Fairbuds microphone cancels out my own voice

This was recorded in a room with no ambient noise. This makes the buds unusable in calls. Do i have a dud or is this expected?

I think I’m experiencing the same issue and decided to troubleshoot a bit after getting comments on the “poor” (cutting out) microphone quality during my first test call.

I think the noise suppression is perhaps too aggressive or the microphone sensitivity is a bit too low by default. The “cutting out” of the microphone like you demonstrated happened also when recording locally without being in a call. Speaking a bit louder and projecting my voice made a big difference here and this stopped my voice from cutting out, but its obviously not an ideal solution.

I also tried speaking loudly while starting the recording and this seems to change the loudness of the recording. The recording app also seemed to support this by showing a lower volume and less peaky waveform of my voice even though I was speaking loudly even before starting the recording. This is partly why I think the issue may be related to an overly aggressive noise suppression algorithm. Maybe it misjudges what is noise when its “too quiet” at the start and it has no data to go on?

When reading The Guardians review they also seem to reference this behavior though maybe something about their voice made it less of a constant problem?

Call quality is pretty good, sounding clear and natural in quiet environments and doing a great job of blocking unwanted noise on busy streets while remaining clear. You have to talk up a bit for the earbuds to pick up your voice, however.

I also tried a full factory reset of the Fairbuds (put them in the case, hold the button for 10~ seconds until the case LED starts blinking white, close the case for at least 5 seconds) and completed wiped the app and Bluetooth settings for the buds from my phone and restarted my phone for good measure. After re-pairing them the issue remains so I don’t think its Bluetooth related.

For reference I did my testing with the open source You AppsRecord You” app. This app lets you record just the Bluetooth microphone so you don’t have to worry about getting any unnecessary video added or fiddling with phone-call-recording which may have its own issues. It then saves the recordings locally in a list so you can easily A/B test and iterate on your tests. The app can either be downloaded from F-Droid or their GitHub page. They don’t host their apps on Google Play so be suspicious about anything there claiming to be them.

I’ve performed the update to Firmware V56 using the Fairbuds app 2.0 released/updated 2024-04-15.

It would be great if we could get some more testing for this issue. I’m particularly interested in hearing the results of these tests:

  1. Do you experience this issue at all?
  2. Does speaking louder help?
  3. Is it different if you’re in a quiet or louder ambient noise environment? For example if you play city noise on speakers or walk around outside.
  4. Does the issue seem better/worse when you start the recording in a quiet room vs starting it while there is noise around you?
3 Likes

Yep, seems like it’s the noise cancelling algorithm being wonky.

  1. The issue seems exactly the same
  2. Speaking louder helps, but if I’m being “unnecessarily” loud
    3 and 4. Can’t test this right now, unfortunately. But being in a quiet room with zero noise is already too much for the noise cancelling to handle.
1 Like

Thanks for testing. :slight_smile:

Also to clarify when I say “noise suppression” I mean the microphones ability to filter out your voice from other noise around you such as wind noise or cars. I don’t mean the Active Noise Canceling feature. Perhaps you already got this but figured I’d clarify since you mentioned “noise cancelling”. :slight_smile:

1 Like

No worries, we’re on the same page here :slight_smile: