Hi folks … as promised, here’s the first installment of Tech-o Tuesday! A text transcript of the show is available here … click here (or use the player below) to listen to episode #1! Thanks for listening, and please let us know if you have something you’d like us to focus on during an upcoming segment.
Notes and links from this week’s episode:Sound Problems on Skype
It’s really important to use a headset with a built-in microphone, and to use it properly, when you’re using Skype. Here are some examples why (with some suggestions on how to solve common problems):
NB: These are -real- bloopers; we couldn’t make this stuff up if we tried. 😀
- Speaking Without a Headset: [audio:http://www.languagelabunleashed.org/files/noheadset.mp3] — Buy and use a headset with a built-in microphone.
- Using Regular Headphones instead of a Headset: [audio:http://www.languagelabunleashed.org/files/loudtyping.mp3] — If you use just a regular pair of headphones, you won’t cause an echo, but any typing you do will come through loud and clear. Please use a headset with a built-in microphone.
- Playing with Your Headset, aka Headset Bowling: [audio:http://www.languagelabunleashed.org/files/headsetbowling.mp3] — Find a headset that fits you comfortably so you don’t have to constantly adjust it.
- Others Can Hear You, Even If You Whisper: [audio:http://www.languagelabunleashed.org/files/mutebutton.mp3] — Sometimes others can hear you, even if you can’t hear them – please use the built-in Mute button on your microphone, if you have one, or the Mute button on Skype if you need to speak to a third party without being heard.
- Breathing Directly Into Your Microphone: [audio:http://www.languagelabunleashed.org/files/breathing.mp3] — Make sure your microphone is not directly below your nose or right in front of your mouth.
- Coughing: [audio:http://www.languagelabunleashed.org/files/cough.mp3] — Again, use your headset’s built-in Mute button, or use the Mute button on Skype.
***UPDATE*** There’s an article over at LifeClever about how to have a Skype conversation on a laptop without a headset, and without producing echo or feedback. It’s a week old, but I just found it this morning (Wed 20 Jun) via LifeHacker. I haven’t tried this myself yet, and I don’t know how it affects the noise that comes through when you’re -typing- on your laptop at the same time as you’re having the conversation. I’ll post more information as I have it…
- For PCs
This is the model we use in our lab; they’re inexpensive and seem to hold up well. Most big-box retailers no longer carry this particular model, choosing instead to carry a more expensive model from the same maker. But you can still find headphones like this for under $30 at your local electronics store.
- For Macs
We use this model – it’s readily available online and in stores. Whatever you do, be sure to get a headset that connects via USB for your Mac. There’s a more expensive model from this maker that is identical, except it comes with a Mute button, but Skype has a mute function built in to the software.