Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) call quality is determined by audio clarity levels, the speed of data packet transfer, selected codec, and a lack of interruptions and delays.

Poor VoIP call quality has many causes, including a slow or unstable internet connection, faulty VoIP equipment or software, and a large distance between the caller and the recipient.

In this article, we will take a look at what affects voice call quality and give our best troubleshooting tips to improve it.


Actionable Tips for Improving VoIP Call Quality

If you are experiencing call quality issues with your VoIP system, such as jitter or latency, there are a few ways to improve service. Here are some actions you can take:

  1. Use a Reliable VoIP Provider with a Good Reputation
  2. Use a High-Speed Internet Connection
  3. Use a Wired Connection
  4. Reduce Bandwidth Usage
  5. Use High-Quality Hardware
  6. Choose the Right Codec
  7. Test and Monitor Your Network
  8. Contact Your VoIP Provider for Help When Experiencing Issues


Use a Reliable VoIP Provider with a Good Reputation

Quality VoIP telephony and HD voice is only possible with a reliable VoIP, Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), or Private Branch Exchange (PBX) service provider.

Before selecting a business phone system, research the providers that fall within your budget. User reviews often reveal consistent VoIP problems and call quality issues like dropped calls, network outages, phone echoing, and choppy audio.

A quality VoIP provider should offer:

  • A 99.9% minimum uptime guarantee
  • A Service Level Agreement (SLA)
  • Multiple geographically diverse data centers (global points of presence) for network redundancy
  • Backup power options with automatic failover switch
  • Carrier-grade networks and IP phones
  • High-level security standards (E2EE, firewalls, network monitoring with real-time alerts, etc.)


Use a High-Speed Internet Connection

VoIP service works by transmitting data packets over the Internet–so having a high speed connection from a reputable Internet Service Provider (ISP) is imperative.

High bandwidth and a minimum speed of 90 kbps to 156 kbps is required for voice calls, while 1.5 to 2 Mbps down and 2 Mbps up is required for video calls.


Use a Wired Connection

VoIP devices are all equipped with an Ethernet port and built-in WiFi. While WiFi offers mobility and convenience, a poor wireless connection can negatively impact VoIP call quality.

Because a wired ethernet connection provides better conductivity, it offers the superior voice call quality over WiFi. Ethernet is also a much more secure way to connect to the Internet than WiFi, which may leave your phone system vulnerable to hackers and viruses.


Reduce Bandwidth Usage

A congested network can cause the quality of VoIP to suffer–especially for small businesses relying on a single router to process all internet traffic.

Overloaded routers slow the voice packet transmission, causing packet collision, packet loss, jitter, latency, and a poor call quality overall.

Reduce bandwidth usage by closing other apps and integrations during VoIP calls.


Use High-Quality Hardware

VoIP phones, wireless call center headsets, and other hardware vary in quality. A higher price tag doesn’t always equate with a higher quality headset. Hardware quality problems such as inferior microphone isolation, poor onboard speakers, or a limited frequency range can cause interference with nearby components, resulting in poor sound quality.

Research which VoIP hardware brands are the most reliable, read user reviews, and ensure proper hardware configuration to avoid incompatible codec settings.


Choose the Right Codec

VoIP codecs compress and transmit audio signals between devices. If a codec requires too much bandwidth or compresses the analog signal too slowly, it can cause an audio delay or distorted sound.

Though there are five main VoIP codecs, most virtual phone services support multiple codecs to prevent over-reliance on a singular option.

When choosing a VoIP service provider, look for one that offers G.711, G.722, and the Opus codecs, as these offer the most connectivity and better call quality.


Test and Monitor Your Network

Even with a reliable VoIP service and high quality hardware, consistent network monitoring and network testing ensures your provider is properly monitoring and maintaining the VoIP service network.

One way to do this is to monitor metrics like Quality of Service (QoS) and set real-time alerts for network connectivity issues.

Most VoIP and UCaaS providers are transparent with data center and redundancy information and this should be researched before selecting a provider. Some providers also offer service level agreements (SLAs) with a guaranteed uptime and 24/7/365 network monitoring.


Contact Your VoIP Provider for Help When Experiencing Issues

Finally, it is important to be able to contact your VoIP provider if there is an emergency or if you’re experiencing poor quality calls.

When selecting a provider, look for  24/7 customer support across multiple channels. Check user reviews for more information about VoIP quality, customer service interactions, and support resolution times.


How to Monitor VoIP Call Quality

Here are some tools you can use to monitor VoIP call quality:

  • Speed test: Measures the speed of your internet connection
  • Ping test: Measures the latency of your internet connection
  • Jitter test: Measures the variation in latency
  • Packet loss test: Measures the amount of voice data lost during transmission
  • VoIP call quality monitor: Software application that measures a variety of factors related to VoIP call quality, such as VoIP traffic, audio quality, jitter, and packet loss.


Why Good VoIP Call Quality Matters

Good VoIP call quality from reliable VoIP phone system providers is vital to the success of any business for a number of reasons.

First, it allows for clear, concise communication free from interruptions or miscommunications.  This is essential for business calls, where even small misunderstandings can lead to costly mistakes.

Second, good VoIP call quality helps to build relationships. When agents can hear a customer's voice and tone, they are able to get a better sense of the customer’s personality and intentions. This can help them create a more personal connection, which is essential for building trust and rapport.

Finally, effective communication leads to faster and more efficient resolutions. This saves companies both time and money in the long run.