Can't hear caller on Desktop App

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I have been trying to get the Windows Desktop application to work for several weeks. Here is what I know:
  • I can use the Chrome extension and everything works
  • I can use the android app and everything works
  • When using the Desktop SoftPhone (latest version that came out today) the other person can hear me, but I can't hear them
  • It is not my bluetooth headset (I tried built in speakers and mic)
  • The Sound settings in the app playback just fine
  • My firewall is turned off on my PC
  • My network firewall is recognizing uPNP requests and opening that port
  • Using a friend's PC on my local network, I was able to get the Softphone working just fine
I know there are differences in the desktop Softphone app and the chrome extension, but they all seem to be network related. I am not sure what else to try.
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Jason Robinson

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Posted 1 year ago

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Monte4eqis

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Hi Jason, 

I've been having THE EXACT SAME ISSUE. It's been driving us crazy.  We've also tested with older versions of the RC softphone app but have the same problem. All audio works fine on the computer, headsets, desktop speakers, etc. until an RC call is made. Then the RC user can't hear the conversation, but the person on the other end can. 

As soon as the RC user hangs up the call, headsets, speakers, etc. start working again. 

We also use Cisco Umbrella OpenDNS Roaming Client, and the issue seems to be tied to DNS, because when we flushdns and remove the Umbrella client, RC starts working correctly again. Until it doesn't. Flushdns again, and it starts working again, until it doesn't. 

Do you happen to use OpenDNS in your setup as well? 
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Jason Robinson

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No I am not using OpenDNS. I was using Google's DNS servers, but switched back to my ISP's DNS due to other issues. But I am not sure how to feel about not being alone on this issue! :)

I also followed this:
https://netstorage.ringcentral.com/guides/netgear.pdf
Did not help. I did find one setting that I had missed (Disable SIP ALG)
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Jason Robinson

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I just tried ipconfig /flushdns and it did not change the situation for me. I wonder if running that and removing the Umbrella client resets the TCP/IP stack somehow.
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Monte4eqis

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Coupled with the ipconfig /flushdns I've been having to either reboot the computer or purging data from the Settings > Support Purge Data option in the softphone application for it to work.

Then RC shuts down, and we sign back in. Then it has been working again, until it stops again.

Also, we can tell if it's working again when we place a test call. If we can hear the call ringing, then we know it'll work. We can always hear the RC softpone dialing buttons being pressed, but if we can't hear the ring tone then we know the RC user's local audio won't work during the call. 

It's disappointing that you're experiencing the same issue but DON'T use OpenDNS, because were were hoping it was related to that. It seems to be somehow DNS related, but now I'm completely stumped. 

Like you, we've tested with the Windows Firewall complete disabled. And the fact that it works sometimes leads me to question how it could be hardware firewall related. We use Cisco Meraki gear, and nothing has changed in our security policies lately. No networking updates, etc. Same ports open, etc. Everything had been working fine until this week. 
(Edited)
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Jason Robinson

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Another piece to the puzzle: Inbound calls don't come up for the desktop app, but the missed call notification does. Both the android app and the Chrome extension recognize and notify on incoming calls. This tells me it really is a networking/connectivity issue, but it is possible that this is completely unrelated.
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Monte4eqis

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Same exact thing happens for us. The softphone application on desktop won't ring or otherwise indicate that there' an incoming call, but the mobile app will. 
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Saadet - Community Support, Official Rep

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Hello Everyone,

I would suggest you two contact support so we can troubleshoot with you live.
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Monte4eqis

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Hi Saadet, 

I think both of us have been in contact with support and have been troubleshooting. Even with support's help (I have a case currently open with Tier 2), we aren't sure what the cause is. On my open case, it was presumed to be an issue caused by Cisco Umbrella OpenDNS, but Jason doesn't use OpenDNS at all and is experiencing the exact same symptoms. 
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Jason Robinson

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I did have a support ticket but it was closed upon figuring out that another PC running Windows 10 on the same network had to problems with calls or receiving inbound calls. I can't use that that other PC (it was borrowed) so I am still trying to figure out what is wrong with my main PC.
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Jason Robinson

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Also, I don't consider this to necessarily be a defect in RC's software, the likelihood that this my specific PC and it's settings or other software is quite high.
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Monte4eqis

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I'm basically completely unsure what's causing the issue, but it's not just happening on one PC for us. Exact same symptoms as Jason, where a user's audio works normally until they initiate an RC softphone call, but it's happening throughout our office. 
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Saadet - Community Support, Official Rep

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That is super odd. Have either of you tried taking the computer to a different network and seeing if you get the same problem?
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Mike, Official Rep

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Folks, this is likely one of 3 things or sometimes a combination of these three.

1. First, on the Desktop app, always go to Settings > Sound and see what the drop-downs are set to for "Speaker"
2. Take a look at the PC audio settings. Sometimes this overrides any 3d party software and see if it's defaulted to some other device.
3. Check to see if you have any other speaker/headset, audio software installed. This is fairly common if you have an additional headset or bluetooth device. These things often come with their own software which can also interfere/override the soft-phone.

Mike
(Edited)
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Monte4eqis

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Hi Mike, 

We've thoroughly examined the audio settings in RingCentral. All of the devices are set properly, and the audio works perfectly fine in Skype and all other applications in Windows. The only time is stops working is when a call is made in RC.

Our callcenter staff members are also good about things like headsets and audio using RingCentral.  We've been using RC for a couple years,  and this issue just started a few days ago. We also all use different headsets, too, and the issue doesn't appear related in any way to headset model  or manufacturer.  It seems related somehow to Umbrella and/or DNS. 
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Monte4eqis

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Hi Saadet, 

Yes, we have remote staff members who connect from home and/or hotels on the road, and they don't connect to the office by VPN, so they're on completely different IP subnets. Some of them do, however, use the Umbrella Roaming Client and have been experiencing the issue. 

It's not company-wide though. About half of our RC users are experiencing the issue, and half aren't. Uninstalling the Roaming client and rebooting the computer stops the issue from happening, but just a reboot by itself has no effect. 
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Jason Robinson

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Thanks Mike, but this has nothing to do with the audio settings (99.9% confident), and I've tried your suggestions, that is where I started originally. I broke out wireshark and what I see is: 
  • Chrome extension calls don't look like a normal SIP/VoIP session
  • Chrome extension uses outbound port 80 (exclusively?)
  • The softphone desktop app session looks normal, but the call decoder says "RTP stream empty or codec is unsupported"
I will definitely try this PC on a different network in the next couple of hours, wish I had thought of that ;)
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Mike, Official Rep

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Ok..  we'll wait to hear from you to see if a different network has an effect.  It might if something in the firwall/router is not correctly configured.

Also another thing you could do is compare a working machine with one having the problem.  View the MSinfo32 data and compare the hardware, drivers etc. and see if you see any difference.
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Monte4eqis

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Hi, Jason. One thing I tried shortly after the problem started happening was disconnecting a few computers from the local IP network and tethering  them through my phone using an LTE connection, and the problem with the RC softphone audio persisted. We've also had remote workers using Comcast and other ISPs around the country who don't connect to another network by VPN experiencing it too. 
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Jason Robinson

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Different network: no change.

Does the chrome extension handle audio codec negotiation differently than the desktop app?

If this was a port issue, wouldn't it be settled/fixed by making my PC the DMZ server on my router?
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Mike, Official Rep

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Yes, they are different.  If you haven't done so, you'll want to read RingCentral Network Requirements andRecommendations - Expanded version 
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Jason Robinson

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OK, this is getting weird. The chrome extension is now failing in the exact same ways as the desktop app:
  • Caller can hear me, but I can't hear them
  • I can't hear the ringing or busy signals
  • No Inbound call notification
  • New: both apps show the warning "E911 services may not be available" - I saw this before on the desktop app and didn't realize it wasn't normal, now I am getting this message when I fire up the Chrome extension
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Monte4eqis

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Hi, Jason. We don't use the chrome extension, and I haven't tested it in regard to this issue yet, but I did want to mention that I haven't heard reports of the RC issue from our softphone users since I disabled IP Layer filtering  in Cisco Umbrella OpenDNS yesterday afternoon. 

I removed Umbrella from about half of our workstations  over the past week while troubleshooting this issue, though, so I don't have as many out there to derive results from now, but maybe the issue is tied to QoS  or  traffic shaping. I know you said that you went through the recommended settings for your Netgear router, so I don't know. Just more data for the analysis. 

Another thing, whatever is happening, the softphone doesn't immediately reflect whatever changes I make  to OpenDNS or anything else. There's either a delay before the softphone  notices , and/or it requires flushing DNS, purging the RingCentral softphone settings, or otherwise resetting the TCP/IP stack for the changes to take effect. This has made troubleshooting more difficult, because I'll change something and think I'm waiting long enough or resetting what needs to be reset, but it won't have made a difference, so then I'll change whatever I changed back, possibly undoing what should have worked. Anyway, I'm sure you're struggling with that too. 
(Edited)
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Jason Robinson

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Thank you for the update! I'll work on resetting the Windows IP stack and see what effects that has.

Latest update: I changed some settings on my router and the Chrome extension is back to working, but it is not clear which setting (or even if) caused things to start working again.
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Monte4eqis

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For whatever it's worth to others experiencing  the same symptoms  of no audio while using the RC smartphone in Windows 10, we think the issue has been resolved for us.

It was most likely caused by a feature in Cisco Umbrella OpenDNS called IP Layer Enforcement that checks traffic against a list of suspect IP addresses in realtime. If traffic from an endpoint matches an IP on the list, the client injects a route to OpenDNS servers and blocks the connection. Something in there must have been causing a conflict with some component of the RingCentral softphone. We've disabled the feature and aren't seeing the audio issue anymore. 

If you're seeing the same symptom, I would look at your network environment for any traffic shaping or IP layer scanning that might causing a conflict with RingCentral. 
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Christine Shanley

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I am having a similar issue, although neither me nor the caller are able to hear on another.  It was working fine until about 3 weeks ago and then this started happening.  When I called 3 weeks ago, I was told it was my ISP and that they had other calls about the same issue the same day.  Now - they have no idea...they've checked all my settings, uninstalled and reinstalled the app, joined several meetings and they have no idea.  Very frustrating because it worked great for months!
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Saadet - Community Support, Official Rep

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Hello Christine,

I see you have case 06241814 open with us right now. Please keep me apprised :)
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Gregg Hamilton

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I have the same issue as the people described above.  the desktop soft phone does not work.  i just signed up with Ring Central a couple weeks ago because i wanted the soft phone integration.  it is very disappointing that it wont work.  i had the outlook extension working for a while, but then it started causing outlook to crash.  I have uninstalled and installed several times.  i have explored all of my sound options on the windows PC, and i cannot get it to work.  i even plug wired headphones in, and i only get the mic to work.  any help will be appreciated.  
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Mike, Official Rep

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Hi Gregg,  I'm not sure if you noticed, but there are additional Sound settings in the Desktop App also.  Go to Settings > Sound, and you'll see the screen below. 

Also, you don't mention what type of headset you are using.  Is it USB?  I've seen cases where sometimes the USB device doesn't switch over. Sometimes a simple PC restart fixes it, or there's a conflict between the settings below and the PC.  

If this doesn't help, then please give us a call so someone on our support team can help troubleshoot this. 

Mike


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Monte4eqis

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Hi Gregg, 

Assuming you've checked your sound settings, check any firewalls or network settings related to traffic shaping and IP layer filtering. If you use it or something like it, disable McAfee  and retest the RingCentral softphone.  Disable any firewall software or DNS filtering you may be using and retest the softphone. If that doesn't do it, if you're able to, you can tether an LTE cell phone to your computer by USB and use that as your primary Internet connection to test. Then retest the softphone to rule out something in your main home/office router firewall. 

We exhausted every single sound setting and tried multiple headsets in our case, and it had nothing to do with sound settings. Sometimes it does with RingCentral, but those are easy fixes and easy to rule out. The problem was network related in our case. 
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Doug Peterson

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Fyi,

Exactly as Monte... above noted that DNS Sec if implemented or opendns has caused this same behaviour for weeks for Ringcentral Desktop app. Calls inbound or outbound I could not hear parties on my headset but they could hear me.  

By changing to other then secure DNS or opendns this corrected this for me. 
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Saadet - Community Support, Official Rep

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Thanks for sharing this, Doug
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Z

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My RingCentral was working fine until today and nothing can fix this problem. 
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Saadet - Community Support, Official Rep

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Hey Z,

Please contact our Support Team so we can troubleshoot this with you
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Z

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I've spent 5 hours with 4 different support team 2 hung up on me after 50 min trouble shooting.  I am getting all the symptoms from above 
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Z

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I can hear ring central ring tone when I am getting an incoming call ... I can download voicemail and listen to voicemail.  But I can't hear typing tone, I can't listen to voicemails, and I can't hear anything when I make calls.  My Ringcentral Chrome extension is not working either.
(Edited)
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Saadet - Community Support, Official Rep

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Hey Z, let's continue to troubleshoot on the thread that you started already
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Z

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OK I am not getting any help.