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iPhone in Mobile Environment

Mark NS9NMark NS9N Member ✭✭
edited June 2020 in SmartSDR for iOS
Using my iPhone XS I get great xmit audio reports when in a quite room or even in the car when stopped with the engine running. However as soon as I start to move the car, the background noise, which is not excessive in my Ford Edge spikes the audio level on the band scope and of course distorts my xmit audio. As soon as the car comes to a complete stop, the noise goes away and the baseline returns to zero. I have tied changing all the audio settings and the equalizer settings to no help. I suspect the iPhone is somehow seeing the lower frequency road noise and is transmitting this noise in the audio band pass. I have tired the phone in speaker phone mode, wired head set, bluetooth head set as well as connected to Apple Play and using hands free connections and they all do this. My question is: does anyone use an iPhone in the mobile environment and have good audio reports when the vehicle is in motion. I really am looking for a way to use the iPhone connected to the cell network to run mobile HF. OK, I know this is not true mobile and I don't claim it is but I do travel long trips in the car and it is great to pass the time. Any comments from those who have successfully accomplished this would be greatly appreciate.


  • DL8MREDL8MRE Member
    edited January 2020

    it is important to maintain the Microphone threshold using the slider in the left audio menu. Values around .4 should be fine but it depends on the phone. The procedure is described in the manual for the App.

    Also, ensure that the Mic Boost is off under the Flex-6xxx Tab and the Phone menu.

    Marcus, DL8MRE 
  • Watts - K4QJZWatts - K4QJZ Member ✭✭
    edited January 2020
    I use my iPhone regularly at home and in the car with none of the issues you are experiencing. While the folks on the local repeater can tell I am in the car vs home, that is the only negatives I have had. I do find the audio transmit level can very greatly depending if I am using the internal Bluetooth, Apple Play or with wired ear pods. Small level changes as small as only a few digits can make a big difference in the quality of the transmitted audio. As such I have separate profiles saved for each. Apple play has offered the best audio for me (Receive audio) and Bluetooth and Apple Play use the internal mic and speakers.
    One other note, there is no wind noise reduction so a window even partly open totally wrecks the quality of the audio.
    Hope this help,
  • Mike-VA3MWMike-VA3MW FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager admin
    edited January 2020

    this is exactly what this headset is designed to do.

    It is a noise cancelling headset. I use mine all the time



  • Mark NS9NMark NS9N Member ✭✭
    edited January 2020
    Hi Watts, I know that the setting are really sensitive but maybe I have not hit the sweat spot or my phone is flakey. Would you be so kind as to tell me your setting when you use Apple car play. I agree this has the best audio in the car for me. Actually is outstanding. Just need to find the settings which make the xmit audio work.
  • Mark NS9NMark NS9N Member ✭✭
    edited January 2020
    For sure this headset works great. Just can’t drive wearing it. Local laws prevent any headphones covering the ears while driving.
  • DL8MREDL8MRE Member
    edited January 2020
    Mark, please don't forget to adjust the Microphone threshold. This is important.
  • Mark NS9NMark NS9N Member ✭✭
    edited January 2020
    Thanks I will work on this over the weekend. Lots of trial and error with driving cycles.
  • Jon_KF2EJon_KF2E Member ✭✭
    edited January 2020
    For those that may be curious, here is a link that gives each states rules on wearing headsets while driving.


    Mark...It appears that Illinois does allow single ear headsets. You might want to try one of the bluetooth headsets designed for cell phones. Most have noise cancelling microphones.


  • Mark NS9NMark NS9N Member ✭✭
    edited January 2020
    Thanks Jon, I have three of them and they work very well for phone and Skype calls. Actually they work great. But still have this issue with the radio app. Ok I will play with the settings over the weekend and report back since all audio input devices have the same issue with my phone but only when using the app.
  • edited January 2020
    I also use my iPhone regularly at home and in the car. Best results are with the headphones included with the I phone. I have tried sub $30.00 headsets but they pickup 2 much road noise. Previous comments on gain settings should help you.
  • Mark NS9NMark NS9N Member ✭✭
    edited January 2020
    Thank you all for your replies and suggestions. The iPhone wired headset is my go to when issues like this arise. Keeps the HW platform simple. Next step is to try this in another vehicle. Just thinking now that I know others do this successfully is it maybe vehicle related not at the audio spectrum level.
  • AlanAlan Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 2020
    I use the Apple Ear Pod Pros.

    Excellent noise cancelation on headset and microphone out......you do have to turn the IOS audio gain down, same as all the other means for audio input into the SDR IOS app.....but no noise.

    Also, a nice feature is the ability to select "audio feed through" on the headset so you can hear external sounds just as if you were not wearing the AirPods.

    Simple wireless setup so no one will know you are talking/driving.

    Very comfortable with various sizes of earpieces.

  • Mark NS9NMark NS9N Member ✭✭
    edited January 2020
    First, I would like to thank Marcus for all the help and support, even making an update to the app to provide wider mic level control. In the end, other then using an external headset with noise cancellation, I am not able to find a setting which reduces the in-vehicle noise level to a level which does not distort my xmit audio when driving over 50 MPH. I conclude that this must be iPhone XS related as it does this in multiple cars with multiple input devices. Now to find a low cost way to attach an external mic that has a gain control. Yes, I know, there are options in the market which will do this, but this is ham radio and spending $150 or more is not my solution. Until I find a solution I will continue to use the excellent app, just not when driving.
  • James Kennedy-WU5EJames Kennedy-WU5E Member ✭✭
    edited June 2020
    I just ordered a Iphone XS I hope I can download the app and get all setup.


  • Mark NS9NMark NS9N Member ✭✭
    edited January 2020
    UPDATE, Apple suggested a full reset of the phone. They know about the high audio levels on the XS. Hated to do the reset but made a big difference. Now with threshold at 3.8, microphone at -9.9 and mic gain at 27 it works in the car at highway speeds with Apple Car Play. Some background noise of course but very useable. Using the Apple wired headset I get excellent audio reports. Finally a solution and again Marcus thanks for the update to the SW. Needed every bit of the new range!
  • Mark NS9NMark NS9N Member ✭✭
    edited January 2020
    Today I dug out my Plantronics Voyager Legend Bluetooth headset to give it a try. I know others have suggested using a noise canceling headset in the car and I remembered this one was small but worked well for conference calls. With a microphone setting of -9.4, threshold of 0.85, and the mic gain setting of 11, I get perfect audio reports even at 70 mph. Reports say just as quite as the QTH shack. I hope these settings at least give others a starting point or with the iPhone XS, the direction to turn all the mic gain sliders way down. I did also learn that as you raise the threshold slider to eliminate background noise there is a critical spot where all the noise disappears but your audio becomes choppy as it try’s to overcome the threshold setting. Again all in the sprite of lessons learned.
  • KR5OG Paul KKR5OG Paul K Member ✭✭

    I know this is an older thread but it has been very Insightful for me, a true noobie with my 6600m and removing of any kind much less with an iPhone.

    you just gotta love technology



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