N/APosted on - 06/02/2011
I am working already and it requires me to be in a call often. Problem is, I am having difficulty hearing the person on the other line mostly due to the poor quality line or noise background which in reality – does not exist. At first I suspected that I was not able to due a tuning wizard. So, the next day, I did a tuning wizard, but still the same thing. I still experience a poor quality call. I replaced my headset, still the same. Thinking it was just the Cisco IP Softphone that I am using, so I reinstalled it. That was the last option I know, but still there is no progress. I hope somebody can help me with this one.
Cisco IP SoftPhone Poor Audio Quality Issue
Softphone can be a dependable alternative to a real hardware IP phone. It becomes displeasure when some issues like call quality come up. Here are some scenarios to weed out the problem and why you are experiencing choppy audio during calls:
Check network traffic before and after a call from your Windows Task Manager via the “Networking” tab. Is it using up too much bandwidth? Are there any resources causing network traffic prior to the call? This is usually the first thing to look into for choppy audio since a Softphone is not a hardware phone but relies on an operating system connected to a network to function. Any network traffic that runs in parallel with a call (downloading, instant messengers, update managers) could make choppy audio during a call.
Are you by the by using an SSD (Solid State Device) hard drive? Some users reported choppy audio with the following hardware installed on their computers.
Using the Windows Task Manager via the “Processes” and “Performance” tab, monitor any applications using up memory and CPU cycles. End processes that aren’t required during a call, and monitor audio quality. Any memory hungry applications like browsers with too many tabs open, media players, and even the desktop window manager can contribute to degradation of the audio signal. Consider a RAM module upgrade if you are running with 1GB.
Some users reported bad audio during calls because of outdated soundcard drivers and directX. Download and upgrade both to improve performance during calls.
There also have been reports of Cisco IP Softphone users running via VPN that are experiencing choppy audio signals due to insufficient bandwidth. To correct the problem right-click on “Cisco IP Phone”, select “Preferences>Audio” and click on the “Network” button. Under Audio IP address select “Use this address” once and return the setting back to “Detect automatically”. Press OK, wait 5-10 seconds to reset and hopefully correct the audio issues. Also make sure that “Optimize for low bandwidth” feature is enabled by right-clicking on Preferences > Audio.
Do some active testing of different codecs to see which works best for you. Audio codecs include G.722 wideband, G.729ab, iLBC, G711ų, G.729b (Skinny Client Control Protocol [SCCP] only), G.729a, G.711a and (iSAC). Tweaking codecs should do the trick for some by providing a balance of audio quality versus performance. Stick to the codec that produces good audio quality on calls.
Call quality issues can be diagnosed by checking automatic gain control, noise suppression, adaptive jitter buffer, GQoS) support, IP Precedence (considering DSCP) audio priority, voice activity detection, acoustic echo cancellation as well as packet-loss concealment. All these settings contribute to audio call quality and are essentials to look into.