Eliminating Sound Echo While Co-Op'ing With Friends

When joining someone’s computer on Parsec, you can hear all audio playing in that computer, including chatting apps like Discord. This means you may hear yourself when joining a friend that is talking to you. Below is how the person hosting can solve this issue.

 

Echo in the Computers tab (Desktop sharing)

The host can enable Echo Cancelling in Parsec's settings > Host. After enabling, it may be necessary to scroll to the top of the settings and click Restart to apply the changes.

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“New” option

The new option requires Windows 10 21H1 or newer, and allows you to choose a specific app to exclude from being captured. Unlike the legacy option, this one does not lower the audio of other programs when someone talks.

Some important notes about this method:

  • Due to how this option works, Parsec captures audio from all audio devices on your system at once, like your headphones, speakers and virtual outputs all at the same time. This means it’ll also capture programs that re-route audio through different devices, like VB-Cable, Voicemeeter, RTX Voice, OBS’ audio monitoring mode and others. If those have your communication app audio, people will still hear themselves on Parsec
  • The stream audio may stutter in some cases, due to issues with the Windows API used. If this stutter happens often, try to change your audio device's properties in Windows to use 48000hz as the sampling rate

“Legacy” option

The legacy option lowers the audio of the stream when it detects Discord audio to prevent echo. This affects the audio of other programs being streamed while someone is talking on Discord.

If this setting doesn’t work, confirm that “Standard” is used in Discord’s settings, in Voice & Video > Audio subsystem, and disable any virtual surround sound or audio enhancing software. Then, restart both Discord and Parsec via their taskbar icons in the bottom-right. If you still have issues, try to use a different fix in this page.

Alternative fixes

If you're having trouble with both of Parsec's automatic options, change the Parsec setting to "Off", scroll to the top of the settings and click Restart if needed, and follow either of the methods below.

Use VB-Cable (Manual fix)

This is a consistent fix that uses a separate program, and doesn't lower the volume of the stream. You might however notice a bit of added latency. The following steps should be done by the host:

  • Download VB-Cable, unzip and run the setup as administrator. Choose the correct 32 or 64-bit version for your PC.

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  • Press Windows + R, type mmsys.cpl and press Enter to open the sound settings
  • Note down your original device which has a green checkmark (in my case it's 'Speakers'). We'll use it in the tutorial
  • Click CABLE Input and click Set Default

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  • Go into the Recording tab
  • Double-click CABLE Output. In the new window, go to the Listen tab
  • Activate Listen to this device
  • Set Playback through this device to your original device
  • Click OK

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  • Modify the settings of the app you use to communicate with friends. For Discord, change 'Output device' in the Voice & Video settings to your original device

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  • Lastly, make sure to restart your computer right now for programs to switch to the correct audio devices

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It didn't work / something is wrong

If you or the clients are unable to hear anything at all, you should double-click the original device and Cable Input, and set both to use 24 bit, 44100 Hz on Advanced > Default Format. Do the same for Cable Output, but use 2 channel, 24 bit, 44100 Hz instead. Restart your computer if nothing's changed right away.

Otherwise, it's very likely that something was set incorrectly (carefully re-check the tutorial), or the computer wasn't restarted at the end.

Use a different device or speaker for your communication app

A different device: Remember that people hear what is in the host PC; that's why the echo exists. If the host uses Discord (or similar apps) on their phone or another device aside from the computer that is hosting, there won't be any echo on Parsec.

A different output: For example, if the host computer has a headphone and a monitor that outputs audio, they can use one for chatting and the other for everything else. With the chat separated from what Parsec captures, there's no echo.

Change output used by your chatting app

Change to another audio device in the settings of the app you use to communicate with friends. For Discord, change 'Output device' in Voice & Video.

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Change speakers used by everything else

  • Press Windows + R, type mmsys.cpl and press Enter to open the sound settings
  • Select the one you want and click Set Default
  • Restart your PC in case things don't start using the device you set

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Arcade Beta

Arcade shares just the game, and as part of that it will only capture the game's sound, which naturally avoids echo. It's currently in Beta and some games will not work correctly, so we recommend using the Computers tab if you’re playing with friends, with one of the previous fixes in this article. Learn more about Arcade.