Mac: Audio Issue With FaceTime Wi-Fi Calling

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Since OS X 10.11 El Capitan was released to developers about a year ago, I have had intermittent problems when using my beloved Plantronics headset with FaceTime and other VoIP applications. In this post I’ll talk about a bug that makes FaceTime ignore a selected output device when using Wi-Fi calling.

FaceTime Calls

On newer releases of OS X, FaceTime supports a variety of call options, including:

  • FaceTime Video: This was the first mode FaceTime supported when it was released a couple of years ago.
  • FaceTime Audio: As the name suggests, a Voice over IP (VoIP) call without video.
  • iPhone Cellular Calls: Through a feature Apple calls Continuity, you can make and receive regular phones call on your Mac. For this to work, your iPhone needs to be in close proximity to your Mac.
  • Wi-Fi Calling: This feature requires support from your mobile provider and allows you to make and receive regular phone calls, even if your iPhone is not in range.

Wi-Fi Calling

Wi-Fi calling routes calls through your regular internet connection. I have used Wi-Fi since it became available on AT&T last year. There is very bad cell service where I live and work, with both AT&T and T-Mobile, but I have a rock-solid internet uplink through Comcast Business. Thanks to Wi-Fi calling I now have perfect cell service and can enjoy crystal clear call quality.