Eliminating Sound Echo While Co-Op'ing With Friends

When using Parsec, people can hear what the host hears, which can include themselves if the host is talking to them on Discord or a similar app. Here's a list of ways the host can fix this.

Use Parsec Arcade

Arcade will only capture the game's sound, which prevents echo. It's currently in Beta so some games might not work properly.

Use the automatic cancellation for Discord

This is a fix for Discord that works by reducing the entire stream's volume when someone talks. The host can enable it in Parsec's settings > Host > Echo Cancelling. If you dislike that it mutes your guests' audio when they speak, or you're not using Discord, look into the other fixes in the article instead.

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In case it doesn't work properly while enabled, the host can try these things:

  • Restart Discord
  • Ensure Standard is used in Discord's Settings > Voice & Video > Audio subsystem
  • Disable any software for virtual surround sound or audio enhancing, then restart Discord and Parsec from the taskbar icons in the bottom-right
  • If you have a complex audio setup for live streaming, you should look into other fixes

If it doesn't work regardless, try the other fixes in this article instead, and disable Echo Cancelling in the settings.

Use a different device or output for your communication app

A different device: Remember that people hear what is output on the host PC; that's why the echo exists. If the host uses Discord (or similar apps) on their phone or another device aside from the computer that is hosting, there won't be any echo on Parsec.

A different output: For example, if the host computer has headphones and a display that outputs audio, they can use one for chatting and the other for everything else. With the chat separated from what Parsec captures, there's no echo.

Change output used by your voice app

Change to another audio device in the settings of the app you use to communicate with friends. For Discord, change 'Output device' in Voice & Video.

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Change speaker used by everything else
  • Press Windows + R, type mmsys.cpl and press Enter to open the sound settings
  • Select the one you want and click Set Default
  • Restart your PC in case things don't start using the device you set

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Use VB-Cable (Manual fix)

This fix uses a separate program, and doesn't lower the volume of the stream. You might however notice a bit of added latency. The following steps should be done by the host:

  • Download VB-Cable, unzip and run the setup as administrator. Choose the correct 32 or 64-bit version for your PC.

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  • Press Windows + R, type mmsys.cpl and press Enter to open the sound settings
  • Note down your original device which has a green checkmark (in my case it's 'Speakers'). We'll use it in the tutorial
  • Click CABLE Input and click Set Default

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  • Go into the Recording tab
  • Double-click CABLE Output. In the new window, go to the Listen tab
  • Activate Listen to this device
  • Set Playback through this device to your original device
  • Click OK

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  • Modify the settings of the app you use to communicate with friends. For Discord, change 'Output device' in the Voice & Video settings to your original device

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  • Lastly, make sure to restart your computer right now for programs to switch to the correct audio devices
It didn't work / something is wrong

If you or the clients are unable to hear anything at all, you should double-click the original device and Cable Input, and set both to use 24 bit, 44100 Hz on Advanced > Default Format. Do the same for Cable Output, but use 2 channel, 24 bit, 44100 Hz instead. Restart your computer if nothing's changed right away.

Otherwise, it's very likely that something was set incorrectly (carefully re-check the tutorial), or the computer wasn't restarted at the end.