Overall, VoIP offers excellent call quality. On occasion, though, some users experience service deterioration, most commonly in the form of echo, choppiness, or delay. This is because VoIP breaks down audio into light packets for easy transfer over the internet. During this process, networks and hardware devices sometimes get in the way. Luckily, we’ve pinpointed all of the common problem areas. Take a look at the infographic below, provided kindly by the VoIP and telecom research firm Software Advice, and then let’s get started.
Troubleshooting VoIP Echo Issues
Echo results when a device’s microphone picks up sound from its receiver, resulting in “crosstalk.” Typically, interfering audio must be both loud and delayed for the user to even notice. In fact, a little bit of signal crossover is completely normal: It’s called “sidetone” — a feature available on some devices. It works by phasing audio signals in such a way as to prevent too much crosstalk.
If, however, such measures fail, it could indicate a volume problem. Try adjusting your speaker/headset level as well as the sensitivity of your microphone. Should this not work either, you can invest in an echo suppressor, which automatically turns off (listening) and on (speaking) audio transmissions. Unfortunately, such a feature may also lead to choppiness, another common nuisance.
Packet loss can cause as little as one syllable to drop from the audio. At its worst, it can drop full words and phrases from a conversation. To fix this problem, try reprioritizing your router’s QoS. As well, monitor bandwidth usage on your network; high-efficiency codecs work well to minimize usage without sacrificing call quality.
If the above does not do the trick, try giving all systems a reboot. Sometimes, this can fix any freak complications or force recent changes to take effect. As well, plugging your VoIP device into the router/modem can solve issues related to your network's wireless connectivity.
Defeat VoIP Delay
High latency connections (more than 150ms) prolong the time it takes a packet to reach its destination. The cause of delay may be something as simple as distance. To identify the problem, perform a ping or traceroute test. Consistent delay should not disrupt call quality too much. When the gap between data transfers fluctuates, however, this causes jitters. Jitters can be dealt with by tinkering with your system’s buffer size/rate. Persistent problems may indicate multiple interferences, so contact your provider for assistance if the jitters continue.
Alternate VoIP Troubleshooting Services
For a list of automated VoIP troubleshooting and monitoring services, click here. This article will direct you to various software solutions for Ethernet monitoring, debugging, traffic generating, network testing, and much more.
Do you have any other tips for combatting VoIP call quality issues? Please comment below, we would be happy to hear from you!