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Sound quality is terrible
Authored by: dirtymouse on May 24, '06 07:16:30PM

I've been using Skype for a year (or more) to contact our overseas business people. Don't use it Locally or Nationally, as we've got VOIP on a real handset and using a Linksys S2000 box.

About Voice quality:
Voice quality of SkypeOut was better than Skype to Skype initially, but in recent months, calling from Australia to Ireland, UK, Netherlands or Sinagpore has improved so much that i can't tell the difference anymore. (ie: pretty good, about 80-90% of landline quality)

Bad audio artificts can still happen (very occassionally).

- very infrequently a small delay of 200ms (hang up and try again resolves this)
- darlek voice (granular synthesis) can occur for a few seconds (humourous ;-)
- one person cuts out - no speaking (hang up and ring again solves that too)

For best results:
- a fast(ish) G4 Laptop
- a fast(ish) ADSL connection 1500kps/500kps
- keep Skype up-to-date (it improves all the time)

Audio Input/Output:
- ipod headphones & builtin laptop mic for BOTH users (this cuts out feedback)
- Plantronics M2500 bluetooth headset works quite well too (within 5 metres)

Best use of Skype:
When travelling internationally, use SkypeOut when you internet connect your laptop wirelessly at airports, hotels and train stations etc. Way cooler use of waiting time and is very cheap to call people to make reservations or bookings or to keep in touch back home (especially if the internet is free). No more global roaming mobile charges!

Hidden travelling laptop benefits:
You can be contacted quite easily (using Skypein & Voicemail combination) if you're travelling with internet access. SkypeIn numbers are local call Numbers in various regions around the world (except Australia). This means, people with real landlines can call you for a price of a local OR regional call, and you pay the connection as if you were using the cheap SkypeOut rate.

Additionally, you can set your skype account to divert (when you are offline) to any number and this comes out of the SkypeOut call credit (same rate).

Having said all that, I plan to use my VOIP box when in other countries for an extended stay of a week or more. However, Skype is still the easiest solution if you already have the laptop with you ;-)

dirtymouse - 'fix a troubled Mac' - troubleshooting PDF book

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