After installing the microphone in Windows 10, you’ll want to customize it. This means changing audio levels, input types and making the audio clear. If you’re setting up a game or streaming, you can also test some sound effects for your microphone.
So here’s how to test your microphone in Windows 10 before you start using it.
1. Windows 10 Sound Settings
The first thing to check is Windows 10 Sound Settings, a list of everything related to sound and microphones. To open sound options:
- Type sound in the Start menu search bar, then select Best Match.
- After the Sound menu opens, scroll down to Input. Make sure your microphone is selected as your default input device. Use the drop-down menu under Select Input Device to change the microphone setting.
From here you can change a small range of microphone properties. Select Device Properties. From this menu, you can rename your device, mute your microphone, and adjust the microphone volume. Depending on your microphone type, you may also see the option to increase the microphone volume here.
However, the microphone controls and settings available in this menu are not as extensive as in the “old” settings menu. So, if you need more features, check out the section below.
2. Volume control panel
Windows 10 began the transition from the old tried and tested Control Panel to a new style of settings. The new settings menus are easier to use with touchscreen devices and simplify many of the options in a menu that is easier to find. But there are still some settings that haven’t completely switched to the new settings, and therefore you need to go back to the control panel to find them.
From the Windows 10 Sound Settings menu, you can select Sound Control Panel in the upper right corner and then select the Recording tab. Alternatively, press Windows Key + R to open the Run dialog box, then type mmsys.cpl and click OK.
Now right click on your microphone and select Properties. A new window with several tabs will open. Open the “Improvements” tab. These parameters relate to microphone gain, mute and other advanced features. The improvements you see depend on your microphone.
- Acoustic echo cancellation: Reduces echo noise in your local environment.
- Far-field capture: can improve the recording quality when farther from the microphone.
- Keystroke Suppression: Attempts to suppress noisy keystrokes.
- Beamforming: Amplifies the microphone input by suppressing noise out of range.
You can also find parameters for different types of microphone gain in this menu. Experiment with the enhancements until you find the right input level to suit your needs. The sound control panel and microphone enhancements are a good solution to the microphone sensitivity problem.
3. What applications can use the microphone?
From time to time, you might wonder which apps actually have access to your microphone. You don’t want any unexpected apps to eavesdrop on your daily activities, especially if you have your microphone turned on.
- Enter privacy in the Start menu search bar and select Best Match.
- Select “Microphone” from the list on the left.
- Scroll down and rate apps that have access to your microphone. If there’s something that you don’t want to share, tap the switch to turn it off.
Want to upgrade your microphone? Check out the best microphones for live streaming and other recordings.
4. Equalizer APO with Peace GUI
If you want to customize the sound of your microphone, you will need third-party audio processing software. While there are many options available, Equalizer APO is one of the easiest to use and free to download. However, Equalizer APO is a command line tool in itself, but there are a number of free graphical user interfaces (GUIs) you can install, making the program much easier to use.
- Download and install Equalizer APO During the installation process, you will select the playback and recording devices. For example, I select Speakers in the Playback tab and Microphone in the Capture tab. The Capture tab will display the name of your microphone so you know which option to choose.
- Now download and install Peace Equalizer You can install Peace only after the Equalizer APO installation is complete. If you try to do this first, it won’t work. Once the installation is complete, select “Start World” (otherwise you can find “World” in the Start Menu).
When the world loads, you have to choose either the simple interface or the full interface. The full interface offers more customization options than the simple version, giving you more control over your microphone’s output.
Select a microphone input from the drop-down menu. You can now move the EQ levels up and down until you find the desired output level. It is also possible to increase the output volume using the amplifier scale at the top of the window.
When you find your microphone-level sweet spot, select Save, give your configuration a name, and select the notification area icon to be displayed when the configuration is in use. This last step is optional, but comes in handy when you want to immediately check if your configuration is enabled.
5. Speech recognition
Another way to test your microphone is to use Windows 10 Speech Recognition. Speech Recognition allows you to control your computer using your voice. The setup process also helps set up the microphone, which is a plus.
- Type Speech Recognition in the Start Menu Search bar and select Best Match.
- Select your microphone type from the list and continue.
- Now you I will make a test sentence to set up your microphone. You may need to move the microphone across the table to make sure it reaches the correct level.
- Speech recognition accuracy is discussed on the next page. Windows 10 can analyze your documents and email to improve speech recognition by tuning in to your common phrases. If you don’t want Windows to parse your documents and email, select Disable Document Verification.
- Then choose what happens when you say “Don’t listen.” If you chose manual activation, you must manually enable speech recognition when you want to use it. If you choose Voice Activation, Windows 10 will listen for your “Start Listening” command before activating.
- Finally, choose if you want to start speech recognition on startup. Enabling this option will load speech recognition along with the operating system, meaning it will always be available when you need it, without having to manually enable it.
Speech recognition is a quick way to check if your microphone works with Windows 10. You don’t need to keep Speech Recognition on or even complete the setup process after step 3 in the list above, if all you want to do is check if the microphone is responding.
Test your microphone configuration
You have seen five simple methods for testing microphone configuration. Some parameters are better suited for optimizing the output, while others allow you to check if the microphone is working properly. Anyway, you now know how to test and set up your microphone before use.
If your microphone is not working at all, learn how to fix a not working microphone in Windows 10.