Windows 10 Audio Troubleshooting Guide
An introduction and some troubleshooting steps to fixing common audio issues in Windows 10 with Zoom and Skype for Business.
Windows 10 Sound Settings
You can select your Output Device (where sound will come from - speakers or headphones) as well as change the volume. To change the Output device, you can click the dropdown menu that shows the name of your currently-select output device. To change the volume, you can simply drag the Master Volume slider.
Zoom Client Audio Device Settings
From here, you can directly select which audio devices Zoom will use by clicking the dropdown lists under Speaker or Microphone – that can mean either choosing a specific device, or choosing “Same as System” in which Zoom will defer to the Windows Sound Settings. You can also change the volume of your speakers from here, but you cannot directly change the volume of your microphone – you’ll have to do that in the Sound Settings mentioned above.
Quick tip: Set the Microphone volume to 100% in the Windows Sound Settings, and just check the box in Zoom to Automatically Adjust Microphone Volume. That will usually get you ideal audio levels.
From here you can select any of your available audio devices to change your microphone or your speaker, or you can click the "Audio Settings…" option at the bottom to open the full Audio Device Settings window shown above.
Skype for Business Audio Device Settings
To open the Skype for Business Audio Device Settings, first open your Skype for Business client by opening your Start menu and typing "Skype for Business." Then, click the grey Gear icon at the top right.
Select the Audio Device tab on the left.
From here, you can select your audio device and change volume levels of your speaker and microphone. Skype’s setting are slightly more restrictive in that you cannot select separate input and output devices – it wants to use a single audio device that supports both input and output (e.g. a desk phone, a headset, or a conference speaker with a built-in microphone).
Basic troubleshooting steps.
"How do I know which device to choose?"
Most devices will have relatively descriptive names – if you aren’t sure, all 3 settings windows have options to test the device.
The Windows Sound Settings output can be tested just by clicking on the volume slider – it will play a single tone. The microphone will have a bar under “Test your microphone” that will show the volume of input audio it’s receiving.
The Zoom Audio Settings have a Test Speaker button that will play a short tone out of the selected speaker. The Test Mic button will record a short section of audio input and play it back.
The Skype Audio Device settings are
similar to Zoom, with a green triangle button to test output and a volume input
bar next to the microphone.
"My microphone is too quiet."
Make sure your microphone volume is turned up in the Windows Sound Settings as shown above.
"My microphone doesn’t work."
"I'm using a front audio jack, and my microphone doesn't appear."
This can be caused by several things, and has to do with how particular Windows audio drivers see a device's physical audio jacks. Different devices will have different audio drivers, and thus different settings that may need to be modified. Please consult with your IT Pro before making any changes to your audio drivers or their settings. Two common audio driver managers are mentioned below.
For Dell devices using the MaxxAudioPro audio drivers, you can open the MaxxAudioPro application with your headset plugged in. Under the Playback tab, next to "Select Output Device", change it to "Headset."
For devices using the Realtek HD Audio drivers, you can open the Realtek HD Audio Manager in the Control panel. From the list at the bottom, click the jack that your headset is plugged into, and it will allow you to select the "Headset" option that will activate the microphone.