How Well Does SkypeOut Work?

by Bruce Stewart

skype.pngZDNet's Russell Shaw points to and agrees with Martin Geddes' recent rant on the Skype Journal about the less-than-stellar quality of many SkypeOut calls. I must say that this has been my experience too -- SkypeOut calls seem to often have poor audio quality, much poorer than Skype-to-Skype calls, but also worse than most PSTN calls I experience. Martin notes that his experiences are becoming too frequent to be just anecdotal and that he, like many of us, came to Skype not just for its value proposition but for the quality too.

I'm curious what kind of experiences others are having with SkypeOut. If you have an opinion on the audio quality of the SkypeOut service, please leave a comment here. Thanks!


2006-02-22 19:08:08
Many people have complained about the quality of SkypeOut before. Martin himself had commented about it; Tom Evslin had written about problems with DTMF. It lloks like, the halothat was protecting Skype is weakeing only now.

But so far nobody has noticed Martin's rant about weak FW traversal capability that he encounters while he visits his customer, especially when it is compared to that of Yahoo.

Sean Tierney
2006-02-23 00:37:08
Disagree. My Treo died a few days ago and i've been forwarding my calls to Skype and conducting skype-out calls as if my laptop were my phone. My parnter and I did a conf call tonight to a local AZ number using my laptop and we were both astonished how flawless the call quality was- zero latency. We talked about it at our user group tonight too and a girl there does $.02/min calls to Germany that are equally as clear. I'm sorry but skype rules. Have not tried google talk yet so I cannot compare but i have had worse call quality on my Cingular phone than i get through skype.
2006-02-26 02:57:44
I also disagree. I'm an American living in France and I make SkypeOut calls frequently to the USA with very good results. I wouldn't say it's flawless but it doesn't have any more problems than more expensive options such as France Telecom. Most of the time, the SkypeOut reliability and sound quality is quite good and several people have commented to me that the sound quality is significantly better than PSTN on their (USA) side.
2006-03-16 08:48:52
Supposedly if you call the test number in the UK and your connection is good then it is not a problem with skypeout, but rather the local pstn at the location you are calling. I call Kazakhstan frequently and always have a problem hearing the person I am calling (they break up and words are missing). However, they can hear me plain as day. If the problem really is the pstn, it seems the quality would be an issue both ways. Why can they hear me just fine, and I have breakup on my end? Both of our voices are going through the same local switching station. This makes me suspect that the problem is not entirely the quality of the local pstn, but rather with skypeout itself.
Don Dalton
2006-05-09 15:10:57
The voice quality is less of an issue than the one-way audio. Over half of my calls complete with the called party unable to hear me. It is just embarassing to call someone three times in a row trying to get two way audio. I open up trouble tickets with Skype and they don't even bother to respond. I have requested a refund from Skype.

2006-05-26 10:25:09
I tried to make different calls from Canada to China using SkypeOut. Receivers used traditional phones or mobiles. The sound quality seemed not as good as Skype-to-skype, even as Yahoo msgr-to-msgr. How could I improve it?