iPhone 5 Call Quality Compared On AT&T, Sprint And Verizon

enhanced iphone 5 audio

The iPhone 5 packs in a number of audio related improvements including support for Wideband audio or “HD Voice,” a new noise-cancellation ear piece, three microphones (up from two in the iPhone 4S) and an updated speaker design.

How does this affect the call quality on the three major U.S. carriers AT&TSprint and Verizon?

CNET compared the voice quality of calls made on an iPhone 5 across all the three networks in San Francisco. While no U.S. carrier currently supports Wideband audio, other improvements should ideally make the call quality on the iPhone 5 better than the iPhone 4S and CNET’s observations confirm that.

On the iPhone 5’s performance across the three networks:

AT&T: You can hear the most background noise, and voice quality is perhaps the most grainy. Call volume is fine, and you can make out conversations via speakerphone and regular calls.

Verizon: At first listen, the Verizon and Sprint models seem better, but too close to call between them. Background noise is far quieter, nearly silent, and my voice is crisp and audible in all calls. However, notice on the test call to SF that there’s distinct popping and a bit of distortion.

Sprint: This is the winner, and the more, we listened the more we agreed. Background noise isn’t a factor, and my voice comes through loud, clear, and even a bit richer. I also noticed that Brian’s call came through clearer and louder on my end. The audio sample shows off how much better it sounds.

At CNET’s testing location in San Francisco, Sprint emerged as the winner. The results will of course vary from location to location. Besides, a lot of iPhone buyers anyway don’t pay much attention on voice calls, and base their buying decision on data plans, download speeds and reliability of the network.

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  • BigMurph

    Sprint has the best call quality but the worst data network.. Thing I wud prefer the better network with is Verizon..

  • MuscleMass

    AT&T sucks d-ck big time! Horrible reception and call quality, inside some parts of my house and in some parts of sugar land, texas.

  • winterfall

    AFAIK, call quality also influenced by RF propagation (interference level, etc) in each place which doesn’t have same level..that’s why we need regular optimization on daily/weekly basis..

  • http://www.facebook.com/yantra.deals Yantra Deals

    Why always it need to be come with any specific service provider?

  • Planet Burn

    If we compare call clarity Sprint is best option.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eugene.sytnik Eugene Sytnik

    my girlfriend noticed huge improvement in clarity of calls on iPhone 5 from iPhone 4 (not 4s) and re-confirmed this when I went back to iPhone 4 ( she’s got that iPhone 5 ). I myself also noticed a much better quality and clarity of calls. AT&T

  • Jd19

    With FIdo in Canada. Have hd calling when it’s iPhone 5 to iPhone 5

    • http://www.iphonehacks.com iPhoneHacks

      That’s good to know … Apple has strangely not shared which carriers support HD voice calls.

  • Jim Snowden

    Highly subjective. To come to a conclusion based on a single location is very poor protocol and readers deserve better testing from several locations. I am in Alexandria, VA and get excellent voice quality on my AT&T iPhone 5. Also I love the data speeds with LTE approaching 45 MB/s according to speed test. #attemp