Can’t Hear People In Discord | How To Fix Audio Problem

Cant hear people on discord

Discord is a VoIP application that was created and released back in May of 2015. It was designed for Reddit communities that were looking to replace IRC servers, (remember those?) with Discord ones. After a while, gamers picked up on the software and started utilizing the application for esports and LAN tournaments alike. Since then, Discords’ popularity has snowballed, and it now has an impressive 250million users worldwide. It’s something I use on an almost daily basis and not just for gaming.

However, Discord does not come without its issues. Today we’re going to tackle the age-old problem of not being about to hear anyone on Discord. Many have experienced it, and most have been able to fix it, but for those that haven’t; fear not. This is an easy-to-understand guide on how to fix the issue once and for all!

Prefer to watch the step by step guide?

Discord Basics

Before we get into anything technical, I’m quickly going to run through everything you should have tried first, before seeking out this article. And yes, restarting your computer is something you should have done. Anyway, let’s jump into the basics.

  1. First of all, do an audio test to make sure your headphones/speakers are definitely working. I recommend playing some music via YouTube. Some light orchestral music should work nicely. If you don’t hear anything, you probably have a headset or speaker issue. However, if your audio device is producing sound, jump into the following steps.
  2. Start by restarting Discord. Simple, but sometimes effective.
  3. Unplug your headset, and re-plug it in. Again, probably won’t work, but has been known to.
  4. Restart your computer.
  5. If any of these work, happy days. If not, there might be something a little more technical wrong with your Discord setup.

Re-installing Software

I always like to steer away from reinstalling software as it’s a tedious, tiresome task. However, it can be necessary for certain scenarios. If Discord isn’t playing ball, I’d definitely recommend doing a full reinstall because its a relatively quick process, unlike other software.

You can completely delete and reinstall Discord in about five minutes. If it doesn’t work after the reinstall, then you know it’s something to do with the computer configuration with Discord. This is where the fun stuff starts.



Default Communication Device

A method that is regularly overlooked is setting your headphones to your default communications device. It's done in Windows, so sometimes it can be missed by people troubleshooting this issue. We have had great success with this method when helping others who can't hear people in Discord.

Let's get right into how to do this:

  • 1. Right-click the sound tab in the bottom right-hand corner of Windows, and select "Open Sound Settings"
  • 2. In Sound options, scroll down to "Related Settings" and select the "Sound Control Panel" tab

Control panel settings

  • 3. Find your audio device in the list, right-click the tab, and select "set as default communications device"

Set as default commincation device

  • 4. Once have selected "set as default communications device", click apply and ok
  • 5. Restart Discord, and see if the problem has been resolved

This is another tried and tested method of getting Discord back up and running. It's worked for many people and might be the fix you're looking for.



Legacy Audio Subsystem

One of the most common fixes for not being able to hear people in Discord comes down to hardware compatibility. Sometimes, hardware components aren't compatible with Discord's latest audio subsystem. Simply reverting to the legacy audio subsystem will resolve this issue. Switching the "Use Legacy Audio Subsystem" option on has fixed many Discord problems down the line, you should try this first.

Here's how it's done:

  • Open Discord
  • Select the "User Settings" tab; it's the little gear icon underneath the server channels.

Discord user settings

  • Select the "Voice & Video" tab
  • Inside the Voice & Video tab, scroll down and find the "Audio Subsystem" section. You should see a drop-down menu, inside that menu you will see the "Legacy" option, select it.


Discord Legacy option

  • Once you have selected the "Legacy" option, you will be prompted with a message which looks a little something like this.

Discord subsystem

  • Finally, select OK, and let Discord restart.

This method has been used by many and has solved the issue, hopefully, it works for you. However, if it doesn't, we have a few more fixes up our sleeve that might work.



Setting Input/Output Device

One of the easiest steps you can take in fixing your audio output issue is by making sure your audio device is set to your primary input & output device. This is done in Windows and not in Discord, so sometimes it can be overlooked. This can be an issue if you're constantly changing between headphones and speakers.

Heres how to make sure they're correctly set.

  • Right-click the sound tab in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.
  • Select the "Open Sound Settings" option

windows sound settings

  • Once inside this tab, you should see a drop-down menu under the title "Choose Your Output Device"
  • Select the drop-down menu and make sure the headphones you are using are selected as primary

Discord primary input output

  • Follow the same process for "Input" device
  • Once both of these are correctly set, restart Discord and hopefully, this should solve your problem.


Keep Discord Up-To-Date

If none of the above methods work, then you might find that your Discord has a bug or needs a software update. Discord regularly releases updates to keep Discord running as efficiently as possible. However, sometimes the updates can mess with your software if not installed correctly. If your Discord is bugged then the software will roll itself back to an older, none bugged, version. However, if that's the case, you will need to refresh, or restart, Discord.

You can do this by simply restarting the software or pressing CTRL + R to refresh Discord.

Try Using The Web Version

Using the web version will actually give us a lot of information. By using the web version of Discord, you are utilizing a version of Discord that will 100% not be bugged or corrupted. If you’re still experiencing the issue after using Discord in web version then you know it’s, more than likely, a systematic error.

If this is the case, we would recommend using a repair tool that can scan the repositories and replace any corrupt or missing files within your system. This again will work in a lot of cases where the issue has originated in a corrupt system. Most repair tools will optimize your system for maximum performance as well, so it’s pretty advantageous trying this anyway.

Discord Still Not Working

If you’ve tried everything and it still isn’t working, I recommend using your headset with another computer and version of Discord. If you still have the issue, then your headset is broken. If it works, then you know it’s either an issue with the software or your system.

Going to the extreme – If you really wanted to, you could go to the absolute extreme and do a reformat; a clean install of Windows. This is the final step in the process. If this doesn’t work, you are a little bit stuck in terms of what you can actually do. I wouldn’t recommend doing this personally, but it would mean you have exhausted every possible means at your disposal.


Let us know how you got on, did our fixes help at all? Was everything clear and easy to understand?

Leave us a comment in the section below with any further questions and thoughts on how we could improve the article to make it more user-friendly. We strive to make people’s lives easier, and hopefully, we have done that by outlining the most common fixes when not being able to hear people in Discord.