Skype for Windows 8: Audio Settings and Options

Following @SkypeSupport on Twitter quickly provides an overview of where users are having issues.

One of the most accessible features of Skype for Windows Classic is the ability to monitor audio and video settings directly from the client. Prior to a call you can check out microphone, speakers and webcam from the Call Quality Information tool that shows up in a Contact’s conversation pane. During a call this information is also readily accessible from the Call Management Bar. This feature overcame an issue where one had to check Windows Sound and Video settings from the Control Panel – not readily found by the average consumer user.

S4W8.AudioSettings.TweetSo it was not a surprise when I came across the Tweet on the right. It poses a question I had checked out at some point when using Skype for Windows 8 on a desktop PC and a Microsoft Surface.

The response requires a couple of gestures or a few keystrokes:

  • When in Skype bring up the charms by a gesture from the right on a touch screen or taking the mouse to either of the right corners on a mouse-based screen.
  • Select Settings | Options and you’ll find the following:


It provides not only audio and video device information but also privacy settings.

What’s interesting it the “Default location for emergency calls” drop down box. Shown above is the (standard) warning seen when one selects “Canada”. Below is the warning that comes up when you select United Kingdom where the regulatory agency, Offcom, set some minimum requirements for emergency calls:


Is the existence of this setting related to any activity to incorporate emergency calling into Skype features? It would certainly eliminate one obstacle to the lack of Canadian Skype Online numbers.

In this example from a Desktop, the microphone and speakers are from the Yamaha PSG-01MS Microphone Speaker; the webcam is a FREETALK Everyman HD webcam. However, on the Microsoft Surface I found that while Skype for Windows 8 would recognize headsets (mic and speakers), it would not recognize third party webcams, via its USB port.

Bottom line: Audio and Video settings when using Skype for Windows 8 can be found; it just requires a couple of extra swipes or keystrokes. Hopefully a Call Quality Information feature will appear in a future release of Skype for Windows 8. Meanwhile, if you are having difficulty with a Skype call, use Skype for Windows Classic on the Windows 8 Desktop to access the Call Quality Information feature during a call.

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About Jim Courtney

Bringing over thirty years' experience in the sales, marketing and management of cutting edge technology businesses.

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