How to Fix Audio When You Can't Hear Anyone on Discord

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Matthew M. White
@matthewmwhite
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Although chat in Discord is a useful and widely used thing, it is still a VoIP application focused on voice communication for gaming. Discord's 250 million users are very impressive, and many use the app itself on a daily basis.

Like any other app, however, Discord comes with its own set of issues. And while few issues relate to the popular VoIP application, some are relatively persistent. We are not able to hear others. Here is how to solve this problem.



The basic solutions

Your Discord audio issue may be the result of a more complex problem. Whenever you are troubleshooting technical issues, the best approach is to eliminate the most basic potential issues.

Let's start by restarting your device. This is usually the first thing to do if a Windows problem appears. The world's most famous operating system is not without flaws and is known to act for various reasons.

Next, you need to see if the problem is actually with your headphones. If the headphones don't work with other Windows sounds, the problem is probably not with Discord. To check this, go to the lower right corner of your screen and click on the speaker icon. A slider will appear above it. Adjust the slider and see if there is a sound when you release the left click. Otherwise, just listen to music on your computer, YouTube, etc.

If audio plays normally outside of Discord, try unplugging the headset and plugging it back in. Then restart your PC and Discord. If that doesn't work, uninstall and reinstall the Discord app itself. If none of these potential fixes work, you can move on to more technical solutions.



Keep it updated

This solution might seem like a default solution, but you definitely need to make sure your Discord app is up to date. This is important for a variety of reasons, not just because your headphones don't seem to be working. Luckily, Discord offers frequent updates to ensure the app works smoothly for everyone.

Sometimes, however, updates are not installed correctly. Other times, your Discord app might skip an update or two. This is fixed by refreshing the app. In the app, tap Ctrl + R to refresh it. Otherwise, just restart it. If none of this helps you install the latest update, check out the Discord forums for a solution.

Default communication device

Your headset should be set as the default communication device. A window prompting you to configure such a device should appear as soon as you plug in the headphones, but this may not happen. If said window did not appear, you will need to manually set your headset as the default communication device.

To do this, go to the lower right corner of Windows and right-click on the speaker icon. Then select Open sound settings. In the window that opens, scroll down to Related settings and click Sound control panel. Now find the headset in the list, right click on it and then click Set as default communication device. Now select Okay.

Restart Discord and see if that fixed the issue.

Legacy audio subsystem

Sometimes Discord will experience hardware compatibility issues with audio equipment. Discord's latest audio subsystem is pretty neat, but it's not compatible with all headsets, at least not yet. If so, reverting to the legacy audio subsystem may resolve the issue.



To do this, open the Discord app and navigate to the User settings tab (the gear icon). From this menu, select Voice and video. On the Voice and Video tab, navigate to audio subsystem. Here you should find the Inheritance option. Select this option and confirm.

When you're done, restart the Discord app and see if the problem persists.

Set input/output device

If your audio device in question is not set as the primary input and output device, then this is likely the underlying cause of the problem in question. Defining the device as the primary input/output device is done in Windows.

To do this, go to Open sound settings by clicking the speaker icon in the lower right corner of Windows. A window will open and you should see the Choose your output device section. Use the drop-down menu under the section title and see if the headphones you're using are set as the default output device. If not, make sure they are. Follow the same procedure for the input device.

Once you've selected the headset as your primary input and output device, restart the Discord app to see if the issue is resolved.


The web version

Yes, the app version of Discord is preferred by many. Although the features are pretty much the same for both versions, people still prefer the desktop one. If the audio problem persists, try temporarily using the web version. If your headphones work with the browser version, contact Discord Support and use the web version until they respond or resolve your issue.


If your headset isn't working on the web version of Discord, the problem is likely with your headset itself.

Still no solution

If none of the solutions above helped, try using the headset on another computer that has Discord installed. If it works, your headset probably has compatibility issues with your computer. Contact the headset manufacturer/distributor for a solution.

If your headset doesn't work on Discord on another computer, it's not compatible with Discord for some reason. Contact Discord tech support and see what they can do to help you solve this annoying problem.

Discord sound issues

As you can see, there are a number of potential underlying causes that are interfering with your Discord gaming headset. Any of the solutions offered here will probably work like a charm. However, if none do, your best bet would be to contact Discord's tech support and work with them to resolve this issue.

Have you had headset issues on Discord? How did you solve the problem? What was the problem? Feel free to discuss your issue in the comments section below.

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