I have an HP laptop, HP 250 G4. It came with Windows 8.1 and Skype but I've now upgraded it to Windows 10. The version of Skype that came with the laptop was so old that it didn't work at all with some sort of message saying that the latest version had to be downloaded and installed as it couldn't automatically update itself.

My current version of Skype is Before that I was using 7.17.something, and before that 7.something. I will update it as soon as I am aware that there is a later version available. I have always had this problem on this laptop, even when running Windows 8.1 but I have only recently realised the trigger.

When I use Skype on the laptop the sound is fine unless any other sound plays, including system sounds caused by Skype. After the other sound stops the Skype sound becomes slow and distorted. If I generate another system sound, the Skype sound clears up until the other sound stops again. When the other person stops speaking, the sound will resynchronise itself. If they say a long farewell then hang up, their final words get cut off.

Completely exiting from Skype and restarting it usually clears up the problem. If the laptop is left alone for a few hours without restarting Skype the sound is OK on the next call. Otherwise, hanging up and immediately re-establishing the connection doesn't help.

I've tried asking on the Skype community but no-one answers. I had the same problem before upgrading to Windows 10 and Skype is the latest version available. No other program suffers from distorted sound, even at the same time as Skype is struggling. The only audio I'm using that didn't come with the laptop is a pair of earphones with a 3.5mm plug.

Steps to reproduce:

  1. Start a Skype call (video or audio)
  2. Open the chat panel if it is hidden
  3. After any amount of time (1 minute, 30 minutes, etc.) generate a sound with other software, e.g. a system sound by pressing one of the cursor keys in the empty chat box
  4. The Skype call has been completely distortion free up to this point
  5. While the other sound is playing, Skype will be distortion free, but distortion will happen as soon as the other sound stops
  6. If the system sound is one second long, it is possible to hear one second of distortion free Skype by triggering the system sound again
  7. The remainder of the call will have slow audio (gradually going out of sync with the video) and badly distorted, loud audio, except if another sound is playing at the same time
  • 2
    Might help to know what version of Skype you are using as well as if you are using anything for sound input/output other than the system’s built in capabilities. Feb 1 '16 at 2:10
  • @JakeGould I already said it was the latest, and there have been a few minor releases that I've kept up to date with since starting to use Skype. I have, however, added the version number in the question, which information is likely to get out of date quickly.
    – CJ Dennis
    Feb 1 '16 at 2:40
  • 3
    “I already said it was the latest…” That is meaningless in a few days, weeks or months. An exact version number for a scenario like this. “…which information is likely to get out of date quickly.” How do you know that by the time you install 7.19.x that it could solve the problem? For all you know a week from now you can solve your own answer by saying, “The solution is to upgrade to 7.19.x…” You can’t just ask anyone to solve a problem for you but then provide utterly no details. Feb 1 '16 at 4:46
  • @1Fish_2Fish_RedFish_BlueFish I'm happy to reinstall any problematic program because in my experience doing so has a 0.1% chance of improving the situation and a 1% chance of making things worse. I call this humouring the helpdesk operator. I'm editing my question because I didn't make it explicit that the problems started well before I upgraded Windows.
    – CJ Dennis
    Feb 1 '16 at 10:48
  • 1
    @CJDennis: I don't have a direct answer to your question, but I may be able to help you get one. People volunteer their time to help others on the site. When you cop an attitude and denigrate their efforts, you discourage responses. Troubleshooting often involves trying things to rule stuff out. If you think that process is stupid, just mutter to yourself instead of posting your mutterings here. That's more likely to get you a solution.
    – fixer1234
    Feb 1 '16 at 19:53

this happened to me exactly the same way, BUT.... there is a simple solution: as it is linked to the windows system sounds (as soon as one of those sounds goes on, skype sound continue distorted and video also ...), simply configure it as "no sounds" ... problem solved. your skype conversations will go on smoothly, no distorsions anymore ;-)


o.k. after days and 25 downloads I found the solution. uninstall Skype. Download Skype version 6.14 thats the one that works falawless.No mor distorsion, just loud and clear. Good luck folks.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.