[Fundamental solution] Causes and countermeasures for howling and microphone echo in Zoom meetings

[Fundamental solution] Causes and countermeasures for howling and microphone echo in Zoom meetings
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From July 15, 2022, Zoom will have a 40-minute limit even for meetings with two participants if you have a free subscription. (Previously, it was only for meetings with 3 or more people.)
Companies and organizations using Zoom for business should consider switching to a paid license at this opportunity. 

Unpleasant ‘ringing’ sound during a Zoom meeting. I can’t even proceed with the meeting, and I have to adjust various things, and when things go bad, I give up on the meeting itself.

Now that Zoom meetings have become commonplace, everyone has probably experienced this Zoom howling problem at least once.

This time , we will introduce two ways to easily solve this troublesome howling in Zoom meetings, and to fundamentally solve it .

A must-see for those who are worried about Zoom’s howling.

Why Does Howling Happen?

Why Does Howling Happen

So, why does this annoying Zoom feedback occur?

Howling is a word that means howling in English, that is, howling of wolves and dogs, and is also called microphone echo. (By the way, native speakers use feedback instead of howling.)

The existence of multiple microphones and speakers in the same place causes them to pick up each other’s voices, and the sound is amplified more and more, resulting in a high-pitched sound .

In addition, the same reason as this howling also occurs that the voice of the person in the same room sounds like an echo.

The cause of howling is that multiple terminals exist in the same space

In other words, the cause of howling is that there are multiple people logged into Zoom in the same room at a close distance .

Zoom is primarily for holding web meetings and conferences with people in remote locations, so it doesn’t assume (or doesn’t use it correctly) that there will be people participating in the same meeting in close proximity.

However, due to the spread of telework and home work due to the new coronavirus that occurred in 2020, it is unavoidable that there are many cases where multiple people in the office and teleworkers hold Zoom meetings.

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However, it is difficult to conduct a Zoom meeting smoothly when howling is occurring.

For those who are worried about such howling, we will introduce solutions that can be done immediately on the spot and fundamental solutions.

Howling on Zoom: Solve it on the spot

Howling on Zoom

As mentioned earlier, Zoom feedback is caused by “multiple people logged in to Zoom in the same room, and they are close to each other”.

In other words, if you want to solve howling on the spot, if you can combine the terminals (PC, tablet, smartphone) logged in to Zoom in the same room into one , howling will not occur.

However, it is quite difficult to have a web meeting with face to face on one terminal. Moreover, it is unrealistic when you need to take measures against infection such as the new corona.

The best way to do this is to mute the microphone .

Mute the mic unless you are talking or on a device that picks up sound

Toggling Zoom’s microphone off is very easy. Just press the “mute” button at the bottom of the Zoom screen .

If you can’t stop howling or the sound is too loud and noisy, turn off unnecessary microphones.

There are two ways to mute the microphone when you speak, or place one terminal in the center of the conference room and concentrate the microphone on one.

If there is only one microphone, it will not pick up and amplify the sound, which will help prevent howling.

However, in fact, howling cannot be completely prevented by simply muting the microphone.

Non-speakers should not only mute their microphones, but also set their playback volume to zero.

What is surprisingly difficult to notice is the case where the microphone of the device of the person who is speaking picks up the sound being played from the device of the person who is not speaking.

If the sound picked up by the microphone of the person who is talking is played back from the terminal of the person who is logged in to Zoom in the same room, it will be picked up again by the microphone and howling will occur. .

If the sound picked up by the microphone of the person who is speaking is played back from the terminal of the person who is logged into Zoom in the same room, it will be picked up again by the microphone and howling will occur.

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Disadvantages of muting the microphone

However, muting the microphone to prevent feedback has the following disadvantages.

  • It is troublesome to switch every time you speak, and depending on the person you are talking to, it may be difficult to ask.
  • If you mute, it will be difficult to speak at the right timing, and it will hinder the progress of the meeting.
  • If you focus the microphone on the center terminal, the sound will be far from the other party
  • If only one device has the microphone enabled, it may be difficult to pick up sound depending on the distance from the device.
  • If you raise the playback volume of only one device, it may be difficult to hear the sound of the other party depending on the distance to the device.

If howling has occurred and you have no choice, you can overcome the situation with the above method, but it is a problem in the business scene.

There is also a fundamental solution to holding a Zoom meeting that does not have the above disadvantages, so I will introduce it next.

The fundamental solution is to introduce Zoom Rooms

The fundamental solution is to introduce Zoom Rooms

In fact, Zoom has an option called Zoom Rooms .

This is a fixed type specialized Zoom, a system similar to the so-called video conference.

Zoom meetings are attended from individual terminals (PC, tablet, smartphone), but with Zoom Rooms, you can participate in the conference from permanent terminals while gathering in the conference room .

What is Zoom Rooms?

Zoom Rooms can be contracted with a paid Zoom license, with a license contract for each conference room.

In other words, if you set up a conference room equipped with Zoom Rooms, anyone in the company can hold a web meeting with one license .

Zoom Rooms consist of the following devices:

  • display
  • PC
  • tablet for controller
  • microphone
  • speaker
  • camera

Zoom Rooms is operated using a tablet such as an iPad, and has a dedicated camera, microphone, and speakers, so there is no feedback.

When holding a Zoom meeting from a personal device (computer, tablet, smartphone), low-quality communication may occur depending on the Internet environment and surrounding conditions, but with Zoom Rooms, meetings can be held in a stable environment. will be able to

When not in use, it can be used as a signage (electronic bulletin board), so it can be used for various purposes such as in-house announcements by projecting images and videos.

Zoom Rooms Zoom meeting
Purpose/Usage scene Teleconferencing. Multiple people gather in the conference room and participate in the conference from stationary equipment terminals, and of course people in remote locations can also participate from PCs/devices/howling is less likely to occur Participation in web conferences from individual PCs, tablets, and smartphones/howling is likely to occur
cost It depends on the number of accounts, etc. Please contact us It depends on the number of accounts, etc. Please contact us
license holder personal company etc.
Required equipment PC, tablet, smartphone Display, PC, tablet for controller, microphone, speaker, camera, etc.
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Leave it to NEC Networks & System Integration for Zoom Rooms

Leave it to NEC Networks & System Integration for Zoom Rooms
In this way, with Zoom Rooms, which can counter howling and perform high-quality communication, you can have business negotiations and presentations with clients with peace of mind, and branding for your clients and business partners. It also helps.

Zoom Rooms requires a paid license contract, but depending on the number of people, it may be more profitable than individual Zoom paid license contracts. (Initial costs such as devices are required.)

NEC Networks & System Integration Corporation, which supervises this articleis the first Zoom agent in Japan and has successfully introduced over 10,000 companies.

We can help your company with environment construction, device selection, paid license contracts, post-installation support, etc. Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in implementing Zoom Rooms.