I hate to sound like a luddite, but I'm on conference calls all day every day; zoom, webex, MS teams, skype, you name it; and the more laptop-microphones there are, the mushier and laggier everything and everybody sounds due to all the noise cancelling (and crappy microphones / noise environments to start with). :-/
To me, built-in echo cancellation tuned for people that do video calls with speakers / laptop mic is the worst thing. It tends to mute your audio for the first few seconds of your "turn". That means if you are just saying "yeah" and nodding, an important component of how humans interact, you disrupt the meeting for 5 seconds instead of adding some social smoothness. Use headphones and turn that off, and everything is a lot better. (If you use Zoom with a good audio setup, you have to turn on "original audio" and then turn off echo cancelation, and make sure you aren't echoing.)
But yeah, with any sort of sampling task, you want to increase the signal to noise ratio. The best way to do that with a microphone is to have it close to your mouth. A $4000 microphone on your desk is going to sound worse than a $70 microphone close to your mouth. That's just physics. Building a microphone into your keyboard is basically the worst thing you can do.
The Logitech H151 is $20CAD when on sale, and though it's a bit "crisp/sharp", sounds way better than the Beats And Boses and Apples and Samsungs and Sony non-boom microphones people try to repurpose :-(
Best noise cancelling mic I've ever used. Someone can be talking right next to me and nothing will go over the mic except my voice talking directly into the boom.
Down side is you have to have the boom directly in front of your mouth; not slightly below or above.
Considering a custom rolled tube amp too just for the fun of it....
[preview microphone/camera] [join meeting]
It's depressing to think that a $20 headset may have been a better investment than the $300 headphones :<
I have a set of Bluetooth Plantronics Backbeat PRO. There is no boom mic, but everyone I have talked to on cell phone with them has said they sound good. Even when I am out for a walk they filter out all the vehicle noise and wind.
(I also tend to speak too loud with them, as they block outside noise effectively, but that's a "user error" thing :)
I enjoy them as headphones - convenient, simple to pair, comfy - but they are specifically the reason why I pursued a boom headset and why I'll never go back :)
Without testing I cannot speak to our differing experience; I DO notice that some friends/colleagues of mine have a very very low threshold of what "sounds good" - if they can even remotely understand me, it's "Fine". They are also the ones who don't mind 30 people joining with laptop mic/speakers and the muffled/delayed/garbled sound that results... Others provide much more critical feedback (calling my 75 year old father is a great way to test a new headset :P )
Or, you may have found a button I haven't! :=>
When I disable the mic the audio quality goes way up as it switches back to a higher bandwidth codec. It’s super annoying.
I’m not sure how the apple airpods get around this, I think something to do with their custom chip.
The software noise cancelling like Krisp in Discord or this Nvidia software is really nice because it stops outside noises like dogs barking, keyboard keys, etc from coming through.
With Krisp enabled in discord I can eat chips with voice activation enabled and no one can tell, and no one can hear my dog bark occasionally even if I'm talking while it happens.
It seems at least once per day there is an active leaf blower in my neighborhood vicinity. Same goes for my colleagues.
Noise cancellation is great for, well, cancelling their noise.
But in some situations having the extra help is what makes the difference. For example: today my room is noisy because some neighbour is using a drilling machine. With those softwares, I'm helping everybody else in my meetings, even if my life is miserable right now.
Related, and it could just be me, it seems that those who call in from their phone have some of the worst sound quality. Could just be a small sample size though.
So there needs to be a good solution for them without a boom mic. But also, a boom mic with quality noise canceling (a lot sucks right now, kinda like the backgrounds) will still be useful.
Removing this arbitrary limitation is a good thing, but they should have done this earlier.
The noise cancelling itself is dark magic though - and I especially like the fact it'll work with both input and output - eg it'll clean up your microphone but also do noise reduction on incoming streams too. For me, it's been great in voice chat when other people have rubbish microphones, and has made a number of inaudible youtube videos easy and clear to understand.
Simple, the sales and marketing department.
Sure, though I think the point I was trying to make is more "I've heard about this limitation, but it's not something I've actually encountered even with lots of usage".
Ultimately even a 9xx is going to have plenty of headroom for an algorithm like this, so it doesn't make sense to lock it off - but there is a difference. I understand the decision to lock it off for a combination of market segmentation (convince people to upgrade) + ensuring the people who use it get the best experience (0 degradation in framerate, near-0 increase in power draw)
They have such a dominant market share because they make more compute for less dollar. When the day comes that isn’t the case, they’ve already made well established hardware features and adopted APIs people want: raytracing and machine learning.
While true quality fanatics are going to want to run things at native resolution, the average person will be quite happy with DLSS 4k instead of native 4k, and they'll be able to get much higher framerates in that mode than on equivalently priced AMD hardware.
Is that really the case? I looked at getting an accelerator card for personal use. AMD’s Radeon Instinct MI25 will run me $900 - $1000. A similarly specced NVidia Tesla P100 is in the $3000 range.
Does Alsa_rnnoise work well with Pulse/Pipewire systems?
This is a limitation that will likely be lifted with the pipewire version. Pipewire 0.3.25 released yesterday which added some of the things we require, still some other things missing, but it seems like things are happening.
In the meantime it is possible to configure NoiseTorch as a systemd service, but it's not recommended because it constantly uses CPU even if no application is actually using the microphone. Afaik PipeWire uses a pull model where it pulls data when it needs it, so it shouldn't use CPU to denoise the microphone when it's not in use.
So it is currently possible to do that, but I'm deliberately not making it easy via the UI, because I don't want to deal with complaints about NoiseTorch killing people's laptop batteries or whatever.
I don't think so. I think that Pipewire and Pulseaudio would like to replace that part of Alsa, and I see no documentation on how to mix Alsa plugins like this (that work with the sound) with their Alsa plugins (that transports Alsa sound to the soundservers).
It works on PC and Macs. You can filter out noise on your end or the others persons end. I highly recommend it.
This is a failure of meeting software. The #1 critical feature of the $$$$$ conferencing systems that get installed into e.g. boardrooms is a mute button that activates instantly, shows its state, is easy to reach, and never fails.
A push-to-talk shortcut can be a lot easier than switching apps back and forth and trying to click on the tiny microphone icon.
Noise cancellation, especially ML based ones, have weird artifacts which I assume result from false positives. Sure, you can filter out a hair dryer or a vacuum cleaner with those and still get a "decent" result. But if you have things like that constantly in your background probably you shouldn't try to record any voice there in the first place ...
For actual audio recordings I would never use something like this, but for voice chat it's perfect because it allows a person to have a good enough level of audio quality with minimal effort.