Some modern telephone systems (such as wireless and VoIP) use voice activity detection (VAD, or VOX), a form of squelching where low volume levels are ignored by the transmitting device. In digital transmissions, this saves bandwidth of the communications channel by transmitting nothing when the source volume is under a certain threshold, leaving only louder sounds (such as the speaker's voice) to be sent.
The result of receiving total silence, especially for a prolonged period, has a number of unwanted effects on the listener, such as:
To counteract these effects, comfort noise is added, usually on the receiving end in wireless or VoIP systems, to fill in the silent portions of transmissions with artificial noise. The noise generated is at a low but audible volume level, and can vary based on the average volume level of received signals to minimize jarring transitions.
In modern VoIP products, users may control whether they want comfort noise enabled or disabled.
Patent No. 7,610,197 Issued on Oct. 27, Assigned to Motorola for Comfort Noise Generation Method (Illinois Inventors)
Oct 29, 2009; ALEXANDRIA, Va., Oct. 29 -- Edgardo M. Cruz-Zeno of Round Lake, Ill., and James P. Ashley of Naperville, Ill., have developed a...
US Patent Issued to Huawei Technologies on Oct. 23 for "Apparatus and Method for Comfort Noise Generation" (Chinese Inventors)
Oct 27, 2012; ALEXANDRIA, Va., Oct. 27 -- United States Patent no. 8,296,132, issued on Oct. 23, was assigned to Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd....