If your computer is hooked up through an HDMI cable, like mine, you may run into a problem when you try to use a mic to record something. This is usually because the line in on your computer is overridden by the fact that the HDMI is not just used for video signals, but for sound as well. Luckily there is a cheap solution to this problem.

The simple way around this is to buy a USB microphone. I purchased the Dynex DX-840 from Best Dynex DX-840 USB Headset with Microphone(56005) Buy and then found out that it was twenty dollars cheaper through Amazon. The fact that it worked so well and was a lot cheaper than other solutions, like buying a receiver, helped to ease the pain of this revelation. You can purchase this at the Amazon price by clicking Dynex DX-840 USB Headset with Microphone.

The Dynex DX-840 is nice because it has a microphone and headset which makes it easy and comfortable to use. You can use this product for things like creating YouTube videos, dictating speech to text, or even for speech recognition.

The initial installation is a piece of cake because it is plug and play. This means that it will automatically install the necessary drivers when you plug it into your USB port. There are some other things, however, that you may need to adjust to get this to work properly. Unfortunately I did not find the instructions that came with this product to be all that helpful. If you are not able to get the microphone to record properly, or do know where to start, then follow these steps below:


  1. Plug the microphone and headset into the USB port and wait for the drivers to install.

  2. Look for a program called Sound Recorder on your computer. This is generally under Start Menu/All Programs/Accessories. If you can not find it there then try typing Sound Recorder into your computer's search feature.

  3. Make sure the switch on the headset wire is set to on, and not mute, and that the headphone volume is up so that your can hear playback.

  4. Click the red record button on the Sound Recorder Program, speak into the microphone, and then save the recording somewhere that you can quickly find it.

  5. Open the sound file and play it. If you have sound then your are good to go. If not, as was the case for me, then continue to the below troubleshooting steps.

  6. Open your Control Panel and find where it says sound. The screens and heading will vary based on your operating system which is why I am being vague on how the sound heading will appear. On Windows 7, for example, it says Sound and Hardware. Click on this

  7. Look for where there is a reference to recording. Make sure that your computer is set to use the USB microphone as its recording device. If it is not, then configure your computer so that it does use the USB microphone instead of its default.

  8. Also look for a heading that says levels. My microphone volume was set to 0 so it would not record until I increased this to the appropriate level, which for me, was 100%.

  9. The last thing to make sure of is that your system volume is not muted. You can check this from the Control Panel as well. 

HDMI compatible microphone and headset

Dynex DX-840 USB Headset with Microphone