How to Fix It When Your Xbox Series X or S Mic Isn't Working

Friends can’t hear you in party chat? Try these fixes

If your Xbox Series X or S mic isn’t working, there are a number of fixes that can help your friends and teammates hear you again.

These instructions pertain to both the Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X, with any differences called out if necessary.

How Xbox Series X and S Mic Problems Typically Manifest

You can use a wired mic hooked into your Xbox controller, or a mic that’s built into a wireless headset for voice chat and it should all work right out of the box. Most Xbox Series X and S mic problems result in your teammates being unable to hear you at all.

Other mic problems include distorted audio, where you are difficult to understand due to interference, muted audio, and audio that can be heard by some friends or teammates but not others.

What Causes Xbox Series X and S Mic Problems?

The most common cause of mic problems with the Xbox Series X and S is a muted mic, either the hardware switch or software button, and either activated by the person who can’t be heard or by someone in their party chat.

Physical problems with the hardware, like damage to the microphone or headset cord, and damage to the headphone jack, can also cause this issue. Xbox firmware issues, incorrect settings in your Xbox Series X or S preferences, and poor internet connections can also cause similar issues.

How to Fix It When Your Xbox Series X or S Mic Isn't Working

If your Xbox Series X or S mic isn’t working, try the following steps to get it working again:

  1. Disconnect and reconnect the mic. If you’re using a wired headset, try unplugging it and plugging it back in. This will sometimes allow the connection to reestablish, and it can also help if you’re dealing with a poor connection between the headphone plug and jack.

  2. Twist the headphone plug. While attempting to talk to your friends with the plug inserted into your controller, gently twist the plug back and forth. If the mic pics up your voice intermittently, or your friends hear static mixed in with parts of what you’re saying, you have a bad connection.

    You can try cleaning the plug and jack, but the jack in the controller may need to be replaced.

  3. Manipulate the headphone wire. Similar to the previous step, the intent is to wiggle the wire where it connects to your headset and where it connects to the plug while trying to talk to your friends. If this results in a momentary connection, you have a broken wire and will need to replace the headset.

  4. Make sure your headset isn’t muted. Check your headset for a mute switch or a volume mixer. If the mute switch is activated, or your transmit volume is turned all the way down, people won’t be able to hear you.

  5. Test your mic with another device. If you have a laptop or phone that has a headphone or mic jack that’s compatible with your headset, check to see if your headset works with that device. Use an app like Discord or Skype, and see if people can hear you.

    If people still can’t hear you, your mic probably needs to be repaired or replaced.

  6. Make sure your friends haven’t muted you. If you’re playing with strangers, they may have muted you intentionally if they aren’t interested in talking. This can be frustrating in team games, but there’s nothing you can do about it.

    If playing with friends, ask them to check and make sure that they didn’t accidentally click the Mute button. This is the most likely cause if some of your friends can hear you and some can’t.

  7. Assign your controller to your Xbox profile. If you have multiple controllers, it’s possible that a different one is currently assigned to your profile. If that’s the case, the Xbox may be looking for an audio signal from that controller.

    To assign your current controller to your profile:

    1. Using the controller you want to assign, navigate to Profile & system > Settings > Account > Sign-in, security, and passkey.
    2. Select This controller signs in.
    3. Verify your profile, and select Link controller.
  8. Update your controller firmware. If your controller is in need of an update, that may interfere with its ability to transmit your voice. Update the firmware, and check to see if your friends can hear you.

    To update your controller firmware:

    1. Navigate to Profile & system > Settings > Devices & connections > Accessories.
    2. Select the controller to update.
    3. Select the three dot menu.
    4. If a firmware update is available, install it.
  9. Fix your privacy settings. The Xbox Series X and S have privacy settings that can prevent you from hearing other people and other people from hearing you.

    To fix your privacy settings for voice chat:

    1. Navigate to Profile & system > Settings > Account > Privacy & online safety.
    2. Select Xbox Network Safety.
    3. Select View details and customize.
    4. Select Communications & multiplayer.
    5. Choose who you want to be able to communicate with.

    If your communication settings are too strict, you won't be able to hear people, and they won't be able to hear you.

  10. Check the status of Xbox Network. Since the Xbox Series X and S rely on Xbox Network to transmit voice for party chat, issues with the service can prevent you from hearing others, others from hearing you, and also prevent connecting altogether. If Xbox Network is down, you’ll have to just wait for Microsoft to fix the problem.

  11. Verify your internet speed. Test your internet connection to make sure that it’s fast enough for voice chat. Even if it’s normally fast enough, you may be having a temporary issue.

    If you’re unable to speed up your internet connection sufficiently, you can use the Xbox app on your smartphone to join party chat with your friends.

  • How do I adjust my mic volume on my Xbox Series X or S?

    Press the Xbox button and go to System > Audio > Mic monitoring. Move the slider to the left or right to adjust the volume.

  • How do I adjust my headset volume my Xbox Series X or S?

    Press the Xbox button and go to System > Audio > Headset chat mixer. Move the slider to the left for louder game audio or to the right for louder chat audio.

  • How do I fix it when my Xbox Series X or S headset is not working?

    If your Xbox Series X or S headset isn't working, make sure your controller and the wireless adapter are connected. Verify that your headset isn’t muted, inspect the cord, and update the firmware. You may also need to change your privacy settings.

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