Steps to Adjusting Microphone Sensitivity in Windows 10

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Steps to Adjusting Microphone Sensitivity in Windows 10

Whether you’re on a business call, talking long distance to family, or simply having a gaming night, one of the most important pieces of equipment on your side is your laptop or computer’s microphone.  There is nothing more frustrating than the other person saying “what” again and again while you’re speaking as loudly as the surroundings allow.

There are two possible reasons why you might be facing this issue; a slow internet connection or a lower sensitivity setting for your microphone. If you’re sure your internet connection isn’t the issue, you’re bound to wonder how to adjust your microphone’s sensitivity.

Here, we have put together an extensive guide to troubleshooting your microphone, including adjusting microphone sensitivity in Windows 10 and updating drivers. If, however, you’re looking for how to increase your headphone’s volume beyond what windows normally allows, we recommend reading our article on “How to make your headphones louder on PC.”

How to Adjust Your Microphone’s Sensitivity

Asking your friends or family what the problem is goes a long way in helping to determine what might be wrong and whether the problem is hardware or software-related.

For example, if the voice seems muffled or is distorted, there might be debris in the mic or problem with the port respectively. Similarly, if the voice is very low or shifts between high and low volume constantly, you might have to adjust microphone sensitivity.

Following are some steps you can take to fix software-related issues;

Adjusting the Settings in Windows 10

Volume settings tab in Windows 10

Before you start adjusting microphone sensitivity, test out your microphone on the volume settings tab.

Let’s go for the easiest option first. If your friends are telling you that your voice’s volume is way too low or high to a point where the sound is distorting, you should increase or decrease the sensitivity respectively. Here’s how you can do it.

  • Click on the Start Menu
  • Type Sound and click on Sound Settings under the control panel tab. Depending on your start menu settings or theme, you might just see Sound with a volume icon behind it.
  • A window will open (Microphone Properties). Navigate to Recording.
  • Double-click on your microphone. A window with four tabs will open. Navigate to Levels.
  • Alternatively, you can right click on the sound icon at the bottom right corner (notification area) and click on Open Sound settings.
    • Select Input in the window that opens.
    • Choose your microphone device in the dropdown menu. If you are using a headphone, choose headphone mic, otherwise, Microphone (High Definition Audio Device) will be selected by default.
    • Microphone properties will open up. Navigate to the Levels
  • By default, the microphone level will be at 50% (or +6.1 dB). Increase or decrease it as per need and click Apply.
  • Try calling someone to test the new settings out. If it gets better but still isn’t what you’re looking for, head back to the levels tab and adjust the Microphone Boost It can help increase microphone sensitivity by up to +30 dB.

Checking For Driver-Related Issues

Device manager – Windows 10

Update your microphone’s drivers to ensure it is working properly.

 

If, despite changing the settings, the problem persists, it might be driver-related issue. Symptoms include distorted, low volume, broken, or no sound at all. To tackle this;

  • Press Windows Key + R
  • A dialogue box will open. Type msc
  • Alternatively, you can also type Device Manager in the start menu and open it.
  • Find the Sound, video and game controllers dropdown and collapse it.
  • Find your microphone. Right click on it and click on Update Drivers.
  • If you can’t find your mic, try looking under the Unknown Devices Again, right click on an unknown device and update the driver.
  • A wizard will open asking you if you want to install the driver manually or automatically. If you have the driver downloaded, click on Manual. Otherwise, click on Search the Internet for Drivers. Windows will automatically find the latest driver and install it.

Once done, call a friend to test your microphone. If you’re experiencing trouble with the volume levels again, follow part one of this guide on how to adjust your microphone’s sensitivity.

There can also be hardware-related issues with headphones that can lead to audio problems. These might include a loose headphone jack (if you’re using a headphone mic), debris in the microphone, or even a damaged mic.

To clean out debris, we recommend using a blow drier and blowing out any dust that might have gotten into the mic. While PCs don’t enjoy that luxury, laptop microphones can be from anywhere between the front (under the mouse pad), sides (next to the ventilation grill or headphone port) or next to the screen hinges.

You should consult your laptop’s handbook to learn where the mic is and clean it out thoroughly.

Following our above guide on how to adjust your microphone sensitivity, you should be able to communicate with your loved ones clearly and worry-free!

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