Echo and Sound-Quality Problems on Skype Calls
The most common cause of echoes is that the person you are calling has not set up their microphone and speaker properly. The caller may be able to hear you fine, only you hear the echo. It can be tricky to track down the cause, since the caller causing the echo is not hearing the echo!
If either parties are experiencing echo here's a test that will help isolate the cause. Before you hang up, ask the other party to call the Echo123 test service. After hanging up, you should likewise call Echo123 yourself. If either party experiences echo during the Echo123 test, that person should try the following:
- If using an external microphone and speakers
- Lower volume of speakers
- Move the microphone further away from the speakers
- Switch to a headset or USB phone
- If using a laptop microphone and speakers, use a headset or USB phone instead.
Since laptop microphone and speakers are fixed close together, they will usually cause echo and feedback. (Most laptop computers tend to have mediocre speakers and microphones, so a headset or USB phone will greatly improve the sound quality, in addition to eliminating echo.)
If you are still experiencing echo, it may be due to excessive bandwidth consumption(see below).
Poor Sound-Quality or Calls Breaking-Up
Break-ups, stuttering and other sound-quality problems are often caused by:
- Excessive local bandwidth usage. If this is a problem, avoid any other bandwidth-intensive activities while on a Skype call, such as downloading files, browsing the web, etc. If using a router, consider that others in your local network may be adding to the bandwidth consumption.
- Data packet loss related to Internet traffic congestion is another possible cause. Consider calling at a later time, when Internet traffic may be less of a problem.