2. The signals travel a long and winding road
Every second of a cellular voice call is a scientific miracle. What you say and hear is shredded into tiny pieces called packets that hitch a ride on microwave signals until they're reassembled by the phone of the person to whom you are speaking.
As those signals jump from cell tower to cell tower, they run into trees, mountains buildings, the weather, and other obstacles that cause them to split. The split signals produce a phenomenon called multipath, when multiple copies of the same signal reach your smart phone at different times, like an echo.
Deciphering multipath signals is quite difficult, and when the phone gets overwhelmed, the signal has to be retransmitted. Of course, few people notice because all of this happens within a fraction of a second. So that's why it's almost miraculous that voice calls sound as clear as they do.
3. They face a lot of competition
Part of a cell phone's appeal is that you can take them everywhere. Unfortunately everywhere is often a noisy place, filled with the din of traffic, rude conversations, and the sweet, distracting sounds of Mother Nature. Some phone makers brag about the noise-canceling technologies they've shoehorned into their devices, but they rarely make a significant difference, according to our tests.
So the bottom line is, don’t expect much, and be thankful for what you’ve got.
Next up, we'll provide you with tips on improving the voice quality of the phone you have in your hands now.