Topic Last Modified: 2011-03-11

Issue   Incoming or outgoing sound quality is poor in Microsoft Lync 2010.

Resolution   Audio quality in Lync 2010 depends on the condition and quality of the devices and network. If there are audio-quality issues, check the following:

The following sections provide details about each item in the preceding list.

Check That the Device Is Set Up Correctly

Lync setup should detect your phone and any other compatible unified communications devices you are using, such as an IP phone, headset, webcam, microphone, and speakers. You can also add devices after you install Lync. 

To ensure that your devices are set up correctly, do the following:

  1. In the lower-left corner of the Lync main window, click the audio device menu, and then click Audio Device Settings.

  2. In the Lync - Options dialog box, click Audio Device, and then configure your phone, speaker, microphone, and volume levels. You can select your primary audio device and test the levels of your microphone and speakers.

If you need to switch devices during a conversation, click the audio device menu, and then click the appropriate device in the menu.

When setting up an IP phone, it is important that it is connected correctly. Check the following:

  • Power cord   Make sure the power cord is plugged into a power outlet, and the other end of the power cord is securely connected to the phone.

  • Network cable   Make sure one end of the network cable is plugged in to the network jack marked LAN, typically on the back of the phone, and the other end of the network cable is plugged in to a network jack on the wall.

  • USB cable   Make sure the Type A (larger, rectangular) end of the USB cable is plugged in to the computer, and the Type B (smaller, square) end of the USB cable is plugged in to the back of the phone.

Check That the Device Is Compatible with Lync 2010 and Working Properly

To improve device audio quality, try the following:

  • Use a device optimized for Lync. For a list of devices that are optimized for Lync, see “Phones and Devices Qualified for Microsoft Lync” at

  • Uninstall any third-party, value-add audio drivers or software.

  • Replace any defective or damaged devices.

  • Use a headset to avoid echo.

  • If using a noise-canceling microphone, make sure it is positioned approximately two centimeters (slightly less than one inch) away from your mouth. This filters out unwanted background noise.

  • Use an IP phone, if you:

    • Are doing CPU-intensive work.

    • Need uninterrupted phone access. Your USB phone, for example, does not work when your computer is in sleep mode.

    • Have enough bandwidth. Using an IP phone may reduce the bandwidth available to other programs and services.

  • If you hear a buzzing noise when using a headset connected to an IP phone, make a test call, and then adjust the volume setting on the headset until the buzzing noise is gone.

  • If using two separate devices for rendering and capturing audio (such as computer speakers and webcam), try to place them at an appropriate distance from each other to minimize echo.

  • When using the speaker on your phone and callers complain about background noise, make sure that the phone is placed on a flat surface. Also, make sure that there is no obstruction between the phone and your mouth.

  • If your device is plugged into a docking station, unplug it, and then plug it directly into your laptop.

  • Check for Windows updates: Click Start, click All Programs, and then click Windows Update.

Lync is designed to handle a wide range of devices while still maintaining high quality audio and video. However, certain devices might cause echo in the call. To reduce echo for a problematic device, Lync triggers a voice-switching mode that limits the ability for two people to speak at the same time.

Check Other User’s Devices

Audio quality issues might be caused by the audio device that another caller is using. For troubleshooting details, see Audio Issues from Another's Device.

Check Network Connectivity

Poor network connectivity can affect the audio quality of your calls. Do the following to improve network quality:

  • If you are making a long distance call, try switching to a landline.

  • We recommend that you do not make calls over a wireless Internet connection (Wi-Fi), virtual private network (VPN), or remote access service (RAS) connection.

  • If you can, stop unnecessary audio or video.

  • Check whether other computers on the network are using a lot of resources or performing heavy downloads or uploads, and see if they can be delayed or halted.

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