Social Hour

Best practices guide

Audio & echo

To get the most out of the noise-cancellation technology that’s built into your device already, it’s best to use headphones. This is because the microphone for your headphones is 100% sure about which sounds are coming from your mouth, vs coming from your speaker, and so it handles each of those two sound sources properly (you don’t hear your own voice coming out of your speakers, etc...).

Using peripheral speakers and microphones, including those attached to peripheral cameras, makes it harder for the computer to separate the audio you want to hear from your speaker from the audio you are speaking, and this is what causes some kinds of echo problems.

But don’t worry! You can reduce or eliminate any audio echo you may hear just by wearing earphones.

1 - Best - wired earphones, and no peripheral camera/mic
2 - Second Best - wireless earphones, also no peripheral camera/mic
3 - Third best - use your device’s built-in speakers, camera, and microphone (still don’t use any ‘peripherals’ such as USB camera/mic). You can use an extra, larger screen if you have one.

Update your operating system and browser software

Your computer’s operating system and your internet browser work together to provide you a safe, smooth experience on the internet. Keeping them updated is critical, no matter which software you are using.

Therefore, a few days before your event, check to see if your operating system and your browser need to be updated, and do the updates as soon as possible.

Do not do the updates the same day as the event, since these updates may take a few hours in total! Be aware that you may need to restart your computer during the update process.

For the best experience in our event software, for your browser we recommend Google Chrome (the best choice), Apple Safari, Microsoft Edge, or Firefox.

Maximizing your Internet speed

Our software uses the internet to transmit audio and video, so the faster your internet connection, the more dynamic, natural, and clear you will appear and your interactions in the software will be.

You can make your computer’s internet connection faster at the time of the event by making fewer simultaneous demands on your internet connection. Here are some ideas for how to do this:

If you are at home, ask others on your network to read a book, watch a DVD, or play a board game instead of playing videogames or streaming content (via Netflix, etc). Streaming services use a lot of bandwidth, which leave less bandwidth for you and will slow down your event experience.

Close all the other tabs and software on your computer/device, so that you are only using it for the event itself. Don’t multitask!

Using tablets and mobile devices

It’s best to use a laptop computer that has a larger screen and built-in camera/mic, but if you must use a phone or tablet, it’s critical that you match the mobile browser and OS: Use only the Safari browser with any Apple device, and use only Chrome for any Android device.