Voice echoing is often a big annoyance for many remote employees during a video call. If one is hosting a meeting or catching up with friends in any of the video conferencing software like Unremot, Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting, one might experience voice echoing. The video echoes spoil the harmony of a video conferencing meeting. You might have a lot in your mind to communicate, but the echoes deviate your mind and all your thoughts are lost completely.
In this post, we are going to help you understand what causes those dreadful echos and what can be done to fix it. Let’s get started!
- What causes a voice echo?
- How to fix echo in the video calls?
- Difference between voice echoing and sound reverberation
What causes an echo?
According to Wikipedia – ‘an echo is the reflection of sound that arrives at the listener with a delay after the direct sound.’ It is a single reflection of the sound source.
Contrary to what you might think, if you are hearing your voice echoed back to you, the problem is not at your end! In simple words, you hear the echo when your voice is coming out of the speaker on the other end of the call and then back into your microphone in that same room. In this case, the other participant is responsible to make necessary changes in how the room is set up.
How to fix echo in video calls?
Here are some tips that can be followed by everyone that joins a video conferencing call to have a disturbance-free meeting.
1. Use headphones
There is a good chance to eliminate voice echoing by using headphones. Be it a group call or one-to-one conferencing call, using headphones is the easiest way to avoid voice echoing. As the speaker is in your ears, the chance of headphone’s mic to pick up the voice from the speaker is difficult. This is something common for a group call or even if it is a one-to-one conferencing call.
If you are in a video conferencing call with an individual, ask the other friend/colleague to use the headphones the moment you hear an echo. The same applies to a group meeting as well. As the other participants are located in distinct locations using different devices, voice echoing is common in these scenarios. Asking the participants to use a headphone helps to eliminate the voice echoing.
2. Ask the other participants to mute themselves
The real problem of a voice echoing starts when the call is between multiple individuals located in distinct locations.
An individual using a laptop in a distinct location. A small team joining the meeting from a conference room. Like this, there are quite a few probabilities and possibilities an individual or a group of people could take part in a video conferencing meeting. So it becomes a bit complex to figure out the problem.
Ah! For these complex situations, ask everyone who isn’t hearing the echo to mute themselves. It is a better way to begin to address this problem. Next is to ask people one by one to unmute themselves. The echo will likely comeback. As everyone is unmuting themselves one by one, you will figure who is causing this problem.
If the echo is caused by an individual who’s using a laptop, asking the person to use a headphone will work here. But if it is a conference room, there could be a problem with the microphone or the speaker settings. Using two devices at the time often increases the probability of echoing.
Difference between voice echoing and voice reverberation
Voice echoing is when the sound comes back into the microphone from the speaker. This happens often as the speaker and the mic of the phone are in close contact which causes a delay in hearing after you speak.
Voice reverberation occurs when the voice comes out of the speaker, bounces around the room, and then comes back into the mic. Hard surfaces in the room are the main cause of a reverb. Usually, it is more delayed than an echo.
Sound passing from the speaker back to the mic is the fundamental similarity between an echo and a reverb. How much the sound bounces around the room before it returns into the mic is the key difference between reverb and an echo. This means that they require a different way to fix the issue. Changing a hardware technology resolves the problem of an echo whereas the reverb requires a change to the room itself by adding soft surfaces to absorb the sound.
Therefore, it is vital to identify the difference between both!
These are effective steps by which a voice echoing in video calls can be resolved. But one last thing to keep in mind is to take control over problem-solving. But the bad reality is, you always can’t take control of what’s happening on the other end. If there is any voice echoing during a video call, it is always better for you to inform your boss about the issue you are facing. Or else it is a waste of time for you as well as your boss.
Tip: Following the above steps eliminates the voice echoing. But if any technical problem arises from particular software, the below-mentioned step is a hack everyone should know.
Few software helpline centres and website briefly explains about how to deal with echoing problems which arise in the specific software. For example, searching ‘Skype echo tests’ or ‘skype echo cancellation’ and ‘google hangouts echo tests’ or ‘google hangouts echo cancellation’ results with the particular software’s website address which suggests steps to eliminate voice echoing.
1. What causes an echo?
Voice echoes when sound from the speaker gets back into the microphone.
2. What is an echo video call?
Echo video call is the colloquial way to say a ‘voice echoing in video calls’.
3. What is voice reverberation?
Voice reverberation occurs when the voice comes out of the speaker, bounces around the room and then comes back into the mic. Hard surfaces are the main cause for reverb and it is more delayed than an echo.
4. What are the three things one needs to keep in mind while dealing with a voice echoing during a meeting?
One should have spontaneous answers for 3 questions. They are ‘how to fix echoing?’, ‘how to fix echo on the mic?’ and ‘how to fix echo in headphones’. One should be able to communicate this to his fellow colleague/participant to rectify the voice echoing error.
5. How to fix the echo?
A voice echo is something not caused by your side. The other participant is responsible to fix the echo. However, you need to inform the other participant(s) about such an issue and ask them to use a headphone. Headphones help in eliminating a voice echo effectively.
6. How to fix echo on the mic?
To fix echo on the mic, it is necessary to ensure that the mic and the headphones are not kept in close contact.
7. How to fix echo in headphones?
To fix echo in headphones, it is the same as how you addressed the mic issue. The chances for a mic to pick up the voice from the speaker would become difficult if they are not kept together.