How-To

How to Test a Microphone on Windows 11

Testing a microphone on Windows 11

Are you having trouble with your mic on Windows 11? You can configure and test it in the Settings app. This guide will show you how.

PC users are more reliant than ever on access to a microphone and camera. After all, apps like Zoom and Microsoft Teams give us a gateway to work from home. They also make it easier than ever to keep in touch with distant family and friends.

These apps are only as good as the hardware you’re using, however. You may need to adjust your microphone settings for your environment and get it ready to speak with friends, family, and colleagues.

To make this easy, Windows 11 includes a built-in tool to help you test your microphone. If you’re unsure how, here’s how to test a microphone on a Windows 11 PC.

How to Set Up a Microphone on Windows 11

Before you begin, you’ll need to make sure your mic is working properly on your PC.

Connect Your Microphone and Install Drivers

The obvious first step is to make sure your hardware is connected properly. Check your USB ports are working and any cabling is connected properly. If the mic is built-in, you should check it’s enabled and working in Device Manager.

If you’re using a Bluetooth device, make sure to connect and pair it with your PC. You’ll need to make sure you’ve switched your Bluetooth radio on before you try this. Whether you’re using a USB or Bluetooth microphone, you should also ensure that you’ve updated your device drivers.

Setting Your Microphone as Your Input Device

If you’re sure the microphone is connected and ready to use, you can check that it’s detected in the sound settings menu. To access this, right-click the sound icon in the bottom-right area of the taskbar and select Sound settings.

Open sound settings in Windows 11

In the Sound menu, you should see your microphone appear as a device in the Input menu. If it isn’t already, select it as your active input device by pressing choose a device for speaking and recording and selecting it from the list.

Choosing a sound input device on Windows 11

How to Test a Microphone on Windows 11

At this point, your microphone should be ready for use, meaning it’s connected, switched on, and with the correct drivers installed. You should also have been able to select it as the input device in your sound settings.

Your next step is to test your microphone and configure your input settings so that your microphone sounds clear, crisp, and ready for chatting or recording. The easiest way to do this is to use the built-in testing tools in the sound settings menu.

To test a microphone on Windows 11:

  1. Open the Start menu and select Settings.
    Open Windows Settings
  2. In Settings, press System > Sound.
  3. Select your microphone in the Input section.
    Open mic device in Windows 11 sound settings
  4. In the Properties menu for your mic, check the input volume settings are correct by moving the slider up or down.
    Configuring Mic volume settings on Windows 11
  5. Confirm other settings, such as the audio format settings, as required.
  6. To begin testing your mic, press the Start test button.
    Starting a mic test on Windows 11
  7. Speak into your microphone for a few seconds, then press Stop test.
  8. If your mic picked up the sound correctly, you should see a result percentage next to the Start test button.
    The result percentage from a mic test on Windows 11
  9. If the result percentage is below 75%, you’ll need to move the input volume slider upwards to increase the volume.
    Mic volume slider on Windows 11

At this point, your Windows 11 mic should be ready to use. You can begin to use it to record, stream, or make voice calls in apps like Discord or Zoom.

If you’re still having trouble, make sure to adjust your input volume settings further. You could also think about using apps from your microphone manufacturer which may include additional settings and configuration tools. Third-party alternatives also exist, such as VoiceMeeter, which allows you to increase your microphone boost levels.

Using Windows 11

The steps above should help you to quickly test a microphone on Windows 11. If you’re having trouble, make sure to check for new updates for your system and device drivers.

Still running Windows 10? While the steps are different on Windows 11, you can still configure your sound settings in the Settings app on Windows 10.

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