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Sound issues using FaceTime on Mac!!

114652 Views 257 Replies Latest reply: Apr 15, 2014 5:52 AM by glynch6832 RSS
  • ms.pixel Calculating status...
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    Nov 10, 2012 5:34 AM (in response to jennhawaii)

    Most annoying that this problem still continues.. Facetime also worked perfectly on my machine until I upgraded to Mountain Lion, now during calls I can hear them but they cant hear me.. Skype works still so its definitely not my microphone or speakers. Sort it out Apple! I would prefur to use facetime & imessage between friends & their iphones & ipads through my computer if it was all more stable.

  • larryy Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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    Nov 24, 2012 1:09 PM (in response to jennhawaii)

    This is still a problem, and it manifests using two iPhone 5s, with the latest software (6.0.1 as of this writing).  No Macs involved.

     

    Every evening for a week while my wife has been traveling we have used Facetime to talk.  In every call my audio drops out intermittently and she can barely hear me or not hear me at all for a while.  Her audio has never dropped out once.  Weird how asymmetric and completely reproducible it is.  Due to that perfect asymmetry I was assuming my phone had a hardware problem until I found all the threads about audio loss using Facetime; now I'm not sure.

     

    Just for the record, my iPhone has been exclusively on WiFi, while hers has been exclusively on Verizon 3G, during our conversations.  (Both are Verizon phones.)  Think I might try an experiment with both of us on cellular data tonight.

  • SamWernick Calculating status...
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    Nov 24, 2012 1:51 PM (in response to larryy)

    I have been getting updates for close to two years on the progress of this ongoing problem with Face Time. Apparently Apple has not been able to solve the problem. I personally found that unacceptable considering that this was and is a very well advertised feature. So to vote the only way that really matters I retired my iPhone from service. I replaced it along with my wife's phone with Samsung Galaxy III's and frankly they have been pretty good. I still cling to using my IPad because I am too lazy to put my laptop on my lap or carry it all over the house. Recently Samsung passed Apple as the most widely sold phone and it's clearly kicking Apple in the butt even though it lost the court case regarding the feel of the operating system or whatever that billion was all about. Poor Steve is undoubtedly rolling in his grave. If Apple can't or won't fix the problem then are we supposed to just ignore the feature? I don't think so.

  • chiflado8 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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    Dec 19, 2012 4:46 PM (in response to jennhawaii)

    I am having the same issues with facetime ... nobody can hear me, but I am able to hear everybody.

    I have a mac mini 2012 (2 weeks old) and have tested the camera with mic using Skype and iMovie to record my voice and video. 

    I called Apple support last week and the support person put me on hold for 20 minutes, came back, ask for more information, then put me on hold for another 10 minutes and then the call misteruously disconnected itself.

     

    Apple, fix this problem with facetime!  We pay good money for your products and expect them to work.  You are destroying your own reputation and going back to what you were before Steve Jobs came back to save you and make you what you were when he died.  Your stock will sink back to the low teens if you continue to ignore the quality of the software you are putting in your devices.

  • mike629 Calculating status...
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    Dec 21, 2012 7:56 PM (in response to jennhawaii)

    What is going on with facetime!!!!  I get horrible static when I'm on ft, whomever I am talking to doesn't hear it but I do. At the moment I'm out of the US for business, I thought it was just a bad signal, but other mac owners I know don't have this problem. It w ould be a shame if this was an issue that Apple knew about and didn't correct prior to selling its products.

  • broadway al Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 4, 2013 8:46 AM (in response to mike629)

    At some point someone suggested the sound was dropping when a spike occured. Today I had a friend prove this. He's been telling me that when he makes a loud noise like slamming the table his iphone is on my imac stops producing sound.

    Today he tried to prove it by slamming his hand on the table several times to no avail.

    However when his phone dropped several minutes later the sound disappeared and he this seemed to be what is causing the problem. Some kind of sound spike on his side affecting my imac producing sound that he can hear.

  • paulfromkingwood Calculating status...
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    Jan 5, 2013 9:53 AM (in response to Schmendell)

    Schmendell, thanks for the post.   This solution seems to lend itself to earlier posts about how the input sound may have a sound limiter which is acting in an extreme way by just shutting down to zero rather than easing back the input volume.   As I have this same issue I shall definitely try keeping the Sound page open (Input tab) while on a call.    My input volume was set pretty high so attenuating it a bit first per earlier suggestions and then trying your ruse will be interesting.    MBAir, SL, 10.6.8.

  • paulfromkingwood Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 5, 2013 2:42 PM (in response to paulfromkingwood)

    Earlier today I read this entire blog community after I had made a call in FT that, as usual, dropped out after 10 minutes or so.    This has been going on since I owned my MBAir with SL whether I was using my 27" display at home or just the MBAir on its own.   I've been to the Genius Bar etc and they were nice and reloaded FT etc but it didn't help.  The problem with the blog is that it produces a lot of data but not too much pulling together.  I decided to note some pieces of input that were in line with my own suspicions and do a "real time" trial using some of them.  Certain things come to light:

    +  It happens on MacOS only.   iOS to iOS seem OK.    In a Mac to iOS call the iOS device always seems OK.

    +  ALL MacOS, whether SL, L or ML have the issue.

    +  Reloading etc etc. works for a while but not consistent.  

    +  ICHATLOVER and another user suggested lowering mic input and/or speaker levels in the Preferences/Sound controls.   They repeated several times so they seemed to be getting results (I assume).

    +  SCHMENDELL then added that it is helpful to actually keep the Preferences/Sound/Input window open and adjusting the mic slider up and down a bit to get sound back on.   THAT was also interesting.

    +  Another user (sorry, can't recall name) suggested just clicking the mic from Display to Internal Mic.   This is controlled in the same window as the previous item.   Also worth a try.

     

    As an audio buff of many, MANY years ago (I'm 70) there was something that rang true about automatic mic clipping if overloaded.    In this case it seems it can't click back on after clipping off (IF this is what is going on.  If so, that's a software issue and could be fixed with an update).

     

    SO .... as I have this problem ALL the time I decided to actually run trials based on above ideas/inputs.

     

    I made a call and within a few minutes the mic clipped off in my Mac (calling an iPad).    iPad at other end was fine.   But I was ready with the Sound/Input tab window open and slid the mic control down to 0 and up again to 75% and then back to about 25%.    It came right on again.    It went out again a little later, did the same thing and it came on again.   At least I could keep the call online.   That's a start!   I felt I had SOME control.

     

    The next time it clipped out I did the above trick, reestablished sound, and then also went to Internal Mic.    I spoke for another half hour with no clip out.    I then carefully went back to Display Mic, kept level at about 22% and did another half hour.    No issues.

    ALL THIS TIME I KEPT SOUND WINDOW OPEN IN PREFERENCES at Input tab.   Everything you need is there.

     

    While using the machine in the above described ways I did notice that even with speaker sound turned quite low and mic at about 22% I had a lot of sound showing on the mic input bar.   This suggests the mic is VERY sensitive and might be easily overloaded causing the software to clip out.   

     

    Here is what I think so far (purely my opinion based on my trials):

    1.   Sound boosting speakers could be causing a problem by creating to much sound near the mic.

    2.   Apple displays (mine is 27") could trap too much sound behind them and cause mic to clip out.

    3.   Apple display mic may not be the best mic to use.   Try the Internal one.    It just may be less vulnerable on the desk level and the much smaller access hole may not allow too much ambient noise in.

    4.   Even with no display an internal speaker and mic may be too close together in these really slim machines so keeping sound and mic as low as possible might help.

    5.   iOS devices seem OK so suggest not messing with them.  

    6.   Keep the Apple/Prefrences/Sound/Input tab window open and move the mic slider to reestablish if clipped out.    Make sure you hit zero in your movements of the slider, go up to 75% and then ease back to about 22%.

    7.   When selecting the Internal Speaker it allows you to click on a button to reduce Ambient Noise impact on the mic.   I did that.   It might or might not have helped.    The conversation was going fine anyway at that point.   However, the idea of the button is in tune with my thoughts on this matter.   It is also interesting that this button to reduce ambient noise is NOT available when you click back to the Display Mic!    Maybe it needs one in my view!

     

    If anything in this trial comes to my mind I would offer the following:

    =  The mics are very sensitive

    =  Close proximity of mics and speakers in these slim Mac cases may be an issue

    =  The clipping software which protects the sound system works but won't reset itself to ON again when its done its job at a sound spike.   IF this is true then a software update might help here.   APPLE???

     

    I hope this adds to the conversation of users who seem to be the only people trying to solve this thing.   Thanks to all posters for building the information base.  It ALL adds up.  I shall keep fiddling with this and post if I find anything new.   At least I feel I have some way to ease my frustrations now!

  • larryy Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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    Jan 5, 2013 3:13 PM (in response to paulfromkingwood)

    +  It happens on MacOS only.   iOS to iOS seem OK.    In a Mac to iOS call the iOS device always seems OK.

    Some good, interesting sleuthing, "paulfromkingwood".  But just for the record, I came to this thread because I'm having similar loss of out-going sound using Facetime from my iPhone 5, so at least some iOS devices do suffer this kind of problem.  Chances are good there's more than one problem, and the Mac OS issues and iOS issues may be entirely different, just exhibiting the same symptom.  But loss of Facetime sound definitely affects at least some iOS devices.

  • Keymusic88 Calculating status...
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    Jan 5, 2013 3:25 PM (in response to paulfromkingwood)

    Great summation. I was one of the first people to comment on this thread, and to have some communication with upper tier Apple techs. I can't believe Apple has not addressed/fixed this issue after all this time.

  • paulfromkingwood Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 5, 2013 3:34 PM (in response to Keymusic88)

    Thanks Keymusic88.    I would love to see more people experiment during their calls and add to the experience base.  I am a huge fan of Apple products and during my first two years as an Apple user this is the ONLY issue I have faced and I am quite nonplused as to why Apple just ignores it.    FT is really a great piece of software and I use it a lot as do others apparently.    WHY do they ignore this problem?   Surely they have read this blog.   Its a really good information feed from real users!    Time for ACTION Apple!

  • blucaso Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 6, 2013 4:26 PM (in response to paulfromkingwood)

    Paul, this is great work. I've been on this for a long time as well, and it is a frustrating issue. One minor point, I have thought all along (as an audio guy also) that this unfortunate bug is not resulting from Facetime trying to prevent mic clipping, but rather it's trying to prevent feedback loops. The whole problem is, as you mentioned, the proximity in general of the mic to the speaker, and having the speaker feed through the mic to create a feedback loop.

     

    Obviously Apple solved the problem, as I never get echo or feedback, but it overcompensates (obviously more so on Macs than on mobile devices) and doesn't seem to bring the volume back up once it's been reduced.

     

    Another observation - when my sound disappears, I have found through experimentation that in fact my mic hasn't been cut off completely, just reduced to NEAR zero. In other words, if it is quiet on the other end and I shout, they can barely hear it, but there is an audio signal being sent. I haven't experimented with this much, but I thought it useful to add to the discussion.

     

    As this seems to be a software issue involving attenuating the signal, it makes sense that your solution (dropping the input to zero or near zero, then slowly raising it back up) would trick the system into re-attenuating the volume.

     

    Previous to your suggestions, I have only been able to restore audio by dropping and re-placing the call, or closing Facetime and reopening it (which amounts to the same thing).

     

    Thanks for your persistence - now let's see if Apple can provide a more elegant solution!

  • blucaso Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 6, 2013 4:33 PM (in response to paulfromkingwood)

    As an aside to Apple - imagine the number of users this actually affects, extrapolating from the data on just this one thread.

     

    You have users who have been complaining of a simple problem for over a year continuously - 14 pages!

     

    Most users (probably at least 95% who read this) will not reply or post.

     

    Most users (probably again 90% or more) who even go to the Apple Forums will find this thread.

     

    Most users (again I'd guess more than 90%) won't even go the Apple forums in search of answers.

     

    This thread probably represents only 5% of 10% of 10% of the scope of the problem.

     

    The sad fact is, most people don't have the patience to solve or attempt to solve the issue. They will either 1) Give up on FaceTime and video chatting in general or 2) find an alternative like Skype.

     

    I'll bet if you informally polled 100 Apple Store geniuses you'd find every one of them had been asked about this problem at some point in the last year. And I bet none had offered a real solution or even knew what the actual problem is.

     

    This is, while not a gigantic black eye, a sad and easily fixed sore spot for users of FaceTime. Surely it can be fixed.

  • SamWernick Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 6, 2013 4:41 PM (in response to jennhawaii)

    Apparently no one at Apple chooses to care. I invested enough of my time in the issue and eventually disconnected my Iphone. I still use my Ipad but the Iphone may as well be a doorstop.

  • chiflado8 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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    Jan 6, 2013 7:18 PM (in response to jennhawaii)

    All,

     

    I found a solution for my problem where people on the other end could not hear me when using FT.  What I did is I opened the "Audio MIDI Setup" and synchronized my INPUT device (in my case the HD Pro Webcam C920) Format and the "Built-in Output" Format.  In my case, the HD Pro Webcam format was set to 2ch-16bit Integer and the "Built-in Output" format was set to 2ch-24bit Integer.  I changed the "Built-in Output" format to match my Webcam's format of "2ch-16bit Integer" and the problem went got resolved.  Here are the steps:

    In other words, all you need to do (hopefully) to fix this FT sound problem is to make sure your INPUT and OUTPUT Audio devices' formats MATCH (set both to the same value). 

     

    Here are my steps:

    1. Open the "Audio MIDI Setup" window by clicking the FInder + GO + Utilities and then select the Audio MIDI Setup.

    2. Select "Built-in Input" (or if you are using a third party device such as a Logitech Webcam or an external microphone, then select that device).  Note that the "Source" should be set to Default.  If it is not, then that is NOT your default input device.  Find it and select it.

    4. Note the Format's channel value (i.e. 2ch-16bit Integer or 2ch-24bit Integer, etc).

    5. Now, select "Built-in Output" and check your Format's channel value.  Does it match your DEFAULT Input device's value?  If not, change it to match your Default Input value.

    6. Try FaceTime and see if it works

     

    Hope this solves your problem as it did mine.  Let me know how it goes.

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