How far does my voice carry?

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Use this guide to help you determine how far you need to be from someone in order for them to hear you talking or typing.


Text Chat

Text chat (as seen on the Local Chat tab of your chat history window) comes in several different flavors, each with its own range:


  • Normal text chat has a range of 20 meters; you must be standing within 20 meters of the source to hear the chat. To use normal text chat, press Enter, input your text into the chat bar, and then press Enter or press the Say button.
  • Shouted text chat has a range of 96 meters. If you are addressing a large crowd, or someone very far away, you can use shouted text. To shout, press Enter, input your text into the chat bar, then press Ctrl+Enter or click the dropdown menu and select Shout.
  • Whispered text only has a range of 10 meters. To whisper, press Enter, input your text into the chat bar, then click the dropdown menu and select Whisper. Whispered text is also used by objects that are running Resident-created scripts; oftentimes scripted vending machines will whisper, so as not to disturb other shoppers.
  • Instant Messages, Group Chats, and Friend Conferences have no arbitrary distance limitations. You can send an instant message to someone who is anywhere in Second Life!



KBtip2.png Tip: Tip: Text chat ranges exist for your convenience and sanity; just like in real life, you shouldn't shout unless it's necessary! Otherwise, you may disrupt the conversations of other nearby Residents.


Voice Chat

Your listening distance for voice chat is a little trickier to figure out than with text chat:


  • In your Voice Chat preferences (Edit > Preferences > Voice Chat tab) you may choose to either Hear Voice Chat from camera position, or Hear Voice Chat from avatar position. Because this choice determines the location of your "ears" for listening to Voice Chat, it will affect the distance from which you can hear someone speaking.
  • You are able to hear Voice Chat up to 60 meters from your listening position. If you have Hear Voice Chat from camera position selected, this means you can hear Voice Chat from up to 110 meters away (50 meters camera tether + 60 meters from your camera). Under special circumstances, Linden Lab may choose to alter these distance settings on a Region-by-Region basis.
  • In all cases, if you are able to hear another Resident, his name will appear in the Active Speakers window, which you can activate by pressing the button to the left of Talk on the toolbar at the bottom of your screen. This holds true even if the other Resident his hiding or otherwise invisible.
  • Group voice chat and direct calls have no distance limitations. Group voice chat and direct peer-to-peer voice chat will always work, regardless of distance.



KBtrivia.png Trivia: Trivia: Voice chat distance limits are enforced by our system in such a way that they cannot be overridden by changes to an open source Viewer. In other words: It's impossible to use a modified Second Life Viewer to remove the hearing range limits described in this article.