What Is Mic Monitoring? (How It Is Relevant To Gaming)

What Is Mic Monitoring? Communication is something you want to get right at all costs in a digital and virtual world. How many games have you lost due to poor communication? How many times have you had to interrupt a business meeting to say, “excuse me, could you repeat that?”

These minor gaps in communication audio may not appear to be serious. However, as they accumulate, things can become extremely — extremely — frustrating. Mic Monitoring, on the other hand, is a simple and nearly universal tool that can help with this. Today, we’ll go over everything there is to know about it, so if you’re sick of sloppy communication, keep reading!

What Is Mic Monitoring? (How It Is Relevant To Gaming)
What Is Mic Monitoring? (How It Is Relevant To Gaming)


Mic monitoring is a feature that allows anyone speaking into their microphone to hear their own voice through headphones. This feature is available on the majority of modern headphones. You may be wondering, “How does mic monitoring help?”


When people play video games, they often have no idea how loud they are speaking. Gamers frequently shout in excitement, or they simply speak louder than usual because their ears are covered by headphones and they can’t hear themselves properly.

As a result, those listening to the player may experience discomfort or even injure their eardrums. This phenomenon has even spawned a meme. You can look it up on the internet. When mic monitoring was introduced, gamers breathed a collective sigh of relief.

The feature allowed a user to listen to themselves speak through their headphones, making the experience more enjoyable for everyone present. At the same time, it made troubleshooting easier because the user could hear themselves and thus detect any problems with their microphone.


The majority of devices that allow the use of a microphone now have settings that allow you to change the volume and input, as well as enable mic monitoring. Mic monitoring is typically not enabled by default on computers. This has frequently perplexed users and left them wondering how they could activate it.

Another significant issue is that the steps required to enable mic monitoring differ depending on the platform. So, if an Xbox One user asked a PC guy to assist them in enabling mic monitoring, they would most likely be unable to because the steps are different.

1. Enabling Mic Monitoring On A Computer

To activate mic monitoring on a computer, you’ll first need to connect a pair of headphones and a microphone to it.

Windows 10 users should then take the following steps:

  1. Open the Control Panel (located on the left sidebar by typing “Control Panel”) and select the Sound icon.
  2. There will be a small window that appears. Then, on the top, click the second tab that says “Recording,” and then double-click on the default microphone device.
  3. A new window will appear. Click on the second tab at the top labeled “Listen.”
  4. Select the small “Listen to this device” checkbox.
  5. Select the playback device on which you want to listen to the output of your microphone from the “Playback through this device” menu.
  6. Click the OK button.

And now, you’ll be able to hear your microphone through your headphones.

2. Playstation 4 Mic Monitoring

When it comes to the Playstation 4, mic monitoring is referred to as “sidetone,” and the user must ensure that their headphones have the mic monitoring feature, just like the Xbox One. Mic monitoring is enabled by default in PS4, as well, but the volume can be adjusted.

The steps for changing the volume are straightforward:

  1. Navigate to “Settings” and then to the “Devices” tab.
  2. Then, select “Audio Devices,” and you’ll see an option labeled “Sidetone Volume,” which is where you can adjust the volume of the mic monitoring.
  3. As needed, adjust the volume.

3. Xbox Mic Monitoring

The process for mic monitoring on Xbox differs greatly from that of a computer. The Xbox One has a 3.5mm jack for connecting a 3.5mm Xbox One Chat Headset. You must first ensure that your headphones have the mic monitoring feature.

Mic monitoring on Xbox is enabled by default, but the volume can be adjusted. The procedure may not be the same for all headphones and may differ between models and companies. In general, the following steps should be taken to increase or decrease the volume of mic monitoring:

  1. Press the Xbox button on your controller while on the Xbox One’s home screen.
  2. Go to the “System” tab (far right gear icon), and then to the “Audio” option.
  3. If you followed all of the steps correctly, you should be presented with three different sliders, the last of which is the mic monitoring slider.
  4. Set the volume slider to the desired level.
Recommended:  How to Fix Static Noise In Headphones? (Quick Fixes To Try!)

And that is how you can control the volume for Xbox mic monitoring.

Alternative Video: Should You Have Mic Monitoring On?

Should You Have Mic Monitoring On?



It is simple to disable mic monitoring on any of the three devices mentioned above.

PC: On a computer, go to your microphone tab and uncheck the “Listen to this device” box.

  1. Open the Control Panel (located on the left sidebar by typing “Control Panel”) and select the Sound icon.
  2. There will be a small window that appears. Then, on the top, click the second tab that says “Recording,” and then double-click on the default microphone device.
  3. A new window will appear. Click on the second tab at the top labeled “Listen.”
  4. Uncheck the “Listen to this device” box and then press “OK.”

If you’ve done this correctly, you shouldn’t hear yourself anymore.

PS4: To disable mic monitoring on a PS4,

  • Navigate to “Settings” and then to the “Devices” tab.
  • After that, go to “Audio Devices” and look for the “Sidetone Volume” option.
  • Slide the volume of the sidetones all the way to the left.

When it comes to Xbox mic monitoring, all you have to do is turn the volume all the way down to zero. Follow the steps in the Xbox mic monitoring section, and then slide mic monitoring all the way to the left when you’re on the slider.


The thing is, Mic Monitoring has actually been around for the longest time already. But not a lot of people know how to utilize it. Heck, some people do not even know this feature exists!

Gamers mostly use this feature and a lot of gaming brands have developed devices around this as well. As mentioned earlier, though, it can also be useful for others if applied right.


Clear audio is essential for both work and gaming. If you’re in a client meeting, the last thing you want to do is keep asking everyone if the audio is clear. A simple command can mean the difference between virtual life and death for gamers. You certainly wouldn’t have time to inquire whether or not your teammates heard it.

Mic Monitoring can be extremely useful in these two situations. Because you can hear yourself, you can tell when you’re cutting off or if there’s too much noise. You’d be able to identify the issue in real time with this. And act accordingly without being prompted. Isn’t it convenient?


Let’s face it: having to raise your voice or shout to be heard is exhausting and frustrating. This would not be a problem if you could simply monitor your voice to determine whether you are speaking loudly enough. Mic Monitoring comes in handy in this situation.

Background noise is common in first-person shooter (FPS) games. This has the potential to completely drown out the team voice channel. As a result, people raise their voices to compensate. Mic Monitoring allows you to easily determine whether you are speaking loudly enough. As a result, it eliminates the need for constant yelling.


Mic Monitoring, in retrospect, simply improves communication. Let’s face it: having someone shouting in a game or from a meeting, whether intentional or not, is not pleasant.

You don’t want to be that guy with bad audio for a work event as important as a client pitch. Shouting can also cause undue stress in gamers. It can even cause internal strife. You don’t want to be that guy, again. Mic Monitoring allows you to hear the overall quality of your audio. As a result, you can immediately adjust as needed.

Recommended:  What Is 2-Channel Audio? (Top Guide!)
Is Mic Monitoring Important?
Is Mic Monitoring Important?


Now that we know the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of Mic Monitoring, let’s proceed with the ‘hows’. Mic Monitoring is available on different platforms. And you can enable this feature in different ways, depending on the platform.

It is popularly used in desktops, laptops, and gaming consoles such as Xbox, PS4, and quite possibly the newly-launched PS5.

  • On PC
  • On Mac
  • On Xbox
  • On PS4

1. On PC

When it comes to gaming, the PC has always been ahead of every other platform. It makes no difference whether you’re playing a classic like World of Warcraft or a modern marvel like Valorant. Mic monitoring is definitely something that should be used.

How to Enable Mic Monitoring on a Computer:

  1. Right-click the Sound icon in the taskbar and select Sounds from the menu that appears.
  2. Select the Recording tab, find the device you’re using, and then select Properties.
  3. Select the Listen tab and check the box next to Listen to this device.

How to disable mic monitoring on PC:

Disabling the feature is pretty much as easy as enabling it. In fact, the steps would just differ in one small and obvious step. Basically, you just have to follow the steps mentioned in the previous section and then uncheck the box that says Listen to this device. That’s it!

2. On Mac

Unlike Windows PCs, Mac does not have a built-in way to enable Mic Monitoring. But don’t give Windows full credit for this one just yet. This feature can still be accessed by installing specific apps or programs. QuickTime is the simplest way to monitor audio, so that’s what we’ll be looking at today.

To enable mic monitoring on a Mac, follow these steps:

  1. Click File > New Audio Recording on the QuickTime Player toolbar.
  2. Turn the screen’s volume slider all the way up.

How to Turn Off Mic Monitoring on a Mac:

  • This is also a no-brainer. To disable Mic Monitoring, simply lower the volume or exit QuickTime entirely.

3. On Xbox

As previously stated, gaming consoles frequently require headphones with built-in Mic Monitoring, and the Xbox is no exception. If your headphones don’t support Mic Monitoring, you can always invest in third-party solutions that can also function as facilitators.

To enable mic monitoring on Xbox, follow these steps:

When you plug in a headset with a built-in microphone, the Xbox Mic Monitoring feature activates automatically. However, if it does not, you can take the following steps:

  1. On your Xbox controller, connect your Mic Monitoring-capable headphones.
  2. Navigate to the leftmost tab, System > Audio, by pressing the Xbox button.
  3. Adjust the Mic Monitoring slider as needed.

How to disable mic monitoring on Xbox:

To disable this feature, follow the steps on how to access mic monitoring settings on Xbox. Then, lower the slider, or simply remove the headphones altogether.

4. On PS4

Mic Monitoring, like Xbox, can only be enabled if you use compatible headphones. However, there are a few key differences between the PS4 and Xbox in terms of this feature. In addition, unlike the Xbox, the PS4 requires you to enable Sidetone through the settings, whereas the Xbox does so automatically.

How to Enable Mic Monitoring on PlayStation 4:

  1. Insert your headphones and navigate to Settings > Devices > Audio Devices.
  2. Scroll down and select Sidetone Volume.
  3. Turn it on by turning up the volume.

How to disable mic monitoring on PS4:

The Sidetone feature will automatically turn off once you disconnect your headphones from the console. But you can turn off this feature and continue playing with your headphones. All you need to do is to head to Settings > Devices > Audio Devices and then turn off Sidetone.

Mic Monitoring On Gaming
Mic Monitoring On Gaming


As previously stated, Mic Monitoring will not work on gaming platforms without headphones that support the feature, and it appears that this will not change for the PS5 or Xbox Series X; however, if you do not have gaming headphones that support the feature, you could look into amps instead.

Recommended:  How To Fix When One Earbud Louder Than The Other? (7 Easy Methods To Try)

We’ve provided a few options for you to consider below. Although these products are made by and for specific brands, they should work with other headphones as well.

1. Turtle Beach Audio Controller Plus

Suitable for: Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S

The Turtle Beach Audio Controller Plus is an audio controller made by a third party. It allows users to customize different volume settings without having to go to the console’s settings page.

Onboard controls for master volume and Mic Monitoring are provided. It also has controls for game and chat volume, as well as four EQ audio presets from which to choose.

2. Astro Gaming MixAmp

Suitable for: Xbox One, PC, and Mac

The ASTRO Gaming MixAmp Pro is an amplifier that allows you to control various volume settings for Xbox One, PC, and Mac. This is one of the best options not only for gamers, but also for content creators and busy professionals due to its platform versatility.

Dolby Digital Surround Sound is also available on the device. In addition, there are dedicated mixers for voice balance between game and voice chat audio. It also has four different EQ modes that you can tailor to your preferences.


This is determined by the device you’re using. Most devices that allow you to connect a microphone have mic monitoring settings where you can adjust the microphone volume, input, EQ, and sometimes other audio settings. Most of the time, you’ll find the option to enable and turn on mic monitoring here.

When you turn on mic monitoring on Xbox, for example, the feature activates automatically once you plug in a compatible headphone or adjust the mic monitoring slider. The process can become a little complicated at times, especially when using Windows 10.

To do so, open the control panel, double-click the sound icon, then the recording tab, and then double-click your default microphone device. Click “listen” in the next window that appears, and then select your preferred playback device. Fortunately, disabling mic monitoring on Windows is as simple as turning it on.


Mic Monitoring has proven to be an unsung hero in today’s world, where everything is and has become virtual. It’s actually quite simple when you think about it. If you get the communications right, you should be able to get the game or meeting right as well.

Mic Monitoring has the potential to eliminate communication audio issues. So say good-by to those small gaps that cost you a game or momentum during a meeting. What are your thoughts on Mic Monitoring? Do you have any other recommendations for people who want to try out this feature? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

Importance Of Mic Monitoring
Importance Of Mic Monitoring

FAQs About Mic Monitoring

What does mic monitoring do in Xbox?

The Xbox one mic monitoring feature allows you to hear your own voice while wearing headphones by sending your mic input into the headphones. It also improves the overall quality of your audio.

Is echo caused by mic monitoring?

If your microphone monitoring is too loud in your ears, the sound will be picked up by your microphone again. This might not be a problem if you’re just using the headset casually. However, if you were recording, it would appear as if there is a persistent low-volume echo in the background.

Should you have mic monitoring on?

Mic monitoring is a feature that allows you to clearly hear yourself. It accomplishes this by sending your microphone input to your headphones. This feature is useful for gamers who have to deal with a chaotic voice channel on a regular basis. It’s also ideal for people who have to participate in frequent conference calls for work.

Barry Moroney

Hi, Barry here. I'm a tech writer and blogger. I write about the latest technology, gadgets, and software. I also provide the best how-to and guides on the latest sound systems. I'm always excited to share my knowledge with others!


Recent Content