Zoom can be one of the best pieces of software to use. It’s become one of the most used tools in the modern world, especially over the last few years (also see, ‘Zencastr vs Zoom‘).
However, as we all know – it’s critical that we can hear what is being said when we are using the Zoom app, otherwise, there is very little point in using it, to begin with!
If you can’t hear on a Zoom call, the usual reasons are either your speakers are muted, their microphone is muted, or through your settings.
Of course, though, it’s not always that simple. This guide will help you to understand what is going on with Zoom audio settings and why you might not be able to hear on Zoom.
Read on to learn more!
#1 Your Speakers
One of the most frequent reasons for poor audio quality and why you won’t be able to hear anything on Zoom meetings is because of your speakers.
Generally speaking, the audio output area is where you should look first before you do anything else.
You need to test your speaker settings on your computer on your Zoom window and make sure that they are not muted. You will usually find the settings for audio in the control panel of your computer.
If you are using your computer’s speakers and you are not using a secondary speaker system (such as headphones, Bluetooth speakers, or jack-connected speakers), then you should examine the settings.
On the bottom right-hand side of your computer screen, you should see a small speaker icon. Click the drop down menu, then click Test speaker button. From here, you can assess if you have your volume turned up and not set to mute.
If you have set this to mute, simply toggle this off and turn up the volume to the desired volume. If your volume is right the way down, simply set the volume slider to a louder setting.
If you do not see this speaker icon, there are other ways you can change this.
Depending on the age of your computer, you may need to access the settings through your computer’s control panel.
All you will need to do is click on the start button or the windows key.
This is usually in the bottom left hand corner of your computer screen. Select this and then search for your computer’s control panel.
If you do not initially see this on your drop down selections, you may be able to utilize the search bar function at the bottom.
Once you have accessed your control panel, look for the section that contains “speakers” and you should be able to make changes as applicable.
#2 Their Microphone
The second thing to check before you go and make further checks and changes is to ask the person you are speaking to via Zoom client to check their microphone settings (also see, ‘How To Make Your Mic Sound Better‘).
This is under the assumption you are just in a one-to-one Zoom meeting.
A microphone test will determine if the person’s microphone might be set to mute. If this is the case, you won’t be able to hear anything.
All they will need to do is to check if their microphone is muted, or if they are using the correct microphone. If it is, they will need to toggle the settings on (also see, ‘How To Make Your Mic Louder‘).
On top of this, even if their microphone is unmuted, they may still be having trouble getting their sound through to you.
This could be due to either a faulty microphone or the microphone is not compatible with the software or firmware.
ALSO SEE: Why Is My Mic Not Working
Background noise can also be an issue. If the person is in a noisy environment, the microphone may not pick up their voice clearly if at all (also see, ‘How to Reduce Background Noise On Mic‘).
In this case, they will need to move to an area with less noise or make use of headphones with a built-in mic.
The best way to check for this is for the person to use a number of different microphones, or if possible, using their computer’s default microphone.
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#3 Zoom Settings
When a meeting begins, you should see a prompt from Zoom asking you to use your computer’s audio settings, as well as video.
You have to allow Zoom to use your microphone, even if you plan to mute yours during the meeting.
If you deny Zoom access to your microphone, you will not be able to hear anything else in the meeting.
If you have not selected this setting, simply click the little microphone icon at the bottom of the Zoom screen and select “use computer audio”.
Wifi or cellular data connection can also be an issue with audio. A slow or weak connection could lead to choppy audio and potential disconnects.
So if the person you are speaking to is having any issues, they should make sure they have a strong connection before attempting to join the meeting again.
#4 App Settings
If you are using Zoom through an app, for example on your iPad, you may need to check the settings for several potential problems.
The first thing to do before anything else is check if the app needs an update. If it does, perform an app update before you continue.
If this has not solved the problem, then it is time to check your Zoom settings.
Using Apple products, you need to access settings and then scroll down until you see the Zoom app. Click on this and look if Zoom has access to your device’s microphone and speakers.
If it does not, once again, Zoom will not play any sound. You must ensure this setting is toggled on – even if you do not plan to speak during these meetings.
#5 Damaged Device
A less likely, but still possible, reason for Zoom being silent is that the device you are using could be damaged.
In order to check for this eventuality, simply access something like YouTube and check if you can hear these videos.
If you can, then you can safely assume your device is not damaged – and vice versa. You could also try using a secondary device for Zoom to assess if your primary device is damaged or not.
#6 Connected Speakers
You may have secondary connected speakers through Bluetooth or through an aux cable.
If you do, you have to check their specific settings and ensure they are correct. Once again, go through the same process as point number 1.
However, as your connected speakers are secondary to your default speakers, they may have different settings.
Check these as normal and toggle any muted speakers back on so you can hear sound.
The Bottom Line
There can be various reasons why you may not be able to hear when you are using Zoom.
However, before panicking about a broken device – check the basics first and ask the person you are in a meeting with to do the same.