Echo is one of the most annoying distractions that you can have on any type of conference call. Echoing can happen on any type of conference call: a video conference, free conference calls with a dedicated dial-in or even on a conference call with toll-free numbers. As someone that has tried to communicate with a caller while they were echoing, I can honestly say that being unable to hear someone is extremely frustrating. While conference calling technology has enhanced our communications, it has created unique issues that need to be addressed — namely, conference call echo. Here are 3 things to keep in mind when dealing with it.

1. Conference Call echo is usually caused by someone using a speakerphone.

laptop with headphone to eliminate conference call echo
Try using a pair of headphones to eliminate echo!

Even though conference call echo is a legitimate issue, it might surprise you to know that if everyone on a conference turned their volume down halfway, it might just eliminate conference call echo forever. Why?

Echo occurs when a person’s microphone picks up sound from their speakers. That sound is once again played by the speakers and picked up by the microphone, creating an infinite loop that we call echo. When audio is played through headphones, echo becomes virtually impossible. This is why echo is usually caused by participants using a speakerphone.

TIP! During the call, ask if anyone is using a speakerphone. If there is a group on speakerphone, ask them to either separate the speaker from the audio output (which causes the echo) or throw on a pair of headphones.

2. Figure out who is causing the echo on the call.

TIP! If your conference participants are complaining about echo, but you do not hear anything, you are the cause of the echo.

Most people assume that if they cannot hear the problem then it is unrelated to them, but this rule does not apply to conference call echo. Most of the time, the only person who can’t hear the echo is the one causing it.

TIP! If you are in a conference where one or more participants is complaining of echo but you don’t hear it, try muting your line to see if that fixes the problem. If you are causing the echo, simply turn down your speaker volume, use headphones, or more your microphone farther away from your speakers.

3. As a conference moderator, you can use the online participant list to easily determine who is causing the echo.

Participant list for conference calls

Expand the participant list located on the right-hand side of your online meeting room. Select “MUTE ALL”. Then, unmute them one by one by clicking their unmute button in the participant list to determine who is causing the echo. If they are the cause of the echo, keep them muted to keep the line clear and free of distractions.

Here’s a great video that shows you how to eliminate conference call echo.

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