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

Soronel Haetir

I don't bother with an actual USB sound card, I just use USB
headphones and the on-board audio quality issue is taken care of. The
sound card is only necessary if you wish to use standalone speakers
but honestly I prefer the headphones because I can turn them down
extremely low and still hear. As long as the cheapest end of the range
is avoided I have been happy with just about every set I've purchased
($30 and up). The ones I have now are logictech something or other,
capable of 3D sound but I don't use that ability (I barely use
left-right mixing, let alone forward-back or up-down).

On 10/5/17, Tim Ford <> wrote:
Hello Jonas,

Thank you very much for mentioning that. I had assumed that all USB sound
cards would be stereo. Is there something more than that I should look for
in the specifications? Any particular recommended USB sound cards?

I did try JAWS 2018 BETA, but it did not change the JAWS sound, as most of
you predicted. I did want to try 2018 since I assume it would give better
overall performance with web pages that use the latest and greatest visual
designs. However, I found that 2018 was terrible with my Office 2010
programs, and somehow also affected my JAWS 17, which suddenly was doing a
lot of sluggish things, going silent for a good minute or so, and common
operations, such as spellcheck, were real problems in Outlook. I removed
JAWS 2018, and my problems cleared up; JAWS 17 is back to what qualifies by
today's standards as working well.

So USB sound card shopping I will go, after I receive whatever guidance this
great group can provide!

Tim Ford

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Jonas
Sent: Thursday, October 5, 2017 1:57 PM
Subject: Re: JAWS 17 vague and indistinct on my new laptop: What I have
tried, what should I try next?

Hey, Tim Ford!
If you get a new sound card I recommend one that will support Stereo Mix or
what you hear is what you get!

Jonas Voll
Support Technician I
Envision, Inc.
2301 S Water ST
Wichita, KS 67213
O: 316-425-7141
F: 316-267-4312

Envision: To improve the quality of life and provide inspiration for the
blind and visually impaired through employment, outreach, rehabilitation,
education and research.

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Sieghard
Sent: Thursday, September 28, 2017 5:38 PM
Subject: Re: JAWS 17 vague and indistinct on my new laptop: What I have
tried, what should I try next?

I know you said you disabled effects, but it totally sounds to me like
something is still enabled which causes this.

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Tim Ford
Sent: Thursday, September 28, 2017 3:02 PM
Subject: Re: JAWS 17 vague and indistinct on my new laptop: What I have
tried, what should I try next?

Thanks for all the feedback so far. I am already using headphones. What
has been suggested to me is to try an external USB sound card. There are
other JAWS performance issues such as strange lags, pops, clicks, and
generally not fun. Not terrible, but with all the time I spend on the
computer, it is worth it to me to invest even more money, such as to buy the
sound card.

Tim Ford

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Soronel
Sent: Thursday, September 28, 2017 1:53 PM
Subject: Re: JAWS 17 vague and indistinct on my new laptop: What I have
tried, what should I try next?

On-board audio is very often of low quality even on otherwise good systems.
I would suggest you find a pair of headphones (either USB or 3.5mm audio
jack, doesn't matter for this test) and check whether the problem remains
when using a different output. It may simply be that the built-in speakers
will not give good enough results to use at the speed you would like.

On 9/28/17, John Covici <> wrote:
You should probably try Jaws 18 in demo mode anyway, no harm done. I
would try vocalizer expressive and see how you like it.

On Thu, 28 Sep 2017 16:05:42 -0400,
Tim Ford wrote:

[1 <text/plain; us-ascii (7bit)>]
[2 <text/html; us-ascii (quoted-printable)>] 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
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
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

Your life is like a penny. You're going to lose it. The question is:
How do
you spend it?

John Covici

Soronel Haetir

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Soronel Haetir

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