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Getting Out Of The Zoom-meeting Cave

One problem with Zoom meetings: Some participants can sound like they are in a cave. Helpline has a solution.
Getting Out Of The Zoom-meeting Cave

Q. Working from home means I am attending a lot of Zoom meetings. The constant complaint I get from other attendees that I sound like I am in a cave. I have connected my iPhone Barbuds to my laptop to use as a headset and everyone sounds fine to me. Is there something I can do to make myself sound better on these calls?

A. I have been working with a lot of my colleagues who are working from home and what you are describing sounds like a problem that has come up for me on more than one occasion.

When using Apple EarPods connected to an iPhone, they act as both headphones and a microphone.

What people don’t always realize is that if you plug these into the headphone jack of a laptop, they only act as earphones as the headphone jack is output only. That means the microphone does nothing.

So if you are using your laptop connected to external monitors with the laptop lid closed the built in microphone on the laptop is blocked and could make you sound like you are far away or in a cave.

To fix this, you will need to open the laptop so the built in microphone is not obstructed.

An even better option would be to either get a USB headset that allows you to hear and to speak or to get an external Webcam with a built in microphone.

Q. My Windows computer recently had an update and now Microsoft Edge is taking control of my computer. How do I go back to using my preferred browser, which is Google Chrome?

A. Microsoft has been aggressively pushing Microsoft Edge and if you’re not careful you can easily set it as your default Web browser by mistake.

To go back to using Chrome all you need to do is click on “Search” and type “Default App Settings” and hit “Enter.”

In the window that pops up you will see a list of the default applications that Windows uses for various things.

Look for web browser and click on the icon and you will be presented with all the choices available from your installed browsers.

Just choose Google Chrome and you’re all set. You might get a pop up that asks you if you’re sure. Just click through that and it should not bother you again.

Using this settings menu you can adjust all of your default apps and also enable and disable apps that start when your computer boots up. This can be useful for removing things that are slowing you down or adding things that you might want to have launch automatically when you boot your PC.

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