Can you name the most common complaint of tourists hotels, conferences or live events? It might be something along these lines: “There is no Internet. I am having Skype call issues. Please do something.”
Skype calls remain one of the most popular means to stay in touch with distant people. However, occasionally, the calls can leave behind a bad experience on your end, or the receiver’s. Whether you use a laptop, smartphone or tablet (with or without headset), follow the simple steps in this troubleshooting guide to overcome all your Skype woes.
We all hate those annoying, distracting echoes which bounce off the walls to create shrill noise patterns. If you make calls while going hands-free, use a Skype-certified headset, such as Sennheiser’s, to filter unwanted echoes. If you simply prefer holding the phone, the problem can be either at your end or the receiver’s microphone.
You can’t really expect too much from another person. But during a call you can request they download the latest version of Skype and lower the volume a bit. You need to lower your microphone volume as well.
Additionally, advise your receiver to keep their face twenty centimeters away from the mic. To avoid echoes it is important to make your call in a quiet place and at a safe distance from doors, windows and adjoining walls.
If you’re using the built-in Skype app on a Windows laptop, you can adjust the speaker and microphone volumes from Skype “Audio & Video” settings.
However, if you are using a phone, first download a Volume Control app such as “App Volume Control.” You must allow the installed app to become your default volume control mechanism. Following trial and error, you’ll be able to adjust the perfect speaker volumes for the Skype app.
Packet Delay Jitters
How annoying it is to hear your own voice played back to you before you can hear the person at the other end of the line? What is creepier is that it mimics your sound exactly… and never stops.
To solve this issue, first check if there are any latency issues with your Wi-Fi connection. You can download SpeedTest by Ookla to measure your Internet speed and check any potential latency. Technically, jitters happen when the round-trip delay for the packets are in the range of 200 to 300 ms. After you’re certain that the Wi-Fi is fine, all you have to do is remove your phone from obstructions such as furniture, walls and other people.
Webcam Not Working Properly
Sometimes while making a video call the video frame rate is unusually slow, and the person on the other end seems stationary. The problem can be fixed very easily by placing yourself next to a stationary background, such as a wall or sofa. This way Skype can focus on the core image (you) and fix your device in one place.
There is also a “techie” way to get around the problem if you’re making Skype calls on a Windows computer. Enter
%appdata% on the search bar, then select your Skype ID. Here you can see a Config XML file. Open it with a notepad or other text editors.
Once opened, add a line
<Fps>Frames per second number</Fps> below the video devices. Keeping the FPS between 25 and 30 is ideal for a smooth video call.
When you have Skype call troubles, Microsoft support usually does not offer much support, even though you are paying for a generous subscription. Their consistent argument is that your camera or microphone must be of poor quality. You might protest, “Whoa! But I just bought a new device!” Go figure.
However, by following the tips mentioned in this guide, you can make a decent Skype call even with average Internet speed.