General Troubleshooting: Echo

What is Echo?

You are experiencing echo if you can hear what you just said after a short delay.

Identifying the Source:

Note:

  • If you are hearing your voice echo back to you during a video call, the issue is NOT caused by your end.
  • This is caused by one of the other users in the video call. Whenever your voice is played through the other users' speakers, their microphones are picking up your voice and are sending it back to you. 
  1. Find the source of the echo by first identifying whose microphone is causing this.
  2. Ask the other users in the call to mute their microphones one-by-one until you don't hear the echo anymore.
  3. When you don't hear echoing anymore, you've located the source of the echo. 

Once you've identified the source, follow the steps below. If you're not the cause, you can send this to the other user to have them troubleshoot. 

If you're on a Highfive device:

  1. If the echo was only heard during the first 30-90 seconds of the call, or since the start of a new participant joining the call, this is due to our echo canceler converging during that time and not an issue. The echo should stop itself after this time.
  2. Make sure that all settings on the TV related to audio processing/enhancements (bass boost, surround sound, 3D sound, etc.), audio dynamics, audio latency and delay are turned OFF and delays set to "0". Ideally, the audio settings should be as default and normal as possible.
  3. Ensure that the TV's speakers are not pointed at the Highfive device. Some models may have upwards-pointing speakers that can contribute to echo if the Highfive device is on top of the TV, for example.
  4. For larger and more challenging room environments that contribute to echoing, you can hang textiles to absorb reverberation.
  5. As a final step, you can perform an audio recalibration on the Highfive device to ensure your room/TV configuration has been updated to the device. To do so, simply hold down the Reset button behind the unit for 10 seconds. The TV screen will flash and the device will begin reconfiguration. 

If you're on a computer:

  1. Ensure that you're not in an environment that promotes echo (larger and more challenging room environments). If can, try to move to somewhere smaller with less room for sound to reverberate. 
  2. Disable all external microphones or speaker equipment if you're using a laptop with a built-in microphone/speakers.
  3. On a Mac computer: "un-check"  the “Ambient Noise Reduction” checkbox in macOS System Preferences => Sound => Input tab.
  4. Try using headphones to guarantee the separation of sound coming from your speakers and being picked up by your microphone. This keeps the speaker audio from being picked up by the computers microphone and getting played back to you. Don't forget to update these settings within Highfive by clicking on the cogwheel on the lower-lefthand side of the Highfive window.
  5. Some laptops are particularly challenging when it comes to echo cancellation in general - Lenovo Thinkpads (especially X1 Carbon) are a good example. 

 

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