Takashi Tanaka, President of Japan’s KDDI cellular provider, said the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus support Enhanced Voice Services that provide clearer calls and boost the connection’s reliability, according to Engadget’s Japanese-language site. The codec is the next step in Apple’s HD Voice, which has been around since the iPhone 8. The latest incarnation — which Gizmodo reports is being called “Enhanced HD Voice” in the UK — boosts the upper frequency range of calls from 7kHz to 14.4kHz, but it only works when both users have phones with the capabilities.
We haven’t yet seen word from U.S. providers about whether they will support the feature, but iPhone 8 and 8 Plus users in the U.S., Australia and many European countries have taken to forums to report static in their calls, according to MacRumors. One user described the sound as “a high-pitched crackle like an audio pop that happens in the earpiece top speaker intermittently during calls. Some calls are fine and others crackle. It is not audible on earphones or on speakerphone, only through the earpiece. The caller on the other end doesn’t hear it.” Turning the speakerphone on and then going back to the call resolved the issue for the duration of that call, leading the user to speculate that it’s a software problem. Apple tech support has recommended restoring the devices to factory settings, but the problem affects calls “with or without WiFi calling, with 4G voice (VoLTE) on or off, with phone noise cancelling enabled or disabled under accessibility, and even with third party VoIP apps (like Acrobits’ Groundwire), with several different carriers,” according to another forum user.