After over a year of intensive web meetings I have always wanted to find a way to:
- Connect to Webex (or a different video conference service) with a portable device for audio
- Use a portable device to show up as a combined device with my Windows desktop – so there were not “two of me” in a meeting (I like walking around while listening to calls)
- To use VOIP – or anything that avoided a phone call – to ensure there was no additional charge to the video conference
Today I have finally figured out how to make the connections I wanted. In hindsight it makes sense but since it took me so long to figure this out, I thought I would share.
The answer: Share your Windows audio over a SIP connection
To make this work, I used the following 3 pieces of software:
- VB-Audio Virtual Cable (https://vb-audio.com/Cable/)
- MicroSIP (https://www.microsip.org/)
- (optional) Sound Switch (https://soundswitch.aaflalo.me/)
You can probably make this work with other functionally equivalent components – but this is what works on my system.
The basic premise is that using a “virtual audio cable” you can connect the speaker and microphone inputs from your web meeting client to the SIP service. Then any external SIP device that can connect to your PC can send and hear the audio.
In my configuration, I used the A and B cable offering from VB-Cable. Inside Webex, I use Cable A as the speaker to send sound from Webex to MicroSIP. Then I use Cable B as the microphone to receive sound from MicroSIP. Here is what my Webex configuration looks like when I launch a meeting:
I then set up the matching cables in MicroSIP. This means I use Cable A as the microphone to receive sound from Webex. I use Cable B as the speaker to send sound to the Webex microphone.
By using these 2 virtual cables I avoid any cross-talk between the devices. When I tried this with a single virtual cable, I could hear everything I said immediately back through my earpiece – which was very annoying.
Then I configured MicroSIP to Auto Answer every call using the AA button highlighted below:
The final step was for me to connect a SIP device to MicroSIP. Since I was using this without a SIP server I connected the devices directly to my Windows PC using IP addresses. I actually chose to connect my Obi202 VOIP adapter so I could use my cordless phone and preferred headset. To make the Obi202 work you just need 1 Service Provider to be a SIP provider – but we don’t actually connect through this provider. The connection is actually directly made from the Obi202 to your PC. On the Obitalk control panel just set a speed dial to SP4([email protected]) – but substitute your SIP provider number in SP4 and the actual IP address of your MicroSIP enabled computer.
In my case, I set this as speed-dial 9. Now I simply pick up my cordless phone and dial 9# This connects my phone to MicroSIP – which automatically answers the call – and then I start the Webex client on my machine and all of the audio comes through my cordless phone.
This is the end of the required steps. Now to talk about something that will make your life a little easier. Sometimes you will want to change the system default sound devices to be sent to your phone or to your speaker. This can happen, for example, if you need to hear another app via the phone. To make this easier, I used Sound Switch to configure hot-keys which quickly change the Windows audio devices.
In Sound Switch, I created 2 profiles – 1 that routes sound to my phone – and 1 that routes sound through my external speaker. I added hotkeys to both, so I can quickly switch, and I also made the speaker profile launch automatically upon Windows startup. You will notice that the Cable-A and Cable-B settings will be set system wide to match the direction of the Webex audio.
Happy web meetings!