Cell phone sound quality versus landline

In this thread, we are once again discussing the ancient question of whether or not to dump your landline. Personally, I refuse to do so until I can get comparable sound quality from my cell. But many (most?) people feel like they already do.

Are there any solid numbers out there comparing the two? Surely someone’s done a study? My googling is coming up with nothing but personal opinions.

I’d like info on this as well.

I use my cell as a PDA. And for the occasional phone call. Have people forgotten what a normal landline analog phone call was like?

You could actually talk to each other. That was GREAT!

Now it’s like Morse code.

(I exaggerate, but it really is ridiculous.)
Hello, what? Say again? Didn’t here you. You there? Excuse me. Who are you?

Those terms are going to be the catch phrases of the beginning of this century.

A connected society that can’t communicate to one and another.

In more ways than one.

I would never ditch my landline. It sounds soooooo much better than a cellphone.

Plus, landlines don’t drop calls.

I have never had a call dropped when at a stationary location, like my house. I thought this usually only happened when people were on the move, and the signal has to switch towers?

Morse code? Really? Even with the worse cell-phone, I could still make out others fine. That aside, newer phones that use 3G do have better voice quality than other phones, so you may want to give that a try.

Well that’s weird. With a bit of trepidation, I gave up my landline – back in 2002. I was in an English Basement apartment in DC, had a not-so-fancy, basic Motorola phone, and had no problems giving or receiving calls. No complaints from otherwise cantankerous folk. I’d imagine the technology has only improved.

I have a cell phone for emergencies and have had several others in the past. I still think the overall sound quality for all of them is pretty poor compared to landline phones but lots of people are either too young to know better or people who simply forgot that corded home phones don’t have problems with people fading in and out, dropped connections, and stutter. I got so sick of the whole thing that I went out and bought an actual corded, business quality phone as my main home phone and it is sweet. Some younger people who have never listened to such a thing before might even describe it as a technological miracle.

I’ve been using a cell as my sole phone for about 2 yrs. I changed just as soon as my local carrier started using a new Verizon tower in my area and I could get a half-way decent signal in my apartment and not be subject to roaming charges. Unless I’m traveling, I just leave it at home and check my voice mail when I return.

As far reception goes, my only complaint is with one friend’s land line. She often complains of garbling, but given my other all around success, I’m thinking the problem is on her end.

Nothing beats a landline connection using a Western Electric telephone from the 1960s and 1970s. Not even new high-end DECT cordless phones on landines can compare.

I have had no complaints at all with any of my cell phones. I use mine to talk to my brother, who lives in Pennsylvania, 2000 miles away. We use our cells instead of landlines because we get unlimited mobile to mobile minutes (we’re on the same network) and nevr get charged extra. He’s an over-the-road trucker, so sometimes I’ll catch him in Illinois or Ohio and we never have trouble hearing each other.

I think it really depends on your phone and on your carrier. I’ve had poor cell-phone calling quality in the past, but my new 3G phone blows away my land line in terms of fidelity, noise, and everything else…TRM

The best cell phone in the best of conditions sounds like a landline.

I appreciate the debate, but I was really hoping for solid numbers of some sort. :slight_smile:

If you have a strong wireless signal throughout your house, you have nothing to lose by dropping your land line. Maybe the cell doesn’t offer 5.1 surround like the land line but you shouldn’t be dropping calls.

Honestly, dropped calls aren’t really a concern of mine (though I do randomly drop them in my backyard at times). I just detest the sound quality, occasional echoes of my own voice, etc. Whatever the result of this thread is, I have no intention of canceling my landline anytime in the foreseeable future, given how little I like using my cell. If other people aren’t bothered by their reception either way, than that’s great and I’m happy for them - everyone likes to save money.

I’m mostly looking for hard data because we keep having these threads over and over again, and they seem to just go back and forth between “Cell quality sucks!” and “No it doesn’t - it’s just like a landline!” But you’d think that someone would have actually done some measurements at some point.

Yeah, I occasionally get an echo and generally speaking, my cell connections are noisier than they were with my old line (as best I remember). As far as hard data goes, what might be measured? It’s a pretty subjective thing and I can’t think of anything but a poll of users which of course you have here:) In my position, I’m happy to save some money and that offsets any occasional inconvenience. It seems that this is not the case with you, so sure, keep the land line.

Well, the same things that they measure when they do any audio quality measurement.

I used to (about 6 0r 7 years ago) work for Motorola’s Infrastructure division. I specifically worked on CDMA networks that would be bought by Sprint and Verizon. I was in charge of a project to determine the sound quality of our network. We had a computer that would send out a sound file (I believe it was a .wav file) and used a proprietary sound analyzing software to compare the source file to a file it recorded after being sent through our network and outputting a numerical score.

I don’t remember the actual scores but I remember being surprised that the Motorola network’s score was very close to that obtained through the landline. But there are caveats. Our analyzer was wired directly to the BTS. There was no over-the-air attenuation or interference. It only related to the network that we were testing. Sprint and Verizon used many vendors to build their network infrastructures so this was no indication of their overall sound quality.

I’ve been out of the industry for over 6 years now, so I have no idea what companies are doing in regards to sound quality. I know my parents landline picks up a fire-and-brimstone religious radio station that can be heard by both parties and makes it difficult to hold conversations. Any cell phone is much better than that. I suspect that some of their twisted pair wires are no longer twisted.

It’s certainly has it’s place if someone is considering buying an expensive sound system. OTH, if we’re talking about a free cell phone, one of hundreds on the market, who’s going to bother?

BTW. Here’s a local poll of possible relevance.

Cell phones have a fundamentally different method of transmitting audio than a landline does. To allow more conversations to be supported on the cell phone network, your voice is encoded based on a “dictionary” of sounds. This coded version requires much less bandwidth to transmit. On the other end, your voice is recreated in the reverse process, and the actual waveforms don’t even travel across the connection.

Older cell phone technology used more inefficient compression technology, so to make any comparision, you have to consider the type of phone and cell phone network.

Background noise can cause the codec to perform very poorly and the degradation in quality is not like what you would hear as a landline degrades. The speech gets garbled over the cell phone while the landline could gain more static or low volume.

What’s interesting is that landlines are moving to voip so they too will adopt a similar audio compression methods. And progress continues to move forward with improved codecs that sound better and better while still being fairly bandwidth efficient.

Well, someone like me who has a minimum level of sound quality preference? :slight_smile: I’m not the only one who won’t switch completely over, citing that as our reason.

Oh, and that was the thread that spawned this thread. :smiley: