How to Fix a Skype Audio Problem
By Nicole Vulcan
Having Skype installed on your computer means you'll be able to chat with friends via video messaging or instant messaging -- but when the audio isn't working properly, it can be difficult to communicate. Skype recommends that you and the person you're trying to chat with both ensure you're using the most recent version of the software. Additionally, a slow internet connection can cause problems. Skype requires a minimum bandwidth of 128kbps for video calling. Beyond that, log into Skype on your computer and try some basic troubleshooting steps.
Skype Microphone and Speaker Troubleshooting
Click "Tools" and then "Options." Click "Audio Settings" along the left hand side of the page.
Click the drop-down menu next to "Microphone" to select the correct microphone associated with your device. Some computers will have more than one microphone; if the wrong one is selected, your friend will not be able to hear you when you're speaking into it.
Speak into the microphone you've selected. If the microphone is picking up your voice, you'll see the bar next to "Volume" move to the right as you speak. If that doesn't happen, your microphone may not be working properly, and may need to be replaced.
Click the drop-down menu next to "Speakers" and select the speaker set you want to use. Press the green "Play" icon and then slide the slider next to "Volume" to the right to turn up the volume on your speakers.
Click "Save" near the bottom of the window to save the settings you've just changed.
Make Adjustments During the Call
Initiate a video call with another Skype user.
Look at the bottom of the Skype window during the video call. You should see an icon that looks like a microphone on a stand. Click the microphone icon to turn it on or off. When the microphone is off, it will be displayed with a red diagonal line across it.
Locate the call settings icon near the bottom of the video call window, which looks like a series of vertical lines getting progressively taller. Click on that icon at any time during the call to launch a window that allows you to adjust the call settings, including the microphone and speaker volumes.
Adjust Windows Settings
Enter "Sound" into the Search bar of your Windows computer. Click or tap "Sound" under the Control Panel heading.
Click on the Speaker or Headphones icon to test either the speakers or headphones, then click the "Set Default" selection from the drop-down menu at the bottom of the window.
Click "Properties" next to "Set Default." This should launch the Properties window.
Select "Use this device" from the drop-down menu.
Click the "Levels" tab in the Properties window, then check the level of the volume for the speaker or headphones. If the slider is set to the lower end, you may not be getting enough volume to hear your friend properly. Move the slider to the right to turn it up, then click "OK" from the Properties window to save all your changes. Repeat the process for the headphones as well as the speakers.
- If you're still having trouble hearing your friend, ask her to go through the same process as you just did to ensure the problem is not on her end.
- Microsoft has a Fix It tool to help you further diagnose audio problems and other issues with Skype. Download the Fix It tool from the Microsoft website (see link in Resources).
Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.