If you’re in the trading room and experiencing audio dropouts, the first thing to do is determine whether this is happening for everyone, or just for your computer. You can use the chat to ask if others are having a similar issue. If they are, then hopefully the problem will self-correct. If it persists, notify the room lead, and they have some controls to reset the audio bridge, or may restart the room.
If it’s something that appears to be just affecting you, then it’s more than likely something happening local on your machine. The source of the problem may be computer-based or mechanical. You could do some experimentation to help determine the cause(s).
If you’re using speakers, then check the plug and the wire to the speaker, as well as the volume control on the speaker itself. Oftentimes, a faulty connection, wire, or volume control will make a crackling noise or cause intermittent dropouts, indicating that something needs attention in the device.
Many times a bad connection can be cleaned by removing and reinserting the plug several times, turning it, etc., or if it’s a volume control, by rotating the volume pot several times in both directions to attempt to clean the connection within. TV Tuner Cleaner or other cleaner designed specifically to clean electrical contacts might be helpful, but be careful not to spray it on your computer or other equipment.
If you have another speaker or headphones, you could see if the problem goes away with the new speaker or headphones.
If you’re experiencing dropouts with headphones, here are some additional suggestions:
For computer-based problem sources:
- Try using another browser to see if it’s something that’s helped by a different browser.
- If your internet connection is being actively used by others in your household, it’s possible that their use is impacting yours, causing lags or dropouts. Check to make sure that nothing is impeding your bandwidth, as a pause in the video may not be as noticeable as a pause in the audio – and both may be pausing.
Try these things to see If it’s more of a mechanical or electrical issue.
- If the headset connects via an audio plug (and not USB), check that the headset is fully plugged in and that the contacts are not dirty. Some speakers have connection plugs at both the computer side and the speaker side, so check both if yours has both. It should be obvious if you hear crackling noise in the headset as you move the plug. If it does, try unplugging and replugging it several times to encourage a better connection.
- It’s also possible that the wires in the headset may be faulty – and that could be whether it’s USB or not. Wiggling the wires and listening for crackling or dropouts while listening to a continuous audio source (like a song) should help.
- If the headset has a volume control, try rolling the volume up and down a few times to see if there’s crackling, and to encourage a better connection.
- If the headset is wireless, make sure you have close proximity to the transmitter. If it’s infrared-wireless, make sure your headset has a clear line of sight between the transmitter and the receiver on the headset.
- With some anti-feedback headsets, noise picked up by a microphone (if it has one) might override the sound coming from the computer, so see if there’s any interaction between making microphone-picked up noises and the dropouts.
- If you have another headset, you could try and see if that one has a similar problem.
If you want to get the audio while you’re investigating the cause of the problem, you can watch the room on a phone or tablet. You could then still watch your larger computer monitors, and hear the sound through your phone or tablet, as a temporary solution until the issue with our headphones or speaker gets resolved.