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Headphones and microphones are quite similar in many ways. They both have diaphragms and handle sound through vibrations. But have you ever wondered how to use the microphone on your headphones with your PC? In this article, we will guide you through the process of using a headset mic on your computer.
Setting Up Your Headset on PC
To get started, you need to plug in your headset. Although it may seem simple, it’s important to remember the available audio ports on your computer. You can connect your headphones using either a cable or wirelessly. Here are the available options for headphone owners:
If you have older headphones, they usually come with a split cable that has two 3.5mm audio jacks, one for the microphone (usually pink) and one for the headphones (usually green).
USB-powered headphones provide enhanced experiences with inline amps and controls. However, the quality difference between USB and 3.5mm jacks is not significant.
Wireless headphones can be used with Bluetooth or a USB wireless receiver. They offer the freedom of no cables, allowing you to sit comfortably without worrying about creating a mess.
If you’re using a desktop computer, the motherboard and case may have ports conveniently located near the front, which can be useful if there are no rear ports or if your cable is shorter. The sound quality depends on the sound card installed on the motherboard, which can be compared to a dedicated digital-to-analog converter (DAC).
Using Headphones with a Mic on a PC
1. How to Use Headphones and a Mic at the Same Time?
Headphones with built-in microphones have become essential for remote work. However, they may require some adjustments to work correctly, especially on Windows 10 computers. Sometimes, multiple devices can be configured simultaneously, causing your computer to misunderstand which device is being used for specific settings, such as the microphone input.
To set your headphone as the default device, follow these steps:
- Make sure your wired or wireless devices are correctly connected (check our guides for assistance).
- Click on the sound icon in the bottom right corner of your screen to access the sound settings.
- Open the Sound Control Panel by clicking on the option to the right of Settings.
- On the control panel, select your headphone as the default input device.
Third-party audio apps like Zoom can override your system preferences, so make sure to turn them off to avoid any interference.
2. How to Enable/Disable Your Headset Mic?
If your headphones don’t work, your audio settings may have disabled them as the default input device. There are two ways to enable or disable the microphone:
Use the Device Properties
- Open the Settings and click on the System section.
- Go to Sound and choose the Device Property option from the Input section.
- Your microphone should be turned on by default. Adjust the volume by dragging the navigator to the right or left.
- Clear or check the Disable option to turn the device off or on. Once disabled, your PC won’t be able to access the microphone anymore.
Use the Manage Sound Devices Option
- Open the Settings and click on the System section.
- Go to Sound and select the Manage sound devices option from the Input section.
- Choose the microphone from the Input Devices section.
- Click on the Disable/Enable button to disable or enable the device.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 to disable multiple microphones. Once disabled, your PC will no longer access the disabled microphones.
3. Adjusting the Headphones Microphone Volume on a Desktop PC
The default microphone settings on Windows PCs might not suit everyone’s needs. Fortunately, Windows allows users to manually adjust the microphone volume. This comes in handy when your headphones aren’t working correctly but your coworkers can still hear you. Here’s how to change the microphone input volume:
- Click on the Settings tab and go to System.
- Select Sound and choose the Sound Control Panel.
- Click on the Recording tab and select the Microphone option.
- Click on Properties and navigate to the Levels tab.
- Adjust the Microphone Boost slider. Move it to the right for a louder sound or to the left for a softer sound. Be cautious not to increase the volume too much, as it may cause distortions.
Troubleshooting Windows Headphones Problems
If you encounter issues when using your headphones with a microphone on your PC, here are some troubleshooting tips:
Use the Correct Ports
Ensure that you have plugged in your headphones correctly and that you are using the appropriate ports. Typically, the port colors are green for output and pink for input, depending on your sound card. Mixing the two may result in no sound.
Auto-Detection May be Up
Some OEM software could be causing issues. Try using software to disable jack detection and see if it helps.
Outdated or corrupted drivers may be the reason your headphones are not working. To solve this issue, go to the Device Manager, remove the drivers for your headphones, then reboot your computer and reconnect the headphones to allow Windows to reinstall the drivers.
Select Different Formats
If you’re still not getting any sound, try selecting a different input/output type in the properties window.
Use Controls on the Cable
Depending on the brand and type of headphones, there may be controls on the cable. These controls include volume sliders and mute buttons. Make sure they are properly set up for use.
Try a Different Headset/Device/Earbud
To identify whether the problem is with your headphones or your computer, try using the headset on another device or PC. If you have an earbud, you can also try plugging it in to troubleshoot further.
What Happens If the Jack on Your Headphone Is One and the Jack on Your Computer Is Two?
If your headset has only one jack, or if you have two jacks on your computer, follow these steps:
For Older PCs
- Locate the sound icon in the bottom right corner of your taskbar.
- Click on the icon to open the Sound Settings.
- Alternatively, you can go to the Control Panel to open Sound Options.
- Once the Sound Settings window is open, go to the Recording tab.
- This is where your microphone should appear. If it doesn’t, click on Setup Microphone.
- Once the system validates your microphone, it should start working.
- Click on Apply, then exit the settings.
- Check if your headphones are working.
For Apple Users
Mac users don’t face this problem as their systems typically have one audio slot for input/output. However, if you encounter any issues, follow these steps:
- Click on the Apple logo in the upper left corner of your Mac system.
- From the menu, click on System Preferences.
- Under System Preferences, find and click on Sound.
- Navigate to the Input tab, which is the last tab.
- Choose the microphone you want to set as the default.
- Close the window and check if your headphones are working.
Now you know how to use a headset mic on your PC. For the latest tech news, tips, and advice, follow Hooke Audio’s news page. If you found this article helpful, check out our recent posts on how to use a headphone amp, how to make a headphone stand, and how to fix headphone wires with tape.