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Troubleshoot Slack Audio Not Working

Authored by:
Support.com Tech Pro Team
This Guided Path® was written and reviewed by Support.com’s Tech Pro team. With decades of experience, our Tech Pros are passionate about making technology work for you. We love feedback! Let us know what you think about this Guided Path® by rating it at the end.

Introduction

Slack is a business-focused way to collaborate with audio, video, and screen share remotely. Because there are so many parts being brought together by Slack to make this happen, things can go wrong, but this guide will help you solve the vast majority of problems you may run into.

Covering the basics of possible audio problems you may be having, offering solutions to poor audio quality, and walking you through using a phone if you need to be in your meeting now, this guide covers each quickly and directly.

Before You Begin:
  • If you're using a headset, make sure it's plugged into your computer.
  • If you're using an external speakers and microphone, make sure they're plugged into your computer.
Slack.

1 I Can Hear Others, but They Can't Hear Me

In most cases, if you can hear your colleagues but they can't hear you, either your microphone is muted, or not plugged in.

Check Mute

Slack provides a quick mute when you're on a call. Make sure it wasn't set by accident.

Unmuted
Slack Unmuted.

Make sure the microphone is white and does not have a slash through it.

Slack controls with microphone active and highlighed.
Muted
Slack Muted.

The microphone button will be gray in color with a red slash through it.

Slack controls with Microphone deactivated and highlighted.

Source and Destination

Your computer has many audio sources and destinations, many of which you may simply not be using, but got set as default on accident. A quick check of where Slack is listening and playing audio can solve many problems you may have.

  1. While on a call, select the Settings gear in the top-left corner.
    Slack call with Settings highlighted.
  2. Make sure the proper Audio settings are selected.
    Settings with Audio source and Destination highlighted.
    • Microphone
      • Some computers have a "Line In" and "Microphone" option for inputs, try each if you're not sure.
      • The small meter below the microphone will light up to indicate if Slack can hear anything, try speaking after changing the setting to see if the lights change.
    • Speakers
      • Many computers will have many different audio out devices, and each setup will be slightly different.
      • Click the Test button to the right to hear a test sound played on whichever speaker you have selected.

Microphone Connection

Analog
Make sure the microphone is plugged into the Pink audio port.Analog audio connection showing pink plug going into pink port and lime green plug going into lime green port.
Digital
USB ports may have more or less power, and sometimes some USB ports don't have enough power. Try using a different USB port on your computer.USB port and connector

Check Headset Mute

Some headsets have a mute button. Make sure your microphone is not muted by pressing it one time.

There is usually a small light next to a mute button; if the light is on, your microphone is muted!

Check Input Volume on Computer

The volume set on your mic may be set low, it's good to check the settings to be sure it wasn't changed accidentally.

WindowsWindows
  1. Using your right mouse button, Right click on the speaker in your System Tray, and select Open Sound settings.
    Windows System Tray with speaker icon highlighted with right mouse button near by, with menu open, and Open Sound settings highlighted.
  2. Under Input, select Device properties.
    Sound settings with Input Device Properties highlighted.
  3. Make sure Disable is not checked, and make sure the volume is at a reasonable volume.
    Device properties with disable box unchecked and volume meter highlighted.
    A volume between 50 and 75 is usually appropriate.
AppleApple macOS
  1. Open the Apple Menu, then select System Preferences.
    Apple Menu with System Preferences highlighted.
  2. Select Sound.
    System Preferences with Sound highlighted.
  3. Select the Input tab at top, and make sure the Input volume is at a reasonable volume.
    Sound preferences with Input tab and input volume highlighted.
    A volume between 50 and 75 is usually appropriate.

2 I Can't Hear Anybody, but They Can Hear Me

If you're seeing in text chat that you can be heard, but you can't hear anyone else, either your sound is muted, turned down too low, or the wrong source is selected in GoToMeeting.

Source and Destination

Your computer has many audio sources and destinations, many of which you may simply not be using, but got set as default on accident. A quick check of where Slack is listening and playing audio can solve many problems you may have.

  1. While on a call, select the Settings gear in the top-left corner.
    Slack call with Settings highlighted.
  2. Make sure the proper Audio settings are selected.
    Settings with Audio source and Destination highlighted.
    • Microphone
      • Some computers have a "Line In" and "Microphone" option for inputs, try each if you're not sure.
      • The small meter below the microphone will light up to indicate if Slack can hear anything, try speaking after changing the setting to see if the lights change.
    • Speakers
      • Many computers will have many different audio out devices, and each setup will be slightly different.
      • Click the Test button to the right to hear a test sound played on whichever speaker you have selected.

Check Volume in the Operating System

You can adjust the volume on your computer, and sometimes this gets set too low or muted by mistake.

WindowsWindows

Select the speaker near the clock in your System Tray, usually in the bottom-right corner of your screen. You are able to move the slider back and forth to increase and decrease the volume.

Windows System tray with speaker highlighted and volume meter open and slider highlighted.
AppleApple macOS

Select the Speaker on the top-right of your Menu bar. You can use the slider to adjust the volume.

Mac Volume adjustment

3 I Hear an Echo, Static or Audio Sounds Bad

If your colleagues mention your audio quality is poor, or the audio you hear sounds bad, there are a few things you can check.

  • Use a Headset
    If possible, use a headset. Because your mic will pick up whatever is playing from your speakers, including your colleagues and your voice, it can cause a feedback loop. If possible, switch to using a headset and mic, so your mic won't pick up the sounds playing.
  • Turn Off Other Sources of Audio on Your Computer
    Some audio devices don't 'mix' audio well, and can degrade the quality of everything. Turn off any videos, music, or other audio you may be listening to while on the conference.
  • Replug Devices
    Analog Devices
    MinijackAnalog audio devices connect using a minijack. Both the jack and the port on the computer can end up with little bits of dust which can cause audio to crackle, have static, or drop out. The simple fix is to unplug and replug the device, this removes the dust and tends to fix the problem.
    USB Devices
    USB DeviceUSB Devices aren't as susceptible to dust, but because of how modern computers work, there could be not enough power on certain USB ports to power the device. Switch to a different USB port on your computer and try again.
  • Close Other Programs
    If the audio quality is poor, it's possible your computer doesn't have enough power to encode the audio quickly enough because other programs are running in the background. Close the other programs you're not using on your computer.
  • Reboot Your Computer
    If you're unable to find any programs to close, or if there's updates waiting to apply on your computer, it's possible this, too, could cause audio problems. Rebooting your computer can solve these problems.
Dedicated Audio Troubleshooting Guide
We offer a separate, dedicated guide that will help you check a number of other options with the audio on your computer that may help further.

4 Testing Audio and Video

Slack does not offer a way to run a "test meeting" or make a "test call". Instead, they offer a test page that will check the underlying technologies for you, and let you know if anything is wrong.

  1. Open your preferred browser on the device you want to test, and go to the Slack Connection Test Page.
    Chrome browser with address filled in and highlighted.
  2. If prompted, log into Slack.
    1. Enter your Slack Workspace URL, then select Continue.
      Test website with Workspace URL and Continue highlighted.
      If you're not sure and use the Slack Desktop Client.Click your Company name and name on the top-left, the Workspace URL will be listed about half-way down.
      Slack Desktop Client with Options menu and Workspace URL highlighted.
    2. Enter your Email address and Password, then select Sign in.
      Sign into Slack with Email address, Password, and Sign in button highlighted.
  3. Wait while Slack automatically tests your connection.
    If you are prompted during the test to allow access to your Microphone or Camera, select Allow.
    Prompts to use microphone and camera, each with Allow button highlighted.
  4. Once complete, Slack will test your Microphone, Camera, Network, Connectivity, and Throughput, to ensure you'll have a smooth conference experience. Any problems will be shown here, as well; for example, if you do not have a webcam, you won't be able to show your video.
    Test results page with all clear items highlighted.
    If you are unsure how to proceed, there is a link right on the test page to contact Slack support. There is a URL you can copy and send to support which will help them provide tailored solutions.

Further Testing

If you'd like to test your setup further, you will need to ask one of your co-workers on Slack if you can make a quick test-call with them.

After messaging your co-worker, select their portrait, then select Call.
Slack with profile open, portrait and call highlighted.

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Slack is a business-focused way to collaborate with audio, video, and screen share remotely. Because there are so many parts being brought together by Slack to make this happen, things can go wrong, but this guide will help you solve the vast majority of problems you may run into.

Covering the basics of possible audio problems you may be having, offering solutions to poor audio quality, and walking you through using a phone if you need to be in your meeting now, this guide covers each quickly and directly.

Before You Begin:
  • If you're using a headset, make sure it's plugged into your computer.
  • If you're using an external speakers and microphone, make sure they're plugged into your computer.
Slack.

In most cases, if you can hear your colleagues but they can't hear you, either your microphone is muted, or not plugged in.

Check Mute

Slack provides a quick mute when you're on a call. Make sure it wasn't set by accident.

Unmuted
Slack Unmuted.

Make sure the microphone is white and does not have a slash through it.

Slack controls with microphone active and highlighed.
Muted
Slack Muted.

The microphone button will be gray in color with a red slash through it.

Slack controls with Microphone deactivated and highlighted.

Source and Destination

Your computer has many audio sources and destinations, many of which you may simply not be using, but got set as default on accident. A quick check of where Slack is listening and playing audio can solve many problems you may have.

  1. While on a call, select the Settings gear in the top-left corner.
    Slack call with Settings highlighted.
  2. Make sure the proper Audio settings are selected.
    Settings with Audio source and Destination highlighted.
    • Microphone
      • Some computers have a "Line In" and "Microphone" option for inputs, try each if you're not sure.
      • The small meter below the microphone will light up to indicate if Slack can hear anything, try speaking after changing the setting to see if the lights change.
    • Speakers
      • Many computers will have many different audio out devices, and each setup will be slightly different.
      • Click the Test button to the right to hear a test sound played on whichever speaker you have selected.

Microphone Connection

Analog
Make sure the microphone is plugged into the Pink audio port.Analog audio connection showing pink plug going into pink port and lime green plug going into lime green port.
Digital
USB ports may have more or less power, and sometimes some USB ports don't have enough power. Try using a different USB port on your computer.USB port and connector

Check Headset Mute

Some headsets have a mute button. Make sure your microphone is not muted by pressing it one time.

There is usually a small light next to a mute button; if the light is on, your microphone is muted!

Check Input Volume on Computer

The volume set on your mic may be set low, it's good to check the settings to be sure it wasn't changed accidentally.

WindowsWindows
  1. Using your right mouse button, Right click on the speaker in your System Tray, and select Open Sound settings.
    Windows System Tray with speaker icon highlighted with right mouse button near by, with menu open, and Open Sound settings highlighted.
  2. Under Input, select Device properties.
    Sound settings with Input Device Properties highlighted.
  3. Make sure Disable is not checked, and make sure the volume is at a reasonable volume.
    Device properties with disable box unchecked and volume meter highlighted.
    A volume between 50 and 75 is usually appropriate.
AppleApple macOS
  1. Open the Apple Menu, then select System Preferences.
    Apple Menu with System Preferences highlighted.
  2. Select Sound.
    System Preferences with Sound highlighted.
  3. Select the Input tab at top, and make sure the Input volume is at a reasonable volume.
    Sound preferences with Input tab and input volume highlighted.
    A volume between 50 and 75 is usually appropriate.

If you're seeing in text chat that you can be heard, but you can't hear anyone else, either your sound is muted, turned down too low, or the wrong source is selected in GoToMeeting.

Source and Destination

Your computer has many audio sources and destinations, many of which you may simply not be using, but got set as default on accident. A quick check of where Slack is listening and playing audio can solve many problems you may have.

  1. While on a call, select the Settings gear in the top-left corner.
    Slack call with Settings highlighted.
  2. Make sure the proper Audio settings are selected.
    Settings with Audio source and Destination highlighted.
    • Microphone
      • Some computers have a "Line In" and "Microphone" option for inputs, try each if you're not sure.
      • The small meter below the microphone will light up to indicate if Slack can hear anything, try speaking after changing the setting to see if the lights change.
    • Speakers
      • Many computers will have many different audio out devices, and each setup will be slightly different.
      • Click the Test button to the right to hear a test sound played on whichever speaker you have selected.

Check Volume in the Operating System

You can adjust the volume on your computer, and sometimes this gets set too low or muted by mistake.

WindowsWindows

Select the speaker near the clock in your System Tray, usually in the bottom-right corner of your screen. You are able to move the slider back and forth to increase and decrease the volume.

Windows System tray with speaker highlighted and volume meter open and slider highlighted.
AppleApple macOS

Select the Speaker on the top-right of your Menu bar. You can use the slider to adjust the volume.

Mac Volume adjustment

If your colleagues mention your audio quality is poor, or the audio you hear sounds bad, there are a few things you can check.

  • Use a Headset
    If possible, use a headset. Because your mic will pick up whatever is playing from your speakers, including your colleagues and your voice, it can cause a feedback loop. If possible, switch to using a headset and mic, so your mic won't pick up the sounds playing.
  • Turn Off Other Sources of Audio on Your Computer
    Some audio devices don't 'mix' audio well, and can degrade the quality of everything. Turn off any videos, music, or other audio you may be listening to while on the conference.
  • Replug Devices
    Analog Devices
    MinijackAnalog audio devices connect using a minijack. Both the jack and the port on the computer can end up with little bits of dust which can cause audio to crackle, have static, or drop out. The simple fix is to unplug and replug the device, this removes the dust and tends to fix the problem.
    USB Devices
    USB DeviceUSB Devices aren't as susceptible to dust, but because of how modern computers work, there could be not enough power on certain USB ports to power the device. Switch to a different USB port on your computer and try again.
  • Close Other Programs
    If the audio quality is poor, it's possible your computer doesn't have enough power to encode the audio quickly enough because other programs are running in the background. Close the other programs you're not using on your computer.
  • Reboot Your Computer
    If you're unable to find any programs to close, or if there's updates waiting to apply on your computer, it's possible this, too, could cause audio problems. Rebooting your computer can solve these problems.
Dedicated Audio Troubleshooting Guide
We offer a separate, dedicated guide that will help you check a number of other options with the audio on your computer that may help further.

Slack does not offer a way to run a "test meeting" or make a "test call". Instead, they offer a test page that will check the underlying technologies for you, and let you know if anything is wrong.

  1. Open your preferred browser on the device you want to test, and go to the Slack Connection Test Page.
    Chrome browser with address filled in and highlighted.
  2. If prompted, log into Slack.
    1. Enter your Slack Workspace URL, then select Continue.
      Test website with Workspace URL and Continue highlighted.
      If you're not sure and use the Slack Desktop Client.Click your Company name and name on the top-left, the Workspace URL will be listed about half-way down.
      Slack Desktop Client with Options menu and Workspace URL highlighted.
    2. Enter your Email address and Password, then select Sign in.
      Sign into Slack with Email address, Password, and Sign in button highlighted.
  3. Wait while Slack automatically tests your connection.
    If you are prompted during the test to allow access to your Microphone or Camera, select Allow.
    Prompts to use microphone and camera, each with Allow button highlighted.
  4. Once complete, Slack will test your Microphone, Camera, Network, Connectivity, and Throughput, to ensure you'll have a smooth conference experience. Any problems will be shown here, as well; for example, if you do not have a webcam, you won't be able to show your video.
    Test results page with all clear items highlighted.
    If you are unsure how to proceed, there is a link right on the test page to contact Slack support. There is a URL you can copy and send to support which will help them provide tailored solutions.

Further Testing

If you'd like to test your setup further, you will need to ask one of your co-workers on Slack if you can make a quick test-call with them.

After messaging your co-worker, select their portrait, then select Call.
Slack with profile open, portrait and call highlighted.