Setting up your iSee audio

The Audio/Video Settings popup will automatically detect and use your default audio devices. If you would like to use a headset (recommended) then make sure it is plugged in before you launch iSee so that your computer has the chance to set it as the default microphone and speaker device. 

You can test that your Microphone has been set up properly by holding down the "Test Microphone" button and talking into your microphone. You should hear yourself repeated back with a few seconds of delay.

 

If you want to use a different microphone then you can select it from the down arrow beside the microphone list. If you are on a laptop or using an external webcam then the built in microphone is usually called an "array" microphone. This means that it is designed to pick up anything in the local environment and can introduce a lot of background noise into the iSee environment. The microphone on a headset is designed to only pick up voices that are close to the microphone and so is a better choice for iSee if you have one available.

Note that Bluetooth headsets connected to Windows computers can often be installed as a communications device rather than an audio device and may not be picked up automatically by the iSee Audio/Video Settings popup. If this is the case then you will need to go into your computers audio settings and ensure that your bluetooth headset is manually set to the default audio device for it to be detectable by iSee.

Bluetooth and other high end headsets also commonly come with audio enhancements algorythms. These audio enhancements can interact with the spatial audio processing in iSee and result in signficiant sound distortion. If this is the case then enhancements need to be switched off in your computers audio settings for sound to work correctly.

You can test your Speakers by clicking on the "Test Speakers" button. This will play a bell sound from the speakers or headset that iSee is currently using. While the microphone is selectable, iSee can only use your default speakers. So if the bell sound is coming out of the wrong place then you will need to use your computers sound settings to change the default speakers. Note that when you plug in a headset your computer will usually switch it to the default speakers automatically - so plug in your headset before launching iSee and things will normally work straight away. 

Note that Bluetooth headsets often need to be set manually as the default speakers in your computers audio settings prior to launching iSee to have them be detected.

If you don't have a headset - use "push to talk"

If you do not have a headset or are having trouble getting your headset to work and are forced to use your computers inbuilt array microphone then you can use the "push to talk" function to stop any background noise or feedback from coming into the iSee environment. To access push to talk when in iSee use the top right drop down menu and tick the "Push to Talk" checkbox. When "push to talk" is on you will need to hold down the 'T' key while speaking to turn on your microphone. Your microphone will automatically turn off when the 'T' key is released.

Types of consumer headsets

Mobile phone headset with 4 pole 3.5mm jack

Headset with separate 2 pole 3.5mm microphone and earphone jacks

Headset with USB-type A connector

iSee will automatically use the default audio devices connected or built in to you computer. While it is possible to use your computer's speakers and array microphone with iSee, there are large benefits in the quality of the audio experience when using a headset. Using a headset gives you:

  • Better noise cancellation of feedback from sounds in iSee

  • Better dampening of background noise

  • Better directional sound in iSee

There are a number of different headsets that are commonly available in retail stores and all of them are compatible with iSee if they are compatible with your computer. It is best if they just use standard hardware drivers and don't use any audio enhancement software as some audio enhancement software can interact with the Unity 3D game engine that underpins iSee.

Most headsets will come with either a single 4pole 3.5mm jack; separate 2pole 3.5mm microphone and earphone jacks or a USB-type A connector. The recent introduction of USB-type C connectors on phones and laptops also means that a number of USB-type C headsets are also entering the consumer market. All of these headsets will work with iSee provided they can connect to your computer.

Which headset is best?

If you already have a mobile phone headset and your computer/laptop has a single 3.5mm socket then just use that. The comfort, sound quality and background cancellation of the microphone on mobile phone headsets is typically superior to lower end computer headsets.  Use of a mobile phone headset will greatly improve your iSee audio experience.

Individual comfort and cost is a key criterion for most people. Headsets come as 'in ear', 'on ear' or 'over ear' configurations and all will work with iSee. Choose the ones that fit your budget and individual comfort. Note that if your high end headset comes with specific drivers or audio enhancements these may need to be switched off to work effectively with iSee.

Can I connect several headsets to the same computer

iSee can only accept one audio input/output - but you can connect several headsets to the one audio socket using a low cost audio splitter if using a 3.5mm audio jack. These are available in retail electronics stores and allow 2-5 people to connect to the one computer/mobile phone audio socket.

3.5mm 4-Pole splitter

3.5mm 2-Pole splitter

+61 (0)2 9190 7585

or

+61 (0)2 9190 7583

Level 27, Tower One, 100 Barangaroo Avenue, Sydney, NSW 2000 Australia