Headphone microphone problems are common, and it doesn’t matter what brand you have; even the best of them can experience them. If you’re having problems for the first time, the solution may be much simpler than you think. There’s no need to throw away your headphones just yet.
The truth is that your microphone adds a layer of functionality as well as a layer of complications. Adding a microphone requires more than just an extra speaker; it also requires new wiring and a new jack, and the better the brand, the more complicated the technology.
Fortunately, the simplest and most common cause of any issues will be dirt and lint. In the long run, this can cause serious problems, but if you follow good headphone hygiene practices, they should continue to work for a long time. Let’s take a look at the causes and solutions to microphone problems.
WHY YOUR HEADSET MICROPHONE ISN’T WORKING?
A clogged jack socket is a common reason for the microphone not working. Lint, dirt, and dust can sever the connection, preventing the transmission of electric signals. A simple solution is to clean out your jack port with compressed air and an isopropyl alcohol-soaked cotton tip.
Use a metal object only when absolutely necessary. If that doesn’t work, the issue could be:
1. Check that your microphone is not muted
This is one of those embarrassing moments, but it happens microphone issues. Occasionally, all that is required is a software update. Navigate to the manufacturer’s website, download the most recent driver update, and install it while your headphones are plugged in.
Alternatively, your operating system may be blocking your microphone for privacy reasons. To resolve the issue, check your privacy settings.
3. Cable issues may prevent your microphone from working properly.
The cable may be the most common cause of malfunctioning headphones. It’s a weak link, and the constant bending and swinging will wear it out. If you have a detachable cable, try another one to ensure that your cable is still functional.
4. Headphone jack issues
Any scratches or dirt on your headphone jack can break the connection, causing issuesgin your audio. Again, use a different cable to see if the problem persists.
5. You may have used the wrong headphone jack
If you’re using an adapter or a cable from a different brand, the incorrect headphone jack could be to blame. Obtain an original cable and see if the problem resolves itself.
6. Dust and dirt on the mesh screen of your microphone
For the sound to be transferred, it must first enter the microphone. If you’ve ever looked into the little mesh-covered hole in your microphone, you’ll know that it collects all kinds of dirt and grime every time you throw it in your bag. Clean your headphones on a regular basis to keep the speakers open and ready to output audio.
7. Dirt inside of the headphone jack
This complicates matters slightly, but a solution is still possible. Dirt, lint, and dust frequently get into the headphone jack port, which requires a little more care to clean. Never use a metal object to check it – you’ll scratch the connective metals and permanently damage it.
8. The headset could be defective.
Finally, it’s possible that your headphone mic is defective, and if it’s still under warranty, now is the time to send it in for repairs or a replacement. If you suspect that one or more of these are causing you problems, let’s take a closer look at the solutions.
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WAYS TO FIX THE MICROPHONE ON YOUR HEADPHONES
Seeing as anything could be causing you issues, let’s start with the easiest solution and work our way up to the most complex. This way, you’re sure to find the problem and give your headphones a much-needed service along the way.
FIX 1: MAKE SURE YOUR MICROPHONE ISN’T MUTED
You’d be surprised how frequently this simple test solves the problem. Try the following solutions to resolve the problem:
- Many headsets have a mute button; just make sure it’s not turned on. Gamers use this to mute their audio so as not to disturb their fellow players unless they have something critical to say.
- To disable mute on your computer, first ensure that your headset is properly connected to your computer.
- Ascertain that your headset’s microphone is set as the system’s default recording device. If you’re using Windows 10, proceed as follows:
- Select Settings > System > Sound from the menu that appears after clicking the Start button.
- Make sure your microphone is selected under “Choose your input device” under the heading “Input.”
- Finally, check that your microphone is working by selecting the ”Test your microphone” option and speaking into it to make sure the sound is being received.
FIX 2: INCREASE YOUR MICROPHONE’S VOLUME
This has happened to all of us; you’re speaking, but no one is hearing you. If the volume on your microphone is too low, use these steps to “speak up.”
- Always check that your headset is connected to your computer by lightly pressing the jack into the socket.
- Next, ensure that your microphone is properly positioned. It should be open, and the mic should be turned off so that audio can be received.
- Follow these six steps to increase the volume of your microphone in Windows 10:
- Select Settings > System > Sound from the menu that appears after pressing the Start button. You can also get to this by right-clicking on the speaker icon in the bottom right corner.
- Check that your microphone is still selected as your preferred input device under the Input tab.
- To open the popup, select Device Properties.
- Play with the Microphone and Microphone Boost sliders on the Levels tab of the Microphone Properties window as needed. When you’re satisfied with the volume, click OK.
- Speak into your microphone while the “test your microphone” box is checked.
- Before closing, double-check that your settings are in working order.
FIX 3: ALLOW ACCESS TO YOUR HEADSET MICROPHONE
You must first enter your Windows 10 system settings to grant your microphone access to your audio. Before you can use the application, you may need to manually grant it access to your headset microphone. Follow these simple steps to change your microphone settings:
- To access your Settings, press the Start button and then select the gear icon.
- In the pop-up, select Privacy.
- Scroll down until you see Microphone on the left panel. Open it up.
- Check that the “Microphone for this device” option is turned on.
- Also, ensure that the “Allow apps to access your microphone” setting is enabled. It’s just below the Change button.
Remember that the steps could differ slightly based on the Windows version you’re using. If you’re using Mac, we’ll look at a few of the settings later on in this article.
Alternative Video: Why Isn’t My Headset Mic Working & How To Fix It?
FIX 4: WINDOWS MIGHT HAVE HAD A RECENT UPDATE
Another problem you might be having if you’re a Windows user is a faulty update. While updates are generally beneficial, we’ve all experienced a few vexing Windows updates, and the issue with your microphone is that the settings may have changed and you now need to grant permission again.
If your microphone isn’t picking up after a recent Windows 10 update, take the following steps to allow your apps to access the microphone again:
- Navigate to your Start menu.
- Navigate to Settings (the gear icon) > Privacy > Microphone. Turn on “Allow apps to access your microphone” by pressing the Change button.
- You can choose which individual apps have permission to access your microphone under “Choose which apps can access your microphone” in addition to giving your operating system access to the microphone on your headset.
Check that everything you use on a daily basis is turned on. It is important to note that restricting access to specific apps will have an impact on their functionality.
FIX 5: MAKE SURE THE MICROPHONE IS ENABLED
It is possible that problems will arise if your headset microphone has been disabled for some reason or is not set as the default device on your computer. Check the following settings to ensure that everything is turned on:
- Hold down the Windows logo key and press R on your keyboard at the same time to bring up the Run Dialog. Then, press OK after typing “control.”
- Change the view to Large icons once you’ve opened the Control Panel.
- Open the Sound settings by pressing and holding the button.
- Navigate to the Recording tab and right-click any empty space in the list of recording devices. This will give you two options to choose from.
- Next, right-click on the name of your Headset Microphone (it should have the word microphone in it) and make sure it is “enabled.” If it’s enabled, it’ll look like this: If it’s not, it’ll give you the option to enable it:
- After you’ve turned it on, make sure your primary headset is set as the Default Device.
- Finally, make sure the full volume is enabled by right-clicking on your Headset Microphone and selecting Properties.
- Open the levels tab and set the volume slider to 100%. Simply move the slider to the right as far as it will go.
- To make the change permanent, click OK and Apply.
By enabling your headset microphone and setting it as the default device, you’ve made sure that if any sound is coming through, your computer will pick it up. You can also look at the volume bar to see if any green lines come up as you speak.
FIX 6: UPDATE YOUR AUDIO DRIVERS
Using incorrect or outdated audio or headset drivers for your microphone will almost certainly cause problems – in fact, it will almost certainly not work at all.
It’s difficult to tell if your drivers are out of date, so the simplest test is to install the most recent drivers from the manufacturer:
- Navigate to the manufacturer’s website.
- Look for the most recent driver update for your headset.
- Once you’ve found the driver, save it to your computer.
- When you run the executable, make sure your headphones are plugged in. file
- Once the update is complete, check to see if your headset microphone issues have improved.
This could be an easy solution, but if it hasn’t solved it, rest assured that your microphone (once we get it to work) will be delivering great audio to the other side. Let’s move on to the next fix.
FIX 7: TRY A DIFFERENT JACK
This is more of a test to see if the issue might be somewhere else than your actual microphone. The jack is required to transfer the audio captured by the microphone to your computer. If the jack is scratched, dirty, or broken, the signal will not be transmitted.
If your cable is detachable, try another cable to see if that solves the problem. If your jack isn’t detachable, let’s go through the rest of the process before doing something drastic like replacing the jack.
If your headphones are still under warranty, I’d recommend sending them in before attempting surgery on them. Aside from a damaged jack, there are a few other jack-related issues we can address first.
FIX 8: MAKE SURE YOUR HEADSET’S JACK MATCHES THE SOCKET
Jacks are quite complicated, but understanding how your jack works may assist you in resolving your issue. First and foremost, the number of conductors determines the connectivity of your jacks and whether or not they can support a microphone.
The conductors are the bits that are sandwiched between the black striped insulation bands. A mic-enabled jack will have four conductors (thus three stripes), whereas a jack with only three conductors will not support a microphone.
Fortunately, any headphones with a microphone will have the correct jack, so what’s the problem? If the jack on your microphone does not match the socket on your PC, the microphone will not connect and will not send back electrical signals.
That means your headset mic could be fine, but the socket is the problem. Check that all of the conductor rings are fully inserted into the socket. If that doesn’t work, try a different socket. Fortunately, most phones now have stereo sockets that support mic connectivity.
FIX 9: FIX THE JACK ON YOUR HEADSET
Wear and tear on your headphone jack (or male jack) will occur over time. At the end of the day, if the conductive metals are sufficiently worn down, they will no longer be able to transmit electrical signals.
If the damage is extensive, it should be visible in all areas of your headphones, including audio playback and the microphone.
However, if it is just a scratch on one of the conductors, it may only affect your microphone. Again, replacing your headphone jack is possible, but it’s recommended that you send it in for repairs, especially if you’re dealing with a high-end headset.
FIX 10: CHECK THE FEMALE JACK
In order to receive audio signals and transfer them back to your PC, the socket (or female jack) has the same conductive material lining. However, if a bit of dirt, lint, or dust gets in there, it can scratch the surface, disrupting or blocking the signal.
Alternatively, the “locking system” could be disabled, allowing the male jack to emerge. When inserted, this simple spring and ball mechanism locks the male jack, ensuring a secure connection and the transfer of audio signals to your PC.
If you can clearly feel that the jack is not properly inserting into the jack socket, you may need to send your media device in for repairs. While it is technically possible to replace the socket on many devices yourself, it is not recommended if you lack prior experience and the necessary tools. Tampering with the device may also void your warranty.
FIX 11: CLEAN YOUR HEADPHONE JACK
Your headphones’ male jack can also become filthy. When we’re not using them, most of us just throw them in our bags (if that’s you, you might want to consider getting a headphone stand). This not only damages your headphone cable, but it also exposes your jack to all of the dirt, food, and grime in your bag.
Even a thin layer of oil can affect the conductivity of your jack if it becomes stuck on it. It won’t get better no matter how many times you turn it left and right in the socket. In fact, it’s exacerbating the problem by spreading it throughout the inside of your socket. You must now thoroughly clean both the jack and the socket.
Get a piece of cotton and a dry lint-free cloth to do this. Soak the cotton in isopropyl alcohol and squeeze out the excess. Dry the jack after wiping it down. Allow it to dry completely before reusing it. Next, proceed to the socket. I strongly oppose the use of any sharp objects to remove dirt.
You can either use compressed air to blow out the worst of it, then clean the inside with a q-tip dipped in isopropyl alcohol. If it became too deep, you should send it in for service. Also, if you have an iPhone, the socket may have a moisture sensor, and cleaning it with any liquid (such as alcohol) may void your warranty. Send it in for service if you’re unsure.
CONCLUSION on Headset Mic Not Working
There are several ways to fix your headphone’s mic problems, and the best way is to go through the steps symptomatically:
- Check that your microphone is not muted.
- Examine your Audio Device’s settings.
- Install the latest audio drivers.
- Examine the jack, cable, and microphone for any damage.
- Everything should be thoroughly cleaned.
- If the defective headset is still under warranty, have it replaced.
Overall, your microphone should not be giving you problems, and the solution can be found in one of these steps. I strongly advise simply testing them all (you’ll be servicing your headphones as well) and, if that fails, sending them to the professionals for service. If there was no foul play, you’re likely to get a new pair.
FAQs on Headset Microphone issues
Why doesn’t my mic work when I plug in headphones?
Increasing the microphone boost. In the audio control panel, the input jacks are separated. Ensure that the microphone is not muted in any way. Installing the most recent drivers from both the manufacturer’s and Realtek’s websites.
Why isn’t my microphone plugged in?
Examine the microphone port’s contact points. If they’re damaged in any way, it could explain why your computer keeps telling you that the microphone isn’t plugged in. Tip number three. Inspect the cord of your microphone or headset for any signs of physical damage that could prevent the mic from working properly.
How do I unmute my microphone?
Even if you are not in Circuit or your device is locked, you can mute or unmute your microphone on iOS and Android mobile devices. Simply tap the microphone icon in the active call notification that appears in the notification center and lock screen of your device.
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