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 18.104.22.168. 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:
- Start a Skype call (video or audio)
- Open the chat panel if it is hidden
- 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
- The Skype call has been completely distortion free up to this point
- While the other sound is playing, Skype will be distortion free, but distortion will happen as soon as the other sound stops
- 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
- 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