Here at PC Gamer, we are disciples of science. From hardware to software, from Counter-Strike strats to Starfield guides, everything we do is guided by a fundamental respect for the principles laid down by Aristotle or whatever and with an eye to giving you, the reader, the fullest breadth and depth of information possible.
So when Doritos, the crisps people, announced they'd released a profoundly stupid AI noise suppression tool meant to "cancel the crunch" when you eat (I presume) Doritos while gaming with friends, we immediately knew what had to be done. Science. Science had to be done, and I had to be the one to do it.
I've devised a rigorous empirical test to measure the effectiveness of Doritos' new tech using five popular UK crisp brands and a copy of Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment I had in arm's reach. Ignoring the warnings of my own body, I created seven videos to determine how Doritos Silent copes with crisp crunches both from Doritos themselves and its myriad rival brands.
They'll name a museum after me some day.
Anyway, let's get to it. Below you'll find a series of videos, two control vids (one with the Doritos Silent software active, one without) and five crisp-based tests.
Not much to discuss here, save perhaps the quality of the Blue Yeti mic I inherited from a friend and my taste in interior design. Nevertheless, this is the baseline against which I will be comparing all subsequent videos. Fix it firmly in your mind.
Doritos Silent solo
Alexander Graham Bell called Thomas Watson, Isambard Kingdom Brunel built the Rotherhithe Tunnel, Konstantin Tsiolkovksy drew up rocket designs in a Kaluga log cabin, and I ate Doritos into a webcam. Our first test is, it must be said, an overall victory for Doritos Silent. Yes, my voice is still plagued by pops and does cut out randomly whenever it closely resembles the sound of an eaten crisp, but do you hear a single crunch? A minor muted chomp? You do not.
This is, of course, hardly a surprise. In the years that Doritos' AI team presumably spent drawing this thing up, I imagine that familiar triangular munch was the fundamental baseline they built the whole thing against. You can call this a win, and I suppose it is, but we're starting on Very Easy mode here.
Doritos Silent vs Quavers
Well well well, we've rather fallen at the first quave, haven't we? Doritos Silent does an admirable job here, muting for the most part the many Quavers that pass through my lips, but what's that at 56 seconds in? That is a poorly-curtailed Quaver crunch, quieted too late by Doritos Silent and clearly audible in our recording. That's a black mark and no mistake, but let's be fair, every other morsel was silent. It's not a total failure, but given the similar audio profiles that Doritos and Quavers have, it's more than a little disappointing.
Doritos Silent vs Walkers salt and vinegar crisps
A return to form, something I attribute to the popularity of this specific type of crisp. Not being able to parse a Quaver is understandable to a degree, but if you struggled to suppress the sound of a bog-standard, plain-Jane salt and vinegar crisp? They'd laugh you out of the lab. There is a very slight detectable crunch at around the 49 second mark, but it's not something your Discord friends would be liable to notice, so I'm content to give the software a pass on that. Otherwise? Pure Dostoevsky, baby.
Doritos Silent vs Wotsits
I hate Wotsits, which are a kind of edible packing peanut that immediately dissolves on the barest contact with moisture and tastes like the underside of a couch cushion, but my commitment to scientific principles meant I had to try them nonetheless. On the plus side, the Doritos tech completely muted any sound associated with the act. Chalk up a triumph for Doritos over Wotsits, but there's always a new challenger round the corner.
Doritos Silent vs Hula Hoops
I don't know if Americans have Hula Hoops, but they're relatively easy to explain. Developed by regional Soviet authorities in the early 1950s as a cheap and abundant construction material, Hula Hoops resemble extruded bolt washers in form and drywall in texture. If anything is going to foil the Doritos Silent software, it's these inordinately crunchy loops.
And guess what, they did. This is a rank failure on the part of Doritos Silent, frankly. Multiple highly audible crunches punch through the sound barrier after about one minute in, interrupting the flow of Raskolnikov's tale of Christian redemption and ruining any potential gaming session I'd have with a friend where I also intended to eat a load of Hula Hoops. I had high hopes for this tech, but it just hasn't met them.
Don't uninstall Discord just yet. For all its marketing braggadocio and disconcerting images of Doritos entering ear canals, the Doritos Silent software just isn't up to snuff. Sure, maybe you can get some use out of it if your snack of choice is Doritos themselves, but if you ever feel like branching out, the tech just won't keep up with you. Sorry friends, but the science says no to this one.