School of Music > Resources > Technology Office > Zoom FAQ

For instructions on how to use Zoom at DePaul (setting up your Zoom account and basic usage information), please visit this page.

The School of Music is equipped with "Zoom Rooms" to facilitate remote learning. Please refer to this document for instructions on how to operate these rooms.

The DePaul University School of Music may have more specific requirements for using Zoom with musical content. This is a guide to assist you with getting the most out of your Zoom session.

  • Zoom will optimize itself for whatever platform and internet connection speed you are using. Make sure that your computer or mobile device meet the requirements for Zoom. See the "Zoom System Requirement" section below for more details.
  • If you want higher-fidelity sound, you will need to have a fast internet connection.
    • First make sure you have a fast enough connection by visiting this link and running a speed test.
    • How fast is fast enough? Visit the "Zoom Bandwidth Requirements" section below for more information. If your internet speed is not fast enough, you will need to work with your network provider (Comcast, AT&T, etc) to get a higher speed internet connection.
  • If you have a fast enough connection, you can now optimize your Zoom settings for music. Please see the "Improving Sound Quality" section below for more information.
  • Now that you have your system set up correctly, please review the "Zoom Best Practices Using a Home Network" section so that you can best prepare for your class or meeting.
If you are still having problems, please send an e-mail to musictech@depaul.edu for more tips, techniques and troubleshooting steps.


There are several things you can do to improve the sound quality of music in Zoom - on a laptop. If possible, please use a laptop, not a tablet, for Zoom. You cannot adjust the settings on a tablet.

The latest version of Zoom now includes a feature to substantially improve sound quality for music. Make sure that you are running the latest version of Zoom (version 5.2.2 or later) to take advantage of this new feature. Please refer to this document for how to enable "high fidelity music mode" and "stereo audio" in Zoom.

Be aware that using "high fidelity music mode" and "Use stereo audio" will increase bandwidth demands on your internet connection. Users with a slow internet connection may experience audio drop-outs as a result.

Having an external USB microphone will substantially improve the sound quality to your Zoom meeting. If you do not have and external USB microphone, currently enrolled School of Music students, faculty and staff may request one here.

Having external speakers or quality headphones will improve the sound quality over the built-in speakers of your laptop or mobile device.

  • An internet connection – broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE)
  • Speakers and a microphone – built-in or USB plug-in or wireless Bluetooth
  • A webcam or HD webcam - built-in or USB plug-in
  • Or, a HD cam or HD camcorder with video capture card

Supported tablet and mobile devices

The bandwidth used by Zoom will be optimized for the best experience based on the participants’ network. It will automatically adjust for 3G, WiFi or Wired environments.

Recommended bandwidth for meetings and webinar panelists:

  • For 1:1 video calling:
    • 600kbps (up/down) for high quality video
    • 1.2 Mbps (up/down) for 720p HD video
    • Receiving 1080p HD video requires 1.8 Mbps (up/down)
    • Sending 1080p HD video requires 1.8 Mbps (up/down)
  • For group video calling:
    • 800kbps/1.0Mbps (up/down) for high quality video
    • For gallery view and/or 720p HD video: 1.5Mbps/1.5Mbps (up/down)
    • Receiving 1080p HD video requires 2.5mbps (up/down)
    • Sending 1080p HD video requires 3.0 Mbps (up/down)
  • For screen sharing only (no video thumbnail): 50-75kbps
  • For screen sharing with  video thumbnail: 50-150kbps
  • For audio VoiP: 60-80kbps
  • For Zoom Phone: 60-100kbps

Recommended bandwidth for webinar attendees:

  • For 1:1 video calling: 600kbps (down) for high quality video and 1.2 Mbps (down) for HD video
  • For screen sharing only (no video thumbnail): 50-75kbps (down)
  • For screen sharing with  video thumbnail: 50-150kbps (down)
  • For audio VoiP: 60-80kbps (down)

 

Best practices:

•  If you are connected wirelessly, try moving your laptop closer to your wireless access point or router.
•  Try connecting your computer directly to your router via a wired Ethernet cable, instead of relying on the WiFi in your home (newer laptops may need an adapter).
•  Limit non-essential activities (such as Netflix streaming or gaming) by family members on your home network while you are working. Consider scheduling internet time for family members who are using bandwidth for non-essential activities.

To prevent or address issues with Zoom:

• Before a Zoom meeting, test your audio or video connection on the Zoom test site at zoom.us/test
• If you are connecting from a laptop, plug the laptop into wall power. Battery use can adversely affect video quality.
• If you are experiencing audio or video issues, turn off your Zoom video camera during a call. Sending only audio to meeting participants preserves bandwidth and improves audio quality.
• If audio issues persist after you turn off video, turn off your audio and connect to Zoom audio using your cell phone or landline.
• If you plan to use Zoom at home, you can test your internet speed by going to Speedtest. Please note that internet speed can be slower in your neighborhood as many neighborhoods share internet bandwidth among all residents, per each internet provider.
• If you are teaching a class, please test your internet speed and Zoom capabilities during your normal teaching time so you can be better prepared.