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Skype Problems - Audio

We have quite a few customers calling us related to their audio devices, such as USB phone, microphone, headset, and speakers. Here is a list of common symptoms.

  • The speaker does not work.
  • The microphone does not work.
  • The volume is too low, too loud or unsteady.
  • The Skype audio setting changes mysteriously once a while.
  • I cannot play music via my speakers after installing the USB phone.

Drivers - Audio and Skype Phones

Get the latest versions of drivers for your audio card and Skype phones. This is especially true if you are using Windows Vista.

Windows Audio Configuration

Do the following to set up your sound card, which is the one you normally used for music and is not necessary the one you used for Skype.

Start >> Control Panel >> Sounds, Speech, and Audio Devices >> Sounds and Audio Devices >> Audio tab: Set "Sound playback" and "Sound recording" to your favorite sound card. You can also adjust the microphone volume by clicking on the "Volume" button under "Sound recording".

Start >> Control Panel >> Sound and Audio Device Properties >> Voice tab: Set "Voice playback" and "Voice recording" to your favorite sound card. You can also adjust the microphone volume by clicking on the "Volume" button under "Sound recording".

If you do not have a microphone attached to your PC, you can set the "Voice Recording" to your USB phone.

Start >> Control Panel >> Sounds, Speech, and Audio Devices >> Sounds and Audio Devices >> Volume tab: Make sure the volume is not mute and the volume is set to a reasonable level (Mine is set at 75% level).

For Vista, similar settings can be found in Control Panel >> Hardware and Sound >> Sound >> Manage Audio Devices or Recording.

Vista Incompatibility Problem

With Vista, you may not be able to use your USB phone and computer speakers at the same time. If you want to use your USB phone, you would need to go to the control panel and set your phone as the default device; you may not be able to use your computer speakers. The same is true when you set your speakers as the default device. No solution has been found to have different settings for USB phone and computer speakers.

Skype Audio Configuration

From Skype, Tools >> Options >> Audio Settings >> Microphone: Select the device you want to use for Skype, such as your USB phone. Select "Let Skype adjust my audio settings" unless you encounter problems.

From Skype, Tools >> Options >> Audio Settings >> Speakers: Select the device you want to use for Skype, such as your USB phone or PC speaker.

These settings tell Skype what audio devices to use. You can use the different devices for music and Skype.

Check Your Speakers

Play some music.

If you cannot get this to work, the problem is probably your sound card or speakers.

Check Your Microphone

Record and play back something using the Windows Sound Recorder. You can find the program in Start >> All Programs >> Accessories >> Entertainment >> Sound Recorder.

This test ensures that your microphone is functional.

Make Skype Calls

Call your friend or "Echo123" to check if the speakers, microphone or USB phones are working. You may need to double check your Skype audio settings again.

If you are using a USB phone and are having problem, make the call using your PC speaker and a microphone (remember to change the Skype audio settings). This would isolate the problem to your USB phone. You may have problem with the phone configuration or hardware.

Reset Your Skype Settings

Delete the folder c:\Documents and settings\<Your profile name>\Application data\Skype\<Your Skype User Name>. A new one will be created automatically when you sign in again.

Volume Too Low or Too High

Adjust the Windows and Skype volume settings. You may need to uncheck the "Let Skype adjust my audio settings" option and set the microphone volume yourself.

You can also use the volume controls in your audio devices.

Other Programs

If your audio settings appeared to change automatically, this is generally caused by some very aggressive programs (media player). You need to find out the offending program; get an update or remove the program entirely.

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