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07-31-2011

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x220, mic, skype and Conexant 20672 SmartAudio HD soundcard

2011-07-31, 5:10 AM

Greetings!


I've a new X220 laptop, which I think is an excellent machine; however, I'm incredibly disappointed with the Conexant 20672 SmartAudio HD soundcard - even with the driver update to 8.32.23.  When using programs such as Skype, the particularly limited mic settings either produce a huge background hiss or a very quiet mic, even when using a trusted external mic plugged directly into the card (the trouble is the software processing of the card, not the mic.


I'm using an excellent 3.5mm headset. I use the very same headset on my old X30, which delivers clear, crisp, Skype communications.  With the new X220, I find that I have to turn the microphone boost down to 0.0 db to remove the pervasive background hiss, but at the cost of making my voice too soft to be heard. No amount of configuring the microphone volume level and the microphone boost level will produce an acceptable clarity even close to my old X30. Also, I found that I had to remove the check from enabling audio enhancements, under signal enhancements (whatever those are, who can say? we're given no options beyond); with the box checked, I sounded like I was speaking from inside a cardboard box.


Would anyone know of any future fixes?  Or third party software programs that would allow more control over the settings of the soundcard?  If there were any way to remove this soundcard for another, I would.

 

Very best,

 

Richard

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574 Posts

03-20-2011

Canada

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Re: x220, mic, skype and Conexant 20672 SmartAudio HD soundcard

2011-07-31, 12:42 PM
I've not used skype on my X220 so I can't comment, but the quickest and relatively cheap way of getting around a sound card issue is to buy a USB headset, which will bypass the built in sound chip and its driver.
---------------------
| X220 i7-2620M | 12.5" HD IPS | Intel 180GB SSD | Crucial 480GB mSATA SSD | 8GB DDR3 | Intel 7260 AC |
| X260 i7-6600U | 12.5" FHD IPS | Samsung 860Pro 512GB SSD | 16GB DDR4 | Intel 8260 AC |
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63 Posts

10-24-2010

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Re: x220, mic, skype and Conexant 20672 SmartAudio HD soundcard

2011-07-31, 15:45 PM

Richard,

 

This has been a problem with Conexant drivers and Thinkpads for a while. I have an X200 tablet and I have the same problem. It is most likely the driver/software, but could be the hardware (mic or soundcard) too. One thing to try: if you have "SmartAudio" in the Control panel (I don't have an X220 so I don't know what software it comes with), you could try to open it and try to adjust VoIP settings.

 

Other than that, what works best for me (but not too well...) is to use Skype with a headset but built-in mic.

 

Hope this might be helpful

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12 Posts

07-31-2011

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Re: x220, mic, skype and Conexant 20672 SmartAudio HD soundcard

2011-07-31, 17:55 PM

...HiVolt, yes, the USB headset has its own soundcard, and is a workaround.  Although I prefer using the built in soundcard... 

 

Gwf12, when an excellent working 3.5mm wired headset is plugged directly into the soundcard - a wired headset with a tested built-in mic - the mic is still controlled by the soundcard driver/software and no amount of changing the limited software, whether the windows control or the smartaudio - which is almost useless - will fix the problem.  Pretty disapointing, considering the same headset produces beautiful clear crisp conversations on my old X30. 

 

...Any thoughts from anyone at Lenovo?  Please refer to the top msg where all details are discussed fully.

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63 Posts

10-24-2010

United States of America

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Re: x220, mic, skype and Conexant 20672 SmartAudio HD soundcard

2011-07-31, 21:37 PM

Richard,

I agree with you. I used to think that my X200 sound/mic problems were a fluctuation, but your post indicates that the latest X series machines still have it.

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9644 Posts

12-27-2009

Canada

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Re: x220, mic, skype and Conexant 20672 SmartAudio HD soundcard

2011-08-01, 15:27 PM
Maybe try toggling some of the recording options in SmartAudio?

W520: 2960XM, Q2000M @ 1091/1380, 32GB RAM, 500GB&750GB HDD & 500GB SSD, FHD&MB168B+
X61T: L7500, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, XGA screen, Ultrabase
W550s: 5600U, K620M at 1164/1281, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, 3K touchscreen
X200s: SL9400, 6GB RAM, 64GB SD card, WXGA+ screen
TPT1: 1839-23U
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12 Posts

07-31-2011

United States of America

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Re: x220, mic, skype and Conexant 20672 SmartAudio HD soundcard

2011-08-01, 21:28 PM

No, as mentioned previously, no amount of changing the limited settings resolves the issue.

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5 Posts

08-03-2011

Netherlands

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Re: x220, mic, skype and Conexant 20672 SmartAudio HD soundcard

2011-08-03, 22:44 PM

I have been experiencing the same issue on my X220 with Windows 7. I tried using the default windows driver instead of the Conexant one, but the problem still persisted.

 

However, I have found that the microphone works perfectly with Ubuntu 11.04.

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7 Posts

06-14-2011

USA

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Re: x220, mic, skype and Conexant 20672 SmartAudio HD soundcard

2011-08-04, 11:26 AM

I've had this kind of issue for two months now with my T420 HR+.  No help at all from Lenovo... I have XP (took off Win7 and replaced with XP).  The 'tech' guys at lenovo stated that's why the microphone doesn't work (yeah, right.. read from the script some more).  Nice to hear others are having issues with Win7.  These machines are tanks, but honestly the support is just as mundane as anyother Laptop provider... 

 

The work around is either pair the laptop with a bluetooth headset or as others have pointed out use a usb headset.

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574 Posts

03-20-2011

Canada

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Re: x220, mic, skype and Conexant 20672 SmartAudio HD soundcard

2011-08-04, 13:22 PM
For a product that advertises "Dual HD Microphones", these issues are disturbing... I think I'm gonna try it myself, in skype.
---------------------
| X220 i7-2620M | 12.5" HD IPS | Intel 180GB SSD | Crucial 480GB mSATA SSD | 8GB DDR3 | Intel 7260 AC |
| X260 i7-6600U | 12.5" FHD IPS | Samsung 860Pro 512GB SSD | 16GB DDR4 | Intel 8260 AC |
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