Home > audience-is-language-learning-center-temp-staff, audience-is-students, digital-audio-lab, Glitches&Errors, Listening-Stations > How to prevent squealing noise on the brown headphones AKA audio feedback

How to prevent squealing noise on the brown headphones AKA audio feedback

  1. Symptom:high-pitched squealing sound, usually when logged into the computers along the  wall (listening stations –other computers have different black headsets which are not as prone to this problem,) and not wearing the headset.
  2. Short answer: LRC Assistants will let the student who causes the squealing noise know:
    1. ”Turn the volume knob on the brown headset down!”
    2. “You can turn it back up once you have put the headset on”.
  3. Explanation:
    1. The brown (analog) headsets on the listening stations exhibit this squealing noise  when
      1. the students do not wear the headset
      2. AND the microphone is too close to the headphone speakers
      3. AND the headphone volumne knob is turned up to high.
    2. This phenomenon is called an (audio) feedback loop:
      1. The headphone speakers echo what is spoken into the microphone (this is called sidetone).
      2. This is an important language learning feature (helps you control your pronunciation).
      3. However, it spirals out of control when students do not wear the headset. They also need to “wear the headset!” (general recommendation in the language lab) to have the benefit of the sidetone (and then their head insulates between speakers and microphones).
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