This forum includes tips for maintaining the best audio quality possible with the Ooma System. If your Ooma system is having issues with dropped calls, static audio or echo, look here for assistance.
#94595 by whydavewhy
Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:55 am
I bought an Ooma Telo, because all the advertising I read said that it had "unmatched voice quality," and the crystal-clear sound was better than a regular land line.

My land line phone was completely silent and very clear already, so I expected the Ooma Telo to at least be equal to that. But once I set up the Ooma, the first thing I noticed was a lot of hiss on the phone.

I use a Panasonic DECT 6.0 cordless phone with a base connected to the Ooma, but I also tried the Ooma with a regular corded phone and it had the exact same problem.

The very first sentence on Ooma's Web site in big bold letters, says "Crystal-clear Nationwide Calling." How can Ooma advertise this if the unit is obviously so noisy? My Panasonic phone was not that noisy when it was connected to the landline.

Here is my setup:
My internet connection is via Verizon FiOS fiber-optic cable, connected to a Verizon FiOS router (Westell model A90 - 9100EM15 - 10), with 15 megabits per second download and 5 megabits per second upload. It is normally connected to an Apple "Time Capsule" router, which my laptop and my wife's laptop use to access the Internet via WiFi.

I have a CAT5 cable going from a LAN Ethernet port on the Verizon router to the WAN Ethernet port of my Apple router. The black CAT5 cable that came with the Ooma is going from the Ooma "To Internet" connection to a LAN Ethernet port on the Apple router.

I tried going to the "Advanced Settings" on the Ooma Web site and changing the Internet speeds, but that did not make any difference. My Downstream Speed was set to 384 kilobits per second, and my Upstream Speed was set to 0 kilobits per second, which are the defaults.

I used the "Bandwidth Measurement Tool" on the Ooma Web site, which showed my Bandwidth as 333 kilobits per second.

I called the new Ooma Customer Service Hotline because a card included with the Telo said to call this number if the Telo was not functioning to my satisfaction. The representative put me on hold for 12 minutes and then the call dropped. I called back and was told that the number was mainly for activation issues, and that if I was having technical issues, I should call the regular Ooma customer support number.

I called customer support and talked to representative "A," who was very helpful. He told me to use Mozilla Firefox on my Mac (instead of Safari), and to go to http://setup.ooma.com. Next, he said to click the <Advanced> tab and to set both the 'Upstream Internet Speed' and 'Downstream Internet Speed' to '0' (then click <Update>).

Then he said to click the <Internet> tab and change the 'INTERNET Port MAC Address' from 'Automatic' to 'Use Built in' (then click <Update Device>).

The symbol in the center of the Ooma Telo began to blink with a pink color as the device was updating, then stopped blinking and returned to the blue color.

I was then told to disconnect the power adaptor from the Ooma Telo, and then plug it back in after 10 minutes. I was told to call back after that if the problems persisted.

Unfortunately, nothing changed, so I called customer service again and spoke to representative "B." She was also very knowledgeable and helpful.

She first had me go to http://www.phonepower.com/speedtest to check my Internet speeds:

- My download speed was 16.2 Mbps (strong enough to support a high-quality VoIP conversation).
- My upload speed was 5.30 Mbps (strong enough to support a high-quality VoIP conversation).
- My connection's jitter was 2.1 ms (indicating that it can produce a constant flow of data; VoIP conversations should be of good quality).
- My connection's packet loss was 0.0% (indicating that it is accurately transferring data; VoIP conversations should be of good quality).
- My connection's MOS score was estimated to be 4.2.

She said that everything looked good there, then told me to go to https://www.ooma.com/app/support/advance ... vice-ports and to write down the ports listed.

Ooma uses the following application ports for outbound data and voice traffic:

UDP 53, UDP 123, UDP 514, UDP 1194,UDP 3386, UDP 3480, UDP 10000-20000, TCP 53 and TCP 443.

She told me that I should call Verizon to get the User Name and Password for the Verizon "Wireless Broadband Router Management Console" Web page, where settings for the device can be changed. Verizon FiOS modem/router. Once I have the code, I should go to the modem's "user interface guide" and open all of the above ports, and also disable the Firewall. I would need to ask Verizon how to do this, or have them do it on their end if possible. I was again told to call back after that if the problems still persisted, and Ooma would look into possible hardware issues.

I called Verizon Customer Support. After being on hold 8 minutes, I spoke to a representative who told me the problem was beyond the scope of his support level, and that I would need to speak to Verizon Technical Support. After being on hold 5 more minutes for Verizon Technical Support, I spoke to a representative who told me the problem was beyond the scope of his support level, and that I would need to speak to Verizon Expert Care. After being on hold 11 more minutes for Verizon Expert Care, I spoke to a representative who told me the problem was beyond the scope of his support level, and that I would need to speak to Verizon Premium Technical Support for a minimum fee of $150.00. I explained that I just need to know where to go to disable the firewall and turn on the ports; I didn't need Verizon to do it for me. He repeated that this was beyond the scope of his support level, and that I would need to speak to Verizon Premium Technical Support for a minimum fee of $150.00. I told him that I was not going to pay an additional fee to adjust settings on a device that I was already paying monthly fees for, and I called Verizon support again. This time I was on hold for 12 minutes and then the call dropped. I called again and was on hold for over 45 minutes before I finally gave up.

I went on the Internet and found information on how to get to the Verizon "Wireless Broadband Router Management Console" page. This is where settings to the device can be changed. Unfortunately, I did not have the User Name or Password required to access the settings on the Verizon modem/router.

I called the regular Verizon Customer Service number again and explained my situation to the representative. She apologized for me getting bounced around, and said that she would transfer me to another representative, who was "the smartest guy in the company." The representative had me reset the Verizon router by holding the red 'Reset' button in the back for 30 seconds, then waiting a few minutes for the green lights to go off and then back on. At this point, the User Name and Password were reset on the Web site, and I could enter the default ones (User Name: admin, Password: password).

NOTE: When you enter the Password, each character types 3 dots in the screen, for security purposes.

I was able to get in to the settings at this point. There was no way to disable the Firewall, but I could set the security level of the Firewall to 'Minimum'. The representative did not know how to turn on the ports though, so he gave me the phone number for Westell Tech Support and transferred me to them. After 7 minutes, a representative answered and asked me for my Verizon employee number. I told him I didn't have one. He explained that this was an "escalation" tech support line for Verizon, not a line for Westell Tech Support. He said that he could not answer my questions but that I could call Verizon Tech Support back and ask them to call him, have him walk them through opening ports, and then they could call me back. He also said that Westell had online support only, but he thought it was not for consumers.

Next, I called Ooma customer service back, and ironically, got representative "A" again (the first guy I talked to at the beginning of all this). He said that he did not know anything about configuring ports, so he escalated me up to Level 2 Support (representative "C"). Representative "C" said that my problem sounded more like it was hardware related, not Internet, router, or port related. She had me try to plug the Ooma into different AC outlets, but there was no change. She then said that she would send out a replacement Ooma Telo for me to try, and gave me a Reference number, so the call would be assigned to her when I called back.

A few days later I received the replacement Ooma Telo, but it was an older model (with the now-missing extra "Wall" jack) and appeared to be a factory refurbished unit, because it had a lot of scratches and smudges. I tried it with my system and got the exact same hissing sound as with the previous unit.

I called Ooma customer support again and this time was escalated to their top support level (3). I talked to representative "D" and told him about the background hiss. He told me that sometimes if there is wind, it can be heard on the phone. I explained to him that there was no wind in my house, and that wind was not the problem. I said that in my opinion, Ooma is using low quality DACs in their audio circuitry, resulting in a high amount of noise when using the Telo. I explained that I verified that my FiOS Internet connection was very fast, everything was connected properly, I had tried two different Ooma Telos, and I had also tried two different phones (one cordless, and one corded). The representative suggested that I borrow another phone from a friend and try that. I told him I would, but I did not think that trying a third phone would make any difference. He said that he would forward this information to the engineers, and that they would send me an e-mail. (I borrowed a third phone from a friend and the hiss was still there.)

After much troubleshooting, it is my opinion that the Ooma Telo is a great idea, but unfortunately is also poor quality. I will probably keep it because I like the idea of getting rid of my phone bill. But I do feel that Ooma falsely advertises their product as having "crystal clear sound" when in fact it is a very noisy device. I paid $200 for the unit, but it sounds like a $20 phone.

Also misleading is the advertisement on the Ooma Telo box and on their Web site which says, "Experience PureVoice HD: Unmatched voice quality and reliability." Ooma PureVoice HD only works if the person on the other line also has an Ooma handset, which is highly unlikely.
#94597 by thunderbird
Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:46 am
whydavewhy:
Dave, first off you sound like you've been through the grinder!

A properly operating Ooma Telo does not make any hissing noises and is completely Crystal-clear clear.

Some things to try:
Try positioning the Ooma Telo at least four feet away from any other electrical or electronic equipment and then test.

When you test using a corded phone, all wireless phone bases located in your home must be disconnected and unpowered. This includes all wireless phone bases in your house, including a wireless phone base connected to another phone system. (Some wireless phone bases will cause noise in the Ooma Telo, even if not connected to the Ooma Telo, if the wireless phone base is still powered). Then Test.

If your Ooma Telo is connected to any type of power backup system, temporarily connect it to a regular home wall outlet and test.

Try connecting the Ooma Telo directly to the Westell model A90 - 9100EM15 - 10 Router. For this test the Apple Router must be disconnected and unpowered. Reboot the Westell Router, then reboot the Ooma Telo, then test.

If there is still hiss and you haven't detected the hiss cause, take the Ooma Telo to a friend or relative's home and test it to see if there is hiss in their home.

Please report your findings.
#94599 by EX Bell
Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:44 pm
Try making sure you don't have strong electromagnetic fields near by as Thunderbird suggested. My wife had put a Powermat base next to the telo and this was not causing a hiss noise, but it did cause echo to occur. I'm sure strong EMF could have various ill effects and a hiss noise is not out of the realm of possibility.

Also, your ISP speed is very good, so you don't want to limit the downstream to 384 kbps. Set the upload limit in the Telo to 80% of your measured upload speed and set the download to 0 if the Telo is before your router, and set them both to 0 if it's after your router. I don't understand the 333 kbps you measured, since both your stated download and upload speeds well exceed that, unless it's a measurement of your download speed when the 384 kbps downstream limit is in place, but that confuses me as well because in the Ooma Telo setup page tool, mine does not display download speed, it only displays upload speed. Mine shows 640 kbps upload because that's all I get from my internet service, so why yours shows 333 kbps with a 5.3 Mbps upload speed is a mystery to me, unless that is in fact the limited download speed you're quoting due to the setting that's in there currently.

This is not related to your hiss issue, but you are very likely going to have other voice quality issues if you just plug the Telo into your Time Capsule. I have a Time Capsule and had to add a Cisco router before it to manage Quality of Service (QoS) because Apple routers do not have this feature and it was affecting voice quality.

With my current configuration, Ooma is crystal clear. It's not false advertising at all, you just have an issue that needs to be rectified and you should then get the same clear results I get.
#94606 by lbmofo
Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:05 pm
whydavewhy, I am not certain if you are experiencing the same thing I am going to talk about here but check this out anyway.

I currently have 2 Hubs and a Telo plugged in at home. When I plug in my different phones into the Hubs, all I hear is the normal, low volume "comfort noise" or faint crackling and popping. Sound quality is great even when there is silence in the conversation (I usually test by calling into an automated voicemail system).

But my Telo gives a bit different outcome. The comfort noise becomes a very noticeable cycling buzz for 2 out of the 3 phones I have especially when there is silence. AT&T DECT 6.0 and a cheap Polaroid wired phone. My Uniden DECT 6.0 doesn't experience this cycling buzz for some reason. I can't explain why this is. However, I found that when I move the Telo a few inches to the right, left, back, or forward.... most of the time, I can get rid of the cycling buzz. Rotating the Telo a few degrees either way also works. I have not experienced any of this cycling buzz with Telo handsets though.

PS, this cycling buzz, I've ruled out wifi (I turned off all my router(s) before). I've ruled out dirty power (tried plugging Telo into UPS as well as power cleaner power strip; also took all powerline ethernet adapters offline).
#94607 by EX Bell
Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:55 pm
lbmofo, I wonder if you're possibly experiencing EMI/RFI through the phone cord. Does the noise change if you move the phone cord only, not the Telo? I haven't seen ferrite cores on phone cords in a long time, but when cordless phones weren't as common, I used to see them for sale in the old GTE stores and occasionally on peoples phone cords. You can buy them from Digi-Key or if you want something fancier you could try one of these.

If it is coming through the cord, you have to figure out what frequency you need to attenuate, so you can get the correct filter or ferrite core, otherwise it won't be effective.
#94610 by lbmofo
Wed Apr 04, 2012 6:53 pm
EX Bell wrote:Does the noise change if you move the phone cord only, not the Telo?

Yes. Moving the cord, introduces static; pretty loud I might add. But the same phone with cord plugged into Hub has no issues. Maybe the cord attached to the Uniden is a good one?
#94612 by EX Bell
Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:09 pm
lbmofo wrote:
EX Bell wrote:Does the noise change if you move the phone cord only, not the Telo?

Yes. Moving the cord, introduces static; pretty loud I might add. But the same phone with cord plugged into Hub has no issues. Maybe the cord attached to the Uniden is a good one?


Could be, but what if you move the hub to the exact same location as the Telo? Since interferrence will tend to be localized, it might be something near by like a CFL or another electronic device that's causing the interference. Might also be that the Telo lacks shielding or filtering that the Hub has and therefor the Telo might be more prone to EMI/RFI interferrence. Just a guess though, I'm not cracking my Telo open to find out, it's working too well for that. :)
#94615 by lbmofo
Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:01 pm
Yes, same location, next to the Hub, this cycling buzz only happens with Telo.

I was curious so I took the phone cord off the Uniden (no buzz noise when using Telo) and put on the cheap wired phone, still cycling buzz.
#94622 by EX Bell
Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:44 am
Then it could be a lack of adequate shielding or filtering on the Telo. A Ferrite Core might help if you get the right one to attenuate the frequency range that is causing the buzz.
#94628 by Cyberchat
Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:13 am
lbmofo wrote:
EX Bell wrote:Does the noise change if you move the phone cord only, not the Telo?

Yes. Moving the cord, introduces static; pretty loud I might add. But the same phone with cord plugged into Hub has no issues. Maybe the cord attached to the Uniden is a good one?


Ibmofo,

You might want to try a phone cord (wall jack to handset) which uses twisted pair wires rather than flat untwisted wiring. Here's a link to one example:

Special Anti-Crosstalk twisted-pair 14-foot line cord

http://cordsforphones.com/spantw.html

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