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Can’t Hear People in Discord? Here’s How to Fix it

Discord is a gaming-focused social platform that has garnered quite a bit of attention in recent years due to its impressive toolset and sleek, modern design. Discord allows users to connect with others around the world with ease by forming servers. Users can make calls, share media, and pop around from many different servers all on one easy-to-use and accessible platform. 

One of Discord’s main selling points is its integrated voice/video chat rooms where you can talk with other users or use these rooms as comms for competitive team-based games. While Discord does its best to stay up-to-date and fix bugs as they present themselves, audio issues and connectivity problems are fairly frequent. This step-by-step guide will lay out how to find and address issues with receiving audio from other users.

First Steps to Take

Let’s look at the most common and straightforward solutions before we dive into all of the technical menus and details. The following steps may seem simple, but it is always good to make sure that you cover your bases before trying to fix a complex issue that may not be present. 

  1. Double-check your connections. Is your headset/speaker plugged in and powered?
  2. Check and make sure your PC is outputting audio in other programs like Spotify.
  3. Restart Discord. Glitches during launch can happen, and this step can fix them.
  4. Follow the age-old advice of restarting your computer. 
  5. Double-check and make sure that your audio output setting on your PC isn’t muted.

If those steps don’t resolve the issue immediately then you’ll have to do some troubleshooting in Discord. Don’t worry, Discord has a clean user interface and most of the options and toggles are easy to find even for the inexperienced user.

Select the Correct Input Device & Audio Subsystem

This will be the simplest option to toggle and check. You’ll want to go to the gear icon next to your username and navigate to the “Voice and Video” settings. You should see a couple of drop-down options for “Input Device” and “Output Device.” Select the first option and make sure that your microphone/headset is selected and make sure the second option matches your speakers or headset as well. 

If that doesn’t do it, scroll down that same menu until you see another drop-down list for “Audio Subsystem.” Discord may have a blindspot where its current version isn’t compatible with your headset for one reason or another. Thankfully, Discord allows users to dial back the audio settings to a preview version by selecting “Legacy” from the list of options. 

Discord will force a re-launch after you change this setting. Once it reopens, check to see if you are receiving audio through the app. If not, continue with these next troubleshooting steps.

Check Your Default Device Settings on Your PC

Sometimes the issue isn’t with Discord at all, rather you may not have your headset or mic set as your default communication device. This will prevent you from receiving and often transmitting audio completely. Toggling it on is simple. 

  • Go to the bottom-right of the Windows taskbar and find the audio/sound icon and right-click it. 
  • Find the “open sound settings” option in the list that populates and click it
  • Check that the “Output” and “Input” devices are set correctly
  • Continue scrolling and select the “Sound Control Panel” option under “Related Settings”
  • Find your device in the list that pops up, right-click, and select “Set as Default Communication Device” and hit “Apply”

I recommend restarting your PC after this step just to be sure. This will also re-launch Discord and allow those changes to take effect.

Reinstall and/or Update Discord

Issues can arise during installation that can be fixed by uninstalling and reinstalling Discord. Navigate to your PC’s program and follow the steps there to uninstall Discord completely before installing a fresh copy from Discord’s site. Additionally, make sure that Discord is running its latest version. Discord will often update on its own. If it isn’t, follow our handy guide on manually updated Discord here.

Still Having Issues?

If you’ve followed the above steps and still aren’t receiving audio, it may be your headset. Attempt to use it on another application or device to rule out hardware issues. It may be worth seeking out the most up-to-date drivers for your motherboard or AMP as well. 

If all else fails, try contacting Discord’s support team to rule out all possibilities on their end. If you’re still experiencing issues after following all of these steps, it could very well be an issue with your PC or headset. As a very last resort, you can try to format and reinstall Windows, which would restore any missing drivers or issues. It’s not the most convenient or quick solution, but it would help rule out any lingering software issues that may have resulted from an imperfect install of Windows.

Final Thoughts

I hope this guide was able to help you root out any finicky problems that you may have been facing with your audio. If you have other Discord-related questions, we have guides that go over a few different topics such as how to enable Discord’s Streamer Mode!

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