How to Test a Headset Mic

By Richard Kalinowski

Headsets are convenient for online gaming and hands-free voice chat on a computer. However, when these devices don't work, they become an annoyance. It's frustrating to learn you've been talking into a headset for several minutes and nobody has heard you. To avoid this situation, you can test a headset mic before making a call or logging onto a game chat channel. Many standard headsets can plug directly into a computer for easy testing.

Step 1

Plug the headset into the computer's 1/8-inch headset jack. This is found on the back of most desktop computers and on the front or side of many laptop computers. The headset jack often is adjacent to the microphone jack.

Step 2

Click on the "Start" menu.

Step 3

Click "Control Panel." The Control Panel will open in a new window.

Step 4

Click on "Hardware and Sound."

Step 5

Click "Manage Audio Devices" under the "Sound" heading. A new window will open.

Step 6

Click on the "Recording" tab at the top of the window.

Step 7

Scroll through the list of "Recording" items to locate the headset.

Step 8

Examine the headset icon. If it says "Working" underneath it, or if a large green check mark is visible, the microphone is functional. If the headset mic isn't working, it may be turned off in favor of a different mic on the computer. According to Microsoft, you can click "Set As Default" next to the headset mic icon to change its status to "Working."

Step 9

Click on "Properties."

Step 10

Click on the "Listen" tab at the top of the Properties window.

Step 11

Click on the check box labeled "Listen to Device." This will allow you to speak into the microphone and hear your own voice coming out of the headset's earpiece.

Step 12

Test the microphone by speaking directly into the mic. If you do not hear your voice on the headset or on the computer's speakers, click on the "Levels" tab to adjust the microphone volume.