Voice Issues

Please note: Viewers play a minor part in voice functionality. The bulk of voice support is given by the external application called SLVoice, which is made by the SL voice provider, Vivox. Voice failures are almost always due to one of the following reasons:

  • Your ISP is throttling or blocking the voice service;
  • failure of the Vivox service;
  • voice issues on the region you are on;
  • voice being throttled by bandwidth set incorrectly - please check it by following the instructions here;
  • voice hardware (mic, headset) not configured correctly in your operating system settings;
  • voice hardware not configured correctly in the viewer;
  • another application has your voice hardware in use (example, Skype);
  • your anti virus software has “mangled” the voice application; see steps on this page: here.

  • your firewall is blocking slvoice. Add slvoice to your firewall's exclusion/allow list.
Please go to Voice Echo Canyon when trying to get voice to work. If voice is working correctly for you, anything you say there will be echoed back to you. Once there, relog to last location.

Known Issues

Since 4.7.9, voice has not always connected to the voice servers. This is due to some coding issues that we inherited from the official SL viewer and that code's interaction with the latest voice files. The issue is documented on LL's Jira. A workaround is to disable and then re-enable voice. But if you're presented with the voice connection failure message that tells you “Voice communications will not be available”, you may need to disable voice and then relog before voice will try to reconnect.


  • Go to Preferences → Sound & Media → Voice, and untick “Enable Voice.”
  • Relog.
  • Wait 10-20 seconds, or until the viewer has finished rezzing the scene.
  • Re-enable voice.

Version 5.1.7., voice crashes when turning on microphone. See BUG-225293 and FIRE-22940
Fixed on LL Viewer. Fix pending on FS viewer.
Note that the SLVoice executable in this viewer is not compatible with most older viewers; do not copy it into other viewers. http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Release_Notes/Second_Life_Release/

Disable When Not in Use

Most voice connection issues happen when the viewer tries to connect to voice during the login process. The workaround is to disable voice before you log out, and then only enable it after logging in when you need it. You can toggle Voice from the Media Controls at the top of the viewer (not enabled by default for Vintage or Latency skins) by hovering over the speaker icon and then checking or unchecking the last checkbox, or by going to Preferences ⇒ Sound & Media ⇒ Voice and checking or unchecking the top option.

Ensure Headset Properly Connected

If you have issues hearing but not being heard, or vice versa, then make sure that your headset is properly connected to your computer. Unplug it, then plug it back in, making sure it is fully inserted.

And on a related note, if you plug your headset in while logged into SL, you will very likely have to relog to get it to be recognised.

Check Voice Settings in your Operating System

Due to the many different versions of each operating system (Windows, linux distros, Mac OSx's), it is very difficult to give specifics for each one. Nonetheless, make sure that your operating system is correctly configured for voice: that voice is going to your headset (or speakers, as you prefer), and that your mic is enabled and configured.

If you can hear people but cannot be heard, or vice versa, it is most likely a problem in this area.

A bit more specifically, for Windows and linux, check in Mixer that SLvoice is listed, and not muted. Check that input and output devices are correct. For Mac, look in the Sound Preference pane.

Check Voice Settings in the Viewer

  • Go to PreferencesSound & Media -> Sounds. Find the Voice Chat slider and make sure it is not all to the left. Try increasing the volume.
  • Make sure that Voice chat is enabled on that preferences tab.
  • go to PreferencesSound & Media -> Voice. Click on Audio Device Settings. For Input and Output, use the dropdowns to select your voice devices (headset, microphone, whatever you use). It is best not to leave these at Default.
  • Close Preferences and locate the Mic button on the button bar. Click the Lock checkbox then the actual button, and try speaking (hopefully, you went to Voice Echo Canyon so you can test).

Try Reinstalling Drivers

Try reinstalling the drivers for your sound card, if you have one. Sometimes, these drivers conflict with the sound component of graphics card drivers. Similarly, you may have success by reinstalling your graphics card driver.

If voice still does not work, then continue working through this page.

Voice Is Intermittent

If you find that voice cuts in and out, particularly right after a TP, and at the same time, you notice that things are not rezzing in for you very well (avatars, objects, etc), then the likely cause is that your router is being “overwhelmed” with texture transfers. So reboot your router/modem, and then your computer, and see if the problem is solved.

You can also try adjusting your bandwidth as explained here.

If that does not help, then proceed with the section below.

Voice Worked Fine but Suddenly Doesn't Work

Chances are good that the problem lies with the SL servers or the voice provider, Vivox. Still, there are things you can try:

  • May 2018: If you had a recent Windows update, see this page.
  • Open Preferences, and go to Sound & Media → Voice, and click Reset (circular arrow).
  • Shut down all applications that use, or can use, voice - like Skype, etc. Then relog.
  • What sometimes helps to get voice working is disabling voice in PreferencesSound & Media -> Voice, hitting Ok, waiting a minute and then enabling voice and click Ok. When these methods fail (assuming voice usually works for you) it is usually the Vivox voice servers that are the problem.
  • If this does not work at your current location, go to a region where other people are able to use voice at this time. One possibility is Firestorm Social, but any region where voice is known to be functioning is fine. Disable voice in PreferencesSound & Media -> Voice. Relog, using the last location selection on your login screen. Wait a couple of minutes. Reenable voice. Wait another couple of minutes (in other words, give the connection time to be established). If voice comes on, then the problem may have been the region you were in before. Was voice disabled there? If not, a region restart might solve the problem.
  • Go to Preferences → Network & Files -> Connection and reduce your bandwidth setting to 500 (if it is not already set there). Repeat the above step to toggle voice off and back on. See here for more information on setting your bandwidth properly, but bear in mind that lower levels than those calculated there may be necessary for troubleshooting purposes.
  • Log out of the viewer, then check Task Manager (or equivalent) and see if SLVoice is still running. If so, kill the process, restart the viewer and see if voice connects.
  • Try a relog, or even a reboot of the computer.
  • Sometimes device settings can reset, so check in PreferencesSound & Media -> Voice → Audio Device Settings, to be sure that the input and output are set correctly.
  • HTTP fetching may be overloading your router; please try the suggestions given here; if they do not help, revert the changes made then return to this page and continue.

Never Been Able to Get Voice to Work

  • Does your headset/microphone work outside of SL? ie when using Skype, Yahoo or MSN
  • Is your voice chat volume turned up and not muted?
  • Is the SLVoice.exe (simply SLVoice on Mac) that is in the Firestorm folder in the exceptions/allowed list for your firewall? If your firewall is turned off, turn it on and add the SLVoice.exe (or SLVoice) anyway.
    If your Firewall has SLVoice listed twice, then remove both instances, and allow it again. For Win10, make sure that SLVoice has Private unchecked, and Public checked. If you had these set differently, change them, then close the window, log out of SL, reboot.
  • Check the bandwidth you are actually getting and what you have set in Preferences → Network & Files → Connection. Please refer to this page for specifics.
  • Go to top menu, Advanced → Debug Settings, and in the window that opens, type: Cmdlinedisablevoice - then ensure this is set to FALSE. (Use Crtl-Alt-D to enable the Advanced menu, if it isn't.)

By Operating System


Some have issues with voice on Firestorm - specifically, “stuttering”, or SLVoice crashing when you unplug a USB device. The only work-around currently is to swap out the voice files.

  • To this end, download this file; save it to your hard drive. Make sure you do not have Firestorm running. Then extract the files to your Firestorm install folder. (For Firestorm 32-bit viewer, this is typically located at C:\Program Files\Firestorm on 32 bit Windows, and C:\Program Files (x86)\Firestorm on Windows 64-bit. For Firestorm 64-bit Viewer, this is typically located at C:\Program Files\Firestorm.) When prompted, allow the replacement of existing files.
Windows Vista and Windows 7

Try disabling compatibility mode, if enabled:

  • Locate your desktop shortcut for Firestorm (if you use the pinned application on the task bar, make sure you pin the Firestorm shortcut, not the running viewer)
  • Right click on the icon and select Properties
  • Select the Compatibility tab
  • Find “Run this program in compatibility mode for:” if it is set then disable this
  • Make sure “Run as Administrator” is enabled (if this is greyed out, then you're probably already running as administrator, so you can ignore this step).
  • Click Apply.
  • Now log back into the viewer, and see if voice works (do you have the white dot over your head?). If not, go to PreferencesSound & Media -> Voice and disable voice; wait a few moments, then re-enable. 1)

On Windows 7, if you find yourself being able to talk but not hear what others say, then a possible solution is to use the sound drivers from Vista. (This needs further confirmation.)


All Mac Operating Systems

If you are unable to connect to voice and you are also having problems with teleporting and/or loading your friends list, perhaps along with other things, then see the “Mac-specific” section of this page for instructions and more explanation.

Mountain Lion (10.8.x) Only

Some Mountain Lion users experience a problem with voice output, while input works fine (that is, you can hear but you can't speak). To fix this, open the voice preferences for your viewer (PreferencesSound & Media -> Voice in Firestorm). Click the device settings button and select “built-in microph” as the audio input device and click OK. Reopen Preferences and go back to the device settings button to ensure you're getting sound in on the mic.


Every linux distro is different; and each distro may have more than one window manager to further complicate things. So tips can't be “absolute”; you will need to experiment and see what works for you. The following have been suggested by some as effective. But first….

In the Firestorm install directory, there's a text file (originally from LL) with tips on getting voice to work in linux. If you haven't read that, then you can try to see if it helps.

  • Make sure you have ALSA and/or FMODEX available. FMODEX is supplied with Firestorm, normally. If you look at Help → About Firestorm, you should see a line that resembles this:
    Audio Driver Version: OpenAL, version 1.1 ALSOFT 1.11.753 / OpenAL Community / OpenAL Soft: PulseAudio Software
    If that says “none” then you have no audio driver available to Firestorm and need to install one.
  • Edit the firestorm shell script and remove the #. That will force LL to use FMOD rather than ALSA. Some say this is how to get voice working.
  • Some swear that the problem is PulseAudio, so you can try to remove that from your system. Be warned, however, that this could cause more problems than it solves. Make sure you remove only Pulse and not half the OS.
  • Be sure to have the correct devices select in Firestorm for voice:

    Preferences → Sound & Media → Voice → Audio Device Settings (button) … input and output may not work if left at default; they may need to go to a specific device like “ALSA Capture on [device name]”.

Below are results for selected linux distros, based on input from Phoenix and Firestorm users. This will be updated as more information becomes available.

  • ubuntu 18.04 / linux Mint 19 64-bit + FS64. You may need to install a few extra libs:2)
sudo apt-get install libidn11:i386 libuuid1:i386 libstdc++6:i386
  • ubuntu 16.04 64 bit + FS64: The following command installs a few 32-bit libs and voice works after. Maybe you need fewer 32-bit libs but that needs further investigation.
    Apparently, arch requires these as well - or some of them - though the exact lib name may be different.
sudo apt-get install gstreamer0.10-pulseaudio:i386 libidn11:i386 libuuid1:i386 libstdc++6:i386
  • In the end you should have these libraries installed, in their 32 bit variant. The version numbers here are subject to change in later releases, but it should give you a good starting point on what to look for: ld-2.27.so libc-2.27.so libdl-2.27.so libgcc_s.so.1 libm-2.27.so libpthread-2.27.so libresolv-2.27.so librt-2.27.so libz.so.1.2.11 libXau.so.6.0.0 libasound.so.2.0.0 libcap.so.2.25 libdbus-1.so.3.19.6 libgcrypt.so.20.2.2 libgpg-error.so.0.24.2 libidn.so.12.6.0 liblz4.so.1.8.1 liblzma.so.5.2.3 libpulse.so.0.20.3 libstdc++.so.6.0.25 libsystemd.so.0.21.0 libuuid.so.1.3.0 libxcb.so.1.1.0 libpulsecommon-12.2.so
  • A new option is a debug setting, FSLinuxEnableWin32VoiceProxy, which when enabled will cause Firestorm to launch the Windows version of SLVoice.exe via WINE. To use this, you need to ensure that WINE is installed; install WINE with your package manager. An existing WINE profile/prefix is not needed, but will be used if present. Depending on your system, it may take several seconds before voice comes up.
    * If you disable voice and then re-enable too quickly, WINE may not successfully restart and voice may fail to re-enable. If you get the warning that there was a problem connecting, you will need to relog before voice will re-enable. Thirty seconds between disable and enable should be enough.
    * There is a known related issue here
    * To speed up the initial loading of voice, use
    wine-preloader $HOME/path/to/firestorm/bin/win32/SLVoice.exe

    before launching Firestorm

Incorporates suggestions from user Maverick Buccaneer.
Thanks to Virtual Pawpad.
  • fs_voice.txt
  • Last modified: 2018/10/15 00:13
  • by miro.collas