All audio sent through Around is normally processed to make voices sound as clear as possible while removing all other background noise. This is great for conversations, but can make sharing any other audio (like music!) sound muffled and distorted.

With our Share System Audio feature, you can bypass our signal processing and send high quality audio from another device or application to everyone else in your meeting. Now you can DJ your next Friday happy hour, play smooth jazz during all-hands, or get into a groove in your next working session. Get creative and let us know what you come up with! ?

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Install a Virtual Loopback Cable

Since Around is able to share the audio of any input device or microphone on your system, the first step is to get the audio you want to play to appear as a "virtual microphone."

The easiest way is to use a virtual audio cable that appears as both a microphone and a speaker, and makes any audio you play to it appear as a microphone.

Around provides a loopback driver for Mac OS which can be automatically installed via the desktop app when starting Share System Audio. For other operating systems, we've found VB-Cable to be a good cross-platform option.

Start Share System Audio

1. Ensure your chosen loopback method is set up. If you're installing a virtual loopback cable for the first time, you may need to restart your computer after installation in order to start Share System Audio.

2. Verify Allow outgoing audio sharing is enabled in Lobby > Preferences > Audio. This is enabled by default.


If Automatic audio sharing device selection is enabled, Around will look for an appropriate loopback device automatically, and you will not see any listed devices when using Share System Audio in the next step (3). Disable this preference if you want to specify your shared device.


3. Once in a meeting, click the Power Ups button and select Share System Audio. If Automatic audio sharing device selection is disabled – select the loopback cable you're using (e.g. Around Loopback or VB-Cable).

Because there's zero processing going on between your input device and the meeting, you can cause echo for everyone. Ensuring that you don't select a live microphone – or set both the speaker in Around and shared device to the same thing – is critical.

4. The Share System Audio button will light up red and your avatar will show a status icon indicating that your audio is being shared with everyone in the meeting. If someone else in the meeting is sharing audio, their avatar will also show a status icon.

5. Lastly, go to your computer's System Preferences and set your system output as the loopback cable (e.g. VB-Cable).

macOS and Windows: If Automatic audio sharing device selection is enabled, your computer's output device will be updated automatically when starting or stopping Share System Audio. You can skip this step (5).

And ... you're done!

Go ahead and try playing something. If you can hear what you're playing, it's working. Everyone else in your meeting will hear what you're sharing at the same quality and volume as you do.

Since Around's voice channel actively reduces background noise, any call participants not wearing headphones while audio is being shared may notice a reduction in their mic's audio quality. Turning down the computer's output volume or using headphones will prevent this from happening.


Stop Share System Audio

When you're done sharing, open the Power Ups menu and click the red stop button.

Remember that since your system output is still playing on the loopback cable, you'll no longer hear the audio you were playing until you change your system output back to your preferred speaker. 

macOS and Windows: This step is not needed if Automatic audio sharing device selection is enabled.



FAQ

How do I change my system output?

macOS: Click the Control Center icon in the menu bar and select the Sound panel. Change the output to your loopback cable.

Windows: Click the speaker icon in the Taskbar.

Can I adjust the volume of my shared audio?

If you are using the Around Loopback driver as your shared audio device, you will be able to adjust the shared volume by adjusting your system volume as you normally would.

Other loopback programs may or may not support volume adjustment.

Many media player programs also support an in-app volume adjustment, which will affect the shared audio volume.

How does my shared audio sound to others?

Around uses very high quality encoding for shared audio streams, resulting in quality that's comparable to a high bitrate MP3. Additionally, the shared audio you hear locally is identical to what everyone else hears, so you can be confident that if it sounds good to you it will sound good to everyone.

Can I mute shared audio?

If you are the one sharing your audio you cannot mute the outgoing stream.

If you're receiving shared audio from someone else, you can right-click their avatar and choose Mute audio sharing for me to mute their shared audio. Clicking Mute audio sharing for me again will unmute.

I can't hear what I'm sharing! Help!

First, check if audio sharing is active by mousing over the Share System Audio button. The sharing button should be lit up red indicating active audio sharing, and the tooltip that pops up should indicate Stop Playback.

Next, double check the Around output speaker. This can be found in the bottom left of the Around window and should be set to a real device (not the loopback device) for you to hear.

Finally, try switching your system output back to a real speaker. If you still cannot hear what you're trying to share then the issue is likely with the player or another program that you're trying to use.

What if I can't install new software on my device?

If you're not able to install new software on your computer, you may consider using a physical loopback cable. This is a more advanced setup and typically requires use of an external sound card. This will vary based on your physical hardware, however, for the best experience we recommend setting up a stereo loopback running at a 48KHz sampling rate.

How do I uninstall the Around Loopback?

  1. Open Finder and from the menu bar select Go > Go To Folder... or press ⌘+⇧+G. In the resulting window, type /Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/HAL and press Enter.

  2. Inside this folder, look for AroundLoopback.driver and delete it either by dragging it to the trash or pressing ⌘+Delete.

  3. Restart your computer.


Have a question that isn't answered here? Please reach out to support@around.co and include "Share System Audio" in the subject line. Thanks!