Second Life Voice can be finicky. Getting it working when it isn’t can be a bit of a pain. There is a tool in Second Life to help you, Voice Echo Canyon. Also, the SL Wiki has some tips. The Phoenix Wiki as some tips too, but more slanted toward Phoenix. The Phoenix information is good for any third party viewer (TPV). Following are the links to some information you may not know.
The SL Wiki page is here: Second Life Voice. The SL Wiki index page on voice is here: Second Life Category:Voice. There are lots of handy tips and the etiquette for using voice. Newer stuff is in the Second Life Community Portal in Voice.
The Phoenix Viewer Team recently updated their wiki post on voice problems. In it they mention Voice Echo Canyon, the place to test your viewer’s voice connection, a handy thing to know. If you use World Map search and use the term VOICE you will find several places that are related to voice testing.
The description of the regions is:
Public region available for testing voice through an echo channel.
You will only be able to hear yourself and no one else.
This is not a sandbox.
The Phoenix Viewer, or any third party viewer (TPV), has to jump through some hoops to use voice. The problems are related to who can download some of the proprietary files that support voice. That licensing thing adds some complications to the viewer. Phoenix has made changes to their viewer and a notable change occurs between versions 373 and 908.
Depending on the state of one’s computer and how one has loaded Second Life Viewers some files Phoenix, or other TPV’s, need may be missing. The Second Life Viewer can install the files it needs as Linden Lab has licensed the stuff they use. Some TPV’s depend on those files being installed. So, one should always install the SL Viewer and keep it updated. Just remember to install or reinstall your primary viewer after installing or updating the SL Viewer.
Common Voice Fixes
If your voice was working and now isn’t, it may well be Second Life that is the problem. Figure out which it is before you start changing things. You can do that by tp’ing to Voice Echo Canyon. If your voice works there, the problem was transient or related to the region.
Oh… of course you are not so silly as to expect voice to work in a voice restricted area, right? To know if you are in such an area look in the top menu area for the region status icons. The one next to the star is the Voice icon.
If still not working or if you would rather not tp out of wherever you are, open Preferences (Ctrl-P) ->Sound & Media (in older viewers Voice Chat). Disable voice and click OK. Wait a minute, meaning at least 60 seconds, then reopen Sound & Media and enable voice. Hopefully that fixes it.
If still not working, relog. If still not working, reboot the computer.
If none of these work, or any where in the process, look at the SL Grid Status page to see if Voice is down.
Try a Third Party Viewer (TPV). If voice works with one viewer and not another, it suggests the problem is is with the problem viewer. However, once voice works in a different viewer, recheck the problem viewer one more time. It may be that Voice has come back up or the problem was a Voice connection that relogging solves.
These steps should get Voice working or tell you if Voice is down. If it now looks like the problem is on your side, consider what may may have recently changed on your computer.
Hardware-wise: A cable is disconnected (have a pet rabbit? they gnaw cables), speakers are off, mic is unplugged, a wireless battery is dead… think of anything that may have physically changed.
Software-wise: a new firewall (firewall configuration reference for Second Life) or anti-virus program could be the problem. A recent update to either could be causing the problem. A computer crash could have corrupted a file. Mouse buttons can be reconfigured. All of theses change can be unwound by using System Restore to roll back to a time when Voice worked. Otherwise, check them one by one.
The following ports are used by the viewer for external communication.
- Port 21002 – TCP – for voice control signals
- Ports 12000-13000 – UDP – for voice media
- Port 80/443 – TCP – for Web server
- Ports 5060 or 5062 – UDP – for voice control signals
Check that SLVoice.exe has not been removed by an anti-virus program and that it is an exception in your firewall. Both Firewall and AV should allow it to operate.
There is more information in the SL Wiki: Second Life Voice Technical
In the SL Viewers there is very little that can be wrong with your voice install and setup, it is sort of an on/off only thing. If you are totally convinced the problem is your side, re-install the viewer. It may take a Second Life Clean Re-install when voice is persistently not working. However, I suggest one manually delete their Settings.xml file before going that far.
Settings File: C:\Users\[user_name]\AppData\Roaming\SecondLife\user_settings\settings.xml
If all of these fail, visit the SL Forum’s Answers section.