Why SkypeOut calls sound different

Now this is useful to know – a simple explanation as to why a phone call via SkypeOut doesn’t always have good audio quality.

I’m thinking in particular of the interview with Michael Wiley of GM that Shel and I did last month for our bi-weekly podcast show. Shel and I were on Skype and we pulled Michael into the show by calling his normal phone from Skype via SkypeOut. The overall call quality was pretty poor.

There may have been a load of technical reasons for that poor quality, but this explanation from Om Malik is certainly helpful in understanding it simply:

[…] One of the reason why SkypeOut doesn’t sound as good as Skype-pure, is because the gateway makers don’t support wideband codecs which Skype uses. What it means is that while Skype leverages the total broadband experience, SkypeOut means that voice coming from broadband networks has to well hide its muscles and act like a little ninny when hitting the traditional networks.

Yes, I can understand that. More tech explanation in Om’s post.

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