Nowadays, it’s more important than ever to be able to communicate remotely – and often, that’ll mean using online voice chat or video conferencing software.
Both of these, of course, require you to be actually audible – if your microphone is too quiet, the other person just won’t be able to hear you, and you might as well go back to typing!
And, of course, things are often not as simple to fix as we’d like – making things like this a real hassle, when they needn’t be.
If this is a problem for you – your mic just doesn’t seem to be loud enough – then you might well be worried about how you’re going to fix it! Well, no need to worry – here’s a quick and handy guide to checking and boosting the volume of your microphone!
The first thing to do, of course, is to ensure that everything is properly connected – and, of course, connected in the proper place! If you have a USB microphone, then you’ll need to put it into a working USB port – so one of the best things to do is to check it in a few different ports to see if that remedies the problem.
Also, inspect the USB connector on the microphone for damage. Often, these connectors can get bent out of shape – which, of course, can make it difficult for them to connect properly!
If the USB end of your microphone has damage, then it’s time to replace the cable if you can – hopefully this won’t mean that you have to discard the whole microphone, but sadly, if the USB cable can’t be disconnected from the microphone, you’re likely out of luck on that front!
If you’re using a microphone that uses a standard jack – one identical to the connector on a set of headphones – then it’s possible that it’s plugged into the wrong socket on your computer. As it’s the same jack, it’s of course possible to accidentally plug your microphone into the socket meant for speakers!
If this happens, be sure to unplug your microphone from the wrong socket, and plug it into the correct one.
It won’t hurt to give the jack on the microphone itself a wipe down with a damn cloth, or some isopropyl alcohol – just make sure that the jack is completely dry before you plug it back in to anything!
If your microphone has a way of adjusting the gain (the volume level, essentially), then ensure that you’ve got it turned up correctly.
And, as a sanity check – make sure that the person you’re trying to speak to has their volume set correctly! It’s too easy to spend valuable time troubleshooting a problem like this, without checking that the issue is actually on your end.
So, even though it might seem stupid, have the person on the other end of the call make sure that everything is connected correctly their end – and that their volume is turned up!
Now that we’ve checked the connectors on both ends of the conversation, it’s time to look further into the issue if it isn’t resolved yet.
With that in mind, we’re going to check that the volume setting for your microphone is as it should be in Windows 10 itself. Often, this can end up being set too low – meaning that your voice won’t be picked up by it.
Luckily, this is a pretty easy thing to check, and if it is the cause of the problem, it won’t be hard to fix either.
First of all, we’re going to open the Control Panel. The Control Panel is where many options menus for settings for your computer are – and, of course, it’s where the sound settings that we’ll be checking are.
Firstly, either click the Start/Windows button with your mouse. It’s easy to find – most of the time, unless you’ve moved it yourself, it’ll be right in the bottom left corner of your screen. Click it with your mouse to open the Start menu.
You can also do this by pressing the Windows logo key on your keyboard. This is almost always on the bottom left of your keyboard too, between the “Ctrl” and “Alt” keys.
After you’ve opened the menu, type “control panel” on your keyboard. You don’t need to click anywhere first – simply open the Start menu, and begin typing!
As soon as you’ve entered the first few letters, you should see the Control Panel shortcut appear near the top of the Start menu. Click it with your mouse to enter the Control Panel.
Once the Control Panel is open, look towards the top right corner of the window. You’ll notice a search box, and underneath that, a dropdown menu with the title “View by:”.
You can search in this box, but if you don’t know what you’re looking for, it can be a little confusing. So, instead, we’ll take you straight there.
Instead of typing in the search box, go to the “View by:” menu and change it to either “Large icons” or “Small icons”. If it’s on either of those already, then great – it’s already where you need it to be.
Once you’ve got one of these icon options selected, look for a “Sound” option in the list of settings below. Click where it says “Sound” and you’ll open up the sound section.
At the top of the window that opens, you’ll see 4 tabs, labeled “Playback”, “Recording”, “Sounds”, and “Communications”. Click on the one that says “Recording”.
You’ll see a list of the audio devices on your computer that can accept a sound input – including, hopefully, your microphone, as long as it is connected correctly! Using the right, not the left button on your mouse, click on your microphone in this menu.
You’ll open up another menu, which will have the option “Properties” at the bottom, in bold type. Click it to open it up.
Actually, if you want, you can just double click the icon for your microphone and the options window we’re trying to get to will open up the same – but right clicking will show you some more options that it’s nice to be aware of.
In here, click the “levels” tab, and make sure that your microphone is turned up – if it’s too low here, your voice won’t get picked up by it! Adjust the volume so that you get a good signal, in order for the other party to finally be able to hear you.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you get the correct volume level from your microphone, and your voice can now be heard loud and clear!