I'm running Skype and other voice chat apps on a Lenovo ThinkPad W500 without a headset; I'm using only the laptop's built-in mic and speakers.

According to the people I speak with, the audio quality is perfect, even when I turn my head away from the PC. I've other apps, e.g. Oovoo and it's similarly good.

My past experiences have always been horrible - a feedback loop caused by the speaker sound getting picked up from the mic, low audio volume, etc. I thought Skype might be doing some fancy schmancy noise reduction magic but as I said above, the quality is very good even when using other apps.

I'm curious why the quality of my audio (as heard by the other person) isn't horrible in this configuration?

  • This question doesn't seem to have anything to do with Skype, since the quality is good with multiple applications. – Myrddin Emrys Dec 21 '09 at 18:06
  • Good catch - after I entered the title and composed the message, I neglected to go back and adjust the title. Done. – Matt Dec 21 '09 at 19:40
  • that's quite normal for laptops/netbooks with integrated microphones and not limited to Skype i'm also using a VoIP application (VoipStunt) on my Eee PCs, they work great as a hands-free telephone sets :) – Molly7244 Dec 21 '09 at 19:46

There is a simple (depending on your definition of simple) feedback circuit that eliminates echo from speaker output. It's likely that your laptop subtracts the audio it sends to the speakers from the mic using a method like this. This avoids feedback, plus a nice microphone. No voodoo here.

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