Unable To Hear The Game You're Playing

This article goes over potential reasons for why a guest cannot hear sound when joining a computer through Parsec.


Issues with Arcade Beta

Arcade is in beta and not yet stable, and sound issues with it are common. Learn more about Arcade issues. The rest of the article below is about issues using the Computers tab.


Restart Parsec on both the host and guests

Sometimes all you need is to restart to get things going. Right-click Parsec's icon in the taskbar and click Restart, on all devices involved.


Programs are muted or set to a really low volume

Open your computer's volume mixer on both the guests and the host, and make sure that Parsec and everything you're expecting to hear isn't muted or set to some inaudible volume percentage.



Parsec is muted on the guest overlay

Make sure that the overlay on the guest says "Sound ON" instead of OFF.



Parsec's echo cancelling is lowering the audio

Parsec's automatic echo cancelling may cause the audio to be lowered permanently if it detects someone's microphone is always active in Discord. The host can try turning the feature off in Parsec's settings > Host > Echo Cancelling. If that fixes it, but you want to prevent guests from hearing themselves, use the VB-Cable fix in the echo article.



Parsec has no speaker to capture on the host

Parsec does not create its own speaker when the host lacks one, and especially cloud PCs usually lack an audio device to capture. If hovering the sound icon on the host taskbar says "No speakers or headphones are plugged in", install a virtual audio device like VB-Cable.



Parsec isn't in the same speaker as the program with audio

Parsec by default captures all audio from whichever is the default speaker on the host's machine. If the program is running audio through a different speaker, Parsec will not capture it. To check:

  • Press Windows key + R
  • Type mmsys.cpl and press Enter
  • Open the program that is playing audio
  • Watch where the audio is playing by looking at the green bar, and check if the audio is in the default device

In the example below, audio is not playing in the default device, so Parsec won't capture it. Check the game's audio settings, or Windows' audio settings to make it use a different device. If you recently switched the default audio device, you should restart Parsec and the programs that have audio to make sure they start using the new device.


If you want Parsec to capture a device different from the default one in Windows, change Audio in Parsec's settings > Host to something else. If anyone is currently connected, you need to kick everyone for the changes to apply.



Speaker sample rate and bit depth is too high

You may also wanna try lowering the sample rate and bit depth of the host's audio.

  • Press Windows key + R
  • Type mmsys.cpl and press Enter
  • Double-click the default device
  • In the Advanced tab, switch to 16 bit, 48000 Hz (DVD Quality)
  • Click OK
  • Right-click the Parsec icon in the taskbar and click Restart



Your virtual surround sound setup is interfering

If you have a setup with virtual surround sound you may want to turn it off and test Parsec again. If you have a Razer headphone especially, make sure to check for this.


Parsec cannot capture the host's device

There are some cases in which Parsec just cannot make use of the device currently set as default. If you don't have other devices to test, check the VB-Cable section in our echo article for setting up an audio device that works well with Parsec.