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Troubleshoot and fix microphone problems in Windows

Here are a couple of solutions to troubleshoot and fix microphone problems in Windows. This guide will be updated if other possible solutions are discovered.

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  • : Article published.

1. If you are on Windows 10, check first that microphone is allowed to be accessed by applications

Follow Fix microphone not working after Windows 10 1803/1809/1903 update guide.

2. Run Windows audio recording troubleshooter

  1. Open Windows Explorer and in the address field copy-paste: Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Troubleshooting\
  2. Under "Hardware and Sound" press "Troubleshoot audio recording".
  3. If presented with a list of devices, select the device you want to troubleshoot. Most likely Microphone(your audio card). If you are using a webcam with microphone then that's what you need to select.
  4. Select "Apply this fix" for the presented solutions.

3. Verify that Microphone recording device is the default recording device in Windows

  1. Open Windows Sound settings (right-click on Windows Volume tray icon-> Sounds or if missing type in Windows search: "change system sounds", also see other how to methods)
  2. Go to Recording tab.
  3. Select the Microphone device corresponding to the device or audio card that's connected to and press "Set default" button if it's available. If you are using a webcam with microphone then that's what you need to select and set as default.

4. Verify if you microphone works in other applications

  1. You can check if microphone works in Windows default recording application:
    • Windows Vista/7/8: in Windows Search or after pressing Win+R type: soundrecorder
    • Windows 10: in Taskbar or Start Menu Search type: sound recorder app. If you don't have this installed you need to get this from Microsoft Store. Probably a better option would be to get ocenaudio recording application and check microphone with it.
  2. If microphone works in the previous step, open that specific application that does not work, go to it's settings/preferences and check that under Input/Recording/Microphone device the "System Default", "Default communication device" or Microphone (your audio card / webcam) is selected.
    • A couple of examples where these settings are in different applications:
      • For Discord: User Settings > Voice & Video.
      • For Steam: Friends List window > Gear icon >Voice >"Voice input device".
      • For Skype: Settings > Audio & Video  > Microphone.
      • For Microsoft Teams: Click your profile picture at the top of Teams and go to Settings > Devices > Audio devices.

5. Check if microphone is faulty

  • If you have an external microphone, check it in another PC or try with a different microphone on your current PC. On that other PC you may also need to do the solutions presented above.
  • If you are on a notebook and you have a integrated microphone, try with an external microphone.
Applies to the following OS:

  • Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019

Useful for applications like:

  • Skype, TeamSpeak, Discord, WhatsApp, Steam voice chat, OBS Studio, XSplit, Bandicam, Adobe Audition, Audacity, ocenaudio, Edge, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Facebook Messenger, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack, Cisco Webex, Twitch etc.

Useful for sound cards like:

  • ASUS Xonar DG, Xonar DGX, Xonar DG SI, Xonar DS, Xonar DSX, Xonar D1, Xonar D2, Xonar DX, Xonar D2X, Xonar HDAV, Xonar HDAV Slim, Xonar Essence ST, Xonar Essence STX, Xonar Essence STX II, Xonar Xense, Xonar U1, Xonar U3, Xonar U5, Xonar U7, Xonar AE 7.1, Xonar SE, Xonar EssenceOne, Xonar Essence STU, ROG Xonar Phoebus, ROG Thunderbolt and Xonar D-Kara
  • C-Media CMI8786, CMI8787 and CMI8788 audio chip based cards: Auzentech X-Meridian & X-Meridian 2G; HT Omega Claro, Claro Plus, Claro II, Claro Halo, eClaro; Razer Barracuda AC-1; AIM Audio SC8000
  • ASUS Strix Raid and Strix Soar; ASUS SupremeFX;
  • Creative Sound Blaster Z, Sound Blaster Zx, Sound Blaster ZxR, Sound BlasterX AE-5, Sound BlasterX AE-9, Sound BlasterX G5, Sound BlasterX G6, SXFI AMP and Sound Blaster Audigy.
  • Realtek ALC1220, ALC1150, ALC880, ALC882, ALC883, ALC885, ALC886, ALC887, ALC888, ALC889, ALC892, ALC898, ALC899
  • EVGA NU Audio

Useful for microphones and notebooks from:

  • Logitech, Blue Yeti, Microsoft, Dell, HP, Acer, Lenovo, ASUS, Razer, Genius, Trust.
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15 Comments

  1. Drakan08 Apr 2020 @ 16:20

    Hi, I have a weird problem with a microphone on Xonar D2X when I connect 1 x 4-pole to a 2 x 3-pole jack adapter from my headphones to a sound card. When I connect the adapter (even alone) to sound card (Mic input and left/right output), then Mic input registers system sounds even without any microphone, or Stereo Mix enabled.
    Does somebody know what is a source of the problem?

    Reply

    • CarvedInside08 Apr 2020 @ 20:14

      So without that adapter connected to the card this does not happen? That would mean that the adapter is faulty and it does not separate the mic and headphones signals.

      Reply

      • Drakan09 Apr 2020 @ 00:20

        Exactly, and I don't think this is an adapter fault. I have two adapters, one original included to my headphones, and another from a store. Both work the same. Additionally, I have checked separation on the adapters with a multimeter - the only common signal is grounding. Has anyone had a similar problem ?

        I have checked the same adapter on my notebook, here everything is ok, no system sounds leaks to the mic input. I am really disappointed by my Xonar, there shouldn't even be such a possibility in a sound card from this price shelf. I don't know if it is possible it is the software fault, but for now, it looks like a hardware design flaw. If that is true, then I guess this is my last sound card from Asus 🙁

        Reply

        • CarvedInside11 Apr 2020 @ 14:55

          I am not aware of anyone else reporting such a issue.
          How do you know or test that the system sounds leak into the mic input? If you go to Windows Sound->Recording tab->disable every recording device other than Microphone (ASUS Xonar...), do you still have this issue?
          Tell me your complete Windows version and build number.

          Reply

          • Drakan11 Apr 2020 @ 21:36

            I disabled all unnecessary outputs and recording devices except Microphone. I plugged in the adapter only, then played music on the system and then started recording with Windows Voice Recorder. On the recording, I can hear music in quite good quality.

            WIndows Version: 1903, Build: 18362.720

            Reply

  2. Kershak26 Apr 2020 @ 15:19

    Hi there, I have a freakin weird problem.
    I've been using the Unified Driver for my DGX for some time now, after using the original one from their website led to some weird issue:
    Using Discord, everytime someone speaks at a high enough volume, Spotify would reduce it's volume. Playing with friends, this gets really annoying, as this results in permanent fade in/outs while listening to music in the background.
    As I installed the Unified Driver, it worked for about 3-4 months, but the bug is back now for about 4-5 days. I uninstalled the Xonar Driver, retried using the official ASUS driver, but the bug is there, using either driver.

    Anyone else experienced this? I did everything I could so far, changing the main communication devices, disabling all Sound enhancements, disabling everything in Windows Communication (Do nothing when others speak), as well as the setting itself in Discord.

    Also, using the mainboard sound, the bug does not occur!

    I'm at my wit's end.

    Reply

    • CarvedInside27 Apr 2020 @ 07:24

      Check here and let me know if it worked. In your specific case, lower Discord and Spotify playback volume to 80%.
      LE: I insist on pointing that you have to do this in each of the applications settings and not using Windows Volume Mixer.

      Reply

      • Kershak31 May 2020 @ 13:09

        Ah f***, I didn't get any notification mail, so I forgot to check back with this. Thank you, I'll try that out and report back if it works out.

        Reply

      • Kershak31 May 2020 @ 19:56

        Alright, apparently this works. I'll test this out for the coming weeks and if doesn't occur anymore, thank you for the help. This is a bit of a weird workaround, definitely not very user friendly for anybody else than myself using the PC, but better than having to get rid of the soundcard. Donated 5$ btw, thanks for the assistance =)

        Reply

        • CarvedInside01 Jun 2020 @ 15:39

          That issue with dynamic volume is actually a Windows bug. With exact volume levels for Windows and applications you should have the same issue with Realtek or any other sound card.
          Lets see how it goes. After you test it more and are pretty certain that this was the issue, I would appreciate if let met know.

          Reply

          • Kershak05 Jun 2020 @ 10:34

            Interesting. Has Windows acknowledged any of this? Sound's like something they should be aware of?

            Reply

            • CarvedInside07 Jul 2020 @ 11:23

              I have not reported the issue to Microsoft support, among other reasons is I did not want to deal with the hassle of doing this. Yes you are right, it is something that they should be aware of. You are welcome to report this to them and maybe test any potential fixes they may offer you to test.

              Reply

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