Demand for higher quality in-vehicle hands-free voice systems is growing. Many governments have already passed or are considering legislation that prohibits the use of handheld mobile phones while driving. In addition, car manufacturers are responding to consumer demand for higher performance in-car communication and audio systems.

However, moving vehicles pose a hostile environment for mobile voice communications technology. In particular, acoustic echo coupled with high levels of road and car noise decreases the sound quality of a conversation. To boost the performance of hands-free car kits, designers must find a solution that cancels echo, reduces background noise and enhances double-talk through full-duplex operation.

This article provides a brief overview of the hands-free communication market, introduces the challenges
faced by car kit designers, and looks at voice processing solutions available today.