FIX: Can’t hear anyone on Discord [FULL GUIDE]

Vlad Turiceanu
by Vlad Turiceanu
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  • Discord is a free VoIP application used by over 250 millions unique users in the world, but with this many users, some issues are bound to pop up.
  • Some users have reported that they can't hear anyone which could happen because the microphone is not configured correctly or they're using the wrong audio subsystem.
  • To fix the many issues Discord has, you should have a look at our comprehensive Troubleshooting Discord page where we cover most of the issues that come up.
  • When games and gaming-related software goes wrong, or when you're looking for a guide on a particularly hard level, our Gaming Hub should be your first stop.
fix sound issues Discord

Discord is a free VoIP application used by over 250 millions unique users in the world. It’s popularity rose over the years, and now it’s one of the most successful apps of its kind. Once in a while, a few errors regarding the app might appear. One of the most important ones is that you can’t hear anyone in Discord, despite your speakers/headphones working just fine.

This is a big problem, but don’t panic. We have the solutions to fix it.

What can I do if I can’t hear anyone talk in Discord? You can quickly solve the problem by performing some common checks. Usually, the issue is caused by disconnected hardware or an in-app bug. Then you can set you’re preferred device as default or use Legacy Audio Subsystem.

To see how you can do that, follow the steps below.

What to do if you can’t hear anyone on Discord

  1. Set as Default Device
  2. Use the correct Output Device
  3. Use Legacy Audio Subsystem

First, we’ll have to do some common checks to make sure that everything is working properly:

  • Refresh/Restart Discord.
  • Turn off any third party voice altering software.
  • Reset voice settings in Discord user settings.
  • Check your speakers/headphones/mic to see if they work.
  • Make sure your peripherals are properly connected.

1. Set as Default Device

If you’re preferred device is not set as default, then this can be the problem. Because it’s not a setting in Discord and it’s mostly about Windows 10, we’ll start with this:

  1. Right-click on the Speakers icon in the bottom-right of the Windows taskbar.
  2. Click on Sounds.
  3. The Sound window should appear. Click on Playback.can't hear sound on discord
  4. In the Playback tab, right-click your desired device and check Set as Default Device.can't hear people on discord
  5. Repeat the process, but now check Set as Default Communication Device.
  6. A green check-mark will appear to confirm the Default device.
  7. Click Apply then hit OK.

Note: If the desired device doesn’t appear in the list, right-click in an empty spot and check Show Disabled Devices as well as Show Disconnected Devices. When the device that you want shows up in the list, right-click it and select Enable and then follow the steps above.

2. Use the correct Output Device

You have to make sure that your output device is set as default in Discord. To do that, follow the steps:

  1. Open Discord.
  2. Click on User Settings (cog icon next to your avatar).discord user settings can't hear anyone
  3. In the left menu choose Voice & Video.
  4. Under Output device, in the drop-down menu, choose your preferred device and make sure that the output volume is not 0.Discord output device can't hear any sound

The problem should be solved. If you’re still having issues, go to Input mode section and toggle on and off Voice activity and Push to Talk to see if that changes the outcome.

3. Use Legacy Audio Subsystem

If the problem occurs after an update, more often than not is because of the incompatibility between your hardware and Discord’s latest subsystem.

Reverting to Legacy Audio Subsystem solved the problem for a lot of users and it should also work for you.

To do that, follow the steps:

  1. Open Discord.
  2. Click on User Settings (cog icon next to your avatar).discord user settings can't hear people
  3. In the left menu choose Voice & Video.
  4. Scroll down until you see the Audio Subsystem option. In the drop-down menu choose Legacy.Discord Legacy Audio subsystem
  5. In the window that appears, click OK.
  6. Discord will re-launch.

After this, the problem should disappear.

Remember that if nothing works, you can always use the web version of the app. If the problem is with your Windows 10 Discord app, in the web version you won’t encounter it anymore.

Optionally, you can use The Voice Debug Panel, as recommended by Discord themselves, to self-diagnose any issues with the app.

It was originally designed for gaming communities, but now it’s used by everyone who needs a chat channel to communicate. Discord is spread around multiple platforms including Windows, Android, IOS, macOS, Linux and web browsers.

Is Discord your favourite VoIP application or do you prefer another one? Let us know in the comments section below, along with any other questions that you may have and we’ll take a look.

FAQ: Discord audio problems

  • Why can’t I hear anyone on Discord?

Change your Audio Subsystem as shown in the guide above. Additionally, check to see if your microphone is correctly configured. If your audio cuts off, follow the steps listed in this guide.

  • Why is Discord not picking up my mic?

Make sure you have allowed Discord to use the microphone and camera as shown in this guide

  • Why can my friends hear my game on Discord?

This is a common Discord problem. You can easily fix this by following these steps.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.