If you are experiencing problems with Otter not transcribing your voice, someone else's voice, or both, try one or more troubleshooting steps to fix the problem.
1. Using a headset or headphones
When using Otter with a headset or headphones with a microphone to record audio playbacks, such as a YouTube video or a Zoom meeting, you might not see or hear others speaking in the Otter conversation. However, Otter will transcribe your voice when spoken out loud.
This happens because the microphone in the headphone is listening to external audio, and your headphone's microphone will not record audio playing in your headphones.
Our team is working to improve this, but in the meantime, we recommend not using a headset or headphones when using Otter to record audio playback. We also recommend using OtterPilot if you're using Otter with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet. OtterPilot integrates with these video conferencing platforms and will record all parties, even with a headset or headphones. Learn more about enabling OtterPilot.
2. Noise cancellation software or features
Any noise cancellation software or features on your computer, mobile device, or headset may prevent Otter from picking up audio playing from your speakers. Noise-canceling software or features will filter out a person's voice because it identifies it as background noise. To record audio from your speakers, temporarily disable any noise cancellation apps or features.
Note: Third-party software may come pre-installed with Microsoft Windows. For example, some HP notebooks come pre-installed with the Bang & Olufsen Audio Control app with noise cancellation turned on. To view a list of apps, select the Start button, click Settings, and then click Apps. Uninstall or disable third-party apps that may adjust or alter your computer's audio or microphone.
3. Using Safari to transcribe an online meeting or audio playback
Safari does not support recording audio playback on the same computer, and we recommend using Otter on Chrome, Firefox, or the mobile app.
4. A person's voice is misspelled or is sometimes missing in a conversation
Sometimes, a person's voice may not be transcribed accurately or is entirely missing. To increase the accuracy of Otter's transcription, follow these best practices. Learn more about transcription accuracy.
- Try to minimize background noise. Background noise is generally the biggest factor in inaccurate transcriptions or missing audio. If Otter cannot distinguish what is being said because of too much background noise, it may misspell what that person is saying or ignore it entirely if our AI prediction level is too low.
- Use an external microphone or headset, rather than your computer or device's built-in microphone. See Using a headset or headphones about limitations of using a headset.
- Place the microphone within three feet from the person speaking and refrain from moving or touching the device to avoid any unnecessary background noise.
- Avoid overlapping dialog where speakers talk over one another. Again, if Otter cannot distinguish what is being said, it may misspell what that person is saying or ignore it entirely if the prediction level is too low.
- Speak clearly and naturally, at your normal conversational tone and pace.
- Teach Otter jargon, names, and other vocabulary words to increase the accuracy of these terms.
- Train Otter to recognize your voice and automatically tag your name within the transcript.
5. Check your browser's microphone permissions
6. Check your system settings
Make sure that your microphone is the default recording device and that recording levels are correct:
7. Audio problems in Microsoft Windows 11 and 10
Issues with your audio drivers or settings in Microsoft Windows 11 and 10 may be preventing Otter from transcribing audio playback. Microsoft created a list of troubleshooting steps to fix sound problems. The tips are listed in order, so start with the first one, see if that helps, and then continue to the next one if it doesn’t.
Need additional help?
If you're still experiencing problems, contact support for additional assistance. In your request for support, ensure you note which troubleshooting steps from this article you've already tried and their results so we can expedite the process.