So here you are; sitting in front of your computer. You try, and you try, but no matter how much you fiddle with the audio mic, or frantically plug and un-plug your external speakers.....nothing. So what's going on with the audio on Skype and how can you sort it out?

The article below gives instructions for Windows and Apple users.


The Knowhow

Choose your operating system from the list below to proceed:

My operating system is Windows
My operating system is OS X
Test the new changes you have made
Try the sound again using external hardware

If you're on Skype and you can't hear anything coming from the person you're calling, the cause could be one of a number of minor issues. The main thing is to identify who has the problem; you, or the person you're attempting to speak to.

First: check the volume controls on your computer (for Windows and Mac users)

My operating system is Windows:

  • Click on the speakerphone icon in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen; see the image below)
    volume control in windows
  • Un-check the mute button (if checked) and make certain that the volume button isn't turned down to the lowest audible setting

My operating system is OS X:

  • Go to the Apple toolbar on the desktop; select System Preferences (see below) and when the new window appears, select Sound
    system preferences,,, on a mac
  • A new window will appear (see below); move through each option - paying particular attention to the 'Output' tab and check that none of the sound devices are muted.
    audio devices on a mac
  • Next, go to the Applications folder (on the main Apple menu) and select Utilities
  • Once the Utilities window has opened, click on the option marked Audio MIDI Setup and check the volume settings on all applications

Next: check the volume controls on Skype

  • Click on the Call menu in the top left-hand corner of the Skype screen and then select Audio Settings... (please see the image below)
    skype call menu
  • Once you've selected Audio Settings, a pop-up window (see below) should appear:
    skype audio settings
  • Make sure that the two boxes visible above: Automatically adjust microphone settings and Automatically adjust speaker settings are ticked. This helps your computer to re-adjust preferences to the default settings (which may fix the problem in the event that a minor adjustment to your audio settings has had a knock-on effect with VoIP calls). Click Save to apply.
  • Next, select the Sounds tab from the menu on the left. If the box above 'Reset to default' says Enable all sounds click on it so it says Mute all sounds or alternatively click Reset to default. Click Save to apply.
    skype options sounds

Test the new changes you have made

  • Once you've adjusted your settings, it's time to test them out. Click on the Audio Settings tab again and this time select the link below entitled Make a free test call (highlighted in red)
    skype options audio settings
  • A new window will appear which signifies that Skype is performing a test call to see if your new settings have re-established the audio. You don't need to press anything; Skype will perform the check automatically.
  • If you can hear the automated response at the other end (informing you that this is a test call), then your speakers are absolutely fine

Skype will also automatically playback the call to you so that you can see whether the individual you're attempting to call can hear you. If you can hear yourself speaking, your mic is absolutely fine, which means that the other person is probably having audio problems and they should perform the same audio checks on their computer.

If the recipient of your call has managed their own settings and you still can't hear anything:

  • In Skype click on Call and then Learn about Call Quality; a pop-up will appear with on-screen advice and instructions
  • Alternatively click on the following link for a sound guide: Skype Sound Setup Guide

Try the sound again using external hardware

If you're still having audio troubles:

  • Use headphones to see if you can hear anything
  • Plug in an external microphone
  • Check your external speakers

Updated On:

Aug 01, 2012

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