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

Get chatting with your friends again with these troubleshooting tips

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

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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's built-in microphone or a microphone within a headset or pair of earphones. An Xbox One mic not working properly is a common problem experienced by many players. 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's only be heard by select teammates. When playing an Xbox One video game that relies on voice commands, a 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 a malfunctioning mic.

Causes 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 tips for getting an Xbox One mic working again:

Is Your Xbox One Microphone Muted?

Most gaming headsets have a mute button somewhere on them. If the LED light on the mute button is activated, this means your audio is being muted. Press the button to unmute your mic.

Test the Mic on Other Devices

Oftentimes the cause of an Xbox One mic not working properly is 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, the issue is likely connected to your Xbox One console or the game. If your headphones are broken, there are several ways to fix them.

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. You can see a detailed status of Xbox Live at any time on the Xbox website.

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. 

Connect Your Controller to Your Profile

If you change controllers a lot, the console may be looking for audio input from another controller. To fix this, press the circular Xbox button on your controller and select Home > Your Gamerpic. Then highlight your profile and select Choose this person.

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.

Check Your Xbox Kinect

If your Kinect’s Xbox logo light is off, this means the sensor is no longer detecting your audio. Lack of power is a common cause of this problem, 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.

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 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.

Turn Your TV Volume Down

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

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. This method isn't recommended for people with data caps, though.

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

Increase Audio

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

Update Your Xbox Controller

The Xbox One’s controllers actually use software and require 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.

Check Your Privacy Settings

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

Ask Your Parents

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