Skip to Main Content
Most long-distance telephone connections generate echoes, which must be heavily attenuated in order to obtain satisfactory transmission quality. Voice-actuated switches (echo suppressors) are widely used to eliminate echoes but have an unfortunate tendency also to cut out part of the desired signal from the other end of the line. Because the distortion caused by echo suppressors is particularly noticeable on satellite-routed connections, the advent of telephone communication via satellite, including the recent introduction of satellite circuits into the U.S. domestic network, has motivated the search for a better way to eliminate echoes. The answer may be the echo canceler, an adaptive filter which selectively eliminates echoes. Advanced echo canceler designs have been undergoing field trials in recent years. This article explains why echo cancelers are advantageous and how they work.