Google Meet calls will now remove background noise, even if you dial in from your phone

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Google Meet calls are about to get more serene for phone users, thanks to the expansion of the video conferencing software‘s noise cancellation feature.

As part of a sweep of updates to Google Workspace, the company’s suite of productivity tools, those who dial into a meeting from their phone can now enjoy the same elimination of background noise as desktop users. 

Google says the technology “can remove background noises such as typing, closing a door, room echo, or the sounds of a nearby construction site” to enable the complete focus of participants without distraction. It will also make them easier to hear too.

Select customers

The tech giant says that it only filters out noises that are not clearly those of a human voice. So voices coming from other sources, such as a nearby TV or radio, or other people talking in the room, will not be filtered out.

It therefore advises that if other sounds are needed in your call, such as the playing of musical instruments, for example, then noise cancellation should be turned off in order for them to be picked up. This is perhaps why for those subscribed to one of the educational tiers of Google Workspace, the feature is off by default.

To toggle noise cancellation on or off on, you need to tap or click the cog icon that open up the settings when on Google Meet. For iPhone and Android device users, they should see a noise cancellation option that they can tap to activate or deactivate. Desktop/ laptop users will find this option under the audio section of the settings. 

However, it appears that for those calling into a meeting with their phone, noise cancellation is activated depending on whether your organization has it turned on or off beforehand. 

Noise cancellation for phone users is now available for the following Workspace customers only: Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Plus, the Teaching and Learning Upgrade, and Frontline”.

Noise cancellation in general is currently unavailable to those in “South Africa, UAE, and the immediately surrounding areas”. Google also mentions that those using an electrolarynx should have the feature turned off, and that Pexip device users have it on by default, and should refer to the device documentation to turn it off. 

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