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    Audio or sound issues? Try our automated HP Audio check!

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HP PCs - Microphone troubleshooting (Windows 10)

If your microphone doesn't work, the sound is too low, or other microphone audio issues occur, troubleshoot until the issue is resolved.

Check the microphone hardware function

Make sure the microphone has power, is turned up, and correctly connected to the computer.

  1. If the microphone operates on battery power, make sure the batteries are correctly seated and functional. If the microphone operates on external power, make sure all power connections are secure and the power cord is connected to a power source.

  2. If the microphone has a volume control, make sure it is turned up half way.

  3. Disconnect the microphone from the computer.

    CAUTION:

    Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for disconnecting USB devices from the computer. Some USB devices must be turned off and/or ejected before they are disconnected from the computer. Other USB devices support the Windows Safely Remove Hardware feature.

  4. Make sure the microphone connector is compatible with your computer.

    • USB connectors support microphones, headphones, and combined headsets with a microphone.

    • Jack connectors with four pins support microphones, headphones, and combined headsets with a microphone. Jack connectors with three pins are for microphones only.

      Four-pin headphone with microphone jack and three-pin microphone only jack
      Note:

      Using an adapter for jacks not compatible with HP computers might affect audio quality. This does not mean that your computer has a problem.

      Mini jack adapter
  5. Locate the correct computer port for your microphone.

    Note:

    Desktop computers: Use a port on the back of the computer (the ports attached directly to the motherboard).

    Notebook computers: Use a port on the notebook itself (do not use a docking station).

    • USB ports work with 2.0 and 3.0 USB devices.

    • Digital jack ports display a headset with microphone icon Headset with microphone port icon, and support headsets, headphones, and microphones.

      Older computers might have individual ports for a microphone microphone icon port and headphones headphone port icon. Identify the port using the icon next to it.

    • Analog jack ports on desktop computers are color coded. Common colors are pink (mic) for microphones, green (out) for headphones, and blue (in) for sound producing devices such as DVD players.

      Analog audio jack ports
  6. Connect the microphone to the correct port on the computer and then try to use it. For USB microphones, you can also try connecting the microphone to a different USB port on the computer.

  7. Connect the microphone to another device, such as another computer, and then try to use it.

Update the audio driver in Device Manager

An old audio driver can cause devices to function incorrectly. Check for and install audio driver updates.

  1. Connect to the internet.

  2. In Windows, search for and open Device Manager.

  3. Double-click Sound, video and game controllers.

  4. Right-click the name of the sound hardware, and then select Update driver.

    Update Driver option in Device Manager
  5. Select Search automatically for updated driver software, and then wait for Windows to search.

    Select Search automatically for updated driver software
  6. If a software update is available, let Windows install it.

Run Windows Update

Running Windows Update installs operating system, software and driver updates that apply to your computer.

Run Windows Update (Windows 10)

Update your Windows 10 computer using Windows Update.

  1. In Windows, search for and open Check for updates.

    If there are any available updates, they begin automatically.
  2. After the updates install, restart your computer when prompted.

Run Windows Update (Windows 8, 7)

Update your Windows 8 or 7 computer using Windows Update.

  1. In Windows, search for and open Windows Update.

  2. Click Check for updates.

  3. Select updates to install.

    Note:

    HP recommends selecting both the Important and the Recommended updates.

    • Important updates are important to the health of your computer. To install only important updates, click Install Updates.

    • Optional updates are not required but are recommended. To select from all available updates, click optional updates are available.

  4. After the updates install, restart your computer when prompted.

Use the Windows audio troubleshooting tool

The Windows audio troubleshooting tool automatically finds and fixes many computer issues.

  1. In Windows, search for and open Control Panel.

  2. Select Troubleshooting.

  3. Under Hardware and Sound, select Troubleshoot audio recording.

    If a window displays prompting you for an administrator password or confirmation, type the requested credentials.

    Troubleshoot audio recording
  4. The Sound troubleshooter opens. Click Next. The troubleshooter checks the audio service status.

    Troubleshoot recording audio
  5. Select the device you want to troubleshoot, and then click Next.

  6. Follow the on-screen instructions and make any changes suggested by the troubleshooter. When done, close the troubleshooter.

Advanced microphone troubleshooting

If your microphone still doesn't work after trying the basic troubleshooting methods, try these advanced steps until the issue is resolved.

Configure the sound settings

Adjust Windows sound settings so that the computer recognizes and works with the microphone. Test the microphone after each adjustment to see if the issue resolves.

Open Windows Sound settings to troubleshoot a recording device

Open Windows Sound settings to troubleshoot a microphone or other audio device.

  1. Disconnect all audio devices from the computer except the device you are troubleshooting.

  2. In Windows, search for and open Control Panel, and then select Sound.

  3. Click the Recording tab in the Sound window.

    Recording tab in the Sound window

Make sure the computer recognizes the microphone

Adjust sound settings so the computer detects and works with the microphone.

  1. On the Sound window Recording tab, right-click an empty area of the window, and then click Show Disabled Devices and Show Disconnected Devices.

    Disabled and disconnected devices shown in the Sound window
  2. If the microphone is listed as Currently unavailable or Not plugged in, disconnect it, and then reconnect it to the port.

  3. If the microphone you want to use displays an encircled down arrow disabled icon the device is disabled. To enable the device, right-click the device name, and then select Enable.

  4. Click OK, and then test the microphone by speaking into it.

    Check the gray bars next to the device name. Green bars indicate that the device is active and an audio signal is passing through the microphone port.

    Sound window with Recording tab showing a detected signal for the Microphone device

Set the default audio device

When troubleshooting, set the microphone as the default audio device.

  1. On the Sound window Recording tab, select the microphone you want to use, click Set Default, and then click OK.

    Set Default option in the Sound window
  2. Test the microphone by speaking into it.

    Check the gray bars next to the device name. Green bars indicate that the device is active and an audio signal is passing through the microphone port.

Check the microphone volume and mute settings

Make sure the microphone volume is turned up and not muted when troubleshooting.

  1. On the Sound window Recording tab, select the microphone you are troubleshooting, and then click Properties.

    Recording tab in Sound window with Properties button highlighted
  2. In the Properties window, click the Levels tab.

    Levels tab in the External Mic Properties window
  3. If the Mute button sound muted icon displays, click it to turn off mute. The volume button should display as a blue speaker icon sound on icon.

  4. Use the slider bar to raise the microphone recording level to at least 75, and the Microphone Boost level (if available) to +20.0dB.

  5. Click OK to save your changes.

  6. Disconnect and reconnect the microphone, and then test the microphone recording level.

    If the microphone recording level is too low, repeat the steps to change the microphone level to 100, and the Microphone Boost level (if available) to +10.0dB.

Disable audio enhancements

Sometimes turning off sound enhancements can resolve issues with the microphone.

  1. On the Sound window Recording tab, select the microphone you are troubleshooting, and then click Properties.

    Recording tab in Sound window with Properties button highlighted
  2. Open the Enhancements tab, and then select Disable All Sound Effects.

  3. Click OK to save your changes.

Change the audio recording format

Using a different default audio format might resolve the microphone issue.

  1. On the Sound window Recording tab, select the microphone you are troubleshooting, and then click Properties.

    Recording tab in Sound window with Properties button highlighted
  2. On the Advanced tab, select any of the 16-bit options in the list.

    Changing the default format of the microphone
  3. Click OK to save your changes.

Resolve microphone issues when running more than one app

Microphone problems can occur when running more than one application at a time. For example, talking on a headset while playing an online game.

  1. On the Sound window Recording tab, select the microphone you are troubleshooting, and then click Properties.

    Recording tab in Sound window with Properties button highlighted
  2. Select the Advanced tab, and then clear the check box next to Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device.

    Advanced properties tab with no exclusive control highlighted
  3. Click OK to save your changes.

Microphone stops working after a webcam or USB microphone is installed

When you install a new USB device that includes a microphone, such as a webcam, the new device might become the default audio recording device. You can change the default recording device in Windows.

  1. In Windows, search for and open Control Panel, and then select Sound.

  2. Click the Recording tab on the Sound window.

    Recording tab in the Sound window
  3. Select the microphone you want to use, click Set Default, and then click OK.

    Set Default option in the Sound window

Microphone does not work with Skype or other Internet software

If the microphone is not working with Skype, change the default microphone to resolve the issue.

  1. In Windows, search for and open Control Panel, and then select Sound.

  2. Click the Recording tab on the Sound window.

    Recording tab in the Sound window
  3. Select the microphone you want to use, click Set Default, and then click OK.

    Set Default option in the Sound window

Bang & Olufsen microphone does not record unless you are directly in front of the PC

With the Bang & Olufsen audio microphone, the microphone does not recognize or record voice unless the speaker is sitting directly in front of the computer. Change the input setting to resolve the issue.

  1. Open the Bang & Olufsen Audio application, and then select Input.

    Bang & Olufsen Audio app showing the Input settings
  2. To reduce background sounds and optimize the microphone for multiple voices, select Multiple voices.

    The Multiple voices setting has a wider range than the Only my voice setting.

    Selecting the Multiple voices setting

Troubleshoot microphone USB connections

If your computer does not detect the USB microphone, or the microphone does not work correctly, troubleshoot the USB connection and the USB ports on the computer. Test the microphone each time you make changes to see if the issue is resolved.

Before troubleshooting, disconnect all USB devices from the computer except a USB mouse and keyboard (if in use). This includes hubs, thumb drives, printers, and cameras.

CAUTION:

Always follow the manufacturer instructions for disconnecting USB devices from the computer. Some USB devices must be turned off and/or ejected before they are disconnected from the computer. Other USB devices support the Windows Safely Remove Hardware feature.

  • Notebook computers: Use USB ports on the notebook itself. Do not use a USB port replicator (such as a docking station or USB hub).

  • Desktop computers: Use USB ports on the back of the computer (the ports attached directly to the motherboard).

Install USB device manufacturer software

If the USB device comes with software, follow the manufacturer instructions to install it.

  1. Disconnect the USB device from the computer.

  2. Install the software according to the manufacturer instructions.

  3. Reconnect the USB device.

Troubleshoot the USB microphone with Device Manager

You might be able to troubleshoot the microphone problem using Device Manager. Depending on how your microphone displays in Device Manager, you might need to reinstall the driver or take some other action to resolve the issue.

In Windows, search for and open Device Manager, and then double-click Audio inputs and outputs to expand the list. Find your microphone in the list of devices to begin troubleshooting.

Your USB microphone could display in Device Manager by the name of the device, as Unknown Device, or Other Device. Also, the microphone might not display at all.

If the device name displays in Device Manager

If your USB device is listed in Device Manager by its name, the USB ports and basic plug-and-play are working correctly. There is a physical problem with the device or there is an issue with the device drivers.

Restart the computer

If your USB device is listed in Device Manager by its name, restarting the computer might resolve the issue.

  1. Disconnect the USB device from the computer.

  2. Restart the computer, and then reconnect the device.

Uninstall and reinstall the USB device software

If your USB device is listed in Device Manager by its name, reinstalling the manufacturer software might resolve the issue.

  1. Disconnect the USB device from the computer.

  2. Uninstall the device software.

  3. Reinstall the software per the manufacturer instructions.

Uninstall and reinstall the USB microphone

If your USB device is listed in Device Manager by its name, uninstalling and then reinstalling the device might resolve the issue.

  1. Connect the USB device to the computer.

  2. In Device Manager, right-click the name of the device, and then select Uninstall.

  3. Click Uninstall on the confirmation window that opens.

    If Delete the driver software for this device displays, check the box next to it.

  4. Restart the computer, and then reinstall the device per the manufacturer instructions.

If Unknown Device displays in Device Manager

If your USB device is listed in Device Manager as Unknown, a driver is not installed or is not set up correctly. To correct the problem, uninstall and reinstall the device driver.

  1. In Device Manager, right-click Unknown Device, and then select Uninstall.

  2. Click Uninstall on the confirmation window that opens.

    If Delete the driver software for this device displays, check the box next to it.

  3. Restart the computer, and then reinstall the device per the manufacturer instructions.

If Other Device displays in Device Manager

If your USB device is listed in Device Manager as Other Device, the USB ports are working but device drivers need to be installed. To correct the problem, install the USB driver.

  1. Disconnect the USB device from the computer, and then wait 20 seconds.

  2. Install the driver per the manufacturer instructions.

  3. Reconnect the device to the computer.

If the USB device does not display in Device Manager

If your USB device does not display in Device Manager, Windows does not detect it. There might be a problem with the USB port or a USB root hub. To correct the problem, first try a different USB port. Then, if necessary configure or uninstall USB root hubs.

Try a different USB port

If Device Manager does not list your USB device, there might be a problem with the USB port. Connect the USB device to a different port on the computer.

  1. Disconnect the device from the USB port on the computer.

  2. Connect the device to a different USB port on the computer.

  3. Wait 5 seconds, and then check Device Manager to see if the device name displays.

Check the USB root hub properties

If the USB device does not display in Device Manager, there might be a power requirement issue. Check the USB root hub properties.

  1. Disconnect the USB device from the computer, and then restart the computer.

  2. Connect the device and wait 5 seconds. If the device is not recognized, disconnect it.

  3. In Windows, search for and open Device Manager, and then double-click Universal Serial Bus Controllers to expand the list.

    Universal Serial Bus controllers list in Device Manager window
  4. Double-click a USB Root Hub, click the Power tab, and then click Power Properties (if it is available). Devices that are attached to the hub display, along with the power they require.

    Note:

    The Power tab displays only in USB 2.0. There is no Power tab in USB 3.0.

    USB Root Hub Power Properties window
  5. Review the power properties of each USB root hub. If the total Power Required exceeds the Total power available for a hub, remove a device on that hub to reduce the Power Required number.

    Note:

    If the total Power Required is over 500 mA, remove the devices and use a powered hub.

  6. Connect the USB device and wait 5 seconds. Check Device Manager to see if the device name displays.

Uninstall USB root hubs

Uninstalling USB root hubs causes the computer to reinstall them when you restart the computer.

  1. Disconnect all USB devices connected to the computer except a USB mouse and keyboard (if in use). This includes hubs, thumb drives, printers, and cameras.

  2. In Windows, search for and open Device Manager.

  3. Double-click Universal Serial Bus Controllers to expand the list.

    Universal Serial Bus controllers list in Device Manager
  4. Right-click the first USB Root Hub in the list, then select Uninstall.

    Uninstall selection in Device Manager
  5. Click OK to confirm.

  6. Continue uninstalling all USB root hubs listed.

  7. Close Device Manager, and then restart the computer.

  8. If the USB device came with software and it was not previously installed, install the software now, following the manufacturer instructions.

  9. Reconnect the USB device to the computer.

USB 2.0 device does not work in USB 3.0 port

Some USB 2.0 devices do not work in USB 3.0 ports. To fix this, uninstall the USB 3.0 driver in Device Manager.

  1. In Windows, search for and open Device Manager.

  2. Double-click Universal Serial Bus Controllers to expand the list, and then locate the USB 3.0 root hubs.

    Locating the USB 3.0 Root Hub
  3. Right-click the USB 3.0 Root Hub, and then click Uninstall.


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