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When using AirPods 2 for Google Meet video calls on macOS, my voice gets very distorted and sounds 'robotic'.

Only happens with Google Meet running the the browser, but no other apps.

I looked around (Google support forum, 2, 3, and also on Reddit, 2) and found that many other people are having this problem.

How can I solve this?

What I’ve tried with no success:

  • Resetting the AirPods
  • Switching to use the MacBook’s mic
  • Safari and Chrome
  • No such problems when using Meet/Gmail.app on my iPhone
  • No such problems with wired headphones

Some think it's a CPU issue: Chrome/Meet using lots of resources. I am running on a 4-month old MacBook Pro (1.4 GHz Quad-Core i5, 8GB 2133MHz RAM) so can't imagine that could be at fault.

Also, don't know if it's relevant, but seems that the AirPods 2 are using the SCO codec instead of AAC:

enter image description here

I've also already tried selecting the internal microphone, this didn’t help as long as the AirPods were connected:

enter image description here

  • 1
    You on 10.15.6 Catalina with the supplemental update? – bmike Aug 14 '20 at 11:48
  • @bmike, yep, version 19G2021 – Baumr Aug 19 '20 at 8:38
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I have a similar issue and found that a sudo killall coreaudiod via Terminal fixes the issue. From what I understand this resets the audio.

My issue is exclusively with a Google Meet in Safari. A Meet in Chrome doesn't have the issue. Everyone's voice that I hear is garbled. They can hear me fine. Maybe about 25% of the time if I switch audio sources and back it's fixed.

  • 1
    Thank you for this tip. I was having exactly the same issue (Big Sur): Google Meet sound (on speakers not headphones BTW) is garbled on Safari only, not when using Chrome. – wintvelt Nov 18 '20 at 14:44
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    After several more google meets on Big Sur, my experience is now that robotic sound also appears on Chrome. And that the sudo killall... did not fix it for me. So your mileage may vary with this solution. I just installed Safari Technology Preview, maybe that will help. To be continued.. – wintvelt Nov 20 '20 at 15:58
  • Yes, mine issue occurs on all audio outputs. The only fix for now is to use Chrome. If figure out a fix for Safari I'll report back. – John C Nov 21 '20 at 16:31
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I was experiencing the same issue with AirPods 1 on macOS Big Sur. Enabling the AirPods microphone (so the headphones starts using the lower latency codec) fixed it. It looks like Google Meet doesn't like adjusting the audio latency, resulting in the garbled sound.

  • Thanks for your reply. That didn't work for me. – Baumr Oct 21 '20 at 14:33
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The issue is fixed in Safari Technology Preview (but not in the beta). I use that until a better fix appears.

Be warned however, that Safari Technology Preview doesn't share data with the regular Safari, so it doesn't have your bookmarks, configuration etc.

Also, I'm facing another issue with Safari Technology Preview and Google Meet, where my session dies as soon as some other participant leaves or stops presenting.

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