Any podcaster, musician, or streaming artist must have the best equipment. You probably also know that sound quality is critical.
You may also be aware that audio quality is usually processed post-processing, which can improve the sound quality of your microphone. However, if you have a good raw recording, then post-processing can also be done easily. This is why quality microphones are so important.
Many people ask why their audio quality isn’t as good as the others. This is the right place for you. We will show you the factors affecting the mic’s sound and how to improve microphone quality.
Why Does Your Headset Mic Sound Bad?
Many factors can cause poor audio input. Poor mic audio can be caused by any one of these causes. Let’s look at each cause below to help us better understand this frustrating situation.
Bluetooth connectivity issues
Bluetooth is the most widely used connection, but there are still some issues. These are:
Frequency bands are too crowded: This is usually caused by other devices using the same frequency band as your Bluetooth device. Examples include WiFi connection, microwave ovens, and power cables.
Physical obstructions: A major obstruction between your headset, your device, and the internet can cause serious connectivity problems. Material like metal, concrete, plaster, and other materials can cause interference to Bluetooth connections.
Outdated firmware: Incompatibility problems can arise if your firmware is not updated regularly. This can impact your device’s overall performance and Bluetooth connectivity.
Bluetooth codec transmission: Audio data lost during Bluetooth codec transmission can decrease your output audio quality.
A microphone diaphragm, a thin membrane responsible for converting sound to mechanical data, is called a microphone diaphragm.
The diaphragm’s size determines how much audio data it can receive. This results in better quality at the other end of the call/recording.
Headphone manufacturers are not able to put huge microphones on headphones. That’s why most of them use micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS).
These mic chips, or silicon microphones, are tiny membranes that can sense pressure. Before MEMS became popular, older headsets used electret microphones.
There are many sizes and types of headphones mics. In-line and boom microphones are the most popular. Below is a quick comparison.
An in-line microphone is a type of mic that is built-in line with the headphone wire. Many mics have built-in controls to control volume and playback. In-line microphones can be compact and lightweight. Mics are typically placed between the neck and the chest.
On the other side, a boom microphone is attached to the boom pole of the headphone. This microphone is located near the mouth and tends to be quite large. These mics offer excellent quality audio, which is precise and directional.
Between the two, boom microphones offer better and more directionally accurate mic audio quality. It is smaller than in-line microphones and can collect more audio data. In-line microphones cost less than boom microphones in terms of price.
Boom microphones offer greater stability than in-line microphones. In-line microphones are more vulnerable to physical disturbances because they rest on the wires of your headphones.
Sudden movements can produce unnecessary rubbing sounds. This can adversely affect the quality audio of your mic.
Too much background sound
Your microphone may pick up noises in a loud room, busy areas, or crowded places. This is especially true for headsets and mics that don’t include noise-canceling technology.
For default microphones with sensitive microphones, this is even worse. These background noises can sometimes even overwhelm your voice.
App or device settings
Your input quality audio is also affected by the settings of your device and apps. You may need to tweak your microphone audio quality settings if you want to make it better.
This can be done by changing some of the internal settings. You can make your default microphone sound better on all platforms if you use the right approach.
We have the right approach to make your microphone sound better on any platform, including PC, Mac, Xbox, and PS4 (and even Discord and Streamlabs).
Damage to the physical mic
Mic damage can occur if your headphones have suffered a fall. To ensure your headset’s mic works properly, run a microphone test.
Make sure to check the connections. Sometimes the problem can be fixed with the simplest solutions. Check your headset to make sure it is properly connected. You should also check for physical damage, such as frayed cables and broken parts.
Record yourself. Turn on the mic monitoring setting if you have sound recording software. Record yourself speaking and making sounds.
Test your Skype mic. You can test your Skype microphone audio by using your Skype account. Search for Echo/Sound Test Service in your contact list. Record your message and call Echo. To hear your voice message, click on the playback button. If your voice sounds clear, your microphone is working fine.
3 Tips to Make Your Headset Mic Speak Better
Let’s now look at the common causes of microphones. These are some ways to improve the quality audio of your microphone.
- A stable connection is essential.
- Position the microphone.
- You can adjust the volume and sensitivity of your microphone.
Maintain a stable connection
A snug-fitting plug will ensure a secure connection to your wired headset. Sometimes headset jacks can become loose, or headset plugs may get bent. You can fix the problem by cleaning, adjusting, and repairing your headset jack. If all else fails, you may need to buy a new one.
If you are using a wireless headset to communicate, these tips can help improve your connection’s stability.
Fix interference problems
Bluetooth operates under the 2.4GHz radiofrequency. Bluetooth is not the only device that operates in this frequency band. Other appliances and devices also use the same frequency. Interference issues can sometimes arise because of this.
These steps can be used to counteract this:
- Eliminate all physical barriers. Your devices should be as close together as possible.
- Avoid fluorescent lighting and microwaves. They operate on the same frequency as your Bluetooth headset (2.4GHz) and interfere with your Bluetooth headset.
- Close applications not in use: Too many apps on your device could also cause problems with your Bluetooth connection. To avoid interference with Bluetooth transmission, close applications should not be in use.
- Make sure you check your WiFi connection. Most WiFi routers operate at the same frequency as Bluetooth. One may be stronger than the one far away. To make your connection stronger, move closer to your WiFi router.
- So both your WiFi device and your Bluetooth device will have stable but balanced connections.
Match audio codecs between headset and device
Bluetooth codecs encode and compress audio data from a device. The audio data is then compressed and sent to another device for decoding. The output audio is then produced.
Bluetooth codecs are not just harmful to sound quality but can also affect the quality of your mic input.
All audio data should be transmitted seamlessly and without problems. Bluetooth technology is not perfect. There are many codecs available, and not all of them can seamlessly process and transfer data.
Adjust the mic position
Mic positioning refers to the location of your headset microphone, i.e., How far the microphone is from your mouth. This has a huge impact on the mic quality. This can make a difference in whether you hear echoey or clear mic audio.
You can also avoid unwanted audio feedback or interference by placing the microphone in its best position.
These steps will help you place your microphone most effectively.
- Your headset should be placed on your head. Make sure you find the most comfortable place for your headset.
- Make sure that the microphone’s front side is facing you.
- Place the microphone at the edge of your mouth. You should allow at least 1 inch between your microphone and the side of your mouth.
- Adjust it if it is out of place.
Other than the factors mentioned, the best mic positioning will depend on the anatomy of the user. Mic positioning is not a simple matter.
Mic distances can be affected by how breathy a person sounds, the frequency of facial movements, and even the size of one’s cheek. The headset microphone can be dislocated by constant smiling. It is best to move your mic slightly further away in these situations.
Adjust the volume & sensitivity of your microphone
Different mics will have different output levels (volume) when exposed to the same sound source. Different mics have different levels of mic sensitivity.
You can adjust the settings of platforms like PC, Mac, and PS4 to increase your mic sensitivity or volume. These settings are also available in software like Streamlabs or Discord.
To learn more, see the detailed guide below.
- Windows PC
- For Mac
- For PS4
- Go to the Control Panel. Click Hardware and Sounds.
- Click on Recording to choose your active headset microphone.
- Right-click it and select Properties.
- Click on Levels. You can adjust the sensitivity of your microphone as you wish.
To increase the mic sensitivity, drag the pointer to its right. To decrease its sensitivity, drag it in the opposite direction. You can also use the mic booster setting. However, too high mic sensitivity can cause sound distortion and echo.
Mac’s built-in microphone control allows you to adjust the sensitivity of your mic. You can make your Mac headset mic sound more natural by following the steps below:
- Go to System Preferences.
- Click on Sound.
- Click on Active Headset/Microphone and select Output.
- Select input. You can adjust the mic sensitivity by moving the arrow left or right.
The problem could be with the PS4’s mic level. These are the steps you can take to fix mic audio issues:
- To access the Quick menu, hold down the PlayStation icon on your controller.
- Quick Menu
- Select Sound/Device, then click on Adjust Microphone Level.
- Select Adjust Mic Level
- Your microphone level can be adjusted accordingly. The further you drag the microphone to the right, it will be louder and vice versa.
Your Xbox microphone and chat mixer levels may not be balanced properly, leading to a poor gaming experience. Here’s a step-by-step guide to improving your Xbox mic.
- Connect your headset to your Xbox controller. To access the menu, press the glowing Xbox icon.
- Click on the audio to adjust your audio settings.
- Xbox doesn’t have any adjustable mic sensitivity settings. You can get around this problem by covering your microphone with mic foam covers. This will help to reduce background noise and hiss that are picked up by the mic.
How to Make Mic Sound Great on Streaming Platforms?
Some gamers don’t want to be alone, especially when it comes down to great gameplay. Do you never know? You might be the next Ninja or Shroud.
No matter how many headshots and matches you make on Valorant for one match, nobody will be able to understand you. If your mic isn’t working after you’ve tried the tips, it might be platform-related.
Here are some tips to improve the quality of your mic on top streaming platforms Discord and Streamlabs.
Discord, a live streaming platform for gamers, is used frequently to stream their gaming in real-time. Discord is a great place for gamers to connect, share, and discuss their games with other gamers. You can download the app for free, but you can purchase in-app purchases to unlock more features such as animated avatars or emojis.
Live streams are also available via Discord for professional esports players to share their gaming strategies with other gamers.
Mic input is an important feature on this platform. It has separate mic settings to improve the quality of your mic computer. Follow these steps to do this:
- Click on the gear icon in the lower-left corner of your screen to open User Settings.
- Choose Voice or Video
- Select your headset or other speakers from the Output Device dropdown menu. Adjust your Discord Output Volume as desired.
If you wish Discord to broadcast your audio-only when a button is pressed, tick the box that says Push to Talk. It can be customized by clicking Edit Keybind and selecting the button you prefer.
Your headset may pick up background noise in noisy environments. Krisp.ai can help you to counter this. You can download this app for free, and it offers advanced noise suppression settings.
How to enable Krips.ai Discord?
Click on the channel you wish to suppress and choose the Noise Suppression icon.
Krisp is on. Discord allows you to run a mic test by talking through your microphone while simultaneously clapping your hands.
You will notice that your voice and the clapping sounds are being transmitted, but not your hands. This youtube tutorial will show you how it works.
How to make your mic sound better with Streamlabs?
Streamlabs allows gamers to stream live video on various platforms, such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch. It offers viewer engagement tools as well as tips /monetizing options.
It’s easy to use and customize, making it a popular choice for gamers and streamers. It has simple volume controls as well as layout editors and stream overlays.
Follow these steps to adjust the mic volume in this youtube tutorial:
Adjust the mic volume in Streamlabs
Start Streamlabs and select Editor.
The Mixer is located in the lower-right corner of the screen. Adjust your Mic/AUX settings as desired.
Optimize Streamlabs audio filters
You can optimize your Streamlabs audio pop filter to improve the quality of your mic on Streamlabs. This Youtube video shows how to optimize Streamlabs’ audio pop filter.
- Open Editor and Launch Streamlabs
- Click on the wheel icon next to the speaker icon.
- Select Filters
- Click the plus sign to the right.
- Select your Audio Filter, and then adjust it accordingly. Multiple audio pop filters can be added at once.
Here’s a brief overview of each audio pop filter to give you an idea of its purpose.
Gain is the audio volume. Gain is the volume of your audio. However, it is important to note that your microphone will pick up more background noise if you increase the gain.
The noise suppression filter, as its name suggests, cancels out all ambient noise. This is especially useful if you have a noisy neighbor or loud AC.
You can use this pop filter without having to compromise your mic quality. Start the suppression level at 0. You can hear no background noise as you go.
Noise Suppression is similar to Noise Gate, but the Noise Gate audio filter blocks background noise. When you are playing intensely, clicking mouse and keyboard sounds can be quite loud. This feature can block these types of sounds.
This sound pop filter also offers more options than noise suppression. These settings are:
Open Threshold allows you to specify the minimum decibel level (dB) that your microphone must reach before it picks up sound better.
If you set the microphone at -30dB, it will only pick up sounds below -30dB. The microphone will not pick up, clicking and typing sound below -30 dB.
Close Threshold allows you to specify a dB threshold at which your microphone will be deactivated. If you set it to -35dB, the mic will not pick up the sound if the input audio drops below -35dB.
- Attack Time: This is when the Noise Gate feature activates when the Open Threshold has been reached.
- Hold Time: This is when the mic remains active after an input sound falls below the Close Threshold.
- Release Time: This is the time taken for the mic’s to muffle again after the input sound falls below the Close Threshold. This is also measured in milliseconds, just like the previous two features.
This filter prevents loud noises from being transmitted to your stream at full volume. It is particularly useful when you hear a lot of shouting and yelling during gameplay. This filter reduces loud noises to a maximum level.
You can further customize this filter as follows:
- Ratio: This is the amount of compression applied to audio inputs that exceed the Compression Threshold. The compression level is lower the lower you set it.
- The threshold is the maximum audio input threshold you wish to apply. When the audio exceeds the set Compression Threshold, the filter will be activated.
- Attack refers to the time between audio input exceeding the threshold and activation of the filter.
- The release refers to the time between the audio input level falling below the threshold and the activation.
- Output Gain: This feature restores the normal volume level of the audio.
- Sidechain compression: This tool lets you lower the volume of your desktop sound whenever you speak. The desktop audio returns to its normal volume level when you stop speaking.
It works in the same way as the compression filter. It applies to gain reduction to input audio. The difference is that it applies it below the threshold and not above it. Simply put, it makes quiet sounds quieter.
These presets are available in the filter:
Expander Preset – This preset has a low ratio and a short release time. This preset is great for light noise reduction.
Gate Preset – This preset has a high ratio and a long release time. This preset is great for noise reduction.
You can alter the presets by using the following configurable settings:
Ratio: This refers to the amount of expansion that would apply once the audio signal falls below the threshold.
- Light Noise Reduction: 2:1
- Balanced Noise Reduction: 4 (Highly Recommended)
- High Noise Reduction: 10.1 (This ratio will reduce the volume of your audio input completely).
A threshold is a threshold at which an expander will cease to reduce the audio signal. Start at the lowest setting to get better mic quality. You can go higher until the noise is gone completely. It is important not to set it too high as your voice quality could be affected.
Attack refers to the time between the audio signal exceeding the threshold and activation of the expander.
The release refers to the time between the audio signal falling below the threshold and the activation of the expander.
Output Gain: If you wish to increase your filter’s output, this is an option.
Detection: You can change the way that the input level is measured. This affects threshold detection’s sensitivity. It can be detected either via Peak or RMS.
RMS: This feature averages input level measurements for the past 10 ms. This feature prevents the expansion from being activated by sudden noise peaks, resulting in a smoother audio flow.
Peak: This feature does not average input levels, unlike RMS. This makes it easier for the filter to respond to changes in input levels.
Another type of compressor is the limiter filter. It prevents audio signals from exceeding 0 dB. It is very fast in attack and has a high ratio.
The threshold is the limit of audio signal output.
The release refers to the time between the audio signal falling below the threshold and the activation of the limiter.
Many factors affect mic audio quality, so do not skip any part of the article. Read carefully these tips to improve mic quality. This is the basis for you to rest assured when recording and make the sound better.
If you have any questions or feedback, please leave a comment below. If you found this article helpful, sharing it with anyone who needs them. Thanks for choosing to spend your time with hookeaudio.com.
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