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How to Test Google Hangouts Audio and Video Settings

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Support.com Tech Pro Team
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Introduction

Before you get into a web conference call, it's best to make sure your settings are right. It's a great way to avoid the frustration of having to troubleshoot during a live call.

We'll show you how to make certain that others will be able to see and hear you, as well as you to hear others during your conference calls.

In this guide you will find instructions on how to start a test call, choose the correct camera, microphone and speakers. We'll also make sure your cam and mic aren't off to confirm your sound and video settings.

Before You Begin:

Google Hangouts is a web app that doesn't need to be installed on your computer. However, to get the best experience with Hangouts, it's recommended to use Google Chrome.

Google Hangouts Banner.

1 Test Audio and Video Settings in Hangouts

Google Hangouts offers a quick and easy way to test your audio and video settings before you get into a live conference call. Simply initiate a video call without inviting anyone to it. Your camera feed should load automatically. Then go to settings to test your audio devices.

  1. Open your web browser and navigate to hangouts.google.com.
    Web address highlighted in Google Chrome address bar.
  2. Initiate a Video Call with Hangouts.
    Video Call button highlighted in Google Hangouts.
  3. Sign in to your Google account if you're not already signed in.
  4. If you're launching Hangouts for the first time in the browser, you will be shown a prompt to allow the browser to access your camera and microphone.
    Allow Hangouts to use camera and microphone pop-up showing in browser.
  5. Make sure you click Allow in the prompt on the top left of your browser.
    Allow button highlighted on Google Chrome prompt asking for permission to use camera and microphone for Hangouts.
  6. Close out of the invitation box.
    Close button highlighted on invitation prompt in Google Hangouts.
  7. Look at the middle bottom and make sure your microphone and camera aren't turned off.
    Microphone and Camera Turned On
    Microphone, End Call and Camera buttons in Google Hangouts.If you see a white microphone or camera on a black background, it means others should be able to hear you or see you, respectively.
    Microphone and Camera Turned Off
    Microphone off, End call and Camera off buttons in Google Hangouts.If you see a black microphone or camera with a strikethrough on a white background, it means others should not be able to hear you or see you, respectively.
  8. You should already start seeing your camera's feed. If you don't see it yet, you can adjust it next.
    Camera feed showing in Google Hangouts.
  9. To further test your setup, click Settings in the top right.
    Settings icon highlighted in top right of Google Hangouts.
  10. Make sure you have the correct Camera, Microphone and Speakers selected.
    Camera, Microphone and Speakers selectors highlighted in Google Hangouts settings.
  11. Your camera feed should show next to the camera selector.
    Camera feed highlighted in Google Hangout settings.

    Place the webcam at eye level or slightly higher as people tend to look more flattering at this angle. If you have a laptop, you can grab a few books and place them under if necessary.

    Move your webcam closer or further from your face until you find the best angle that suits you. Try to place the webcam far enough away so that you are capturing your shoulders and entire face.

    Use plenty of light. Light should be coming from in front of your or even from the side. Experiment and use soft, indirect light to avoid glare and washout. Doing so should create a pleasant and clear image.

  12. To test your microphone, speak into it and you should see the volume bars change over the camera feed.
    Volume bars pointed out for selected microphone in Google Hangouts settings.
  13. To test your speakers, click the Test option to the right of the selected speakers.
    Test option highlighted next to the selected speaker in Google Hangouts settings.
  14. Once you're satisfied with your video settings click Done.
    Done option highlighted in Google Hangouts settings.
  15. Then end the call.
    End call button highlighted in Google Hangouts.

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Before you get into a web conference call, it's best to make sure your settings are right. It's a great way to avoid the frustration of having to troubleshoot during a live call.

We'll show you how to make certain that others will be able to see and hear you, as well as you to hear others during your conference calls.

In this guide you will find instructions on how to start a test call, choose the correct camera, microphone and speakers. We'll also make sure your cam and mic aren't off to confirm your sound and video settings.

Before You Begin:

Google Hangouts is a web app that doesn't need to be installed on your computer. However, to get the best experience with Hangouts, it's recommended to use Google Chrome.

Google Hangouts Banner.

Google Hangouts offers a quick and easy way to test your audio and video settings before you get into a live conference call. Simply initiate a video call without inviting anyone to it. Your camera feed should load automatically. Then go to settings to test your audio devices.

  1. Open your web browser and navigate to hangouts.google.com.
    Web address highlighted in Google Chrome address bar.
  2. Initiate a Video Call with Hangouts.
    Video Call button highlighted in Google Hangouts.
  3. Sign in to your Google account if you're not already signed in.
  4. If you're launching Hangouts for the first time in the browser, you will be shown a prompt to allow the browser to access your camera and microphone.
    Allow Hangouts to use camera and microphone pop-up showing in browser.
  5. Make sure you click Allow in the prompt on the top left of your browser.
    Allow button highlighted on Google Chrome prompt asking for permission to use camera and microphone for Hangouts.
  6. Close out of the invitation box.
    Close button highlighted on invitation prompt in Google Hangouts.
  7. Look at the middle bottom and make sure your microphone and camera aren't turned off.
    Microphone and Camera Turned On
    Microphone, End Call and Camera buttons in Google Hangouts.If you see a white microphone or camera on a black background, it means others should be able to hear you or see you, respectively.
    Microphone and Camera Turned Off
    Microphone off, End call and Camera off buttons in Google Hangouts.If you see a black microphone or camera with a strikethrough on a white background, it means others should not be able to hear you or see you, respectively.
  8. You should already start seeing your camera's feed. If you don't see it yet, you can adjust it next.
    Camera feed showing in Google Hangouts.
  9. To further test your setup, click Settings in the top right.
    Settings icon highlighted in top right of Google Hangouts.
  10. Make sure you have the correct Camera, Microphone and Speakers selected.
    Camera, Microphone and Speakers selectors highlighted in Google Hangouts settings.
  11. Your camera feed should show next to the camera selector.
    Camera feed highlighted in Google Hangout settings.

    Place the webcam at eye level or slightly higher as people tend to look more flattering at this angle. If you have a laptop, you can grab a few books and place them under if necessary.

    Move your webcam closer or further from your face until you find the best angle that suits you. Try to place the webcam far enough away so that you are capturing your shoulders and entire face.

    Use plenty of light. Light should be coming from in front of your or even from the side. Experiment and use soft, indirect light to avoid glare and washout. Doing so should create a pleasant and clear image.

  12. To test your microphone, speak into it and you should see the volume bars change over the camera feed.
    Volume bars pointed out for selected microphone in Google Hangouts settings.
  13. To test your speakers, click the Test option to the right of the selected speakers.
    Test option highlighted next to the selected speaker in Google Hangouts settings.
  14. Once you're satisfied with your video settings click Done.
    Done option highlighted in Google Hangouts settings.
  15. Then end the call.
    End call button highlighted in Google Hangouts.