How do I adjust the sound settings on my computer and in Skype for Mac OS X Lion?

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This sound set up guide will help you adjust the sound settings on your Mac computer and on Skype. These instructions are based on Mac OS X Mavericks, so screens may vary if you’re using another Mac OS X version.

Access the Sound Preferences on your Mac

  1. Click Apple Menu > System Preferences….

  1. In the System Preferences window, select Sound.

  1. The Sound preferences window appears.

Change sound output preferences on your Mac

  1. In the Sound preferences window, select Output. This displays the Output preferences.


     
  2. In the Select a device for sound output field, the sound output device is selected. If you see several devices in this list, select the one you prefer for sound output. The selection shown here is the default output for sound on your Mac.
  3. Use the slider to adjust the Balance for this device. For an even sound, it is best to set this in the middle.
  4. Use the slider to adjust the Output volume. When using Skype, ensure Mute is un-ticked. Tick Show volume in menu bar so you can adjust the volume in the upper right of your screen at any time. You can also adjust this volume setting using the speaker keys on some Mac keyboards.

Change sound input preferences on your Mac

  1. In the Sound preferences window, select Input. This displays the Input preferences.


     
  2. In the Select a device for sound input field, you should see a list of available ways to input sound such as Internal microphone or Line In. Select the device you prefer for sound input. The selection shown here is the default input for sound on your Mac.

Important: You may experience problems when using the Line In, as most headsets with 3.5 mm jacks require a Mic In. For best results, we suggest using a Skype compatible, USB or WiFi headset, which can be purchased from the Skype shop.

  1. Use the slider to adjust the Input volume. As a general rule, you want the input volume to be high enough so that the source of the sound can be heard, but not so high as to cause distortion. You can test the input volume setting by speaking into a microphone in a normal voice and watching the response of the Input level meter.

    For best results, the input level should fall in a range of 2/3 to 3/4 full. You can experiment to find the level that sounds best using your equipment by adjusting the input volume higher or lower.
     
  2. Tick Use ambient noise reduction to help cut down on background noise.
  3. Use the slider to adjust Output volume. When using Skype, ensure Mute is un-ticked. Tick Show volume in menu bar so you can adjust the volume in the upper right of your screen at any time. You can also adjust this volume setting using the speaker keys on some Mac keyboards.

Change the audio preferences on Skype

In addition to Mac OS X’s sound preferences, Skype has its own audio preferences that allow you to further customize how Skype’s sounds are handled on your computer.

You may prefer to have Skype’s sounds treated differently than other sounds on your system. For example, you may like music to be played on a set of external speakers but sound from a Skype conversation to be played on a headset. This sort of customization is possible using the Skype audio preferences.

Using Skype audio preferences, you can also set preferences specific to voice calls.

To find and change Skype audio preferences:

  1. Sign in to Skype.
  2. Click on the Skype menu and select Preferences....

  1. Click Audio/Video.


     
  2. In the Microphone drop-down list, select the input device you prefer to use for Skype.

By default, your microphone settings are adjusted automatically. You can disable this option by un-ticking Automatically adjust microphone settings.

You can also use the keyboard volume shortcuts (listed at the bottom of the Audio/Video tab) to change the volume in Skype only (i.e., not in iTunes or another currently running application).

  1. In the Speakers drop-down list, select the output device you prefer to use for Skype.
  2. In the Ringing drop-down list, select the device that will ring when someone calls you on Skype. This is usually the same device selected in Speakers.

To test if your audio is working, make a Skype test call.

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