Troubleshooting ICA Client Audio Issues

This article provides troubleshooting and configuration steps to resolve audio issues within ICA sessions.

Basics of Enabling Sound Through an ICA Session

The following is a list of basics for enabling sound through an ICA session:

  • A sound card is required to be installed only on the client device; the client sound card needs to be configured and fully functional for audio sound. The server does not require a sound card as the Citrix Virtual Audio Driverredirects the sound back to the client through the audio ICA virtual channel.

  • Sound must be enabled on both client and server. If either the client machine or XenApp Server has sound capabilities disabled, then ICA audio redirection does not work.

    • On the client operating system, verify that sound is enabled and not muted.
    • On the server, go to Terminal Services Configuration under the Client Settings tab and verify if Audio Mapping is enabled or disabled. (In Windows Server 2008/R2 for 6.0 & 6.5 this will be the Remote Desktop Session Host Configuration GUI).

      Note: If ICA audio redirection needs to be available in your environment then ensure that none of the Audio options are enabled in the Client Settings. Checking any of the Audio box settings will disable the audio redirection in the ICA session.
  • Currently supported audio formats for ICA audio redirection are: MPEG1 Layer3 Audio, AC3 Audio, WMA Audio, and MP3 Audio.

Client Audio Mapping Support

Client Audio Mapping allows applications running on the server to play sounds through a sound device on the client device. Current client support for ICA Audio Mapping include Win16, Win32, Mac Clients, UNIX Clients, such as, HP, IBM, Solaris, and Linux.

ICA Win32 Clients require any Windows compatible sound card; the ICA Win32 Client uses standard Windows API calls for audio. Additionally, there is no current support at this time for audio redirection in ICA for mobile devices such as Android, iOS for iPAD and iPhone, and so on.

Configuring ICA Audio Settings

Audio Quality for the ICA session can be set in the Citrix Policies, as well as in the Web Interface site under Session Settings > Connection Performance > Sound. Additionally, in XenApp versions earlier than 6.0, the audio quality can be set in the ICA-tcp port under the ICA Setting tab.

You must configure all audio quality settings similarly in the environment. If settings on the client and server (or WI server) are not similar, the lower quality setting is used for the ICA session.

Refer to Citrix Documentation XenApp 6.5 – Audio Policy Settings. For XenApp 7.6, refer to Audio Policy Settings.

Configuration of ICA Audio Settings for XenApp 6.0 and 6.5

In XenApp version 6.0 and 6.5 for Windows Server 2008/R2 configuration of audio settings, such as, sound quality and bandwidth limits, are performed through policy in the Citrix Delivery Service Console (or AppCenter). Alternatively, similar settings can be managed through AD GPO.

Avoiding Data Loss with MP3 Audio Files

When using low quality as the audio setting, the compression of the already compressed MP3 file causes some audio data loss. To prevent this, change the audio quality setting to Medium or High for the connection.

Additional Resources

Citrix Product Documentation – Optimize audio features

CTX121613 ‑ How to Enable and Manage the Client Audio Settings Option for the XenApp Plugin using a Group Policy

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