Why Are My Friends So Quiet On Discord?

Are your friends quiet on Discord and you've already maxed out the volume? Something might be wrong. Here's a guide that shows you how to fix it.

Discord usually offers excellent audio quality. However, if you don’t have your settings right, your friends could sound too quiet and you might struggle to hear them.

To help you overcome this, we have researched and tested the solutions. They are not complicated, as long as you know what you are doing.

To ensure that you can get rid of this audio problem, we will cover all the potential fixes in this article.

Let’s dive right in!

Table of ContentsShow

Discord Output Volume Too Low

Before troubleshooting and attempting various fixes, it is usually best to first check Discord’s settings.

Users can have audio issues because the default output volume on Discord is too low. If you are struggling to hear your friends because they’re too quiet, adjust that slider.

Here’s how to do that:

  1. Start Discord.
  2. Open User Settings (the cogwheel icon).
    Discord User Settings
  3. In the panel on the left, find the Voice & Video tab and select it.
  4. Next, immediately below Output Device, you should see Output Volume and a volume slider. Move the slider to the right to increase the audio volume.
    Discord Voice Settings Output Volume
  5. After making the adjustment, join a voice channel (if you weren’t already in one) and check whether or not you can hear your friends properly.

In addition, we recommend checking the output device. In general, it should work as intended when set as Default. However, you can still try a different device to ensure that it is not causing the issue.

If neither of these adjustments solves your issue, continue with some of the fixes below.

Other Discord Settings

Before we start looking for fixes outside Discord, let’s check some advanced audio-related settings.

In the same Voice & Video tab in User Settings, scroll down to the bottom.

Look for Audio Subsystem. This should be set to Standard by default. If it isn’t, make sure you change it to Standard.

Alternatively, switch to Experimental or Legacy audio subsystems. A restart might be required for the changes to take effect.

Discord Audio Subsystem set to Standard

It is also important to note that some routers may have issues working with the Quality of Service High Packet Priority option. Try disabling it.

Restart Discord

If adjusting the app’s settings does not resolve your audio issues, try restarting Discord. This might sound like an overly simple solution but it could work.

To do that, open the system tray menu, right-click the Discord icon and click Quit.

Quit Discord

Start the application again, join your friend’s voice channel, and test the audio.

Windows Volume Too Low

Another possibility is that you cannot hear your friends because your Windows volume settings are too low.

Either your master Windows audio is set low, or only Discord’s volume is set low. Fixing either issue is relatively easy. Just follow the steps below.

  1. At the bottom right of your screen is the system tray, where you will find the volume icon. Right-click it.
    Windows volume icon
  2. Select Volume Mixer.
  3. Find the Discord icon and adjust the volume.
    Discord volume in Windows Volume Mixer

Outdated/Broken Audio Drivers

This might be a bit of a stretch, but your audio drivers could be causing the audio problems on Discord. If that’s the case, it is because they are either outdated or broken/corrupted.

The best fix for driver-related problems is to simply update to the latest drivers.

We will go step-by-step to explain the process.

Using Windows To Update The Drivers

The first option is to use Windows to update the driver. In many cases, this doesn’t work, but it’s worth a try.

To do that, type and open Device Manager from the Start Menu. On the list of devices, expand Audio inputs and outputs.

Audio inputs and outputs in Windows Device Manager

Right-click your speakers/headphones and select Update driver. Next, select Search automatically for drivers. You might have to wait a couple of minutes for Windows to find the appropriate driver and install it.

If you successfully install the new audio driver, return to Discord and test whether or not you can hear your friends.

On the other hand, if you failed to update the driver using this method, try the alternative method in the following section.

Manual Audio Driver Update

The alternative solution is to find and download the new update manually. This method might prove a bit more complicated.

If you are up for trying it, here’s what you need to do!

Your first task is to find your motherboard model (or laptop). Without this information, you won’t be able to find the appropriate driver. Installing the wrong audio driver could cause further problems.

You can use CPU-Z to help you accomplish this, so download it from their official website. Choose the ZIP file instead of the setup because it doesn’t require installing. Once you have the zip extracted, start cpuz_x64.exe (or cpuz_x32.exe).

In CPU-Z, go to the Mainboard tab. Here you will be able to find out your motherboard manufacturer and model.

motherboard manufacturer and model info in CPU Z Mainboard tab

In our example, CPU-Z reported the model number of our laptop. If you are on a desktop PC, these fields will be slightly different.

With this information, we can search for the correct driver.

Either use Google or go to the manufacturer’s website. For this guide, we used MSI’s website.

On their website, click the search icon (top-right) and type the exact model of your motherboard. Be careful when selecting the motherboard because there could be multiple variations with the same name, as shown in the image below.

multiple motherboard variations with same name

Click the Download button immediately below the motherboard’s name and select the Driver tab. Next, choose your operating system, find the audio drivers and download the latest version.

downloading MSI audio drivers

Once downloaded, run the setup, and follow the install instructions. Don’t worry, the installation process will be pretty straightforward.

Finally, restart your computer, launch Discord, and test the volume of your Discord calls. This should fix any sound-related issues on your computer.

Note: If using the latest driver version does not solve your problem, try installing an older version of the driver.

Issues On Their End

When none of these solutions work, the issues could be on your friend’s end. If possible, they should try some common microphone fixes to help you hear them better.

The most common culprit on Discord is Input Sensitivity.

To hear your friends better, make sure all of them have Automatically determine input sensitivity disabled. After that, play around with the sensitivity slider to ensure that the microphone picks up your friends’ voices.

Discord Voice Settings Input Sensitivity

Moving the slider to the left lowers Discord’s decibel pickup range while dragging it to the right increases it. Experiment with the setting until you find the optimal balance. Usually, the sweet spot is between –50dB and -40dB.

Anything above -40dB may pick up too many sounds from the background.

Additionally, ensure that your friends select the right microphone under Input Device. While there, move the Input Volume slider to 100%.

That’s it!

With your and your friends’ settings fully optimized for the best audio, you should be able to hear each other properly from now on.


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Branko Gapo
Branko Gapo

Keeping up with the incredibly fast evolution of computer technology is impossible. Branko aims to use his knowledge on this matter to share news and information on all the latest essential technological innovations and advancements.