Simple Droid X Hack Can Greatly Improve Call Quality

There are many reasons why the audio quality of mobile phones isn’t great. One simple, but fixable reason is that the phone is most likely configured to use an outdated voice encoder algorithm by default.

Luckily for us, Motorola includes hidden programming menus in most of its phones where we can adjust advanced settings like voice quality.

How to Change the Droid X’s Vocoder

Step 1: Open the Dialer app on your Droid X and dial ##7764726. Press the Send button (the green phone symbol).

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This number just happens to spells ##PROGRAM, which might help you remember it in the future.

Step 2: Enter 000000 (that’s six zeroes) as the password and click Verify.

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Step 3: Bask in the glory of Motorola’s hidden programming application. When you’re done basking, open the menu entry 04 Vocode.

UPDATE 7/13/2011: A recent Verizon update has changed the menu structure. If you can’t find 04 Vocode, try these steps.

Thanks to Rlblair in the comments:

The location of the codec apparently changed with the latest software update from Verizon.    Now > select 06 – Test Mode – touch ‘Next” twice – select codec under ‘Service Option’ drop down.  When going “Back”, backing out all the way, the phone did not re-boot.  I shut down and re-started mine and checked – now using EVRC-B instead of default EVRC. Don’t know if the re-start is necessary.  Hope this helps everyone!

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Step 4: In this menu, select the option EVRC-B. Press Apply.

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That’s it! You will now be enjoying better call quality on your Droid X from just those four simple steps.

How come?

Your phone is set to use the EVRC (Enhanced Variable Rate Codec) vocoder by default. It was developed in 1995 and gave mobile carriers the ability to increase their network capacity without increasing their wireless spectrum or bandwidth.

I won’t say that EVRC isn’t an amazing feat of digital signal engineering, but let’s keep in mind what type of computers we were using in 1995:

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Nostalgia, thy name is Macintosh Performa 5200.

EVRC-B is an updated version of EVRC that has many technical improvements over its predecessor. Besides being able to compress sampled speech into an extra 1/4 rate, it has the ability to efficiently encode unvoiced or noise frames. This increases voice quality without necessarily increasing the load on the cellular network.

A final note: while changing the voice quality of your phone is harmless, you should avoid playing around in Motorola’s programming menu unless you really know what you’re doing. Otherwise:

That's right, your phone will turn into an iPod. And THEN it will die.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also be interested in other hidden menus in Android.


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Comments

13 responses to “Simple Droid X Hack Can Greatly Improve Call Quality”

  1. Ryan Bray Avatar

    This article is at top of Google results for “Droid X hack” but I don’t see any comments about whether or not it works. I also don’t have a problem with voice quality on my Droid X so i’m not sure I want to do this. Can anyone confirm the hack works?

    1. Evan Wondrasek Avatar

      Hey Ryan, check out some of the feedback in this thread: http://www.droidxforums.com/forum/droid-x-hacks/17323-improved-call-quality-x.html

      Hope that helps!

    2. Vinylmeister Avatar
      Vinylmeister

      tried it on my phone. worked great. I was so disappointed in the sound quality, I hated talking on it, compared to my old blackberry. Did the same on my wife’s X too.

      1. Wess19 Avatar
        Wess19

        i cant find rhe Vocode option….

        1. Evan Wondrasek Avatar

          What options do you have available?

    3. Adam Louis Stander Avatar
      Adam Louis Stander

      So far, trying the EVRC-B makes no difference, my friends and family still think my voice is muffled, and apparently Motorola didn’t have any problems with it, and what makes no sense is that the phone has three mics and the audio quality for video is amazing, but cant make the voice calling quality decent. I just bought this refurb Droid-X to replace my crappy LG-Lucid with Ice Cream Sandwich, very glitchy, and ride out the last year of my Verizon contract and then switch to Sprint and get a Samsung

      1. Ryan Bray Avatar
        Ryan Bray

        Ha I forgot about this old comment. Yeah dude I got a Samsun S3 over a eyar ago, SO MUCH BETTER. I run CyanogenMod now and it really flies. Love my S3 and looking seriously at the S4 active for my grilfriend as her S2 is getting pretty long in the tooth.

  2. Bakefy Avatar
    Bakefy

    this ##PROGRAM number actually rings out for my phone ‘you have reached a non working number, announcement’

  3. Evan Wondrasek Avatar

    Thank you for the tip! I will update the article.

  4. Shelly Avatar
    Shelly

    I just changed from evrc to evrcb but it doesn’t hold.  When I reboot, it’s back to the previous setting.  Also, there is no “apply option” in the 06 test mode option.

  5. guest Avatar
    guest

    My phone started this yesterday. When someone would call I could hardly hear them. I tried the suggestion and it worked for my Droid X2. Volume level for incoming calls is back to normal.

  6. Ron Hills Avatar
    Ron Hills

    Good hack but unfortunately the phone defaults to EVRC when you change batteries. Verizon should make -B the default considering how much we pay for service!

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