Resolving issues with audio & sound

The following article provides general preparation steps when setting up a Blackboard Collaborate Ultra session and will help you troubleshoot the most common audio issues.


  • Use a headset with a microphone (if you have one).
  • Or, use the in-built microphone, speakers or webcam on your laptop or computer (if it has them) but only if you are on your own and in a quiet location (e.g. your office).
  • If you need to add a microphone or headset; use one with a USB connection in preference to one that uses a 3mm jack (phono plug).

Before joining the session:

  • Plug-in your equipment before joining the Collaborate session
  • When Collaborate launches, accept any browser pop-up dialogue boxes that ask you to allow audio and
  • Make sure your microphone or headset isn’t muted or the volume is turned
  • Check that you can hear and/or speak using the devices you’ve chosen. Play a video in your browser to make sure you can hear.
    Or make a short recording using one of these free tools: Web - Vocaroo voice recorder, PC - Windows (version 7&8) Sound recorder / Voice Recorder (Windows 10), MAC: Quicktime Player > File > New Audio Recording.
  • Check the sound settings on your computer (Windows, MAC).
  • If you have a 3mm jack cable for your speakers or headset, check they are plugged in to the right colour sockets (Microphone = Pink, Speakers = Green [Line-out]). Use the jack sockets at the back of the computer, if the ones at the front do not

After joining the session:

Preventing Feedback noise

Feedback noise occurs when the sound from your speakers is picked up by your microphone. It can sound like an echo or high pitch screeching.

To prevent this:

  • Use a headset, if
  • Mute your audio when you are not
  • If you have a separate microphone, position it away from the
  • Turn down the volume of your

Problems with sound quality:

Collaborate will automatically adjust the quality of the sound depending on quality of your Internet connection. This means that sometimes the tone of someone’s voice can be flattened or drop-out briefly if the connection is poor.

For the best sound quality:

  • Use a wired internet connection where you can in preference to WiFi
  • Close any other applications that might be taking up your Internet
  • Adjust the volume settings on your computer, on your headset / speakers or in ‘My Settings’ in Bb Collaborate.

Loss of sound during the session:

  1. Leave the session and re-join.
  2. If this does not work, close your browser fully and open it again and re-join the session.

If you are still experiencing audio issues please see the following Service Desk article.

(Please note - it's better to refer to the Online version rather than export, as it's always up to date)