Model 3

Phone echo in car

How do you fix people hearing themselves talk when using the in phone phone system? We are on iPhone if it matters.

Example: my wife just called me from the car. Ever word I say I can hear back 2 seconds later. It is like I am trying to talk over myself.


  • Definitely have this occurring intermittently for the last few updates. Can’t confirm yet on .11.

    It doesn’t occur every time and it goes away after roughly 2 minutes. But it’s super annoying for sure.
  • Exactly! I can confirm .11 as that is what I am on.
  • Bummer. We have iPhones as well. Wonder if that’s the common denominator. Just updated to ios14. Wonder if it goes away.
  • we are both on IOS 14, sorry to be bearer of bad news haha
  • I am glad its not just me though, that means a fix is coming.
  • Just shooting my dreams down left and right.

    You’re right. Whenever something like this comes up, I wait for a fix. Annoying, but fixable. That’s the beauty of Tesla. Any other auto manufacturer, and you’re shit out of luck or forced to take it to a dealer.
  • Had that as well. Thankfully road noise is low and sound quality is amazing that you can hear at lower volume.
  • Being a telecom guy, I vaguely recognize the condition. And am not sure that the car has much to do with it, but could be wrong.
    Thing is, some "sidetone", that is, hearing oneself speak when talking on the phone, is actually necessary; that was figured out in the 1950's. So, on an old-timey POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) phone, some of the audio energy in the microphone part was diverted to the speaker part so one could literally hear oneself speak. Without that, it sounds like one is talking into dead air and, after a bit, unconsciously, one finds oneself shouting.
    Part of that echo is local. Now, a POTS phone has but two wires going into it, as you all have probably noticed, but there's audio going outbound and there's audio going inbound, too on the same pair. (No, there's not one wire for each direction.). The two wires go into a hybrid network which _attempts_ to separate out the inbound and outbound, so incoming signals go to the microphone and outgoing signals head for the telephone network. However, given the vagaries of wire lengths, manufacturing variations, and that need for echo, some of the signal coming in from the network to the telephone gets reflected at the hybrid and gets sent back to the originating phone. Fine, the engineers of yore made allowances for that and that audio is part of the sidetone that the talker hears, only that part has a round-trip delay to and from the other phone, which more-or-less adds to the local desired sidetone.
    So far, so good. And this is back in POTS days with no Ethernet packets, anywhere. And there were firm requirements about how long that round-trip delay was; if it was longer than roughly a tenth of a second, the echo would be perceptible, and that Would Be Bad. So telecom gear was designed to have, even with a bunch of them in series, to have low enough prop delays so delayed echo wouldn't be a noticeable problem.
    Enter satellites. Stuff in geostationary orbit is 22,236 miles Up There; at 186,000 miles per second for Ye Speed Of Light, a one-way trip up to the satellite and back down is 44472 miles; that's a delay of 0.24 seconds, which is very noticeable; if one includes the reflection of audio from the far-end telephone set, there's 0.48 seconds of prop delay on that audio from when the speaker speaks and the echo comes back, which is _really_ noticeable.
    Solution was echo cancellation. Telcos would run banks and banks of echo cancellers that would record the outbound signal, delay whatever-the-delay-is-today, and, when the signal comes back with some echo included, subtract a smaller, dynamically varied signal from the signal coming from the far end. If it sounds complex, it was, and is. But it worked. Still, towards the end of using satellites for bog-standard overseas calls, most telcos would would run a hybrid of one leg being via satellite and the other leg being terrestrial, thus getting rid of half of those expensive banks of echo cancellers. You don't even want to think what all that echo cancellation did to the old-time telephony modems. And fax machines.
    Nowadays, though, most telephone calls aren't the nailed-up variety with fixed, guaranteed maximum propagation delays of yore; instead, we're all using VOIP or other packet-based methods of getting audio to and fro. This is particularly true with cellular telephone service. But we also have much more powerful computers in our telephones, where the packet-to-audio, audio to packet, and echo cancellation takes place. I haven't been exposed in detail to that technology, but my understanding is that the echo cancellation is technically complex and ferocious. And it has to be: Sending packets, even high-priority packets, through an Ethernet network of $RANDOM routers with variable propagation delays, random dropped packets, and, heck, even packets that arrive out-of-order from when they were sent is not a simple task.
    As it happens, I've received and sent a couple of phone calls on the car using the car's 2020.36.11 release and an S8 Android phone without noticing any funny echos. Given that you guys are using iPhones, this looks suspiciously like either an iPhone problem, directly, with audio cancellation, or some interaction between the speakerphone built into the car and the iPhone's echo cancellation. If it's the latter, then perhaps other cars and systems that do bluetooth audio are also having issues with the latest iPhone release. No offense, but have you guys checked Google for complaints of this type of problem with iPhones and other car makes?
  • Nope, but it does not happen in my Acura and seems to be a new issue of about a month now.
  • I have the opposite problem, people I'm calling can hear themselves but I don't hear any echo, not me and not them. Reducing the volume ends up helping, but it's uncomfortably low for me.
  • Sounds like the exact same problem, not the opposite.
  • Agreed. The person on the other end has the echo.
  • edited September 25
    So, let's see if I got this straight. Person on the other end, far away in time, speaks, and hears echos of their own speech. More than one echo?
    On the car end of thing, sidetone (that is, hearing oneself speak) isn't working. Um. The car is acting like a speakerphone, where there's a live mic _and_ a live speaker, and a miracle occurs: We don't get severe feedback whine. Of course, all cell phones have a speakerphone mode and they don't whine, either, but all that means is that the phone is doing something about that.
    In any case, person in the car isn't hearing any echos. In response to complaints from the far end, the person in the car turns down the volume and the echos at the far end also drop, but then the volume in the car is so small that the person in the car can't hear the conversation properly.
    I'm a thinking that this might be an Apple vs. the car issue. One second.
    Ha. Did a search on Duck-Duck-Go, "recent speakerphone mode iPhone echo problems". There's a zillion hits, all recent. OK: It's not the car, it's the iPhone!
    There seem to be Helpful Hints all over on how to fix this but, since I'm not an iPhone owner, I'm leaving that to you guys.
  • Been happening to me too. Oddly when I initiate a call from my work parking lot I get the echo. 30-60s into the call as I leave the campus it disappears. Do you guys stay on the call and try to ride it out or give up immediately?
  • tried last night on the way home from work, No echo at all with IOS 14
  • > @lbowroom said:
    > Been happening to me too. Oddly when I initiate a call from my work parking lot I get the echo. 30-60s into the call as I leave the campus it disappears. Do you guys stay on the call and try to ride it out or give up immediately?

    Yep. It goes away eventually. Hanging up and calling right back doesn’t typically correct it.
  • [email protected] You are bringing back memories. The very first thing I ever designed was an echo suppressor for satellite telephone calls. I had a summer job with Fairchild Space and Electronics in 1974. They handed me a block diagram and a copy of the TI TTL databook and told me to generate a netlist. I was a physics major so this was the first time I'd seen the TTL databook which was the bible of computer designers in the 1970s. I don't know how well the thing worked but by the end of the summer I had learned how to design computers. Went back for my senior year and designed a floating point processor as my honors project, went to grad school and then spent the last 45 years designing computers of various sorts. That echo suppressor gave me my career.

    As for the OP's problem, blame Apple not Tesla. My Pixel4XL works fine.
  • Doesn't seem to be a common complaint with Model 3's so likely a "local" issue with phones, reception, etc. vs. the car.

    A good example of how Tesla stopping the deletion of owner posts has increased the utility of the forums. Instead of all posts about problems being deleted, we get a better picture of issues owners have with the cars.

    The "echo" has not been a common problem, I'd say it's rare based on the posts on all the Tesla forums.
  • Have 2019 M3 with iPhone 11 with iOS 14. This has been a problem since iOS 13.7. Restart, reboot, NOTHING works. Tried to wait it out with no luck. Didn't start happening until a few weeks ago. Apple problem?
  • @Marksla: Yeah, appears to be an Apple problem. Apparently, using the iPhone as a speakerphone, either standalone or blue-tooth linked to a car results in no echos on the speakerphone side but tons of echos on the far end side. This all hit ground zero 4th quarter of 2019, based upon the couple of articles I browsed through off of a Duck-duck-go search. Solutions said to work are turning off the speakerphone, then back on again; resetting stuff; and what all. Complaints to Apple seem to result in fun stuff about, "Have you reset your phone lately?" which is one of those, "Don't bother me, kid!" responses one sometimes sees from big corporations.
    There was some mention of different audio codecs possibly being involved with the root cause but, frankly, I think those ideas may have been grasping at straws.
    I'm thinking that people making phone calls hands-free are using a phone in speakerphone mode, something they might not be doing otherwise, so, naturally, it shows up on the car one uses.
    People who have tried some of the fixes (turning off audio, calling back, etc.) have made claims that it fixes the issue for all time; others say it comes back. Sounds like a mess.
  • @bjrosen: I, personally, didn't work on echo suppressors but know people who did. And then there was the group that worked on maximizing the amount of bandwidth available by noting that, in a conversation, one person would speak while the other was quiet. Given a big pool of transmission capacity in each direction, it was possible to time-share the transmission bandwidth by switching links in while people were talking and switching those links to somebody else when they weren't.
    It worked great! Telephone companies would pay good money for it, they didn't have to lay as much long distance fiber!
    And then they ran into Spanish speakers. English speakers tend to shut up when it's not their turn: Spanish speakers keep it going in both directions at the same time, all the time, even if it's a continuous medley of, "Si, si, si, si" as the conversation progresses.
    Instant overload on the switching the bandwidth bit. Oh, well, it was a good idea while it lasted :smile:
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