Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

With the phone raised to my ear conversations are fine, but as soon as I put it on loudspeaker, there's a time lag.

The same goes for the phones in the conference rooms at work.

Why is this and can I fix it?

share|improve this question
What specifically lags? Your side of the conversation where the mic kicks in, or hearing the other end of the conversation? The former is how speaker phones work - they mute the microphone until it detects you speaking, so the first words get clipped a slight amount. – bmike Oct 24 '12 at 13:11
Whoever is on loudspeaker seems to lag. Okay, maybe the first word is muted, but we always seem to end up speaking over one another. – Vicky Oct 24 '12 at 13:38

The main technical problem with most speaker phones is that they are not full duplex.

This means, that unlike a normal phone conversation, both parties cannot speak at the same time. To avoid feedback, the system mutes the microphone most of the time and instead tries to detect when you are about to speak.

When both parties are on speaker phones, this system works quite badly since the normal conversation queues of "mmmm, uh-huh, go on..." can cause it to cut the real conversation off at times.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.