JAWS 17 vague and indistinct on my new laptop: What I have tried, what should I try next?

Tim Ford

Hi All,


The issue I would like to put before this expert and experienced group of JAWS users is as follows.


If I speed up JAWS to the rate I have used for years (50% (AKA speed 96) on the JAWS scale), the usual clarity of the Eloquence voice degrades under certain circumstances, resulting in the first letter or syllable becoming vague and indistinct, and uncertain to the point where I too often need to resort to that command to have JAWS give the military alphabet thing, a for alpha, b for bravo, etc.  This really slows me down when writing or editing in Word or on Outlook, and I do a lot of writing and editing!


This problem was present from the beginning on my new Asus brand laptop, which is fairly robust in terms of speed and ram, way more RAM than I had on my previous computers, and this problem did not exist.  I am running JAWS 17, the final release, and the very latest update to Windows 10.. 


At the suggestion of Freedom Scientific tech support, I first updated the drivers for the 2 built-in sound cards that came standard on the machine.  I also confirmed that the sound card special effects were turned off.  No improvement.  By the way, I had Microsoft remote in and handle those sound card driver updates since I live alone, and was concerned I could lose all sound, and have to go find a working pair of eyes to walk them through getting one of the sound cards speaking!


FS tech support then remoted in to my machine, and ran what they described as an especially thorough and deep version of the JAWS repair feature.  Problem still there; I cannot run JAWS at my usual speed, I have to slow it down, and the problem disappears.  Ironically, it acts as if I had a really old and slow computer, where the opposite is the case.


FS support then suggested trying other JAWS voices, while acknowledging that Eloquence was normally what folks found to be the most responsive and clear when run at my speed, which is around 50.


With the above in mind, what available JAWS voices, if any, would have the best chance of working for my purposes?


FS support, as usual, suggested I try version 18.  At least this time they first checked and noted I did not have JAWS rights past version 17, and did not push me to try JAWS 18 or 2018.  I would, for cost reasons, prefer to get JAWS 17 working the way it did on all my previous computers!  If trying other voices does not work, then I will try 18 and 201, in demo mode.


So, any voice recommendations are greatly appreciated.  If you think I should instead buy and try a USB sound card, do you have a recommendation on a good USB sound card that does not cost a fortune?


Thanks in advance for any suggestions.


Tim Ford

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