Using Voice Chat

Speakers at NMC events in Hakone will use the built in voice chat for speaking, and you are encouraged to use it yourself for communication with other attendees.
  1. Before launching the Hakone client software, make sure your audio headset is plugged in correctly and that you can monitor output and input volumes in your Sound Control Panel
    USB Headsets work great, are cheap, and highly recommended Please do NOT use the built-in mic on your laptop as it can cause feedback if the output is coming from your speakers. If you are going to use your built-in mic on your laptop/desktop computer, then please plug in a pair of headphones (or ipod ear buds) for your sound output.
  2. Launch the Hakone client and log in with your account.
  3. Under the Edit menu in the menu bar at the top of the screen, select Preferences and then go to the Voice Chat tab.
  4. By default, Enable Voice Chat should be checked; if it is not, click the box to check it.
  5. Towards the middle of the screen, click the box for Use Push-to-Talk in toggle mode. This allows you to turn your mic on and off rather than having to hold the button down when you talk.
  6. You can click Device Settings to make sure the software is using the correct devices for audio input and output. The green levels bar indicates the sound it is receiving from your microphone.
  7. Click Ok to apply the settings.
  8. You can tell whether you or anyone else has voice chat enabled by seeing a small white dot over the avatar's head. To turn on your mic to speak, click the Talk button in the bottom right. when activate, the button will have a gold rim, and you will see small green bars moving as a sound level as you speak.
  9. You may want to adjust your other sounds levels using the small ^ button next to the small speaker icon. This provides a control for setting various sounds levels. For example, you may want to turn down ambient environment sounds (water, wind, etc) if you find they are distracting you.

Tips for better Voice Communication

If you are having trouble hearing a speaker then try these tips.
  • First, you can adjust the volume of an individual by selecting the "Talk List" and adjusting the volume of said individual (locate the icon just to the left of the Talk toggle button)
  • Also, you can use the Alt/ Option zoom function to move your camera closer to the speaker. This should increase the volume level of the speaker.

Conference Etiquette

When attending a conference, voice communication is ideal for conversing with others around you, but exercise courtesy during a presentation.
  • Please turn off or toggle your talk button during a presentation. That is to say, do not let yourself be heard while the presenter is speaking. You can toggle yourself off by selecting the "Talk" button in the bottom right of the screen.
  • Try to be in a place that does not have disruptive background sounds (phones ringing, other people talking, etc)


(note that if your sound output / input doesn't work correctly outside of Hakone, then it will not work while in Hakone )
  • Make sure that your sound is enabled correctly on the computer itself. Can you hear audio from other applications, like iTunes? Can you see an indicator in your sound control panel that your microphone is picking up sound?
  • Verify that no mute buttons have been enabled on your headset or on the computer- it is surprisingly easy to sit on the mute button!
  • If you have checked everything and still cannot hear voice chat one more thing to check if you are on a school or corporate network is that their firewall allows the proper ports for the voice chat server. Refer your IT staff to the reqired open ports listed at

On a PC running Windows

  • Go to the Control Panel and select Sounds and Audio Devices
  • Select the Voice tab
  • Select the correct device under Voice Recording and click "Apply"
  • You can also run the hardware test from this menu to verify that your microphone is working properly

On a Mac OSX

  • Go to the Apple menu and select System Preferences
  • Then select Sound
  • From the output tab, check that that the volume is upand that your headset is set as the output device
  • From the input tab, determine that the correct device is selected (you should be able to verify that the microphone is working correctly by viewing the audio level as you talk)