Valve has announced that it has now released a new update to its Steam voice communication service that improves the quality of the voice technology within Steam.
Steam’s voice chat system now uses the SILK audio codec, developed and used by Skype. The SILK technology provides a greatly improved voice quality compared to Steam’s previous voice technology, but does add a little more to the bandwidth. The old system used around 15kbps of bandwidth and now the SILK voice system uses anything between 8 and 30 kbps.
The new voice technology is now live and available to all Steam users. To start using the new SILK voice chat feature just click the ‘Start Voice Chat’ button within a friend or group chat on Steam. SILK is now automatically available for all games that take advantage of the Steamworks Voice API and will be available in Valve’s Portal 2 game arriving next month