Ambient Noise Reduction in Mac OS X 10.4.8

While looking at the System Preferences of my new MacBook Pro C2D running Mac OS X 10.4.8 I’ve noticed an option called Ambient Noise Reduction (Sound preferences) to reduce all that noise you don’t want on your recordings or in your audio/video chats.

Ambient Noise Reduction option in Mac OS X 10.4.8

I couldn’t remember to have seen this option before and checking my old PowerBook G4 (Aluminum) also running OS X 10.4.8 revealed that I was right. It looks like this feature was silently introduced with the latest OS update for Intel Macs. Google just finds two relevant pages out of 25 while I’m writing this and Apple didn’t mention it either. It seems like the Mac web missed this!

Some iChat AV video chats after enabling Ambient Noise Reduction on both MacBook Pros involved (one early 2006 MBP, one C2D) I can say this is a great feature. Without this option the voice was clear but there was also a lot of noise from the MBPs fans and some static to hear. With this option enabled the sound seems to be a bit “softer” but more pleasant to listen to. I can only recommend enabling Ambient Noise Reduction as your chat buddy will thank you.

This tip was featured on Mac OS X Hints today (Nov 17th). As readers there and here pointed out the ambient noise reduction is a MacBook/MacBook Pro feature. I’ve also learned it was very likely added in Mac OS X 10.4.6.

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3 Responses to “Ambient Noise Reduction in Mac OS X 10.4.8”

  1. Barry says:

    Not found on Intel iMac running Core Duo (Early’06 model) running 10.4.8.

  2. Mike Perry says:

    As I pointed out on Mac OSX Hints, the fact that the feature seems limited to MacBooks and MacBook Pros may mean that it requires hardware that only they have, in this case an additional internal microphone to pick up ambient noise but not noise from outside.

    It’d be interesting to see, if when this feature is turned wide open, that mike picks up enough outside noise to turn any pair of headphones into the equivalent of noise cancelling headphones. That’d be great for working in noisy airport lounges with blairing never-stop CNN coming from overhead monitors. Of course, that might require the feature to be turned on even when the recording microphone is turned off.

  3. Trackback from links for 2006-11-17 « the adventures of a baby codemonkey

    […] Ambient Noise Reduction in Mac OS X 10.4.8 While looking at the System Preferences of my new MacBook Pro C2D running Mac OS X 10.4.8 I’ve noticed an option called Ambient Noise Reduction (Sound preferences) to reduce all that noise you don’t want on your recordings or in your audio/video chats (tags: mac tools) […]

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