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Sound Quality of Musicians Suddenly TERRIBLE!


Something has changed in recent weeks and the entire online piano teacher community is suddenly having the same issue where almost every note our students play is muted no matter what audio settings are enabled or disabled (BELIVE ME, we ALL know what audio settings are supposed to be on or off for lessons...we've been doing this for 3 years now, so please don't reply telling me to "enable original audio" or uncheck "automatically adjust microphone volume"). Students who I've had no trouble hearing ever before are suddenly all having the same problem at the same time, even after we've double-checked all audio settings. Zoom has changed something and it's screwing with our business! Can anyone shed any light on what on earth is different now and when/how Zoom is going to fix it?



Having the same problem, so far no solution! I will let you know if I find something!


Have also had problems with Zoom within the last month or so.  Original musician sound used to work great now it's cutting out audio so that either only the music or the voices can be heard.  Zoom please let us know what is happening.


We started having an issue about a month ago in one of our zoom rooms.  When its in a meeting and someone is sharing and they are playing music for everyone in the meeting to hear it basically mutes the music audio.  You cant hear any of the instrument sounds and you can hear the vocals coming in and out.  If I just play music on the same zoom room device (outside of a meeting) it sounds just fine.


Also having this problem. Came here looking for solutions, and see that others are experiencing the same issue. I teach guitar online, and it's VERY frustrating when I get the student to demonstrate something but I can't hear their instrument - despite having optimal audio settings, as we've all been doing for the past 3 years.  Zoom, please fix this!


On a related audio topic - wondering if any of you music teachers here also experience audio issues when sharing computer audio from another application - notably Spotify (desktop app), but also Apple Music (same), sometimes YouTube (online), etc. Whenever I share audio - either sharing application window, or just share computer audio from advanced tab (stereo audio dropdown option) - the audio (at least on my end) is missing a channel or something, but not exactly...seems like half the audio is missing. Very frustrating for trying to point out specific parts of a song, or transcribe things on the fly when I can't hear them!  The other half of the time, sharing spotify audio just crashes my spotify app. I imagine that's more of a spotify issue, but it just seems like Zoom doesn't work well when sharing any computer audio through the system. Anyone else experience this? It's been going on the whole time I've been teaching online, both on my desktop & laptop (both Mac).

Yes--this is recent. As soon as they start playing, it goes dead silent. SO FRUSTRATING! 


Same problem. Pretty much worthless. Been using three years also. Never has been very good with music. I have used Apple, Android, Windows, Special mics, USB Scarlett interface, 4G, 5G, ALL the suggested settings, including the latest "music" beta, to no avail. The latency over the internet was bad enough for music teaching but unintelligible notes are impossible to deal with.

Sound is constantly cutting out. They really need to get some true musicians on their development team.

I am very close to cancelling my subscription.


Suddenly can no longer teach music lessons on Zoom. Do you guys recommend another service?  Will Skype work? it's getting worse with each lesson. I will need to cancel this as well. 


It seems you must have “original sound for musicians” on now. I feel like that wasn’t the case a few months ago. 


even original sound does not fix this.   same problem, started around the same time.  Used to work.  Shame.  Looking for other platforms since there seems to be no solution. 


Agreed, it’s awful!  After teaching online all through the pandemic, I and my students know to turn on original sound and all the other optimizations.  Something new is causing this problem and it’s becoming impossible to work with!  I’ve heard good things about Forte, though I haven’t tried it yet myself.  I will be looking into it however, because Zoom is now unusable for music lessons.  Do they care?  Are they working on it?  Or just crickets?

Community Champion | Zoom Partner
Community Champion | Zoom Partner

hi emiline731,


based on my limited testing, 

The key to fixing musical sound problems are the following steps:

First: Goto Settings->Audio->Audio Profile->Original Sound for musicians-> Select.  In my testing, I did not find much difference between Original sound for musicians and Live Performance audio, but I do not have professional audio equipment.




Second:  After enabling Original Sound for Musicians, you must toggle Original Sound for Musicians On in the Zoom Meeting screen.  When you have this setting toggled On, Background Noise Suppression is turned off.



As an alternative, you can try selecting Live Performance Audio.  You must use Zoom client 5.14.0 or higher.




Again, you must toggle Live Performance Audio On in the Zoom Meeting screen.  When you have this setting toggled On, Background Noise Suppression is turned off and all software audio processing is off.  You will have to use an appropriate audio device to avoid echo and feedback such as headphones.



Also, please see Configuring professional audio settings for Zoom Meetings and music and singing audio issues on Windows 11.

Configuring professional audio settings for Zoom Meetings – Zoom Support

Music and singing audio issues on Windows 11 – Zoom Support


thanks,  eliot


Thanks for these resources; it’s helpful to have them all in one place.  However, I and my students are already using original sound.  I’ve researched the sound issues with Windows 11 but yesterday I had the same issues with someone using a MacBook.  The thing is, all we used to have to do is enable original sound.  Now we have to research which device our students are using, and then try to coach them through disabling any other program that’s interfering with Zoom’s sound.  It’s too much work.  Student families won’t do the research on their own, and they get grumpy if I use lesson time to troubleshoot sound issues because they can hear me just fine; I’ve already optimized my settings.  The end result is I’m still going to have to try a different platform, because I can only hear 50%-80% of what my students play.  It used to “just work” — if Zoom wants us to continue to use the platform, it will need to figure out a way to “just work” again.