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Improving Skype Audio in Windows
Author: Scott Nesbitt
Manufacturer: Skype
Source: Tech Tips
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Improving Skype Audio in Windows
January 25, 2007

Skype is arguably the most popular Web telephony service out there. Using Skype, you can easily make calls from one PC to another, or from a PC to telephone -- anywhere in the world.

One common complaint about Skype is that the quality of the calls varies widely. If you've used Skype for any length of time, you know what I'm talking about: echoes, sound delays, the sound dropping out, and even calls being dropped. There are a number of simple changes that you can make to both your system settings and the settings of your Skype client software to improve the audio quality of your Skype calls.

Setting Up Audio in Windows:

One of the first steps that you can take is to configure the audio settings in Windows. To do this, click Start > Control Panel and then double click Audio Devices. Make sure that on the Volume tab, the Mute option isn't selected.

Click the Audio tab. If the Sound Playback and Sound Recording options are set to the Windows default device, select a new option from the Default Device dropdown lists.

Next, click the Advanced button below the Sound Playback option. On the Speakers tab, select the kind of device that you're using to listen to Skype calls from the dropdown list. Since I use a headset when making Skype calls, I chose Stereo Headphones from the list.

Also, make sure that your volume settings aren't too high or too low. On the Volume tab, click the Speaker Volume button. This opens the Volume Control panel.

Adjusting the Line In and Volume Control settings to around the mid-point or slightly higher is usually good enough. But you may need to fiddle with the volume settings to get them where they're just right for you.

Setting Up Audio in Skype:

In Skype, there are a few settings that you can change to improve the quality of the audio. Click Tools > Options > Sound Devices.

If the Audio In and Audio Out options are set to Windows Default Device, select another option from the dropdown lists.

On my PC, for example, I selected SoundMax Digital Audio. Also, make sure that the Let Skype adjust my sound settings option isn't selected. While Skype tries to make your sound the best it can be, it doesn't do a great job. You're better off manually tweaking your settings.

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