I'm currently learning about active noise cancellation for headphones. I was wondering if this technology is also used for video calls. During video calling I can't hear myself (that's good), but why not?

When I say something, this sound is picked up by my microphone. The sound is sent (after conversion to a digital form) via the internet to the person I am calling with. The sound then comes from his sound speaker and can be picked up again by his own microphone. This is then sent back via the internet to my loudspeaker, so I can hear my own voice again, an echo.

However, this doesn't happen: I don't hear myself talking. Why not? Is this active noise cancelling or is my reasoning above wrong? Or is the answer something completely different

Thank you in advance!

1 Answer 1


Is your own voice cancelled during video calling?

Yes, if you are using speaker phones. Speaker phones (or room based mic/speaker systems) deploy "acoustic echo cancellation". The speaker knows what signal it is sending out, so it "looks" for this signal in the microphones signal and removes it. This is typically done with adaptive filters, since the device needs to "learn" how the path from the speakers to the microphone alters the signal.

It's less of a problem with headsets, since the sound from the transducers doesn't get into the microphone (or only to a very limited extent).

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