When in a meeting, recording a video, or streaming online, one of the hustles that most would scratch their heads is when the microphones are not taking any sounds. This problem can be frustrating especially if you have no technical expertise but fret not.
In this article, we lay out the fastest and simplest fixes you can do to fix your microphone problem.
Your microphone is not properly plugged in
If you’ve just taken your microphone out of the box and it’s the first time you’re plugging it into your computer, there may be a chance that it is not properly plugged into the audio port. Luckily, this is an easy fix.
All you have to do is to make sure that the audio jack is plugged in all the way to the audio port. If your microphone has a detachable cable, you’ll also want to make sure that it’s securely connected and locked to the microphone itself.
Also, take note that there are different microphones with different cables. Some use a USB port on both ends, and there are also others that have a bigger audio jack. Ensure that you’re using the correct one for your device.
Your headphones or speakers are not plugged in correctly or are faulty
One of the easiest troubleshooting steps you can try is to check if your audio output device such as your headphones and speakers is working properly. Check if they are properly plugged in.
Worst-case scenario, they’re broken and they have to be replaced. If this is the case, you may try out different speakers or headphones to isolate the issue and replace them as you see fit.
Permission to use the microphone is not enabled
If your microphone works on other programs or applications but it seems it doesn’t work on one application, there may be a chance that the permissions for it are not enabled.
Usually, Windows prompts you when software wants to use your microphone and if you want to enable permissions for it, if you happen to click “Don’t Allow” or a similar message, you can turn it back on by going to the Privacy & Security settings.
To do this, click Start, then Settings, and then go to the Privacy & Security selection. From here, enabled Microphone access and also enable that for the program or application you want to use it for. When done, you can test if it works by making a test call or recording on that specific program.
The microphone might be muted
More often than not, our microphones are switched to mute for privacy reasons. We’re not always talking with someone over the computer online, so it’s always a good practice to keep the mic on mute when not in use.
With this in mind, the reason why you can’t hear any sound from your microphone is that it’s simply on mute. An easy way to fix this is to go to the Sound Settings on your System by clicking Start>Settings>Sound. From there, locate the input section and untick the mute button on the microphone. You may try to increase the volume as well.
Another method you can try is to check if your microphone or its cable has a hardware switch or toggle for the mute button and turn it off.
You may have enabled Push-to-Talk
Some programs have a Push-to-Talk button that only accepts inputs from your microphone when you want it even when it’s connected. This helps you prevent unnecessary noises or disturbances during a conversation. So, it’s more of a feature than an actual issue.
For your microphone to work, you will need to have it activated when you want to talk. Check the settings of the specific program you want to use your microphone which hotkey activates your microphone.
Different programs use different hotkeys, so it’s best to always check if the feature is activated and which hotkey enabled your microphone.
Furthermore, there are also microphones with a hardware switch for the feature. You can check it in the cable or the microphone itself if there’s a button for it.
You’re using an incorrect audio device
Your PC lets you connect multiple audio devices. You can have a selection of multiple input and output audio devices, and you can switch on the fly on Windows. Now, in this regard, there’s a good chance that you’re currently using a different microphone.
In order to fix this, click Start, System, then Settings, then Sound. From that selection, look for the Input selection and choose the appropriate microphone that you want to use.
You may need to install or update your drivers
Whenever you plug in a new device like a microphone, Windows usually searches for drivers automatically. However, there may be times when you will have to install it manually.
Check if your microphone has an installation CD included in the packaging. You may also check the manual if there’s a QR code or a link that directs you to where the drivers are located.
If that doesn’t work, you can also go to Device Manager by typing it on the search bar once you click Start or go to Control Panel, click on Hardware and Sound, and then click on Device Manager under Devices and Printers.
From there, a window should appear, and you will then be able to choose the device you want to update from the selection. Right-click on that device and choose Update Driver. Follow the prompts to get it updated to the latest version.
Check if your microphone is plugged into the correct audio port
Desktop PCs have multiple audio ports for the speakers and headphones, microphones, and line-in. Each port has a designated function so you would be informed of what they do. They’re also usually color-coded so you know which device goes to which port.
Check to see if you plugged in your microphone to the appropriate port. It’s usually the pink audio port or the one where the microphone symbol is labeled.
Now, you can also plug in the microphone in the port situated at the front of your PC. While they are not color-coded, there should also be an indication for it. It’s also important to note that some PC cases only have a single audio port for a headset for both input and output.
You may need to purchase a splitter if you have a separate microphone and speaker or headphones. There are also microphones that use USB ports instead of standard audio jacks. Check if they are plugged in properly as well.
Headsets and microphones today have a dedicated mute switch designed for your privacy and safety. Just in case you prefer using it over push-to-talk or you don’t want unnecessary noises when you’re on a call, these dedicated mute switches or toggles help you do just that.
If you think your microphone isn’t working, first check to see if the mute button or toggle is on. There’s usually a control switch on the cable if it’s a headset or a button on a standalone microphone itself.
Try resetting your PC
Sometimes, whenever you install or plug in a new device, Windows automatically searches drivers and installs them for you, but then proceeds to prompt you to restart your PC to let you use your device.
If this is the case and you haven’t restarted your PC yet, you can do so by clicking Start and then clicking on the power symbol. From there, you’re given three options Shut Down, Restart, and Sleep. Simply choose Restart and wait for your computer to finish rebooting.
Once it’s done, check with a recorder or the VoIP of your choice to test if your microphone is now working.
The cable may be faulty
Your microphone cable is susceptible to wear and tear. If it has a detachable cable, you may try a replacement cable. There are also cables that use different jacks. Some of them use the standard 3.5mm jack, while others use a 6.35mm jack as well as a USB. It’s also important to make sure that both ends are plugged in properly.
However, if you have a microphone with a non-detachable mic and you think that the cable is the culprit, you can bring it to a local tech repair store to have it repaired.
Your volume level is too low or you’re on mute
There are some instances when you have to lower your computer’s volume or mute it entirely because you don’t want the noise to disturb the people in your area.
Chances are, your microphone is working normally, but the only problem is the speakers or headphones that you’re using have the volume very low or are on mute.
An easy way to fix this is to check on your desktop if there’s enough volume or if it’s not on mute. Some headphones and speakers also have a built-in volume control to help you adjust that.