published by iFixIt), a technique sometimes used to obfuscate the origin of licensed chips.

When ChipWorks decapped the chip (which means they were able to open it up), however, they found an Audience embedded digital signal processor. That means that this is the technology used to provide in-iPhone noise cancellation for the outgoing signal.

In the video below, you can hear a side-by-side comparison of a call from a noisy environment from an iPhone 4 and another unidentified “typical cellphone” (the iPhone 4 is the second phone call in the recording) posted to YouTube. That difference is made possible by the Audience chip.

“Typical Cellphone” vs. iPhone 4 in a noisy environment

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Lee Dronick

That was an interesting comparison. I have a pair of noise canceling earphones that has a switch to turn the feature off/on and the difference is dramatic.

Ross Edwards

So what you’re saying is that the Verizon iPhone 4 is all upside? smile


“Google?s short lived Nexus One Android device”

That’s funny.

Bryan Chaffin

I think the Nexus One is a really cool phone—it’s too bad Google didn’t find wider success with it.

When it came out, I was hoping it would be super popular and offer Google a deeper path into providing something closer to its own hardware.  That, IMO, would make for better competition for the iPhone experience, and I’m all for Apple being pushed on that front.


I?m all for Apple being pushed on that front.

Me too.  As a hand-held ‘computer’ the iPhone is unbeatable. As a phone; well,  I’ve had better phones.

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