Is audio quality on your conference calls the bane of your life, yet, the teleconferencing company you are signed up to state it’s all your fault? No fear, let’s try and get to the bottom of these issues right now, dispel some myths and help you circumnavigate your conference call provider to ensure you’re getting the very best, or what to do if you’re not!
Audio quality can be a contentious point when things go wrong. We previously spoke about “cheap conference calls” being anything but cheap – mostly, due to audio issues that come with going with teleconferencing companies that potentially cut a few too many corners, thus, audio quality is one of the first factors to fall down.
In an attempt to debug audio issue, let’s first look at the different audio problems that can present themselves and the potential solutions to solve the issue:
Robot voice / Breaks in audio
Typically, breaks in audio and/or robot voice is usually a sign of lost packets of data. While some lost bytes of data for non audio files wouldn’t be an issue, for live audio calls, the impact is poor quality audio, but who’s fault is it? Short answer: could be anyones. However, here’s the likelihood:
Joining call by landline – low
Joining call by mobile – high
Dial in number – potential
Conference call provider – potentially high
To diagnose this issue, determine who on the call is this audio issue with, i.e., is everyone hearing audio break up/robot voice, or are all the issues coming from one person? If it’s an individual that’s hard to hear (for everyone), then it’s probably that individual. Are they on a mobile phone? Simply moving location to ensure they have good telephone reception could help tenfold. Likewise, if the connection is over the internet, again, is this via a minimum of 4G or something less?
However, if everyone is hearing everyone with issues, or, at least multiple; ESPECIALLY is issues are also with those on landlines (non-IP) phones, then the chances are that the issue is with the teleconferencing host.
Dropped call (individuals)
Some things to question; a) is the user on a mobile phone (have they got good phone reception?) b) are they dial in in from the same country, with the same dial in number? (if dial in from another country, but using wrong phone number, this can cause issues – due to the numerous bounces around the world that the audio could be passing by) c) does it happen frequently with this user? If so, ask them to dial in with different hardware, i.e., if using mobile, use landline.
Dropped call (all)
If it’s happening with everyone, at the same time, this screams of hosting issues at the conference call provider, whether it is with their data centre, or potentially with the third party that, perhaps they loan their phone numbers from.
How to resolve audio issues?
Solving audio issues with your conference call host can be a point of contention and quite typically in this industry, you’ll be snubbed straight away and told it’s your issue. As shown in the above issues, take these in to account when contacting the host – try and debug the issue by yourself. However, as a general rule, if you’ve tried connecting via numerous methods, i.e., landline, mobile and the issue is still occurring, the likelihood is that it’s the conference call provider that is at fault, thus, at this point, perhaps it’s time to start looking for a new teleconference provider.