Connecticut Shoreline Studio for Music Lessons
in Voice, Piano, Guitar & the Fundamentals of Music

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Connecticut Shoreline Studio for Music Lessons
in Voice, Piano, Guitar & the Fundamentals of Music

Clef Notes

Can You Hear Me Now?

This blog post is part-one of many posts to come addressing everything Zoom. At first glance, Zoom seems straightforward and simple enough with few buttons and settings.  So how hard can it be? But things go awry and usually at the worst time. This first post will discuss everything audio related. Let’s get you equipped with some tools so you are ready to troubleshoot any audio issues that may arise. 

Upon joining a Zoom, you will see a pop-up window with the options Join with Computer Audio and Test Speaker and Microphone. If you are using a new device or have experienced audio issues in the past, running this test is a good place to start. 

Zoom Join Audio

Once the Zoom is launched, the Mute button in the lower left corner is the next place to go. 

Zoom Select Microphone

By selecting the small carrot next to the microphone icon, you get a list of options as well as an additional Audio Settings menu.

Zoom Audio Settings

I Can’t Hear Them

This can mean a speaker issue on your end or a microphone issue on their end.  Let’s go through the following questions:

  • Do you have a built-in microphone and speaker? If you have a newer device the answer is probably yes. In most cases the Built-in Microphone and Built-in Output are the options you want checked ✓ off in the Audio Settings. However, you can choose a different speaker from the list if your device is connected directly or wirelessly.
  • Is your speaker turned on? Is the volume up? Try adjusting the volume controls on your device. Even if the volume is turned up, the Mute button on your device (not Mute within Zoom) may be overriding the volume controls.
  • Do you have headphones? Try plugging in or connecting a bluetooth set of headphones.  
  • Is your bluetooth connected to another device? It is possible somewhere near you is a headset or speaker that is playing your audio. Try turning off the bluetooth on your device completely.  
  • Have you restarted your computer?  Never underestimate the power of a good, hard restart. Fully powering down your device, waiting a proper 10 seconds, then rebooting is sometimes all it takes for your device to get sorted out.  Wouldn’t it be nice if humans had a button like this!

They Can’t Hear Me

This problem is likely due to your microphone settings.  Consider these questions and settings:

  • Is your microphone turned on? In Zoom, when the icon shows Mute you are live and being heard. When the icon shows Unmute with a red slash through the icon you are muted and you are not being heard.
  • Is the host controlling your muting capabilities? As the host there is an option within the Security settings that allows participants to Unmute themselves or not.
  • Is your computer blocking you from using the microphone? Security permissions within your device let you control what apps can access your microphone. Make sure Zoom has been given permission. Steps for how to find these settings can be found on this webpage for Mac users and here for Windows users. 
  • Is another app or website using the microphone? Close out any applications or browsers that could be accessing it and preventing Zoom from connecting. 
  • Have you Turned On Original Sound? This setting takes away the echo cancelling and sound enhancing effects that Zoom applies to the sound it absorbs. The result is unedited audio directly from your microphone. The steps for enabling this setting are outlined here

When all else has failed, consider uninstalling and reinstalling Zoom on your device.  Sometimes you need a fresh start. Zoom Support provides the steps here.

Troubleshooting steps for the Zoom mobile app are similar and detailed on this Zoom Support webpage.

3 thoughts on “Can You Hear Me Now?”

  1. NICE WORK, Melissa! My favorite part: “Wouldn’t it be nice if humans had a button like this!?” I will keep this handy for all my next Zoom calls as the microphone is a constant problem for me, and it will be nice to have an organized checklist to go through while under duress.


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