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How to Fix Zoom ‘Original Sound’ Problem (Windows 11)

How to Fix Zoom ‘Original Sound’ Problem (Windows 11)
Cliff
How to fix sound problem in Zoom music lessons Windows 11

How to Fix Zoom ‘Original Sound’ Audio Problem On Windows 11

My pupils who use computers with Windows 11 installed are having an annoying audio problem during their music lessons on Zoom, maybe you are too. It’s time to fix it.

If you know me, you probably know that I’m a Mac guy, but I borrowed a Windows 11 laptop, recreated the problem and solved it.

You can watch a video on how to solve the problem below, and hear a ‘before’ and ‘after’ comparison. Or read on if you prefer written steps.

The best Zoom audio settings for music lessons

Firstly, let’s check that you have all the basic settings correct…

Log into the Zoom app (don’t use the web browser version) and click on the small arrow next to the microphone icon (bottom left), then select ‘Audio settings’:

How to set Zoom audio settings for music lessons

Select the correct speaker (this will vary depending on your setup):

Which speaker to use for Zoom music lessons

Set the output volume appropriately (this will vary depending on your setup):

How to set output level for Zoom music lessons

Select the correct microphone (this will vary depending on your setup):

How to choose best microphone for Zoom music lessons

Set the input volume appropriately (if you are not sure then start at 75% and take it from there):

How to set microphone input level for Zoom music level

Depending on your particular setup, you may need to adjust this from the Windows volume bar:

How to set microphone input level in Windows 11

Uncheck ‘Automatically adjust microphone volume’:

Should I check or uncheck 'automatically adjust microphone volume' for Zoom music lessons?

Select ‘Original sound for musicians’ audio profile and make sure ‘High fidelity music mode’, ‘Echo cancellation’ and ‘Stereo audio’ are all checked:

Which audio profile settings for Zoom music lessons?

Click on the ‘Advanced’ button at the bottom of the Zoom ‘Audio settings’ window:

Advanced audio settings for Zoom music lessons

In the ‘Advanced’ section, set ‘Signal processing by Windows audio device drivers’ to ‘Off’:

How to turn off 'Signal processing by Windows audio device drivers' for Zoom music lessons

In the ‘Advanced’ section, set ‘Echo cancellation’ to ‘Auto’

Echo cancellation auto or aggressive for Zoom music lesson?

Back in the Zoom meeting window, turn on ‘Original sound for musicians’. Unlike all of the other settings I mentioned, ‘Original sound for musicians’ needs to be turned on each time you start a Zoom meeting, as it will be off by default.

How to tuen on 'Original sound for musicians' in Zoom music lesson

Zoom’s official support guidelines for Windows 11 audio issue

BUT… Even with all this set correctly, the person on the other side of the call can hear you speaking… but cannot hear your instrument or backing track.

This problem appears to be specific to Windows 11, and Zoom are aware of the problem. Here is the advice from the Zoom support article on their website:

“Issue:

Some users may experience issues while playing an instrument or singing in a meeting, even though Original Sound for Musicians is enabled in their Zoom app client’s settings. They might experience the following issues:

  • Participants can hear each other while they speak, but cannot hear the instruments’ audio being played.
  • If quiet or high-frequency sounds such as meditation music are being played, the audio cannot be heard.
  • While sharing their screen, the background audio is lost or distorted.

Environment:

  • Windows 11
  • MaxxAudio on Dell
  • Bang & Olufsen on HP
  • LG Smart Assistant on LG
  • Realtek Audio Console
  • Dolby Atmos

Resolution:

  • Disable the audio control maxxAudio, Bang & Olufsen, LG Smart Assistant software, or any similar software on your computer or uninstall it then restart the computer.
  • Update any audio drivers on your computer.
  • Disable audio enhancements on your computer.”

***DO NOT UNINSTALL ANYTHING!*** I WILL SAY THAT AGAIN ***DO NOT UNINSTALL ANYTHING!***

How I fixed the Zoom ‘Original sound for musicians’ audio problem on Windows 11

That is a lot of information, and you may not know what any of it means. So how do we actually fix the problem? I ran through all of the options suggested by Zoom support, and only one thing worked for me. Here it is:

Click on start:

Where is start button windows 11
Click on settings:

How to find settings windows 11
Click on system:

how to find system windows 11
Click on sound:


Select your microphone from the ‘Input’ section to reveal another small arrow:

How to select microphone Windows 11
Click on that arrow to get into the microphone properties:

How to adjust microphone properties Windows 11
From the ‘Audio enhancements’ dropdown, select ‘Off’. Depending on your manufacturer, the setting to disable audio enhancements may be in another tab called ‘Advanced’, but that is not showing on this computer.

How to turn off audio enhancements Windows 11
If you have more than one audio input device, repeat these steps for each device and then test your microphone on Zoom.

Hopefully that has fixed your issue!

Other solutions to the audio problem, recommended by Zoom

Before disabling the audio enhancements in Windows settings, I did try all of the other fixes recommended by Zoom support. They didn’t work for me, but if you still have an issue you may wish to try them.

Firstly, what are all those things that Zoom mention in their support article?

MaxxAudio is an audio suite that enhances the audio performance of the system on Dell devices. This application improves the audio quality in open spaces and minimizes feedback from other devices.

Bang & Olufsen on HP: in the context of HP laptops, the presence of the Bang & Olufsen brand typically signifies that the laptops feature audio technology and enhancements developed in collaboration with Bang & Olufsen.

LG Smart Assistant is an intelligent virtual assistant created by LG Electronics Inc. to help users interact with their LG smart devices in a more efficient and intuitive way.

Realtek Audio Console enables you to adjust audio device effects and all the audio device settings.

Dolby Atmos is a surround sound technology developed by Dolby Laboratories.

‘Any similar software’ is a bit vague, thank you Zoom! Seeing as all of the named options appear to be audio enhancement applications, you need to search for pre-installed audio enhancement apps associated with your computer make, model etc. For example, on an Asus laptop, I’d Google ‘which audio enhancement apps are preinstalled on Asus laptop *insert model name*’.

Search for named apps on your computer

Click on the ‘Start’ icon:

Where is start button windows 11
Click on ‘All apps’:

How to find 'all apps' Windows 11

Search for ‘Audio Control MaxxAudio’, ‘Bang & Olufsen’, ‘LG Smart Assistant’, ‘Realtek Audio Console’, ‘Dolby Atmos’ or ‘any similar software’ on your computer and see what you find. You will probably only have one of these apps installed, as they all perform a similar function regarding audio. If you didn’t find anything, then look for ‘any similar software’ as previously discussed.

How to search for apps in windows 11

Disable the named apps ***DO NOT UNINSTALL THEM!***

Type ‘Device manager’ in the search box:

How to search for device manager windows 11

Click on the ‘Device manager’ icon:

Where is device manager Windows 11

Expand ‘Sound, video and game controllers’:

How to expand sound, video and game controllers Windows 11
Right click on the named app, in this case I have Realtek Audio:

How to disable audio device Windows 11
Select ‘disable device’:

Right click to disable audio device Windows 11
Restart your computer:

How to restart computer windows after disabling audio device Windows 11
Test your microphone on Zoom and see if it has improved.

Re-enable the audio apps if needed

In my case, that completely broke the sound for my computer – this is why I am telling you for the third time ***DO NOT UNINSTALL THE AUDIO APPS!***

Failed to detect your microphone and speaker. Please make sure your devices are properly connected

Reinstalling them could be a real nightmare if you can’t find the files to install etc. You may end up with no sound at all on your computer, and I’m sure you don’t want that!

Your device is not working properly. Speaker: same as system, microphone: same as system

Follow the previous steps but select ‘enable device’ to fix your sound if you just broke it.

How to enable audio device windows 11
Restart your computer

How to restart computer windows 11

How to update audio drivers on Windows 11

Type ‘Device manager’ in the search box:

How to search for device manager windows 11
Click on the ‘Device manager’ icon:

Where is device manager Windows 11
Expand ‘Sound, video and game controllers’:

How to expand sound, video and game controllers Windows 11
Right click on the named app, in this case I have Realtek® Audio and select Update driver.

How to update audio driver Windows 11
Then follow the instructions to search for, and install, the updated drivers. This process may vary depending which controller you are updating.

How to search for drivers automatically windows 11

How to search for audio drivers on Widows update Windows 11

In my case the driver was up to date.

Audio drivers are up to date Windows 11

I hope that this has resolved the issue for you! If none of this worked for you, I’m sorry. The only thing I can say is I have not seen this problem on any Apple devices, only Windows PCs. This is one of the many reasons I use a Mac!

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