We’ve all been there. You’re halfway through a gripping online mission with a friend. You’re totally immersed in your little world of shooting, exploring, and building… only to be interrupted by the painfully loud rustling of a snack packet or a screaming sibling.
It’s a real pain.
MAYBE you’re the one deafening your friends with your orchestra of beeping appliances and rustling snack packets, but you have no idea how to quiet the noise!
Well, to save you the hassle, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide of the most effective ways to reduce background noise on the mic and game in peace. Ready? Let’s get started.
Gaming on PC? We’ve got you covered. Make sure you check the following settings to reduce background noise:
Even if you’re using a noise-canceling headset, it’s still possible to pick up a bunch of scratchy background sounds. To eliminate this, check your microphone positioning.
Ideally, your microphone should be positioned as close to your mouth as possible, and away from the noisy parts of your PC like the fan and the speakers. Position your microphone within an inch of your mouth to filter out the background noise, and avoid any nasty feedback.
Check your microphone for physical damage. If there’s faulty wiring or any misalignment with the actual microphone, this may produce feedback or make your headset more susceptible to picking up background noise. Give it a thorough inspection, and eliminate the possibility of physical damage.
Check Your PC Settings
It doesn’t matter what PC you’re using; there’s always a system setting to help reduce background noise.
Windows 7, 8 and 10
If you’re using Windows 7,8 or 10, head over to the control panel and open ‘hardware and sound.’ Then, hit ‘sound’ and ‘recording’ and navigate your way to the microphone bar. Right-click the microphone bar, select ‘properties’, and find the ‘level’ tab. Ensure the microphone boost tool is turned all the way down and the microphone dial is turned up. Now, head over to ‘enhancements’ and select Noise Suppression and Acoustic Echo Cancellation. Test your mic, and you should be good to go!
Macbooks: OS X 10.4.6 and Above
If you’re using a Macbook, go straight into system preferences, find the tab labeled ‘sound preferences’, and select the ‘Ambient Noise Reduction box. Now, simply move the dial-up and down until you find the appropriate balance between volume and background noise.
Reducing Background Noise On A Standard Microphone
If you’re using a standard microphone, the process is a little more complicated.
The best way to reduce background noise on a standard microphone is to check your surroundings thoroughly. Move away from any of the main offenders like air conditioning units, fans, beeping appliances, televisions, or radios.
Like headset microphones, you should place a standard microphone close to your mouth and away from external sound sources. You could even buy an external shock mount for better results.
An external shock mount looks a little like a cat’s cradle or a basket. It connects directly to your microphone and separates it from the stand. Most shock mounts are made from rubber – this material helps to reduce the vibrations of the microphone, and reduce background noise.
Buy A Noise Canceling Microphone Or Headset
This one may seem a little obvious, but noise-canceling headsets and microphones are the BEST way to filter out background noise when gaming.
If you’re looking for a headset, you’ll find plenty of budget-friendly options to suit your console. The mics on some low-end headsets can be a little haphazard; however, with the high-end models, you’ll still get your glorious in-game audio booming through your ears, and you won’t have to worry about subjecting your friends to your weird selection of background noises.
Most noise canceling headsets include features like hiss filters, tight-seal earcups, and comfortable head pads, so you’ll be gaming in comfort and style.
Looking for some inspiration? Here’s a list of some of the top 5 rated noise-canceling headsets on Amazon.
- Razer Blackshark V2 Pro
- SteelSeries Arctis 5
- Razer Kraken Gaming Headset
- HyperX Cloud Alpha S
- Jeecoo Xiberia
Use Noise Canceling Software
If you’re gaming or chatting on a PC, you can also install noise-canceling software to make your conversations crystal clear.
There are plenty of programs to choose from that can effectively filter out all of that background noise, whether you’re recording audio, using applications like Skype, or playing with friends.
Most noise-canceling software works by using a virtual filter to record background noise and then invert it to create ‘anti-noise. This is then combined with an output signal that eliminates any of the actual sounds around us by the time they reach our eardrums. Pretty clever, right?
Want to find out more? Let’s take a look at some of the best noise-canceling software you can buy.
- NoiseGator (Noise Gate) – Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux
- Krisp – Available for macOS and Windows
- SoliCall – Available for Windows
- Samson Sound Deck – For Windows and Mac
Although most noise-canceling software comes at a cost, some big names like Krisp offer users a free trial so you can try before you buy.
There is NOTHING more frustrating than getting lost in a sea of unwanted background noise. Whether it’s chatter, pinging devices, or the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s distracting for everyone.
Even if you don’t have access to a high-quality microphone, there are plenty of things you can do to reduce your mics exposure to external noise and make your gaming experience, meeting, audio recording, or friendly chat as clear as possible.
Today, drowning out your surroundings has NEVER been easier, and the best bit? You don’t have to break the bank to do it. Whether it’s software, a shiny new headset, or a quick adjustment to your surroundings, there’s ALWAYS something you can do to create a more enjoyable listening experience.