How to Fix It When Your Xbox One Mic Is Not Working

Troubleshoot your Xbox One mic and get chatting with your friends

Woman wearing a gaming headset with a mic while playing a video game on an Xbox One.

RyanKing999 / iStock / GettyImagesPlus

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 sensor or via an Xbox One microphone within a headset or pair of earphones.

An Xbox One mic not working properly is a common problem experienced by many players, however, though fortunately there are numerous tests and fixes for such audio glitches.

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 video game that relies on voice commands, an Xbox One microphone bug can also prevent the game from registering phrases and functioning properly.

An Xbox One Kinect not hearing system-wide voice commands is also a common problem that many associate with an Xbox mic not working.

Cause of Xbox One Microphone Bugs

An Xbox mic not working as intended can be caused by physical damage to the microphone itself, an Xbox One game or app software glitch, or the incorrect options being chosen within an Xbox Live account, game title, or Xbox One system settings.

How to Fix Xbox One Mic Issues

Due to Xbox One microphone problems being the result of a range of causes, the potential solutions can be quite varied too. Here are some of the best and proven ways to get an Xbox One mic working again.

  1. Is your Xbox One microphone muted? Most gaming headsets will have a mute button somewhere on them. If the LED light on the mute button is activated, this means that your audio is being muted. Press the button to unmute your mic.

  2. “Test my mic.” Often times the cause of an Xbox One mic not working properly can be the result of physical damage to the microphone or wiring. Try testing the mic with your laptop or smartphone by using an app such as Skype or Telegram. If it works properly, then the issue is likely connected to your Xbox One console or the game. If you're headphones are broken, there are several ways to fix them.

  3. Check Xbox Live’s status. Voice chat for a lot of video games is powered by Microsoft’s Xbox Live online service. Sometimes part of this service can go down which can completely disable voice chat. A detailed status of Xbox Live can be viewed at any time on the Xbox website.

  4. Reconnect your Xbox mic. Sometimes simply disconnecting your mic, or its associated headset, and reconnecting it can fix any audio or mic problems you’re experiencing.

    Xbox One consoles don’t support USB headsets so if you’re connecting your headset and its mic to the Xbox via this method, it simply won’t work at all. 

  5. Connect your controller to your profile. If you change controllers a lot of the time, the console may be looking for audio input from another controller. To fix this, press the circular Xbox button on your controller and then, on your Xbox One, click on Home, your Gamerpic, highlight your profile, and then select Choose this person.

  6. Have your teammates muted you? Voice chatting with strangers in Xbox video games such as Fortnite can be exhausting and it’s common for a lot of players to mute audio from others completely. Your friends may need to turn audio back on in-game to hear you.

  7. Check your Xbox Kinect. If your Kinect’s Xbox logo light is off, this means that the sensor is no longer detecting your audio. A common cause of this problem is a lack of power which can be fixed by plugging your Xbox One console directly into a power socket, without the use of a surge protector or adapter.

    Xbox One consoles actually have built-in surge protection so they don’t need any additional accessories. In fact, using an additional surge protector with an Xbox One can prevent the console from working properly.

  8. Do an Xbox One power cycle. Press the power button on the front of your Xbox One console for around 10 seconds until the system powers down. Wait 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.

  9. Turn your TV volume down. If you’re hearing an echo, it’s likely the result of your mic picking up the audio from your TV and playing it back to you. Similarly, the people you’re chatting with may have their TV volume set too high.

  10. Check your internet speed. A slow internet connection is a common cause of delayed and distorted audio. If your internet is slow and you can’t speed it up, try using the Xbox app on your smartphone to chat with your friends. This way the online multiplayer gets full access to your Wi-Fi and your Xbox voice chat can use your cellular plan. You can even use the Xbox app to voice chat with your Apple AirPods on Xbox One.

    Don’t forget to turn off your Wi-Fi on your phone or tablet.

  11. Increase audio. On your Xbox One console, go to Settings > Kinect & devices > Devices & accessories and manually increase or decrease your controller’s audio volume.

  12. Update your Xbox controller. Unknown to many, the Xbox One’s controllers actually use software that requires the occasional update. This needs to be done manually by connecting the controller to your Xbox One console and going to Settings > Kinect & devices > Devices & accessories and then clicking on the ellipsis. If the latest software is installed, you should see No update available. If you need to install an update, you will be prompted to do so.

  13. Check your privacy settings. If your Xbox mic isn’t working and you’re unable to communicate with others online, voice chat may have been disabled. You can turn it back on by going to Settings > Account > Privacy & online safety > View details & customize > Communicate with voice and text.

  14. Ask your parents. If your Xbox Live account is being managed by a parent or guardian, they may have disabled your ability to chat with other players online via the Xbox parental controls.