How to Fix an Echoing Microphone

Troubleshooting a microphone with an annoying echo

Issues with an echoing microphone can appear in one of several different ways:

  • You hear a loud buzzing or other noise coming from your speakers that keeps increasing in intensity.
  • You can hear your voice in your headset when you're trying to use the microphone on the headset.
  • You're trying to call into a web-based conference with your phone, and you can hear your voice echoing from your computer speakers.
  • Other people in a conference call say they hear their voice echoing back at them and suspect it's because of your microphone.

Microphone echo errors most commonly happen during conference calls. However, you may also experience them when you're trying to record a video, live streaming to the web, or using any other app that requires you to use a microphone.

Cause of an Echoing Microphone

The most common cause of an echoing microphone is positioning your microphone too close to your speakers. It's common with external microphones, which can be placed anywhere in your workspace.

It's less likely with a headset since most headsets use directional microphones, which are less likely to pick up ambient noise. However, less expensive headsets may not have this feature. If the headset volume is too high, the microphone could pick up noise (like your own voice) from the earphones.

Another cause of an echoing microphone is having multiple microphones connected to your computer. You may think you're muted, but other active microphones are still picking up your voice. This scenario can cause echoing issues during conference calls.

How to Fix an Echoing Microphone

This issue applies to any operating system. Where any fixes require changes to microphone or speaker settings, the procedure to make those changes on each system may vary.

  1. If you're using an external microphone, the first thing you should try is moving the microphone to the furthest physical location away from the speakers that it can reach. This fix usually fixes the loud, reverberating echo issue.

  2. You can adjust the audio for a Windows-based PC or adjust the audio for a Mac. This will usually fix echoing microphone issues with your headset. This is because reducing the earphone volume reduces the chance that your headset microphone will pick up those sounds and create an echo. Reducing volume can also resolve echo with external microphones as well, if placing them far from the speaker doesn't work.

  3. Instead of using your computer speakers and computer microphone, use your headset for sound instead. You could connect Bluetooth headphones to your computer if you prefer to be wireless, or connect them to your phone if you prefer to call into a web conference that way instead. By making redirecting sound to your ears instead of into the room, you'll dramatically reduce the chances of sound getting back to the system microphone and causing an echo.

    While it may be tempting to use your headset microphone and computer speakers, this won't resolve echo issues because the sound from your computer will still make it to your headset mic. This is even more likely if your headset uses an in-line mic that pics up more sounds from the room around you.

  4. Make sure multiple microphones aren't enabled. For example, if you've called into a web conference with your phone and are also connected via your computer, both your phone microphone and computer microphone may be transmitting your voice to the call. Turn off the microphone on your mobile device to resolve this issue. Check your browser microphone settings to disable it there if you prefer to use your phone's mic. Most importantly, check the audio settings of your videoconferencing software, like Zoom, and make sure the correct microphone is selected.

  5. Are you trying to use audio software like Audacity to record web conferencing calls? Make sure you've configured the audio software's sound settings properly so the software isn't echoing sound back to your speakers at the same time the video conferencing software is.

FAQ
  • How do I fix an echo on my PS4 mic?

    Try reducing the mic sensitivity by going to Settings > Devices > Audio Devices > Adjust Microphone level. If your TV is too loud, your mic could be picking up the audio in the background.

  • How do I fix an echo on my Xbox mic?

    If you hear an echo on your Xbox, the mic could be picking up the TV audio, or someone in the chat could have their TV volume set too high. Turn down the volume and troubleshoot your Xbox microphone if you continue having issues.

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