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One of the most annoying things is when the headset microphone picks up everything, whether you’re on an important call, recording a voiceover, or you’re in a heated up gaming session with your friends.
In order to stop the microphone from picking up the headset audio, it is necessary to figure out what is causing this problem, so we will focus on potential issues before moving on to solutions.
Depending on the specific problem, there are 5 different methods of fixing this issue. What’s most important is that this is something you can take care of on your own, so keep on reading to find out how.
Why does your microphone pick up headset audio?
Whether you’re hearing yourself through the headset, or the microphone is picking up output audio, it can be rather annoying not being able to make a clear recording or have a chat with your friends without any interruptions.
If this is the case with your microphone, here’s what could be happening.
1. You’re using multiple recording devices
Sometimes, if multiple recording devices are activated at the same time, it could be that one of them is affecting the other. In many cases, the webcam or the laptop you’re using has an integrated microphone.
If this is the case, it could be that this other microphone is creating an echo which is what you hear in your headphones. In order to test this possibility, it is necessary to turn off all the other recording devices when you’re using the microphone.
2. The microphone is replaying the voices
Sometimes, certain microphone models will have a specific feature that allows you to review and test their sound. This is one of the common reasons why you might be hearing yourself or the person you’re talking to as sort of an echo.
Since this is just a sound testing feature, it can easily be shut off, which we will be discussing later on.
3. The problem is in a sound card feature
In case you’re using Microsoft Windows, it could be that the problem is in a Windows feature related to the sound card, called microphone boost. As long as this feature is on, you will probably hear an unpleasant echo in your headset.
Also, this echo could mess up the microphone audio, which can be a pretty big issue while you’re on an important work call. Luckily, this feature can easily be turned off and your microphone audio will return to normal.
4. The problem is someone else’s microphone
Sometimes, if you’re having a video chat or any kind of conversation online, sounds can get mixed up. It may seem that the microphone picking up headset audio is yours, while in fact, the issue is on the other side.
In case your friend or co-worker has an issue with their mic, it could be that their headset picks up sound from headphones and that’s what you’re hearing.
This theory is naturally the easiest to test since all you have to do is call someone else and check whether your microphone is the problem, or it was indeed the person you were speaking to previously.
5. The microphone has a feedback loop
Sometimes, the microphone picks up computer sounds, as well as the sounds from speakers because there is a feedback loop. This means that these sounds are being picked up by your microphone and then played back through the headset/speakers.
This often happens if the microphone is too close to the speakers, which can easily be solved by creating more distance. Also, sometimes the microphone is too sensitive, so it is easily picking up all these background noises.
Also, if the sound of the speakers is too loud, and the microphone sensitivity is pretty high, the best solution would be to turn down the volume of the speakers when you’re using the microphone.
How to fix a microphone that is picking up headset audio?
In the majority of cases, all you need to fix a headset microphone picking up game sounds, or any other sounds disrupting your recording or chat, is to adjust the settings on your computer.
However, not all situations are the same, so we will assess some of the most common ones and give you the best solution for your particular issue.
1. Adjust the volume on your headphones
Oftentimes, the microphone is picking up the sounds from your headset because the volume is too high – especially if your microphone is quite sensitive.
What you should do in this case is lower the volume to the point where the microphone is no longer picking up these background noises. Of course, you should find a perfect setting where you’ll still be able to hear the sounds through your headphones.
To do so, you can simply go to volume mixer settings and adjust the volume of the headphones so it’s not interfering with the mic.
The same applies to speakers – you will either need to lower their volume, or create a bigger distance between the speakers and the mic, as we’ve mentioned previously.
2. Adjust microphone sensitivity
Microphone sensitivity is something we’ve frequently mentioned in this article, being that it is a very important factor. While you want to invest in a quality microphone, sometimes it may be too sensitive.
In this case, it will pick up all the background noises, including the headset audio. It is generally possible to adjust the microphone sensitivity, so try lowering it to the point your microphone is no longer picking up these sounds.
There are no general requirements when it comes to these settings, so the best thing you can do is keep adjusting the settings until you find what works best for your microphone.
3. Adjust microphone settings
The first thing you can do to improve the sound of your microphone if none of the above-mentioned methods work is to turn down the microphone gain if this option is available.
However, you want to make sure that the microphone volume isn’t too low, as this could make the situation even worse and decrease the quality of the mic sound significantly.
In fact, microphone volume being too low is one of the potential reasons why your mic is picking up the headset audio. Therefore, in some cases, it is necessary to turn the mic volume up to get the desired result.
As we’ve explained, it is necessary to keep adjusting the settings until you’re satisfied with the outcome, as there are no general settings that could work in every single situation.
Also, if you’re unable to change the sound settings on your computer, or you’re simply not getting the desired balance between the microphone sound and the headset audio, it could be that you haven’t installed the adequate sound drivers.
In this case, you should take a look at the manual and find the exact sound drivers that should be installed for your microphone.
4. Create a barrier
Sometimes, the best way to isolate the sound of your microphone, especially if you’re making a recording, is to create a physical barrier between the microphone and whatever it is that is making that annoying background noise.
Obviously, this method won’t work with your headset, as it is pretty much impossible to create a barrier between the two components. However, you can certainly place a piece of foam or similar material between the microphone and the computer.
This will cancel out the noise coming from the computer fans, or any other loud element.
5. Turn off a Microsoft feature
Microsoft users may have a problem with a specific feature called microphone boost. You can check if this is what’s causing the microphone to pick up the headset audio by going to the Control Panel and choosing Hardware and Sound.
Now, you should select the Sound section and click on Recording, then Properties, and finally Levels in the Microphone Properties window. In case the Microphone Boost box is checked, you should simply leave it blank, and then hit Apply.
Also, you should make sure that the Listen to this device box in the same window is unchecked, as this could be what is causing the echo that we talked about previously. Once you’ve made the changes, hit Apply and test your microphone.
F. A. Q.
Why is my mic picking up desktop audio when muted?
In case the microphone is picking up the desktop audio even when it is muted, you may want to change the settings. Simply go to Settings, and then choose to disable all devices.
Sometimes, it isn’t enough to mute the microphone if the settings aren’t properly adjusted.
Why can my friends hear my game audio through my headset?
In case you’ve performed all the tests we’ve mentioned and none of these methods seem to work, you may have to adjust the settings in your chat. Often, the problem isn’t in the mic or the audio settings, but the chat settings.
Most chats have settings that allow you to adjust the microphone sensitivity, and this feature is mostly labeled as voice activity. You may have to try a few different volume settings before you figure out what works for your microphone.