If your headsets are plugged into your computer and you cannot hear audio, try the troubleshooting steps below.
Adjust the playback device
This changes the audio device from which you will hear your general computer audio.
For example, if you switch this to your headset, then your email notification sounds, video streaming audio, and other audio will come through your headset. You can toggle this back and forth depending on your preference.
- Click on the volume icon in the taskbar, then click on the ^ at the top right of the window that pops up.
- Select the device you want to hear audio from.
TIP: Sometimes your computer may read certain USB or other devices (such as mobile phones) as an audio device, whether they actually are or not. If your audio stopped working and you recently plugged a new device in, check to see if your computer changed your playback device.
Adjust the default device
This changes the default computer audio vs. communication audio device. You can adjust this depending on your needs.
For example, you can set your built-in laptop speakers as your default computer audio device while at the same time setting your USB headset as your default communications audio device. That way, email notification and other system sounds will come through your laptop speakers, but when you pick up calls, call audio will switch to your USB headset.
- Right-click on the volume icon in the taskbar, then select Open Sound settings.
- If you're on an older version of Windows, the Sound Control Panel will automatically open. If you're on a newer version of Windows, a Settings window will open, but you can click Sound Control Panel on the right (if you don't see it, maximize the Settings window):
- A new window will pop up for the Sound Control Panel. In your Sound Control Panel's Playback tab, you'll set defaults for the devices you hear sound from. You can right-click your desired communications device and select "Set as Default Communication Device". It should then show another device as the Default Device, and the device you just changed as the Default Communication Device. Sometimes this takes a few tries - if you need help, please contact the Help Desk and we'll get you on the right track.
- After you're happy with your Playback device settings, you'll want to navigate to the Recording tab to set defaults for the devices you want other people to hear sound from. (
TIP: If people on a call say that you sound far away or distant, it might be that you have your Recording "default communications device" set as your built-in laptop speakers instead of your headset.
Computer doesn't recognize audio device
If your computer isn't even recognizing your external headset or speakers, there may be an issue with the audio driver, the audio jack or USB port, or the external device itself. For this and any other issues, please contact the Help Desk and we'll help you determine next steps (likely we'll need to update your audio drivers and restart your computer a few times).