How to Fix It When Your Xbox One Mic Isn't Working

Get chatting with your friends again with these troubleshooting tips

Voice chat is one of the Xbox One console's most-used features, as it allows gamers to talk with friends and teammates using the Kinect built-in microphone or a microphone within a headset or pair of earphones. If your Xbox One mic is not working properly, there are several fixes you can try.

Instructions in this article apply to all Xbox One models, including the Xbox One S and Xbox One X.

Gamer wearing a gaming headset with a mic while playing a video game on an Xbox One.
RyanKing999 / iStock / GettyImagesPlus

How Xbox One Mic Problems Appear

An Xbox One mic problem can present itself as distorted audio, muted audio, or limited audio that can only be heard by select teammates. When playing an Xbox One game that relies on voice commands, a microphone bug can prevent the game from registering phrases and functioning properly. You also may not be able to use Cortana commands with your Xbox One.

Causes of Mic Not Working on Xbox One

An Xbox mic not working as intended can be caused by physical damage to the microphone or an app software glitch. It could also be the result of the incorrect options being chosen within your Xbox Live account, specific game settings, or the Xbox One system settings. A slow internet connection is another common cause of delayed and distorted audio.

How to Fix Xbox One Mic Issues

Try these steps to get your Xbox One mic working again:

  1. Reconnect the Xbox mic. Sometimes disconnecting the mic, or its associated headset, and reconnecting it can fix audio problems that you experience.

    Xbox One consoles do not support USB headsets. Only devices with Bluetooth capabilities can connect to the Xbox One.

  2. Make sure the microphone isn't muted. Most gaming headsets have a mute button. If the LED light on the mute button is activated, this means your audio is muted. Press the button to unmute the mic.

  3. Make sure your team members haven't muted you. Voice chatting with strangers in games like Fortnite for Xbox One can be exhausting, so many players choose to mute audio from others. Your friends may need to turn audio back on in-game to hear you.

  4. Turn down the TV volume. If you hear an echo, it's likely from the mic picking up the TV audio and playing it back to you. Similarly, the people you chat with may have their TV volume set too high.

  5. Increase the mic volume. If you use a Kinect, go to the Xbox One controller settings and manually adjust the controller's audio volume.

  6. Test the mic on other devices. Test the mic with your laptop or smartphone by using an app such as Skype or Telegram. If it works properly, the issue is likely connected to the Xbox One console. Otherwise, you may need to replace or repair the headset.

  7. Assign the controller to your profile. If you change controllers a lot, the console may be looking for audio input from another controller. Be sure to assign the Xbox One controller to your Microsoft Account.

  8. Update the Xbox controller. The Xbox One controllers use firmware that requires occasional updates. You can update your Xbox One controller in the console's device settings.

  9. Check your privacy settings. If your Xbox mic isn't working, voice chat may be disabled. To turn it back on, go to Settings > Account > Privacy & online safety > View details & customize > Communicate with voice and text.

  10. Check the Xbox Kinect sensor. If the Kinect Xbox logo light is off, that means the sensor is no longer detecting audio. Microsoft has a web page dedicated to troubleshooting Xbox One Kinect issues.

  11. Do an Xbox One power cycle. Press the power button on the front of the console for about 10 seconds until the system powers down. Wait for about a minute, and then tap the button to power it back on again. If done correctly, you should see an Xbox One loading screen for a few seconds before being taken to your usual Home screen.

  12. Change parental settings. Voice chat can be enabled or disabled in the Xbox One parental controls. If your Xbox Live account is managed by someone else, they may have disabled your ability to chat with other players online.

  13. Check the Xbox Live status. Voice chat for many video games is powered by the Microsoft Xbox Live online service. You can check if Xbox Live is down at any time on the Xbox support website.

  14. Check your internet speed. Test your internet speed to make sure you have a quality connection. If your internet is slow and you can't speed it up, use the Xbox app on your smartphone. That way, you can communicate with other players using your cellular plan. You can also use the Xbox app to voice chat with your Apple AirPods on Xbox One. This method isn't recommended for people with data caps.

  15. Ditch the surge protector. Xbox One consoles have built-in surge protection. Using an additional surge protector with an Xbox One can prevent the console from working properly. Plugging the Xbox One console into a power socket can sometimes resolve performance issues.