iHeart Audio is Horrible - Page 2
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Thread: iHeart Audio is Horrible

  1. #11
    OP here. I was listening on a decent sounding car audio system (Not great, but decent. It came with the car; the same way most drive-time listeners would hear radio) in various locations around L.A. County. Sorry I'm not able to describe this better, but this is definitely not my area of knowledge! That's why I was hoping somebody in the market who knows this stuff would listen and tell me if I'm losing my mind. Best way to describe what I heard would be if you put a boombox in the bottom of a big metal garbage can. Especially annoying when the jock was talking, and bad on iHeart's KFI. I just don't hear this sound on stations in other markets.

    Wavo, you said that aggressive Voltair setting can be heard on-air. What would that sound like exactly?

  2. #12

    Join Date
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    Dry Ridge, Kentucky, United States
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    You're not losing your mind. The local IHeart stations where I live in the Cincinnati market have that same hollow sound because of Voltair.. In nearby Lexington KY the Iheart stations sound better because they do not have PPM or Voltair on any of their signals.

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by BennyB View Post
    OP here. I was listening on a decent sounding car audio system (Not great, but decent. It came with the car; the same way most drive-time listeners would hear radio) in various locations around L.A. County. Sorry I'm not able to describe this better, but this is definitely not my area of knowledge! That's why I was hoping somebody in the market who knows this stuff would listen and tell me if I'm losing my mind. Best way to describe what I heard would be if you put a boombox in the bottom of a big metal garbage can. Especially annoying when the jock was talking, and bad on iHeart's KFI. I just don't hear this sound on stations in other markets.
    I have a similar listening experience, except in my case it has to do with HD vs non-HD. Non-HD sounds like normal FM, but HD sounds like it's coming from a tin can, especially when the programming source is not dense, as in someone speaking. I try to keep my HD turned off.

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Dry Ridge, Kentucky, United States
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    I heard that before as well on FM analog with HD sidebands. Sometimes the analog FM processing sounds exactly as you described but it's usually fixed within a day or two. It's not the same as the voltair effect though.

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by microbob View Post
    In nearby Lexington KY the Iheart stations sound better because they do not have PPM or Voltair on any of their signals.
    However, it's likely that most other Cincinnati stations also use Voltair, so it should be equal at all stations, not just iHeart.

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBigA View Post
    However, it's likely that most other Cincinnati stations also use Voltair, so it should be equal at all stations, not just iHeart.
    Not so. Stations may choose what level of enhancement is used. If set at "4" it is not audible. If set at "13" you can clearly hear it affect certain voices and music. You CAN run Voltair with no degradation of the audio if run with moderate settings.
    Some companies have a policy on Voltair settings. The local PD/Engineer may have no choice in the matter.

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Willits View Post
    I have a similar listening experience, except in my case it has to do with HD vs non-HD. Non-HD sounds like normal FM, but HD sounds like it's coming from a tin can, especially when the programming source is not dense, as in someone speaking. I try to keep my HD turned off.
    Most processors that process BOTH analog and HD sound very much the same when the radio goes HD. The only thing I notice is the brilliance of the high freqs in HD...this is because HD is not hindered by pre-emphasis like its analog host. HD frequency response also goes to 20 Khz as opposed to 15 Khz on analog.
    In my opinion...HD sounds MUCH better than analog. The noise floor is 70 db better than analog and the LACK OF CLIPPING in HD processing makes a huge difference. Still...HD should sound very close to analog. The station you site may use separate processors for analog and HD and the settings may be wildly different. They are shooting themselves in the foot, if so.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by wavo View Post
    Some companies have a policy on Voltair settings.
    Which ones?

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by BennyB View Post
    OP here. I was listening on a decent sounding car audio system (Not great, but decent. It came with the car; the same way most drive-time listeners would hear radio) in various locations around L.A. County. Sorry I'm not able to describe this better, but this is definitely not my area of knowledge! That's why I was hoping somebody in the market who knows this stuff would listen and tell me if I'm losing my mind. Best way to describe what I heard would be if you put a boombox in the bottom of a big metal garbage can. Especially annoying when the jock was talking, and bad on iHeart's KFI. I just don't hear this sound on stations in other markets.

    Wavo, you said that aggressive Voltair setting can be heard on-air. What would that sound like exactly?
    My experience has been that certain voices sound flanged...like certain frequencies have been enhanced, others decreased. It is hard to describe but it sounds unnatural. PPM encoding works in the midrange frequencies and is generally not audible to most listeners. The Voltair "enhances" that frequency range and, when set aggressively, can create an unnatural sound.
    I wish I could explain this better. Maybe one of Telos/Omnia people will chime in here and give the expert explanation.
    From Wkipedia:
    Flanging /ˈflŠndʒɪŋ/ is an audio effect produced by mixing two identical signals together, one signal delayed by a small and gradually changing period, usually smaller than 20 milliseconds. This produces a swept comb filter effect: peaks and notches are produced in the resulting frequency spectrum, related to each other in a linear harmonic series. Varying the time delay causes these to sweep up and down the frequency spectrum. A flanger is an effects unit that creates this effect.

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBigA View Post
    Which ones?
    Can't say. They exist.

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