If you find yourself on business or family video calls constantly, or gaming with friends online using headsets, then it is guaranteed that you’ve stumbled across echoing at some point.
The echoing can become extremely frustrating or even uncomfortable if it gets loud enough. It might not even bother you, but on the other side of the call, the echoes might be really bad.
So, I decided to take a look at what echoing is and How to Fix Echo in Headphones as quickly and easily as possible. But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Before I can discuss the solutions, we need to find the culprit.
What Is An Echo?
A quick search online will provide you with the definition of an echo. When it comes to your computer and headset, it is a similar situation. The echo is a delayed repetition of a specific sound that comes from reflecting off of another surface. Like a ball that gets hit against a wall and bounces back towards you.
Usually, a soundwave travels and reflects off a hard surface and travels back towards the listener. Softer surfaces will just absorb the waves. However, in the case of computer or headset audio, it is a little bit more complicated than a simple reflection off a hard surface.
During your Zoom or Skype meeting, sound can reflect off from the speakers. Likewise, other things that cause headphone echo are low-quality audio devices, a bad connection, or even just wrong audio settings. This makes troubleshooting difficult but not impossible. Running down the basics and checking everything is the first step.
Let’s dig in…
Why Echoes occur on Computers and Headsets?
Every computer, phone, and headset comes with individual settings and hardware, which can make troubleshooting a gruesome task. That said, it is important to check everything first before assuming that something is broken or needs to be replaced.
Sometimes a cyclical sound loop can cause echoing, created by the speakers and microphone. Sound enters the microphone, goes to the person on the other side. The sound from their device plays on your device, thus replaying the same sound, which is then sent from your speakers to your microphone, and so it continues.
Fortunately, this looped signal is usually the easiest and quickest to fix.
How to Fix Echo in Headphones
Find the source
The first thing to do is ask if any other person on the call has experienced echoing. If everyone on the call, except you, can hear the echo, the problem is on your side. Likewise, if only you can hear the echo, it is also your problem.
Hang up and redial
Sometimes the best option to fix headphone echo is to turn it off and on again. The same can be said for echoing on a call. The best way to do this is to have everyone on the call hang up and redial or start the video conference again.
Sure, it is a pain, but it has solved countless connection issues on video calls for me time and time again. Especially when I’m video calling my family on the other side of the continent.
Make sure there aren’t multiple devices in one room
If there are multiple devices on the same call in the same room, the microphones will pick up the sound from the other devices, and the looped signal, as mentioned earlier, will take place.
If you have no other choice but to use the same room, it is best to use headphones with microphones, so you don’t have to rely on the device’s microphone. This also means that the device won’t output the sound; instead, it will come from the headsets, keeping the room quiet and echo-free.
Lower the device’s volume
If you are stuck with only a laptop, with no headphones or microphone, you’ll have no choice but to use the built-in speakers and microphone. These are notorious for echoing, and there is very little you can do to stop it.
The best thing you can do, if you find yourself in this situation, is to turn the volume down. If the volume is low enough, the microphone might not pick it up.
Mute your microphone
If you’ve tried all of the above steps, it is best to simply just turn off the microphone. You can still talk, but switch it off once you’ve had your say. And keep it off till you need to talk again.
Move the microphone to a different place
If your external microphone is echoing, then it might need to be put in a different spot. The best thing to do is move it further away from the speakers of your device to lower the chance of any interference.
Another thing to do is to invest in a cardioid microphone. These microphones record mainly in one direction, which makes them easy to point away from any noises that might cause an echo.
Check your device settings
Sometimes, these problems might be caused by software issues like wrong settings or incompatible drivers. If you suspect it is software-related, try a different device with the same setup and see if it is better. If it is, then it’s time to troubleshoot your software and settings.
Troubleshooting Software Issues Causing Echo
Turn the “Microphone Boost” option off
Go to settings, then go to sound settings. Next, go to the microphone and select device properties. After that, go from the general tab to the levels tab. Here you can scale the boost slider off.
Reinstall or update headphones software
Many wireless headsets come with applications these days. Before uninstalling the software, check if it is updated. If it is, go to settings, apps and then uninstall the application before reinstalling it.
Unpair the device
This is for wireless headsets again. If you are still having issues, try unpairing the device from the Bluetooth device before repairing and connecting again.
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You may also like our useful guides on How to Remove a Broken Headphone Jack, Why Are My Headphones So Quiet, How to Fix Headphones When Only One Side Works, How to Disable a Headphone Jack for PC and Phones, How to Fix a Loose Headphone Jack, and Why do I Hear Static in my Headphones for more useful information.
How to Fix Echo in Headphones – Final Thoughts
Fixing an echo in your headphones could be a quick and easy operation. Or it could be an irritating, nagging issue that won’t get resolved soon. But, hopefully, this article has helped you find a solution to the echoing you are experiencing.
Remember to keep microphones away from loudspeakers and use a headset when sharing a room. And things should run smoothly for the most part.
Until next time, happy listening.