I always wonder why is it that while on call, the person on other side can hear my voice clearly but can't hear any music/video playing on my phone. Mic fairly picks up any other ambient sound playing on my laptop.

When we play music on phone ultimately it also becomes an ambient sound, why can't phone picks up that? I am pretty sure it has to do something with the sound card, or is it not?

  • Saw this. Things became a little more clear but not completely. I just want to know when music is playing and I am speaking simultaneously, why mic captures only my sound. Does it filter out the music?
    – A.k.
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 5:00
  • @beeshyams From my understanding he probably is willing to know how Android filtered out the music playing on the phone, despite that the music played (from the loudspeakers into the open environment) is also supposedly captured by the mic.
    – Andy Yan
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 5:25
  • @AndyYan Exactly that's what I want. Thanks for making it more clear.
    – A.k.
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 3:43

1 Answer 1


I think your are misinterpreting ambient sound

  • You are in a crowded , noisy place and are talking to someone on phone. They can't hear you clearly because of the ambient noise around you. Why? Because the phone mic captures your voice and noise around you

In this case what you hear is what the other party hears = Ambient noise + your voice

  • In the case of music playing on your phone (media player running) and you talking at the same time, it is not ambient . Phone mic picks up only your voice (while what you are hearing is both streams media and your own voice) because voice is prioritised cutting out media. Once you establish a voice call

From this point on the telephony service has the highest priority and won't let any other audio play in parallel.

In this case what you hear (media + voice) is not what the other party hears. He hears only your voice. Think of it as you can hear two channels or streams whereas other party can only hear one stream of your voice

Now, if you were to play the same media from your laptop speakers while you are talking that's the first case of Ambient noise

Related Direct Music Player audio to Caller

  • This answers a lot of my questions. So, at any given point mic is not hearing the music since it is muted by my phone. What if there is any delay/echo caused by same music? That will be ambient, right?
    – A.k.
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 6:34
  • 1
    Delay /echo shouldn't matter because the media channel is cut off from voice. Only case it will be ambient noise is by Bluetooth earphones or speakerphone call. Haven't verified Bluetooth case but going by documentation
    – beeshyams
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 6:55
  • 1
    Delay / echo of for you , not for the other person. What is ambient for you is not what he hears
    – beeshyams
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 7:04
  • @beeshyams I know this is a long time later, but I don't fully understand how if the music coming from the phone bounces off the wall into the mic it doesnt pick up. How exactly does the phone just distinguish between the two? Is there some post-processing happening?
    – Amon
    Commented Jan 30, 2021 at 1:03

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