In today's corporate landscape, Microsoft Teams has become the go-to platform for critical conversations, spanning from job interviews to client interactions. Nothing can derail a meeting faster than poor audio quality, regardless of your stellar internet connection and high-definition video feed.
That's where running a Microsoft Teams test call comes to the rescue. It ensures that your software and devices perform flawlessly when it matters most. This guide covers everything you need to know about conducting a Microsoft Teams test call and troubleshooting common audio issues.
How to Initiate a Microsoft Teams Test Call
Thankfully, launching a Microsoft Teams test call is a breeze. Begin by logging into the desktop version of Teams (please note that the test call feature is not available on the web client or for Government High Cloud and DoD tenants). Once logged in, click on the three dots (...) next to your profile picture in the top bar, and select "Settings," followed by "Devices." Ensure that the correct microphone and speakers are selected for your app, then click "Make a test call."
For a quicker option, you can simply type /testcall into the Teams search bar and hit "Enter" to initiate a test call instantly.
Microsoft will connect you with a bot, sparing you from speaking with colleagues during the test. Plus, all data from your test call is automatically deleted once the session concludes.
The call's purpose is to verify your ability to connect to Teams for calls, much like during a meeting. You can playback the recording to identify any sound-related issues. Additionally, you can tweak your settings, enabling features like automatic microphone sensitivity, noise suppression, and spatial audio to observe how they impact audio quality.
Alternative Methods for Assessing Call Quality in Teams
Beyond the Microsoft Teams test call feature, you have other avenues to evaluate call quality in Teams, particularly for broader troubleshooting and monitoring:
1. Call Analytics: Teams administrators can utilize per-user call analytics to pinpoint connection and call quality concerns for individual users. Enabling Call Analytics for Teams and assigning specific roles to your team members grants access to this service. Within the Teams Admin Center, navigate to "Users," select a user, and go to the "Meetings & Call" tab to view an overview of their call quality. The "Advanced" tab reveals potential call quality and connection issues with red and yellow indicators.
2. Call Quality Dashboard (CQD): Offering a network-wide perspective on call quality across your organization, the CQD is another tool at your disposal. Admins can find it in the "Analytics and Reports" section of the Admin Center or access it through a provided link. Similar to Call Analytics, you can assign roles to users to grant access. The CQD allows you to delve into call quality data, using Power BI query templates to gain insights into issues affecting meetings and call quality, such as call quality metrics, call reliability, user surveys, device impacts, and client performance.
3. Quality of Service (QoS): Microsoft Teams' QoS feature sheds light on network traffic's impact on your calls. You can prioritize real-time media in Teams and fine-tune settings to mitigate network traffic-related issues.
To implement Quality of Service (QoS) solutions within Teams, you'll need to configure Windows Group Policy Objects and Port-based Access Control lists (ACLs). Keep in mind that certain features for setting up Teams call quality policies are restricted to users with a Teams Premium license. This is an important consideration if you're utilizing QoS to address call-related issues.
Next Steps After a Microsoft Teams Test Call
For individual users, the Microsoft Teams test call feature remains the simplest way to assess call quality and make necessary adjustments. Based on your test results, you can fine-tune your device settings to potentially enhance call quality.
If your call quality falls short of expectations, start by ensuring you've selected the correct testing device. When multiple audio devices are connected to your system, Teams might not automatically choose the one you intend to use.
Navigate to the "Devices" section in your Teams Settings and confirm that you've chosen the appropriate microphone and speakers. Additionally, ensure that your selected device is functioning correctly. Some headsets come equipped with physical mute buttons, so if you're experiencing audio issues during your Microsoft Teams test call, try toggling this button on and off.
Other methods to potentially resolve call quality issues include:
1. Update and Restart Microsoft Teams:
If your audio is malfunctioning and your device appears to be in working order, restarting Teams or your device is often the initial step. Keep in mind that computers, smartphones, and tablets rely on RAM for smooth operation. A device restart clears temporary cache files and logs.
You can also exit Microsoft Teams and log back in to clear any app-specific cache clutter. While doing this, check for available updates for your Teams app. An outdated version of Teams could contribute to your issues.
Click on your profile picture and select "Check for Updates" to see if a patch is available. After downloading the update, restart your app.
2. Check for Device Issues:
Microsoft-certified audio endpoints and devices typically exhibit no compatibility problems. However, an uncertified solution may not integrate seamlessly with the app. If your current endpoint falls short, consider upgrading to a new device.
If the device you've chosen is compatible with Teams, audio issues may stem from outdated or corrupt drivers. For users with USB microphones, reinstalling the peripheral device driver may resolve the problem.
On Windows, you can update your drivers by clicking the "Start" button and searching for "Device Manager." Locate the "Sound, video, and game controllers" category, right-click your peripheral device, select "uninstall," and then click "Actions" to scan for hardware changes and reinstall your device.
3. Inspect App Settings:
Occasionally, the simplest solutions are the most effective. First, double-check your Teams app to ensure you haven't accidentally muted your microphone. A line through the microphone icon on Teams indicates that you're muted. Click the microphone icon again to unmute your audio. Keep in mind that if you're in a meeting, the host might have temporarily muted your microphone. In such cases, you'll need to wait for access to the unmute button.
Another potential issue may stem from your device settings. Within the "Devices" page in your "Settings" tab, review your settings for noise suppression, spatial audio, and microphone sensitivity. You can experiment with these options and then conduct another Microsoft Teams test call to check for any improvements.
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