Microphone and Google Talk

Discussion in 'Acer Iconia Tab A500 Forum' started by Caryanne2, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. Caryanne2

    Caryanne2 Member

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    I bought my tablet about a week ago, and just tried using google video chat for the first time. The video works great (except for the weird camera placement), and I can hear perfect, but they can't hear me. I know the microphone works, I've tested it with other applications, such as the recorder and the voice search and it works great. For some reason it just doesnt work with the chat. Is anyone else having a similar problem? Or maybe I missed something in the setup or settings? I hate not being able to use this for google talk, because I KNOW other people are using this tablet for that and have no problems. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. Icebike

    Icebike Senior Member

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    Sometimes the echo suppression gets carried away, but for me it works fine.
    If you tap under the X when in a video call and some controls will appear.

    Make sure mic is not muted.
     
  3. Caryanne2

    Caryanne2 Member

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    Hm, I think you're right. It has to do with the echo cancelling. Apparently they CAN hear me, its just really soft. Is there anyway to turn off the echo cancelling?
     
  4. Icebike

    Icebike Senior Member

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    Na, you don't want to turn off echo cancellation if you can avoid it. Try making the call with your Smartphone earbuds and see if that helps. If you were already using earbuds, try a different set. I found a big difference in microphone volume between my Nexus One earbuds (very soft) and a set of iPhone earbuds (nice and loud).

    But just using the built in mic should work as well.

    The problem might be that "They" have their media volume too low. Or perhaps you have your hand over the mic?
    (The mic is located in that gap where the screen meets the case adjacent to the MicroSD slot cover).
     
  5. Caryanne2

    Caryanne2 Member

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    Are you suggesting that I use earbuds? That seems weird as the problem is with the microphone, but I tried with two sets of ear buds and neither changed the sound level on their end. Yes their volume is high. I think I'm just outside the date where I can return this tablet, unfortunately. One of the reasons I got this tablet was for the video chat, and I don't know why it doesn't work. The mic works great when I try to do a voice search or a recording, so i don't understand why it doesn't work for chat. Very frustrating. I'm going to try another chat program and see if that works.


    EDITED TO ADD: My tablet is landscape in a stand, so I'm no touching the microphone area at all. or any area for that matter
     
  6. Icebike

    Icebike Senior Member

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    I suggested you use SMARTPHONE earbuds, which, as you know, have a microphone built into the cord, thereby getting around any problems with the built in mic.

    Try googe chat with a computer. Open a browser, go to gmail and log in. (Not the same gmail account you are using on the tablet).
    This way you can test all in the same room.
     
  7. Caryanne2

    Caryanne2 Member

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    Believe it or not, I didn't know what you meant by smartphone earbuds. Oops. I don't have a pair of those, I will try to pick up a pair tomorrow.
     
  8. wosto

    wosto Member

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    I have this same exact problem using my A500 with Google Talk. The person could barely hear me, tried it from my PC and they could hear me fine.
     
  9. Icebike

    Icebike Senior Member

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    I've done a bunch of tests with the voice recorder and fiddling with the Dolby settings and such.
    I had the tablet on the table. I noticed recordings would start out high, and then VU meter in the voice recording app would show lower and lower levels.

    Couldn't figure it out.

    Almost by accident I discovered one thing that may work for you.

    I tried holding the tablet in Portrait mode, upright, away from the table or anything behind it.

    When I recorded this way, the meter stayed high during the whole recording, and it sounded way better on playback.

    I'm speculating that it was getting sound bouncing off of the table back into the noise canceling mic. Noise canceling works by subtracting what the second mic hears from the first mic. When I picked the tablet up off of the table it worked way better.

    If you had the tablet in a case or were leaning it on something which was immediately behind the MicroSD slot that might direct too much of your voice into the second mic causing it to suppress your voice.

    Covering that noise canceling mic, which is inside the Microsd compartment at the bottom (when held in portrait), causes echo. But leaving it in free-air with nothing behind it gave pretty good results.

    Subsequent tests in landscape mode worked well when held in free-air as well.

    You mentioned a stand. Try without the stand.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011
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  10. Caryanne2

    Caryanne2 Member

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    I did some tests using skype's test calls. Basically yuo call them, leave a message and they play it back to you. I did all the tests in landscape mode with the tablet resting against my leg. So, if my finger was covering the noise cancelling microphone at the beginning of a call it worked perfectly. If i didn't cover it at all or if i covered it in the middle of the recording, the volume of the playback was too low to be heard. I'm going to try this technique of covering the noise canceling microphone tomorrow on google chat. Its really a pain. The microphone should just work, without me having to juggle, stand on my head, and spin around in circles.Hopefully its just a software problem that will be fixed in an update soon. Also, thanks icebike for all the help so far.
     
  11. Icebike

    Icebike Senior Member

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    Try holding it upright with nothing behind, either landscape or portrait.
    Not covering the mic worked best for me. But its pretty sensitive to having something close behind it.

    Maybe they will fix this in 3.1 by making the rear mic less sensitive.
     
  12. Caryanne2

    Caryanne2 Member

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    I tried those, nothing. The only way it works is if I cover the little round hole at the bottom of the compartment were the microSD card is. Very bizarre. Also, I'm not in a noisy place or anything where the microphone could be overwhelmed. Unless of course silence is deafening.....ha. Yeah, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it'll be fixed with the 3.1 update. If not, I hope the holding my finger over the noise cancelling mic works in chat.
     
  13. johnblaze322

    johnblaze322 Member

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    I too had the same problem but a fix that works for me when the person I'm talking to can't hear me is to exit out of the voice call then recall and doin that has always worked for me
     
  14. Caryanne2

    Caryanne2 Member

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    I'm thinking it's definitely a hardware problem. The tricks I used to get the microphone to work before, don't work at all now. And the apps where the microphone did work before, don't work at all anymore. It's probably a loose connection or some crap like that. Unfortunately I bought this at best buy who won't take it back. I'm going to go try to complain to them today and see if I can get them to exchange it or something, but I'm sure that won't work. Then I guess I'll try Acer's support, but I really don't want to send it off to them only to have it takes weeks and weeks to get it fixed. I only wish I had caught and fixed this problem sooner. I was so excited about this tablet and if it doesn't get fixed in a timely manner....I'm not going to be too happy about it...
     
  15. notbillable

    notbillable Member

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    Reading from the posts here it appears that only some are experiencing the issue of the mic with low volume (including myself)?

    If that is the case then would replacing the tablet be an option? I still have a day or two to return to best buy so wanted to confirm.

    Or is this issue inherent in every A500 model that is out there?
     

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