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How to Test a Computer Microphone

By Edited May 23, 2014 1 3

So, you just purchased a brand new microphone for your computer. You go home, plug it in and try it out. You record a message, or a song, for a loved one. You're excited about your new toy. However, when you play it back, it sounds absolutely awful. Maybe the problem is that you could barely hear the message or maybe it sounded as if a hurricane were blowing directly into the microphone. To avoid frustration due to losing work and time, periodically test the microphone on your computer for audio recording quality.


Plug the microphone into your computer. Follow the manufacturer's instructions, warnings and tips during the installation process. Many computers will have a small microphone icon next to the appropriate port. The cords are often color coordinated too.

Click on the start button that is located in the bottom left hand corner on your desktop.

Click on the "all programs" option and then click on the "accessories" option that pops up. A new set of options will appear, click on "entertainment" option and then select "sound recorder" from the options list. A small recording box will appear on your screen.

Locate the audio device icon in your system tray. The system tray usually runs along the bottom right hand side of your desktop. Double-click on it. Look at the volume sliders for the microphone input, speakers and headphones.

Ensure that the levels are at an appropriate level. Adjust the sliders by clicking on them and dragging them. If the microphone input level is too low, the system will not record your voice. If it is too high, it will distort your voice and will not record properly.

Look at the recording box. Click on the red button that is located on the bottom right hand corner of the recorder box. This begins the recording.

Position the microphone in front of you. Use your normal speaking tone and record a few tests sentences.

Click the button with the black square on it to stop recording.

Click the button with the double arrows that point to the left. This rewinds the recording.

Click the button with the single black arrow that points to the right. Your recording will play.

Listen to the recording. If it sounds like you are blowing into the microphone, reposition the microphone and run the test again. Adjust the position of the microphone until you are satisfied with the recording quality.




Feb 21, 2010 2:55am
What is the equivalent on a Macintosh?
Apr 30, 2010 5:39pm
Sorry it took so long to answer you. I honestly don't know but here is a link to a page that might be able to help. Good luck!
Jul 12, 2010 7:02am
Very helpful article. thank you! A+! Nicely written!
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