Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sciphone G2 Headset

There's one problem I haven't managed to solve with my SciPhone G2. When I'm on a call, I get noise on the included headset.

Sciphone G2 Headset Ear Plugs and Control image

When I'm listening to music through the headset, it works great. When I pick up a call, the G2 pauses the music. Perfect. However, noise then appears while I'm on a call on the headset. It sounds like radio interference.

Handset Sound Quality: Excellent

The G2's sound quality from the handset is excellent. It's as good as my old Nokia 3650, which had excellent sound quality, even when compared against other top-notch mobiles. It does a great job of picking up my voice, rejecting ambient noise, and of playing the sound from the other end of the call. It also does a great job of picking up audio when in speakerphone mode, though the location of the microphone makes it more sensitive to direction than my old candy bar phone with its mike on its face panel.

Headset Sound: Not Good

When I'm using the included headset, however, I get noise. I've worked with SciPhone on this, but we haven't resolved it yet. I'm doing some more testing on my part to get back to them with more information at this point, because I strongly suspect it has to do with the fact that the headset cable doubles as an FM radio antenna for the G2. I was going to put a ferrite on the headset's cable to see if it cut the interference at all, but I've recently reorganized my electronics storage and I can't find my ferrites now (so much for being organized!)

The amplitude of the interference drops as I turn down the headset volume. But it doesn't go away until I turn it down to the point where I can't hear the call any more. Both sides of the call hear the interference.

Headset Plug

The non-standard plug end of the G2 cell phone.

The plug on the headset is non-standard, so I can't just plug in another headset and see what happens. There is said to be an adapter available from, you'll want to make sure you let them know you want it for a G2 to get the correct pinout if you go there to get one. I'm going to be trying something else, though.

The Workaround

I'm continuing to work on the problem. Meanwhile, I've ordered a Bluetooth headset to use with my G2. This will let me use the phone hands-free conveniently for the time being.

I suspect the problem with the included headset came about as a result of differences between the RF environment between here in the U.S. and China. I'm going to keep doing some testing, but I'm planning on being pretty conservative in how I do it. Once I find some ferrites I'll have a chance to see whether it's really coming from RF interference or not.

So far, this is the only real problem I've had with the G2. Everything else has worked well for me.

My Articles on the Sciphone G2: