If you’ve ever used voice chat in Discord, you may have experienced audio that seems to drop out inconsistently, making the other users difficult to hear. Fortunately, Discord offers a simple solution to remedy this problem, and it only requires a minor tweak in the app settings.
Discord enables a noise gate by default for voice chat. The noise gate helps eliminate electronic and background noise by cutting off all sound below a certain threshold. The downside is that if your voice drops below that level, the sound cuts off completely. This creates a choppy effect at times, and can sound like a faulty connection.
The default noise gate works well for gaming headsets with built in microphones that extend outward to person’s mouth, but works poorly for earbuds with dangling mics, Bluetooth earpieces, a phone on speaker mode, or an external mic placed more than 12″ (0.3 m) away from the user’s lips.
Noise gates typically require extreme differences in volume between the desired sound (e.g., a human voice) and undesired sound (e.g., ambient background noise). Moving a microphone further away from the speaker’s mouth decreases the difference between the background noise and the person’s voice substantially. To learn more, see our earlier post on gates and expanders and the the advantages of recording with proximity.
Turn off the noise gate
Fortunately, Discord allows users to configure the sensitivity of the noise gate in the app. We’ll describe how to turn the noise gate off completely, which allows all sound to pass through. If you’re experiencing heavy background noise, you may wish to leave the gate on just slightly to eliminate some background noise while allowing the voice the pass through.
MacOS & Windows
Open Discord and click the “Discord” menu in the toolbar, then click “Preferences”.
Click “Voice & Video” on the left to open the Voice Settings. Click the switch under “Input Sensitivity” to turn on the manual settings.
After switching to manual input sensitivity, you’ll notice a bar with a slider. It should be set to -40dB by default.
Move the slider all of the way to left. This completely turns off the noise gate, allowing all sound to pass through.
If you’re experiencing too much background noise try, moving the slider up just slightly and test the results by speaking normally into the mic. The green level indicator represents audio above the noise gate threshold that passes through on voice chat. When adjusting the slider, speak normally and set so that every spoken syllable passes through the noise gate.
Tap your user profile picture in the bottom right of the screen to access the app settings menu.
Tap the “Voice” menu under “App Settings”.
Disable “Auto Sensitivity” by tapping the switch.
This reveals the default manual sensitivity settings. Move the “Sensitivity” slider all the way to the left.
Speaking into the microphone will show a green line representing the incoming audio. Green audio passes through to voice chat.
Turning off the noise gate does allow more noise into calls. This should suffice for small group calls with four people or less, but more users will contribute even more noise. If you use these settings, be courteous to the others on the voice channel by staying close to the mic, speaking more loudly, eliminating the ambient noise, or muting your microphone when silent. Doing so can mean that large groups can maintain clear communication without cluttering the signal path with extraneous noise.
If you found this helpful, use this as a reference and share it with it others struggling with their audio connections. The setting has to be changed on the app preferences for each user, so keep the link handy if you notice the characteristic dropouts on Discord voice channels.
Give this post a “like” and leave us a comment if this improved your experience on Discord voice chat!