Hello Readers, I hope you’re well.

Ultra quick post today on a new feature in the Teams Desktop Client. Noise Suppression.

This is a useful feature for anyone using a speakerphone or non-noise cancelling headphones with Teams. This is going to be very useful for the working from home crowed (almost everyone) that doesn’t have a private space to work. I’m sure you’ve all been on calls or in meetings where there are barking dogs or kids running around screaming or asking for help with homework. I think this will help.

The feature is enabled by default as soon as it shows up in the Teams client. And set to auto (default).

To check your settings open settings -> devices and scroll down a little and you’ll see Noise Suppression

You can keep it at default, or you can change it to high, low or turn it off. I left it at auto and did a little test. I placed a direct call and hit record. Then… have a listen…

The test

First Impressions

I’ll let you be the judge. But I think it did remarkably well. I was using a speakerphone which is about 1 foot (80 mm) from the keyboard I was banging on. And I do mean banging on. Lead finger typing to the extreme. It easily copes with “normal” typing and some ambient noise.

When I was talking you could hear the tapping, but not banging. When I stopped talking, the tapping was very faint. It could hear when I was banging on the desk with a closed fist, but it wasn’t that loud I don’t think. And it barely registered my noisy squeaky chair (which I really need to WD40).

Microsoft added a link to the settings page here.

They say that it helps minimise distraction of noise around you such as “shuffling papers, slamming doors, barking dogs, and so on”

And it offers 3 levels of noise suppression

  • Auto (default)  The Teams app decides on the best level of noise suppression based on local noise.
  • Low  Suppresses low levels of persistent background noise, such as a computer fan or air conditioner. Use this setting for playing music.
  • High  Suppresses all background sound that isn’t speech.
    • For this option, your computer’s processor must support Advanced Vector Extensions 2 (AVX2).
    • Enabling this option uses more computer resources.
  • Off  Noise suppression is disabled. Use this setting for high-fidelity microphones in low noise environments.

They also note that if your device is using too much of its resources during a call, the setting may fall back to Low. As it says above, high requires an AVX2 capable processor like background blur and replace. And having it switched on in any case could make Teams more hungry than it often already is.

So be aware if you have a slower machine. I have a Surface Laptop 3 and it copes with most things pretty well.

I also have noise cancelling headphones which I use most of the time so I don’t feel I need to use this feature that often. I do occasionally answer with a speakerphone, especially on days where I am in a lot of meetings and wearing headphones all day. So it will definitely prove useful on those occasions. I think I’ll leave it at auto because I think that should be okay for my space.

You might want more or less for your situation. So I’d urge you to try out all of the settings and pick the one that suits your environment.

That’s all folks. Thanks for reading