How to Reduce Noise Sensitivity During Voice Chat on Skype

By David Weedmark

If you or your friend are hearing too much noise on a Skype call, the problem is almost always due to the speakers or microphone. Turn down the volume on your speakers or microphone first. If the noise still persists, or if you don't have external volume controls, check the sound levels on your computer. Skype is integrated into the Windows 8.1 operating system, so you'll need to use the Windows Sound settings to change the settings in Skype.

Check Your Sound Levels

Step 1

Type "sound” from the Windows Start screen to open the Search bar. Select "Settings" in the Search bar, then click "Sound" in the main window. This opens the Sound window.

Step 2

Click the "Playback" tab in the Sound window if you are hearing too much noise on your end of the Skype call. Select the speakers or headphones you are using for Skype, then click the "Properties" button.

Step 3

Click the "Levels" tab in the Headphones or Speakers Properties window. The levels use a scale from zero to 100. Drag the slider to the left to reduce the headphone's or speakers' sensitivity. In most cases, this should usually be set to "100," but if you are experiencing noise sensitivity, any level between 80 and 90 should give you adequate sound without too much noise. Click "Apply," then "OK."

Step 4

Click the "Microphone" tab in the Sound window if your microphone is transmitting too much noise during your call. Select the microphone you are using, click "Properties" and then click the "Levels" tab.

Step 5

Drag the "Microphone Boost" slider to "0.0 dB" if it's not at zero already. The purpose of the boost is to make faint sounds audible, which can sometimes result in background noise. If your microphone was using a boost, this was likely the cause of the unwanted noise, so you should be able to set the "Microphone" slider to "100" now.

Step 6

Drag the "Microphone" slider to any level between 80 and 90, if the Boost was already at "0.0 dB." Click "Apply," then "OK."

Step 7

Test your Skype call by talking and listening to the other person for a few seconds, then go back and readjust the levels if still required. If the sound is okay, you can close the Sound window and enjoy your Skype call.

Troubleshooting Noise Sources

Step 1

Move the microphone so it is closer to your mouth and farther away from any potential noise source, like a PC fan or television. Many microphones are directional in nature, so if the microphone is on a short cable, simply turning it away from the noise source may eliminate the problem.

Step 2

Move the speakers or microphone so that they are at least a foot away from each other. If the microphone picks up sound from the speaker it can cause a feedback loop, creating a buzzing or ringing noise.

Step 3

Close any apps on your computer that may be accessing data on the Internet. If you don't have sufficient bandwidth, this can produce strange robotic noises during your call, and it can cause words to be skipped and delays in the conversation.

Step 4

Ask the person you're talking to to check his microphone and speakers, if you're satisfied that the problem isn't on your end of the call.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you hear your own voice echoing on a call, the problem is likely because your speakers are too close to the microphone. If your friend hears his voice echoing, his speakers are probably too close to the microphone.
  • Information in this article applies to Skype Desktop on Windows 8.1. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.