We’ve all been stuck in that meeting where someone is having trouble with their audio, to the point where it's causing echo for everyone else. You know what I’m talking about… that problem where you hear things twice, or perhaps even worse, when you’re talking and your own voice is coming back to you. It’s hard to focus when this is happening, and it leads to resentment among colleagues… after all, who can’t figure out their audio issues?

Here at BlueJeans, we strive to provide the best possible audio with our Dolby Voice integration. That said, issues can still occur depending on the type of hardware that is being used and the placement in relation to other pieces of equipment. Thankfully, there are easy fixes for eliminating echo in your video meetings.

Identifying Echo

If you hear your own voice back as an echo, the problem is likely on another person’s side. However, if another person is hearing their audio echoing, the problem is likely on your side. This is easy to fix when there are only two people in the meeting.

However, when there are multiple attendees in the meeting, identifying the source of the echo can be more of a challenge. BlueJeans makes it easier by showing who is speaking in the “People” tab of the application. By looking in the “Who’s Talking” section, you can clearly see who is causing the issue.

In this example, Erica is speaking, but noise is also being generated from Kurt. This means that Kurt is the source of the echo. The moderator of the meeting can click on Kurt’s microphone icon to mute his audio stream and eliminate the echo.

For large meetings, one way to ensure that no echo occurs is to mute everyone upon entry. Users who need to take part in the conversation can then either by unmuted by moderators or use the space bar as a push-to-talk button. This way, echo only occurs if the cause is originating from the speaker rather than from everyone else in the meeting.

Tips for Reducing Echo

Knowing how to mute the echo source is great, until that person needs to participate in the meeting. Take the following steps to prevent echo from happening in the first place.
  • Avoid calling into the meeting from a phone located in the same room as the computer video endpoint. If you must use your phone, be sure to mute your computer speakers to avoid the echo.
  • Do not join a meeting from your laptop while connected to a room system, or while in a room with others who are also connected on their laptops. If you need to share content, join the “Screen Share Only Mode” to eliminate audio noise.
  • If using the built-in speakers on your laptop, try lowering the speaker volume.
  • If using an external microphone, move the microphone approximately one foot away from the speakers.
  • If none of these solutions work, use a headset or earbuds.

With these tips, you should be able to easily eliminate any lingering echo in your video calls. Doing so will ensure that you stay focused on the content of the meeting, and not on that annoying colleague with the echo problem. Also see a recent blog titled: A Guide to Fixing Mic Echo on Video Conference Calls