1. TallPaul86's Avatar
    Does anyone know if any of the upcoming devices will incorporate BlackBerry Natural Sound as a feature like the Z30?

    Posted via CB10
    06-16-14 09:14 AM
  2. jaydee5799's Avatar
    I'm not sure if anyone knows but you would hope things progress forward, building upon the fantastic features of the Z30.................
    06-16-14 09:58 AM
  3. AnimalPak200's Avatar
    I think the Z3 has "Natural Sound", so I don't see why they wouldn't include it or an improved version on the new devices.

    Posted via CB10
    06-16-14 10:10 AM
  4. BerryManUK85's Avatar
    If you're talking about "Natural Sound" over 3G or 4G, then its down to the network operators to enabled WB-AMR over Voice.

    I believe its the same in principle over BBM, but it's controlled by BlackBerry and the codec is already on the device
    06-16-14 10:13 AM
  5. TallPaul86's Avatar
    If you're talking about "Natural Sound" over 3G or 4G, then its down to the network operators to enabled WB-AMR over Voice.
    That might explain something - I called my girlfriend through BBM Voice the other day and she sounded clear as a bell on my BlackBerry however I sounded muffled and not clear on her Nexus 4 android device... both devices were using 3G connectivity on different carriers

    Posted via CB10
    06-16-14 10:45 AM
  6. L_ieven's Avatar
    That might explain something - I called my girlfriend through BBM Voice the other day and she sounded clear as a bell on my BlackBerry however I sounded muffled and not clear on her Nexus 4 android device... both devices were using 3G connectivity on different carriers

    Posted via CB10
    It normally goes the other way around : the person speaking in the BlackBerry will sound clearer to the person on the other end of the line. So I'm not entirely sure what happened with your conversation.

    Posted via CB10
    06-16-14 02:38 PM
  7. BadGoliath42's Avatar
    From my experience with my Q5, Z10 and Z30, Natural sound is present on all BlackBerrys. The difference is that for the Z30, it is active all the time, be it on speakerphone, handset or headphones. On my Z10 and Q5, Natural sound was only present with headphones, possibly headset (didn't notice).

    That would make sense since the Z30 has two speakers and 4 microphones, giving the possibilities of a better sound quality. It is even better when communicating between two Z30 it seems, but I've never tried it. Q5 and Z10 speakerphone are not anything special, quality or power wise.

    Posted via CB10 on my Z30STA100-5/10.3.0.296
    06-16-14 02:47 PM
  8. L_ieven's Avatar
    I just think natural sound is a software code inside of BBM for the Z10/3 and Q10/5, whilst it is also present outside of BBM for the Z30 with its array of microphones.

    Posted via CB10
    06-25-14 03:17 AM
  9. DYLANHABKIRK's Avatar
    The Passport has a similar speaker set up to the Z30. One atop, one on bottom.

    So yes, if this is what you're looking for, it's coming.

    Posted via CB10
    06-28-14 07:37 AM
  10. crazigee's Avatar
    I just think natural sound is a software code inside of BBM for the Z10/3 and Q10/5, whilst it is also present outside of BBM for the Z30 with its array of microphones.

    Posted via CB10
    I think it must have some relation to hardware too.

    Posted using my Z10 via CB10
    06-30-14 10:04 PM
  11. wout000's Avatar
    BlackBerry Natural Sound is actually a software based enhancement to the audio quality of a phonecall. The added enhancement to audio playback is thanks to the hardware based components found on some devices (like Z30).

    BNS is available on every device running OS 10.2. and up but it really shines on the Z30 thanks to the added microphones. It works by using a special super wide-band codec that can distribute your vocal sounds between 20Hz and 20kHz. Normal codecs used these days for voice encoding do the same but don't go up to 20kHz because of the increase in computing power overhead and added bandwidth needs. In comparison, calls over your carrier network are sampled at 8kHz.

    20kHz is the end of the spectrum where the entire hearing range of the human auditory system can be reproduced. While these codecs can be used for data transmissions they're not entirely optimized for GSM traffic and as such, they aren't used for carrier calls which is the reason why normal cellular calls are crap at best. 4G technologies will effectively end this as carriers are enabling more powerful codecs on their networks. I'm guessing the codec used by BlackBerry for BNS is AMR-WB+ or G.722.1C. They're both high-end, high-fidelity codecs and supported by BlackBerry.

    Another forum member by the name of ofutur recently informed me that BlackBerry OS 10.3.700 has support for:
    • Opus
    • Celt
    • G.711A
    • G.711U

    While the G.711X codecs are in there for compatibility reasons (GSM calls) the OPUS/CELT codec (Opus is built upon CELT) support leads me to believe that these are to become the main codecs to process voice audio over data. Opus in fact goes up to 48kHz which is overkill as everything over 20kHz is supposedly undetectable for the human hearing but it does allow to spread out the voice more evenly thanks to the support of 255 channels and channel coupling, giving you a high quality sound with reduced processing overhead as everything above 20kHz will probably be cut off automatically but thanks to the broad channel support a 20kHz sample will still sound worse than a 48kHz sample even though we're virtually deaf to everything above 20kHz.

    So BNS is present on every device as it's a software based enhancement. The reason why the Z30 has even better sound quality is thanks to the added microphones that pick up ambient sounds which are either filtered out or muxed into the data stream, giving you a more realistic, crisp sound. While BNS uses the isolation method (filtering out ambient noise) to single out your voice and boost that particular part of the stream, it is a destructive method as ambient noise and some soft voice noises are killed off. Every hardware vendor using a second or multiple microphones to filter out the noises are using this method as it's main functionality is boosting your voice and it works pretty well with some small sacrifices to fidelity.

    The "new" method thats slowly gaining ground is by simply muxing the ambient sounds into the boosted voice stream. This works by using a dedicated microphone that records your voice and using the other microphones to record the ambient noises, encoding them separately and then adding them together to send over the data connection, giving you a perfectly crisp sound while keeping high fidelity. I don't see this being adopted anytime soon though as this does add bandwidth overhead and requires more processing power, a trade-off that noone, especially the carriers aren't willing to make yet.

    It's actually pretty interesting but unfortunately very technical.
    07-01-14 03:46 AM
  12. crazigee's Avatar
    BlackBerry Natural Sound is actually a software based enhancement to the audio quality of a phonecall. The added enhancement to audio playback is thanks to the hardware based components found on some devices (like Z30).

    BNS is available on every device running OS 10.2. and up but it really shines on the Z30 thanks to the added microphones. It works by using a special super wide-band codec that can distribute your vocal sounds between 20Hz and 20kHz. Normal codecs used these days for voice encoding do the same but don't go up to 20kHz because of the increase in computing power overhead and added bandwidth needs. In comparison, calls over your carrier network are sampled at 8kHz.

    20kHz is the end of the spectrum where the entire hearing range of the human auditory system can be reproduced. While these codecs can be used for data transmissions they're not entirely optimized for GSM traffic and as such, they aren't used for carrier calls which is the reason why normal cellular calls are crap at best. 4G technologies will effectively end this as carriers are enabling more powerful codecs on their networks. I'm guessing the codec used by BlackBerry for BNS is AMR-WB+ or G.722.1C. They're both high-end, high-fidelity codecs and supported by BlackBerry.

    Another forum member by the name of ofutur recently informed me that BlackBerry OS 10.3.700 has support for:
    • Opus
    • Celt
    • G.711A
    • G.711U

    While the G.711X codecs are in there for compatibility reasons (GSM calls) the OPUS/CELT codec (Opus is built upon CELT) support leads me to believe that these are to become the main codecs to process voice audio over data. Opus in fact goes up to 48kHz which is overkill as everything over 20kHz is supposedly undetectable for the human hearing but it does allow to spread out the voice more evenly thanks to the support of 255 channels and channel coupling, giving you a high quality sound with reduced processing overhead as everything above 20kHz will probably be cut off automatically but thanks to the broad channel support a 20kHz sample will still sound worse than a 48kHz sample even though we're virtually deaf to everything above 20kHz.

    So BNS is present on every device as it's a software based enhancement. The reason why the Z30 has even better sound quality is thanks to the added microphones that pick up ambient sounds which are either filtered out or muxed into the data stream, giving you a more realistic, crisp sound. While BNS uses the isolation method (filtering out ambient noise) to single out your voice and boost that particular part of the stream, it is a destructive method as ambient noise and some soft voice noises are killed off. Every hardware vendor using a second or multiple microphones to filter out the noises are using this method as it's main functionality is boosting your voice and it works pretty well with some small sacrifices to fidelity.

    The "new" method thats slowly gaining ground is by simply muxing the ambient sounds into the boosted voice stream. This works by using a dedicated microphone that records your voice and using the other microphones to record the ambient noises, encoding them separately and then adding them together to send over the data connection, giving you a perfectly crisp sound while keeping high fidelity. I don't see this being adopted anytime soon though as this does add bandwidth overhead and requires more processing power, a trade-off that noone, especially the carriers aren't willing to make yet.

    It's actually pretty interesting but unfortunately very technical.
    So if I understand this correctly, it has nothing to do with speakers, just microphones?

    I apologize in advance if I haven't understood your very technical explanation of BNS.

    Posted using my Z10 via CB10
    07-01-14 10:38 AM
  13. wout000's Avatar
    So if I understand this correctly, it has nothing to do with speakers, just microphones?
    I apologize in advance if I haven't understood your very technical explanation of BNS.
    Posted using my Z10 via CB10
    Correct. Merely microphones and software at work. High-quality speakers are just icing on the cake.
    07-01-14 03:03 PM
  14. crazigee's Avatar
    Correct. Merely microphones and software at work. High-quality speakers are just icing on the cake.
    Is there are layman's way you can explain what role the microphone plays in giving me a better sound quality? Are they used to pick up and filter out certain frequencies, like noise canceling earphones?

    Posted using my Z10 via CB10
    07-01-14 05:08 PM
  15. wout000's Avatar
    Is there are layman's way you can explain what role the microphone plays in giving me a better sound quality? Are they used to pick up and filter out certain frequencies, like noise canceling earphones?
    Posted using my Z10 via CB10
    Exactly.

    A primary microphone is aimed at your mouth to record your voice, whilst also picking up any noise from around you. due to this being a single microphone closed circuit, it samples all the data (voice + ambient noise) that is sent via the air waves to the receiving handset. Giving you a call with a lot of background interference. With a secondary microphone located elsewhere, usually near the top and on the back of the handset (so it doesn't pick up so much speech), a lot of background noise can be removed. Simple mathematics is used to create an algorithm that works out just what secondary noise is present and how to eradicate it.

    The two microphones send a signal to your handset's processor, and it compares the two soundwaves coming in. Your phone will apply a negative sound wave to the call: put simply, it counteracts whichever sound is unwanted and makes it inaudible by reversing it. This ensures that only the sound of your voice is sent to your contact's handset. Blue-tooth headsets also use the same technology so you aren't tied down to holding your phone to your head to get the same outcome.

    Look at it like this, if your voice is +1 coming in from the main microphone and the ambient sound is +2 coming in from the secondary microphone, your phone will analyze the +2 sound wave and create a -2 sound wave effectively canceling out the ambient noise so only +1 (your voice) will be transmitted.

    BNS add to this by sampling your voice (+1) over a wider spectrum (up to 20kHz) compared to the standard 300Hz - 3.4kHz used by most GSM carriers. Thanks to the fact it's a data stream (over 3G, 4G or WIFI) the carriers don't get to interfere with the quality by recoding it. Thus allowing BBM Voice calls to sound crystal clear. If this was done over the carrier network the sound would have been compressed anyway by their network so the higher sampling rate wouldn't matter. That being said, more and more carriers are enabling HD voice calls over their networks which basically means they're starting to transmit voice calls in the range of 500Hz to 7kHz or higher and calling it HD voice as it's a serious step up from 300Hz - 3.4kHz.

    As you can see the 20kHz BNS goes up to is serious overkill as HD voice calls are considered to be in the 50Hz-7kHz range but thanks to the higher sampling, it does provide the best sound quality bar none at the cost of added bandwidth overhead which i'm sure BlackBerry doesn't really care about.

    To really understand it, I suggest you watch the video posted here: http://crackberry.com/how-good-black...isten-yourself
    You can see the direct comparison of normal and BNS sound quality and you'll see the distribution over the frequencies. BNS just resamples the audio over higher frequencies instead of keeping it compact to the lower ones as non-BNS sound does.

    Savor it as it will quickly become a standard in smartphones as more and more companies are looking at sound quality over voice calls. Even Qualcomm is adding Fluence to it's chipsets which enable noise-reduction: http://www.qualcomm.com/solutions/mu.../voice/fluence

    Creative is also a big player in the noise-cancellation business: http://www.licreative.com/noisereductionmobilephonedemo

    BlackBerry's BNS technology adds to it by resampling the voice stream but i'm sure it won't take long before the competition does the same.
    Last edited by wout000; 07-02-14 at 07:01 AM.
    07-02-14 06:48 AM
  16. Sheaner19's Avatar
    From my experience with my Q5, Z10 and Z30, Natural sound is present on all BlackBerrys. The difference is that for the Z30, it is active all the time, be it on speakerphone, handset or headphones. On my Z10 and Q5, Natural sound was only present with headphones, possibly headset (didn't notice).

    That would make sense since the Z30 has two speakers and 4 microphones, giving the possibilities of a better sound quality. It is even better when communicating between two Z30 it seems, but I've never tried it. Q5 and Z10 speakerphone are not anything special, quality or power wise.

    Posted via CB10 on my Z30STA100-5/10.3.0.296
    Natural sound is only on the Z30 right now. It is not software based. There is a reason there's 4 mics on the phone

    Posted via CB10
    08-09-14 07:53 PM
  17. dudoo's Avatar
    Correct. Merely microphones and software at work. High-quality speakers are just icing on the cake.
    The speakers sound much better on the z30 and more 'natural', right? Is this because they work at a wider frequently than most other phones or is it something else?

    Official 10.2.1.2977 ( no leaks )
    08-10-14 05:49 AM

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