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A voice operated switch (VOX) is a switch used in telecommunications that operates when a sound is detected and exceeds a certain threshold. It is often used to turn a transmitter or recorder on when a user speaks and off when a user stops speaking.
Instead of using a push-to-talk switch, recording devices commonly use a VOX to save storage space.
This term is also known as a voice operated exchange (VOX).
A VOX is commonly used as part of video conference or telepresence equipment. It is also used in cellular phones to preserve battery life. Cellular phones, two-way radios, phone recorders and tape recorders often have VOX as an option. On intercom systems, a VOX on the main console is often used in a room with a speaker, which serves as both a speaker and a microphone to monitor sounds such as conversation.
A VOX circuit takes only a voice or other sound to trigger it. It remains on as long as the sound remains above a certain volume or decibel level. The circuit automatically turns off when the volume drops below the minimum decibel level (after a short delay).