Speakerphone is a function that is used by several people to hear and be heard in calls between two phones. The phone will switch to speaker, and change the settings for phonogram from picking up sounds close to the phone to a bigger area.
Speakerphone is easy to use and a popular function that most phones have. This applies to mobile phones as well as landlines. The function is also used in many workplaces as an alternative to conference call when just one person is called but more need to heard what is said.
The drawback is that the phonogram is weaker and the speaker often creates a tinny sound compares to holding the phone against your ear. Speaking in loud environments can therefore be difficult, but in a quiet place the speaker function can be a valuable asset.
- The speaker function comes with most phones.
- The speaker function makes use of the phone’s speaker to send call sounds.
- The microphone is activated at the same time and will take up sounds from a bigger area.
- You can turn the function on and off during an ongoing call.
- The sound is often worse with speaker phone.
- The function is practical in for example phone queues.
- Speakerphones shouldn’t be mixed up with conference phones.
How does a speakerphone work?
Most smart phones have a megaphone symbol on the screen that shows up when you make or receive a call, and landline phone or push-button telephones usually have a button with the symbol. When you click it you will activate the speaker.
This usually activates a setting where the microphone picks up sound from a larger area than just close to the phone, which in turn allows other nearby people to be heard in the call. On some landline phones you can only activate one of the functions.
This can be practical when the entire room wants to hear but the other end doesn’t need to hear a room filled with a bunch of people. If you need to change the setting during the call it’s possible to to it simultaneously on most units just by clicking the symbol again.
What are the benefits and drawbacks?
Some of the given benefits is that more people can hear what is said and talk. The sound is however somewhat worse when speaker phone is on, so it may be harder to understand what’s being said.
In the same way it’s also hard for the other person to hear, due to surrounding sounds not being filtered out in the same way as when you speak directly into the phone. The speakerphone is practical when you wait in a long phone queue and don’t want to hold the phone the entire time.
Sometimes you hear of conference phones or conference calls, which shouldn’t be mixed up with speaker function in a regular phone. A conference phone can establish calls between different phone lines, while speaker phone only manages one cal at a time, even if more voices are heard on the same line.
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Latest update feb 2020Glossary