Cloud Communications

Eliminating VoIP Echo: How to Spot and Solve the Problem

Hearing an echo? Experiencing choppy voice? While VoIP is an innovative system of telephony, voice quality issues including “VoIP echo” can sometimes occur.

Your voice travels across the phone system to the person on the other end and their phone’s speaker plays the sound. As their microphone captures the sound, it gets transmitted back to your phone as an echo. This phenomenon can be a hindrance to both the caller and the customer.

The causes of this issue are easily identifiable and fixable. If you’re experiencing an echo in your calls, here is how to spot the problem and remedy it!

High Receiver Volume

Man listening on phone headset.
Fig1. – VoIP echo can be caused by high receiver volume, electromagnetic interference, poor wiring, cordless phones as well as external influences.

Echo is commonly caused by high receiver volume.

Ensure that the volume on your telephone handset isn’t turned up too high. When calling, your set should be at no more than 50% of range (which is 100% of incoming volume).

When the other party answers, lower the volume using the keys located on the front of your phone. Remember to save these adjustments once you have successfully improved the voice quality.

Electromagnetic Interference

Another culprit of VoIP echo is electromagnetic interference. This occurs when your device is positioned in close proximity to high electrical fields. Computers and power strips can produce these surges of disruptive activity.

Relocate your VoIP device so other machines can’t affect it.

Poor Wiring

Damaged cables and faulty wiring can be responsible for VoIP echo and “crosstalk” (undesired signals picked up from a neighbouring circuit). Poor quality splitters and phone cables can lead to “bounce back” (signals bouncing back from where they came).

Inspect cables for water damage or wear and tear. Remove splitters and separate caller ID devices between the Integrated Access Device (IAD) and the phone. Upgrade phone cords if they appear to be of inferior quality.

Cordless Phones

While convenient, cordless phones can sometimes create voice issues.

If you are using cordless phones, try connecting a corded phone directly to your IAD and see if the issue resolves. You may need to implement corded phones to avert any further voice echo.

VoIP Echo Cancellation Complications

Echo cancellation is achieved by subtracting precisely the right portion of the transmitted signal from the return signal. Improperly configured echo canceller algorithms on the IP PBX, acoustic canceller difficulties on the destination speakerphone or defective cancellers in the carrier network gateway could also cause VoIP echo.

If troubleshooting on your end yields no discernible cause, the snag might be with inadequately installed hardware or software. Contact your service provider if you believe this to be the source of the problem.

Still Experiencing Echo?

If you have evaluated all of these factors and are still experiencing echo, it could be triggered by an external influence.

Is the echo prevalent during international calls? This could be because your provider is using a B or C level partner to facilitate calls to certain countries. This should be brought to the attention of your provider.

Do you experience a sudden drop in quality when conducting an initially clear call? This could be the result of network problems. Or perhaps your provider is working with a substandard partner carrier. Talk to your provider to better understand what is happening. You can make a decision about your course of action once you know if the issues are permanent.

Solutions for Choppy Voice

Choppy voice, broken voice or stuttering can sometimes occur when a computer application steals bandwidth away from a VoIP transmission.

Start by turning off all computers and see if the problem is still present. Determine if there are any applications running in the background that could be draining bandwidth. Scan your computers for potential viruses and malicious files.

If the problem still occurs after you run through these procedures, it may be due to a Duplex mismatch between devices. To solve this, ensure that your IP-PBX, switch port and WAN router interface are hard-coded so they do not Auto-negotiate.

Even the most sophisticated systems run into voice quality snags from time to time. Fortunately, they can often be solved once you know what to look (or listen) for.Still having issues? Contact Telecom Metric today!

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