How to Improve Audio Quality and Remove Delays Over Remote Desktop

Due to working from home for the past year or so now I’ve had to adopt certain new practices in order to remain productive, one of these is using my home computer and remoting into my work laptop using Remote Desktop Connection so that I can easily use all of my monitors, my keyboard and mouse, headsets etc without having to move all the cables every time I want to jump between them.

After buying a little switch and getting everything properly connected via ethernet it improved the experience dramatically, however, I still had an odd audio issue in Teams and other areas where audio quality was often quite poor and there was a delay in the audio of a second or so which is extremely disorientating when in calls with others.

Luckily there is a solution.

Solution

There are a few potential solutions below, I personally followed all of them but the last solution is the one that made the biggest difference to the audio quality.

Network Quality

The first major thing you can do if it’s an option is to either connect both the client and target machines to your network via ethernet cables, this will dramatically improve the quality of the RDP experience as RDP connections can use a significant amount of bandwidth which most home routers will struggle to cope with in my experience.

Audio Playback Quality

On the target computer, perform the steps outlined below in order to stop the target computer potentially reducing the audio quality –

  1. Press Windows + R.
  2. Type ‘gpedit.msc’ then click OK to open the Local Group Policy Editor.
  3. Using the left-hand navigation, navigate to the following –
    • Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Remote Desktop Services > Remote Desktop Session Host > Device and Resource Redirection.
  4. Double click the ‘Limit audio playback quality’ and then set it to Enabled.
  5. Finally change the Audio Quality dropdown to ‘High’ then click OK to apply the change.
Example showing the group policy setting to configure

Enforce High-Quality Audio in RDP

On the source machine, Save the RDP file to the desktop or any location you can easily access it then follow the instructions below to enforce high-quality audio. This fixed my problems instantly, but may cause instability if you have a poor connection between the machines.

  1. Right-click the RDP file then select Open With > Notepad.
  2. You should see a lot of text which effects various settings for the connection.
  3. Right at the bottom add the following –
    • audioqualitymode:i:2
  4. Click Save to save the change then use that RDP file to connect to the machine in future.
Example showing the setting to add

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