NickTT
Contributor
Contributor

Jabra Heads and other USB Audio Devices in Horizon Best Practice

So we are doing more and more virtual meetings and we needed to improve our audio quality when people join meetings with Teams, Skype, Zoom and anything else. We found that the Hardware Audio Canceling just doesn't work when connected to our Horizon VDI Clients. Echo is awful. When the you connect to these meetings from the physical computer\thin client, they sound fine using the built in speaker and Mic. So as a work around we started handing out Jabra Engage 65 headsets to combat the Audio feedback.

My question to the community is how are you deploying the software that goes with these headset. For instance Jabra Express in this case. I was installing them on the Thin Client (TC), but then the software doesn't recognize that Teams and other meeting software are installed. I tried Installing the software on the Thin Client but that requires USB redirection in the Horizon Client to work. The headset is found but sometimes the Headset isn't discovered by windows and the meeting software as an audio device. Though Jabra Express sees the headset and can apply firmware updates and configuration changes.

The other issue we run into is that we want day to day computer notifications to go through the PC speakers but communication software apps to go through the headset. I am finding it's usually one or the other and has to be defaulted on the TC side. The promise of VDI simplifying our environment is falling flat new with the requirement of enhanced Audio and Video capabilities. Are others having this issue too? What is the best configuration for this new modern remote workforce and conferencing tools?

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3 Replies
ofox
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Hello NickTT,

It looks like you have met couple of issues, but they are a bit vague. I'm going to give you some general suggestions.

1. When you use webcam and/or microsphone with Horizon it's highly recommended to use RTAV(Real Time Audio Video) rather than USB Redirection, as RTAV has much better performance.

2. When you use Teams or Skype for Business Horizon offers further optimized solutions over RTAV so please use coresponding optimization packs.

3. Horizon leverages echo cancelling functionality from the audio hardware or softerware vendors that you're using, thus if you run into any issue of it suggest you to start debugging with the vendor.

4. It looks like you are talking about simultaneous multiple audio output devices in your last issue. If it's the case this is something Horizon is working on but not released yet.

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NickTT
Contributor
Contributor

1 and 2: RTAV seems to work the best in combination with the Skype Media Optimization Pack. However, it appears the Teams optimization Pack is still in closed beta. This is part of my frustration because the call control buttons that are built into the Jabra 75 headset don't seem to work with Teams yet. Perhaps that will come when the solution is released to the public? I believe these functions are processed with the Jabra Direct Software which comes back to my original question, if we don't use USB Redirection, how is Horizon and Jabra going to work together to give users the best experience on par with Physical Machines? (This would also include Plantronics). It would be nice for VMware to do a full blog post or something on this subject with the current WFH mandates put on companies. Even Team up with Jabra or Plantronics on the topic.

2: Are there plans to rollout Optimization Packs for every conferencing solution out there or is VMware looking at a more more holistic approach to this issue?

3: It should be but doesn't appear to be. Not sure if others have noticed this issue. I have even played around with the GPO settings to force Software Echo Canceling without any difference in performance. I suspect the issue might be tied to how RTAV can use All microphones and Video devices in the "Preferred" configuration options.

4: Yes... People want to be able to select or use multiple audio devices. Headset or Webcam Mic and Speakers as needed.

Thanks and don't take this post as a rant but as constructive criticism to make your product better. The whole AV\Meeting functionality has been quite problematic for our company and it's users compared to those who are using physical machines which just work. This is leaving our team to reconsider the who VDI strategy in the long term as we try to put more focus on Communication and Collaboration functionality.

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MarkGStacey
Contributor
Contributor

I would like to echo this.

 

We ended up recommending headsets as we can't get echo cancellation working with WebEx teams and VMware horizon.

 

Not ideal.

 

Any solutions?

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