Using Discord: Can’t Hear Anyone in Voice Chats? 8 Fixes for this Common Problem

You launch Discord and hop into one of the many voice channels you have with your buddies, only to find that you can’t hear anyone. Not only is this frustrating, but for those who aren’t extremely familiar with Discord’s settings and finely-tuned ecosystem, are going to be at a loss on how to even begin fixing the issue. What’s worse is those who are in the voice channel are definitely going to be able to hear you if your mic is on – so it’s important to try to keep the frustration to a minimum.

What Is Discord & Why Can’t I Hear Anyone?

Discord is a VoIP program that allows you to communicate with friends, family, and communities through voice channels, video, and text chat. While it was primarily picked up by gamers who wanted a voice chat system for communicating in online games, Discord has grown in popularity and now has communities for book clubs, dance classes, indie game development, study classes and more.

Typically, the cause for why you can’t hear anyone in Discord is usually due to either:

  • Wonky audio settings,
  • Incompatibility between software and hardware,
  • or technical difficulties with Discord’s setup.

While you can do a complete reinstall of the software in about 5-minutes, this isn’t a sure fire way to solve the problem. With this said, there are several basic to advanced fixes you can try to solve the problem and we have 8 of them listed below.

8 Methods to Fix the Problem: Unable to Hear Anyone Talk in Discord

Before we jump right into the solutions, just do a quick double check to make sure that:

  1. Your friends are talking and aren’t just silent
  2. That your microphone and headphones/speakers are properly plugged in and are working without Discord up and running.

It is very easy to have a headphone jack slightly pulled out from the tower, causing the disconnect or having a microphone on mute by accident. If you’ve already done the simple checks, move on to the solutions below.

1. Take a Look at What Your Default Communication Device Is.

If you are using a laptop or speakers on a desktop computer, the default communication device is not always automatically set to where your microphone is plugged in. If you are using headphones with a microphone or have a USB microphone plugged in and it isn’t set as the default device, this is probably why you aren’t hearing anyone. Here is how to set your headphones or microphone as your default communication device.

  1. Right-click your speaker icon that sits on your taskbar.
  2. From the menu that pops up, choose to open the sound settings.
  3. Find the section called related settings. On Windows 10, it sits to the right-hand side of the screen. It may also be located near the bottom of the window.
  4. Click on the sound control tab.
  5. Find your audio device in the list (under playback) and right-click it.
  6. Set as default communication device.
  7. Apply and hit okay.
Set as default audio device

Restart your computer and Discord to see if the problem persists.

2. Make Sure You Have No Voice Altering Software Enabled.

While being able to change the quality and sound of your voice within Discord’s voice channels is really neat, it can also cause some major conflicting issues. This is because Discord’s audio ecosystem is very fine-tuned, so any voice altering software can easily and negatively impact it or conflict with it.

3. Use the Legacy Audio Subsystem Instead of Standard.

If you’ve recently updated Discord and found that the problem occurred after the update, it may be due to an incompatibility between your hardware and the software Discord rolled out with the update. You can revert to a “legacy audio subsystem” to solve the problem.

  1. Open up Discord like you would normally.
  2. Find your avatar and click on the little cog icon near it. This will allow you to click on “user settings”.
  3. Choose the voice and video option from the app settings list.
  4. Find the audio subsystem section.
  5. Use the drop down menu to choose the legacy option.
  6. Then hit okay and allow Discord to relaunch.
Choose Legacy audio subsystem

4. Change Your Server Region.

A quick fix that may resolve the issue immediately is by changing your server region (you can always change it back!). To try this quick fix out, do the following.

  1. On the server that is causing you problems, right-click it and open up the server settings.
  2. Click on the overview tab and choose the server region drop down menu.
  3. Select a different region that makes sense to you.
  4. Save the changes and see if you still can’t hear anyone.

5. Check What Your Input/Output Device Is in Windows.

When you can’t hear anyone in Discord talking, you are likely to automatically assume that it is a problem with Discord and while that may be true, it can also be an issue with your computer setup. Check to make sure that your audio device is set to be the primary input/output option. If it is not, this is what is causing your issue. This error happens a lot of you are constantly switching between using headphones and speakers as your primary audio source.

  1. Right-click your speaker icon that sits on your taskbar.
  2. From the menu that pops up, choose to open the sound settings.
  3. Look for the input/output sections. Each section will have a drop-down menu that you can use to choose which device you want to use.
  4. For output, you are going to want to choose headphones.
  5. For input, choose your microphone.
Check Windows audio input and output devices

If you are using speakers rather than headphones and a USB microphone, then choose speakers as your output. Once these are set, restart Discord and see if you can hear your friends.

6. Check What Your Input/Output Device is in Discord.

If your input/output devices are set correctly in Windows, make sure that they are also set correctly in Discord. To check this, do the following.

  1. Open up Discord and find the gear icon near the mute and deafen icons (microphone and headphones).
  2. Click the user settings cog and click into audio and video settings under the section app settings.
  3. At the top of the window, you will see input and output device drop-down menus. Use these menus to select the correct audio device rather than having it set to default.
  4. Now move the sliders over to the right and run a check with the “let’s check” button. Just simply utter some gibberish into your microphone and make sure you can hear it back in your selected output device.

If you hear yourself, you are set to hop into your favorite voice channel.

Discord voice settings

7. Always Leave Discord Up & Running? Restart It.

If you use Discord a lot for work or gaming, it is quite possible that you’ve left it up and running and haven’t installed the latest updates. When a problem goes wrong on Discord’s end, the development team will roll the software back and apply a patch fix to address the bug or issue. Refresh Discord to update it and see if you can hear people now.

8. Run a Diagnostics or Debug of Discord.

If you are still having problems after completing the previous 7 steps, try connecting to a voice channel and running a debug diagnostics report on your voice connection.

Debug your Discord connection
  1. Connect to a voice channel.
  2. Find the “i” icon beside “voice connected” or click voice connected directly. An information panel will pop up.
  3. In the little information panel that pops up, hit the debug button.
  4. See how many green check marks you get. If you see any that have red “x” icons on them, then the bug is on Discord’s end and not on yours.

If you are getting all green checks but are still having the problem, save the diagnostics and contact Discord with it.

While you are waiting on the Discord development team to get back to you, consider using the web version of the application which can be found here. The web version will have no bugs and doesn’t need to be troubleshooted, giving you the ability to jump right in and do a system wide scan at a later time for files that could be causing discord to bug out.

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