0

Since COVID hit the world we've all been doing a lot more video calls for work. For me that's been no different and I'm doing calls every day. I had a steelseries arctis 7 headset for a while, but people kept complaining that my microphone output was too low. At the same time I didn't feel like wearing a headset all day anymore.

So I decided to upgrade; I bought a HyperX Quadcast and Rode PSA1 to improve the microphone quality and that immediately did the trick. However, since I was using my screen's speakers to listen to the conversation in the call, the audio from the video call was being fed into the microphone which caused an echo for everyone else in the call.

The microphone is located directly in front of the screen, but it is set up to use "cardioid". My room is quite small and I figure the sound is being reflected off of the wall behind me.

So my question is this: How can I get my setup to work as I intended without using headphones?

Possible solutions I came up with:

  • Buy speakers and face them away from me so that the sound doesn't get reflected
  • Use some software to filter out the incoming audio (if that exists or is even possible)
  • Add some sort of other hardware solution to filter the sound (but I wouldn't know what that could be)
  • Send it all back and just get a new headset with a better microphone (although I would really prefer not to do this)

As you can probably tell by now, I'm no sound specialist at all; I'm just trying to make my daily life a bit more pleasant :-)

I looked at how streamers do this but apart from "lowering volume of the speakers significantly" I haven't found a real solution.

4
  • Use push to talk? Nov 24 '20 at 19:34
  • I would but it isn't always possible with some (older) conferencing tools I'm obligated to use. Nov 24 '20 at 19:54
  • Moving your microphone closer to your mouth and reducing its sensitivity may help. You could also use whatever headphones (without a boom mic) or earphones you find comfortable with your mic.
    – Graham Nye
    Nov 25 '20 at 1:55
  • I don't think this is quite on topic here - seems to veer towards consumer. In reality, using a mic with speakers has no "ideal" - you are making trade-offs, as you cannot fully separate the audio output from the speakers from the mic.
    – Rory Alsop
    Nov 26 '20 at 10:22
0

As Rory's given this a 'half pass' as being vaguely on-topic, let me throw in a quick answer…

Essentially, any sound that reaches the mic will re-transmit back to your other participants. This is just physics, no way round it.

Headsets get around that by the simple expedient of the mic not being able to hear the headset speakers. Problem solved.

Phones and dedicated desktop 'meeting' mics get around it by attempting to run noise-cancellation algorithms. To do this with any accuracy at all you need precise measurements of the distances between speakers & mics - you can't do it in an 'open' system.

The only half hope you might have is if you can physically reverse the phase of one of your speakers against the other. On a regular old bare wire connection, you do this by simply swapping the red & black wires on one speaker, it might be harder with a modern plugged structure.
If you do this, then in theory - & it will never work perfectly in practise - directly in front & centre of this stereo pair, anything in mono will be phase-cancelled. In effect it will sum to a zero signal, the mic won't hear it.

In your own stereo-capable head, it will sound like the speech is coming from almost everywhere except the speakers & is a tad disorienting, but for the mono mic, it will hear almost silence.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.