Phone conversations using headphones are convenient and common. For many, they’re an inseparable companion to their mobile phones. Mobile phone headphones are able to filter most background noise. But, sudden, strong winds can severely disrupt a phone conversation. Communicating during a windy environments often become a nuisance with the person on the other end struggling to make sense of what’s being said. The noise effect results when turbulence is created around the headphone when the wind hits it. For this reason, the headphone treats both the communicator’s voice and the sound of the wind equally resulting in noise.
Studies show that even small amounts of wind can produce a great hindrance to effective phone communication. At 6.7 mph (light breeze), the approximate level of wind noise is 80 decibels (dB) sound pressure level (SPL) similar to that of a food blender to the person at the other end of the conversation; At 27 mph the wind noise is approximately 115 dB SPL– similar to a rock concert or a car horn at 20 feet. In the USA, for reference, typical wind speed is approximately 12 mph during the peak periods of the year (Intricon.com, 2017). This highly affects phone conversations via mobile headphone microphones, costing the caller and callee time and money.