Steam voice quality boosted with Skype codec

Steam switched to the SILK audio codec, as used by Skype, in an update launched today. This brings "a significant improvement to Steam's voice chat quality," according to Valve.

While the old codec used a fixed 15kbps of bandwidth, SILK uses a dynamic bitrate which takes up between 8 and 30kbps, "depending on the range of data in the voice signal and current network conditions."

SILK-enabled voice communication is now available through "all games that take advantage of the Steamworks Voice API," as well as chat conversations.

Valve also rolled out a number of changes aimed at improving voice quality in a February patch.