Fixing muffled sound

Hi - I just did a really important interview but for reasons I could not control - the subject insisted on using an old phone, is the short of it - the sound is pretty muffled. I’ve included a clip here. I know I won’t get it perfect, but please, please, please let me know how I can get it better. This was a really important interview for me, and I’d like to do what I can.

Thank you, any help is really appreciated.



I’m using Audacity 2.3.3.

I made an improvement, but I’m listening on my laptop speakers which is a terrible way to judge sound quality and I didn’t do a whole lot of “tweaking”, so please just use this as a starting point.

Use the “Preview” button to experiment with the EQ settings.

Graphic EQ
100Hz and below all the way down
125Hz to 1KHz 0dB
1.25 kHz and above all the way up

Hard Limit
Input Gain 0dB
Limit to 0dB*
Hold 1ms
Make-up gain No

  • You’ll still see some clipping (red) and if that “bothers you” you can set the limit to -1 or -0.1dB, but that won’t affect the sound.

excellent advice. I have, subsequently, done some tweaking with the EQ but it was all guesswork. I am going to try your specific recommendations.


I hope others weigh in with more constructive and helpful advice. I know this will never be great, but it’s really important to me to get this one as good as I can.

Very appreciated!


What does “all the way up” and “all the way down” mean?

Sorry, thought it best to just admit I don’t know, and ask.


Dial-in plenty (30dB) of treble boost.
BTW the phone they’re using does not have anything above 4kHz,
so anything above 4kHz is artefacts which should be filtered out.

that definitely sounds better.

My initial thinking was along the lines that you and DVDdoug suggested - more treble.

What else can I do?

Anything to give it more clarity and crispness, or is that asking too much?



I don’t know of any way to removing the digital compression artefacts.
(cf. There’s no way back from a pixelated image to the high-resolution original).

That makes sense, unfortunately

so, definitely making progress…now the question is, can I get rid of the high-pitch, kind of tinny echo in the background? If I could do that, I could make this workable. Thank you!