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View Full Version : Most common and recommended voice chat apps?



kstress71
21-09-2012, 04:12 AM
I'm getting into more multiplayer gaming soon, so I want to get any necessary voice chat applications installed and set up properly before I dive in. Recommendations?

unruly
21-09-2012, 05:44 AM
Mumble, Ventrilo, and Teamspeak are the top contenders for voice chat while gaming. Some people like to use skype, but I hate it for the lack of push-to-talk. My personal order of preference is exactly the way I listed them. Mumble has some shortcomings, but it's nearly latency-free and is much more customizable than Ventrilo. It just has lower audio quality, can be very daunting when you first look at all the customization options, and you can't adjust individual volumes. Ventrilo has the ability to adjust individual people's volumes and can have great audio quality, but it's got at least a few seconds of latency delay.

I won't say much about Teamspeak, since I haven't used it since Teamspeak2, but I hated practically everything about TS2. I hear that TS3 is a major improvement, but TS2 just left such a bad taste in my mouth that I won't touch it.

pmh
21-09-2012, 08:27 AM
Mumble, Ventrilo, and Teamspeak are the top contenders for voice chat while gaming. Some people like to use skype, but I hate it for the lack of push-to-talk. My personal order of preference is exactly the way I listed them. Mumble has some shortcomings, but it's nearly latency-free and is much more customizable than Ventrilo. It just has lower audio quality, can be very daunting when you first look at all the customization options, and you can't adjust individual volumes. Ventrilo has the ability to adjust individual people's volumes and can have great audio quality, but it's got at least a few seconds of latency delay.

I won't say much about Teamspeak, since I haven't used it since Teamspeak2, but I hated practically everything about TS2. I hear that TS3 is a major improvement, but TS2 just left such a bad taste in my mouth that I won't touch it.

I agree on the ordering, but latency and sound quality have been virtually the same for me for both Mumble and Ventrilo (though I think Ventrilo is slightly better in sound quality, it's not been enough to notice day-to-day). I've never seen multi-second delay on Ventrilo if I wasn't already lagging in the first place.

Both pretty much require a good 'net connection for the server that scales with the number of simultaneous clients you want to host. Mumble is free and open-source and you can host as many clients as you can handle whereas Ventrilo requires a hosting provider or an older version if you wish to have more than 8 clients. If you're going with a hosted solution, Mumble is also generally less expensive per slot.

From a client perspective, installing Mumble, Ventrilo, and TS will cover almost all of your gaming needs.

StrangLove
21-09-2012, 09:11 AM
Mumble is my personal favorite, it's a lot more forgiving than TS (not used ventrilo) as far as others mic quality goes, and it's pretty simple on the client's side. Teamspeak has the advantage of Channel-commander, but I doubt that'll really be a concern for smaller-scale stuff, I've only seen it used for ARMA games. I'd definitely agree with pmh in that you should probably install all three, in case a community you want to play with uses the one you don't have installed, which can be a real pain.

Bear in mind that a lot of what I'm spouting is biased towards mumble because the RPS community has its own server! Details are over here: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/forums/showthread.php?2515-README-Mumble-VOIP-for-Arma-2-and-other-games

As far as hosting a server for one of these applications, I gather that Teamspeak is the simplest to set up, but I can't say I've tried.

Hypernetic
21-09-2012, 09:14 AM
Mumble and Vent are used most frequently. People using team speak seems kind of rare these days, probably because it's shit.

DevinSmoth
21-09-2012, 01:46 PM
Mumble or Skype, honestly... at least that's what I lean towards.

PoLLeNSKi
21-09-2012, 01:57 PM
Skype is terrible for hogging network and CPU resources.

For me mumble and TS3 are the main two I use, but I have vent as well - TS3 is a HUGE improvement over TS2 and is pretty comparable to mumble nowadays. If you're going to be one of the people with admin rights then I can say that TS3 is probably easier but less flexible than mumble but I can't comment on vent since i never ran a channel using that.

unruly
22-09-2012, 08:59 PM
I agree on the ordering, but latency and sound quality have been virtually the same for me for both Mumble and Ventrilo (though I think Ventrilo is slightly better in sound quality, it's not been enough to notice day-to-day). I've never seen multi-second delay on Ventrilo if I wasn't already lagging in the first place.

With Ventrilo, using a Chicago-hosted server, I would ping about 100, but then I would hear the start of my comment coming through on a friend's speakers well after I finished talking. Said friend lives in North Dakota and would ping at about 50 to the server. In general, there would seem to be about a 3 second delay between speaking and receiving. When we switched to Mumble, and to a Dallas-based server, my ping dropped to 70 while my friend in ND started pinging at about 70 himself, so overall latency stayed about the same. However, we've actually been able to cut each other off mid-sentence with relevant information. We've actually commented about how with Mumble it's almost as if we're shouting down a hallway from each other rather than actually using a VOIP service because it's just so low-latency.

Of course, that's just anecdotal, so whatever.

Mumble's biggest problem is that if you do start to get lag spikes your voice comes through as digitized garbage that no one can understand. And that's a problem with the way Mumble does its audio compression. Which is also part of Mumble's trade-off of low-latency over sound quality. With Ventrilo you can actually choose which audio codec you want the server to run, and some will sound better than others. The higher quality audio codecs comes at a price of latency though, and some of them aren't even supported on certain systems(looking at you Mac and your lack of GSM support!). Mumble doesn't have that particular issue as the only codec it supports is Speex.

Heliocentric
22-09-2012, 09:12 PM
The ventrillo app on my mobile is a personal favourite of mine. Its interface never gets locked out by stupid loading screens for one.

BobbyFizz
22-09-2012, 09:35 PM
Mumble for the pure and simple reason that it normalises your mic send volume, so everyone comes out more or less the same level. It's an absolutely fantastic feature that works brilliantly, and eliminates the need for everyone to adjust their mic volumes to suit others

Danny252
23-09-2012, 12:57 AM
Skype is terrible for hogging network and CPU resources.

Doesn't it also lack Push to Talk, or have they since changed that? It's okay if you're just using Skype for what Skype's meant to be (internetphone!), but get more people on and it was always munchmunch typetype breathebreathe (my oldoldold EVE corp always did meeting-podcast-things on Skype, despite having a vent server...)

Finicky
23-09-2012, 04:02 AM
Skype used to have superior sound quality (like the person is sitting next to you) but not so much lately, idk what changed, the lag on skype is also pretty huge (more than a second).

TS always seems to have shit audio quality when I go on someone's server...

VT seems allright to me, haven't tried mumble. I used to despise ventrilo because you needed the exact same specific build as the hosts' and every fucking host seemed to be on a diff version, but that seems to no longer be the case.

elfbarf
23-09-2012, 05:06 AM
TS3 is actually a pretty good program; I prefer Mumble though I'd use TS3 over Ventrilo (though not many people use it due to how shitty TS2 was).

tomeoftom
23-09-2012, 10:43 AM
If it's for simple LANning with friends, Steam, Evolve, and on the web Facebook and Google+ all have basic VOIP support, as well (might make setup easier). Evolve also does virtual LAN networks which make many co-op games much easier to get going. They all come at the expense of no customisation.

CommunistHamster
23-09-2012, 12:14 PM
Teamspeak and mumble have overlays which is a must for any kind of team organisation, unless you're playing with friends whose voices you recognise.

Danny252
23-09-2012, 01:06 PM
Teamspeak and mumble have overlays

Ditto for Vent.

Bobtree
23-09-2012, 03:31 PM
I still use Xfire for voice chat with my weekly game night group. The codec is good, mic thresholding works well, and the persistent chat rooms make it easy to join/leave/reboot/etc without invites. You can pick a voice host, or let Xfire choose, or use Xfire's servers (fairly reliable). I always disable the xfire in-game overlay though (both globally and per-game, the global setting is bugged), because it conflicts with using D3Doverrider to force tripple-buffering and vsync (causing games to crash when you alt-tab for example).


Skype used to have superior sound quality (like the person is sitting next to you) but not so much lately, idk what changed, the lag on skype is also pretty huge (more than a second).

Microsoft bought Skype and removed the encrypted P2P architecture so all the traffic now hits their servers. Naturally they would lower the quality to keep the data center costs down. The going theory is that the new system lets them wiretap the traffic for law enforcement. See http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2012/07/20/skype_won_t_comment_on_whether_it_can_now_eavesdro p_on_conversations_.html

DarkFenix
23-09-2012, 03:55 PM
I'd have to say Teamspeak 3 gets my vote of confidence, only problem is it's a bit pricey. I don't mind Mumble, but it absolutely criminally lacks the ability to set individual users' volume, it goes back to the old TS2 issue of there always being one idiot with a shit mic that's too loud/quiet. Ventrilo is a piece of shit, the interface is a pain in the arse and any latency issues cause massive delay (I've had instances before of things I said literally 5 minutes ago reaching people), it used to be able to boast better sound quality, but not any more.

Ravelle
23-09-2012, 04:51 PM
I prefer Skype because it's free, connectivity is great, easy to form a group and user friendly.

I used Mumble but it's a bit buggy when people breaking up quite often, and sometimes you won't receive anything at all. You'll need a hosted server and need to certify to a server with a key, when you loose it because you re installed your client or Windows the key's gone and you'll need to contact the server's hoster to reauthorize your account, a real hassle.

elphaba
24-09-2012, 07:20 PM
Raidcall - free, has push-to-talk, is pretty, quality seems fine to me.

PoLLeNSKi
25-09-2012, 02:30 PM
I'd have to say Teamspeak 3 gets my vote of confidence, only problem is it's a bit pricey. I don't mind Mumble, but it absolutely criminally lacks the ability to set individual users' volume, it goes back to the old TS2 issue of there always being one idiot with a shit mic that's too loud/quiet. Ventrilo is a piece of shit, the interface is a pain in the arse and any latency issues cause massive delay (I've had instances before of things I said literally 5 minutes ago reaching people), it used to be able to boast better sound quality, but not any more.

Actually I disagree, on mumble each user adjusts their own volume for others to hear, on TS3 you each have to individually change every other users mic volume to suit yourself... so it's actually more efficient in terms of player time to just have the one player adjust his own volume to everyone else's level when they start using the program rather than have a new player need to go through the entire list of users and balance them all out for himself...

Horses for courses though really, even levels are achievable on either program.

I only briefly used Vent and yeah, it looked pretty backwards compared to Mumble/TS3 in terms of UI