How to Find the Cause and Stop an Echo in Zoom Meetings

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Q: It is difficult to diagnose technical problems when you are not present at the site of the problem. This is the case here. The situation is that one or two Zoom participants can have a terrible echo.

Since I don’t hear any echoes as a participant (not as a host), it seems like it must be specific to the other’s gear. I look at the list of participants on Zoom and see that their microphones are muted. But they say the echo is unbearable. I thought it might be a separate webcam which added another mic into the mix, but they said they didn’t have a separate webcam.

I asked them to check how many mics are listed on their Windows system, even though I think they only have the active laptop mic. I also asked them to bring headphones next week to see if that helps. Still waiting for answers on these questions.

Until then, do you have any idea what could be causing this problem?

Dean Shibayama

A: According to Zoom, there are three common causes of such echoes:

  • A participant has both computer and phone audio active.
  • Participants have computer or phone speakers too close together.
  • Several computers with active audio are in the same conference room.

The culprit could also be overpowered speakers, a bad microphone, or a faulty device.

The problem is that it may not be clear which participant is causing the problem. To resolve this issue, ask the host to mute all participants, then unmute them one at a time until the echo occurs again.

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