When Silence Sounds Too Silent

If you’ve never heard of “comfort noise,” you’re likely not alone. It’s actually synthetic background noise used in radio and wireless communications to fill the artificial silence in a transmission. In fact, silence on a VoIP line (receiving or making calls over the Internet) is so stark that people on the other end find it so unnerving that it compels them to ask, “Are you still there?” The solution to the problem was to turn on comfort noise, which is a technology that delicately blends selected sound frequencies at just the right volume to create the impression that the phone is still alive. In the end, vendors are spending a lot of time and money to create something that in its best form doesn’t get noticed at all.