1. 2

    For video conferencing, I would say my biggest technological problem appears to be occasional lag spikes, where the person is spotty, and then I get a large burst of very fast talking or something. I’ve primarily seen this on WebEx, and then only when the person is dialing in from their computer.

    However, this is by far the least annoying part of a video chat. The most annoying part is that, once you get above a handful of people on the call, you always get at least one oblivious person who leaves their mic unmuted all the time and breathes directly into it / eats directly into it / has people talking loudly at them / uses the laptop mic so you hear loud typing noises etc. etc. etc.

    Unfortunately, they don’t hear any of this cacophony coming from their machine because almost no setups give you an inkling of what your background sounds like. A bite of sandwich on a call might sound utterly silent to them, but to everyone else on the call it sounds like toilet being plunged with a leaf-blower running in the background.

    Blue mics have an interesting solution to this. If you’re plugged into the headphone port on the mic, you can hear yourself with basically no latency. When you mute yourself, you stop hearing the background. When you unmute, you can hear exactly what people hear on the other end. Why doesn’t every headset do this?!

    1. 1

      I think this is built in functionality in every modern OS. You can always route your mic audio also to your headphones. It is not on by default as it would create a nasty feedback loop with speakers.

      1. 3

        That typically incurs a significant lag, in my experience. The headphone jack on my microphone is essentially zero lag. Talking when you can hear yourself with lag is incredibly difficult for most people.

        1. 2

          My Logitech USB headset does this in hardware as well. There is even a mixer specifically for how loud the folded back audio is in your ear. I believe this is generally known as sidetone in telephony and radio.