I can only think of one instance where an echo is actually a welcome noise, and that was back in the third grade during a game of Marco Polo. The truth is, echo is one of the most prevalent issues that users are confronted with while on a video call. It’s distracting, annoying, and half the meeting is spent troubleshooting the problem.
If someone can’t figure out how to eliminate their echo, you breed a silent resentment for the person who can’t seem to understand the gravity of the annoyance they are creating. Next thing you know, all focus is lost and the meeting has taken a turn for the worse.
At BlueJeans, we strive to deliver the best audio and video quality. By following a few helpful tips, you can successfully avoid echo in your meetings. However, in the event you experience echo during a meeting, there are steps you can take to locate the source of the problem and resolve it quickly.
To Pinpoint the Source
If you hear your own audio back as echo, the problem is likely originating from another person. If the situation is reversed, then the echo is likely coming from your side. A great way to isolate where the echo is coming from is to look at the “Participants” tab in the BlueJeans web application to see where any extra “noise” is coming from. The web app displays an animated icon showing which locations are inducing noise. In this example, John is speaking, but additional noise is coming in from Ralph, thus Ralph is the source of the echo. The meeting Moderator (John) can click Ralph's speaker icon to mute him and end the feedback originating from his location.
Steps to Reduce/Eliminate Echo
- If you are using external speakers, place the speakers far away from the laptop mic and reduce the volume to a comfortable level.
- For those who have external microphones, move the microphone about a foot away from the speakers. Avoid typing on an unmuted mic, and step back from the laptop when using hands-free mode. You can also reduce the volume microphone level to 50 percent or less and reduce or turn off the microphone boost option.
- Some computers have an echo cancellation feature, but it could be compromised on high CPU load. Closing a few processes can help enable that feature.
- For Skype users, make sure to have the latest version of Skype downloaded. Skype has built-in echo cancellation which detects and reduces echo.
- If none of these options are successful, use a headset or headphones instead of speakers. This is an easy way to get rid of echo.
Hopefully with these slight changes in your setup, your meetings will be echo-free in no time! Unless, of course, you really don’t want to be in the meeting and then in that case, you now have the tools to ensure you’ll be one of the first locations dropped from the call!