hypersensitivity

Yoused

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I talk on FaceTime with my best friend rather often (usually more than twice a week). We got in a bit of a squabble the other day because my attention lapsed somewhat.

Now, she is one of those persons who has to be doing something all the time. It may be an ADHD affect, and I have become accustomed to it. But, my god, the mic (she is on a '19 iMac, me on an iPad) picks up everything. Whatever she was doing, it sounded, to me, like someone crackling a bag of snacks, a constant noise that started to drive me off of listening.

I seem to be hypersensitive to sound. When I was on jury duty, I tried sitting in the hallway, but it was marble and 50 other people were also sitting in the hallway, having 25 conversations: the carpet of babble-noise was unbearable. I get aggravated when I am trying to hear the TV and my cousin has to expound over the dialog.

Has anyone else here experienced the horrible sound qualities of FaceTime? It just seems like, with the super-sophistication level of modern hardware (e.g., neural network subsystems) the problem of mic sensitivity should be somewhat solvable. (I will note, however, that my connection peaks at 1Mbps, so that could be part of the problem.)
 

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I can relate to sound hypersensitivity but I haven‘t experienced your FaceTime issues. Probably because I don‘t have anyone to FaceTime with. :p

WhatsApp video calls on the other hand I do have experience with, in particular for interacting with my niece. I am astonished by how little noise there is. It doesn’t matter if the TV is on or not in the background, I can’t hear it. Makes everything look a bit funny when my niece is dancing to some kids show’s music and I can’t hear the music... Having read your post, I also just realized that I haven’t been hearing lots of noise from her toys either. Some of the harder ones I know for sure IRL do sound horrible when banged against other toys or the floor/furniture. Don’t know if it is the WhatsApp software or her parents’ phones doing the magic, but something clearly is.

The regular video conferencing systems I’ve been forced to use usually have been reducing ambient sounds too much. In all fairness most cases could be attributed to user error, such as multiple people sharing a mic and the audio gets optimized for one of them and the rest are suppressed as background noise. On the other hand, if people keep making the error, maybe the product is flawed. It does what it is designed to do, not what the people using it wants it to do. But they have at least all kept the unbearable sound of people restlessly fidgeting at bay. That’s a win in my book!

Looking forward to other people chiming in about FaceTime. Would love to know if it is deficient, the best thing since sliced bread, or something in between!
 

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I don’t use FaceTime or zoom or WhatsApp video so not ideally placed to comment.
But we use Teams at work and some people who call using their built in mic really wind me up. The noise of one of them typing sounds like a woodpecker in my brain!
 

Eric

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I talk on FaceTime with my best friend rather often (usually more than twice a week). We got in a bit of a squabble the other day because my attention lapsed somewhat.

Now, she is one of those persons who has to be doing something all the time. It may be an ADHD affect, and I have become accustomed to it. But, my god, the mic (she is on a '19 iMac, me on an iPad) picks up everything. Whatever she was doing, it sounded, to me, like someone crackling a bag of snacks, a constant noise that started to drive me off of listening.

I seem to be hypersensitive to sound. When I was on jury duty, I tried sitting in the hallway, but it was marble and 50 other people were also sitting in the hallway, having 25 conversations: the carpet of babble-noise was unbearable. I get aggravated when I am trying to hear the TV and my cousin has to expound over the dialog.

Has anyone else here experienced the horrible sound qualities of FaceTime? It just seems like, with the super-sophistication level of modern hardware (e.g., neural network subsystems) the problem of mic sensitivity should be somewhat solvable. (I will note, however, that my connection peaks at 1Mbps, so that could be part of the problem.)
My friends notice this anytime I'm wearing my Airpods, both the 2 and the pros but not with regular plugged in headphones or just speaking regularly. Like turning on the faucet or picking up a dish can literally make them jerk their head but I'm none the wiser. For this reason I only use them when I know I'm in a quiet environment and then if I have to move around I remove them.
 

Yoused

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WhatsApp video calls on the other hand I do have experience with, in particular for interacting with my niece. I am astonished by how little noise there is. It doesn’t matter if the TV is on or not in the background, I can’t hear it.
Sounds like that app must be doing some filtering. Surprising that Apple, what with their fancy neural net logic subsystem, has not figured it out (admittedly, this is an ordinary iPad, so maybe it does not have that subunit). Seems like any filtering must be happening on the receiving end.
 

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Sounds like that app must be doing some filtering. Surprising that Apple, what with their fancy neural net logic subsystem, has not figured it out (admittedly, this is an ordinary iPad, so maybe it does not have that subunit). Seems like any filtering must be happening on the receiving end.
Yeah, surprised me as well to read your post. I would have expected Apple to handle this well, should be relatively easy for them given their limited hardware options. At least for the internal microphones.

I’ll try to arrange a FaceTime call with my niece for comparison. They have an old iPad so it won’t be an exact reproduction of your setup, but way closer than using WhatsApp. Wish me luck!
 

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My daughter goes crazy if I do anything in the kitchen while on FaceTime. I think it's the one time that people with normal hearing experience what those of us with hypersensitive hearing hear all the time. My biggest complaint at home is when I'm watching a TV show and my husband uses the ice maker. It's like the world exploding. I don't go to bars because of all the competing sounds. Even at restaurants in the before times I found myself listening to people at another table instead of the people talking to me.
 

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Yes, that is a problem that most people who wear hearing aids struggle with...... Hearing aids, even the most expensive and technologically advanced, still haven't quite been able to conquer this issue. In noisy restaurants or other loud environments where there is a lot going on, people talking, music playing, whatever, it can be quite problematic for someone with hearing aids to hear and understand what the person sitting or standing next to them is saying. Background noise overwhelms the hearing aids' ability. This is probably the top frustration expressed by many who wear hearing aids.
 
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