SOLVED

Meeting participants' audio echoes back, distorted, through one user's channel

Occasional Visitor


Hello everyone,

 

Our organization holds Teams meetings with dozens of participants.  Most of us are using one of two different company-issued Windows 10 laptops.  For the most part, audio quality has been decent.  However, there is one persistent problem.

 

One of our meeting participants leaves her microphone on all the time.  When she speaks, her voice is clear.  However, when she is not speaking, her speech bubble still lights up, when other meeting participants are speaking.  What comes back is not background noise.  The high frequencies of other peoples' speech are echoed back, with distortion, through her audio channel.  There's a delay of about a quarter of a second.  It sounds like the other meeting participants are being deliberately interrupted by cicadas!  This compromises my ability to understand quite a few remarks.

 

I always mute myself when I am not speaking.  My computer is not participating in this audio feedback loop.

 

A few other users in our meetings also keep their microphones switched on at all times.  Their audio links do not feed back in this way.  Their speech bubbles do not light up when they are silent and other people are speaking.  As I mentioned, we're all using more or less the same hardware.  It makes me think that there is a software audio setting on her computer which was somehow configured differently than the rest of our computers.

 

I have spoken to this user and -- while she hasn't taken the obvious step of muting her microphone -- she is willing to troubleshoot her audio connection, provided that I can give her some constructive pointers.  There are several informal, ad-laden web pages out there with rather disorganized advice.  I am hoping to find an official Microsoft guide to Teams audio troubleshooting; or, someone here on this forum who understands the problem well enough to suggest some potential solutions.

 

Thanks!

2 Replies
First, can you mute her? If a gentle request for all participants to mute doesn't get her muted, it is proper etiquette to mute her. Or more specifically it is not proper etiquette to not mute, especially if your signal is interfering.
Since there seems to be feedback, the recommendation is to go to a headset. PC speakers and microphones really weren't made, nor positioned to work well as a telephone. It's pretty easy to hear who is on a PC microphone. And it is painstaking when the fan on their laptop turns on.
Odd feedback may be because she is using an external speaker as well.

Microsoft doesn't have a headset and audio certification program for the heck of it. They do it because so many options sound terrible. A Microsoft certified device will sound much better.
best response confirmed by adam deltinger (MVP)
Solution
Hi @John_Ladasky

1.) Use Hard Mute so she can't unmute herself until called upon
https://microsoft365pro.co.uk/2020/10/25/teams-real-simple-with-pictures-hard-mute/

2.) Get her using headphones with a mic full duplex so it doesn't pick up on the audio channel

3.) In her Teams settings, set noise suppression to high,
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/reduce-background-noise-in-teams-meetings-1a9c6819-137d-4...

and get an external mic for her full duplex which noise suppression built in. Like Blue Yeti

4.) When going into the next meeting get her to turn the sound off before joining. Teams will cache that setting and every time after she joins it should be set to audio off

Hope that these methods help and answer your question!

Best, Chris