Help Windows Desktop

Solving your microphone issues (Windows desktop)

If your friend can’t hear your voice at all, or can’t hear you very well, there might be something wrong with your microphone or your audio settings. 

If your friend can’t hear anything at all from your side, the problem is either with your microphone or with their playback device (speakers or headphones).

  1. Check your microphone.
    If you’re using your computer’s built-in microphone, make sure that the mute button isn’t pressed and that you’re not muted in Skype.

    If you’re using an external microphone, check that it’s plugged in – or if it’s a wireless mic, check that the batteries are charged. If Skype can’t detect a microphone signal, you’ll see a message to let you know.

    Adjusting your microphone within Skype will adjust the system's microphone level. 

  2. Make a test call.
    Skype’s free test call is the easiest way to see if there’s an issue with your mic – it prompts you to record a message, and then plays it back for you to hear. Type echo123 into the search field in Skype to get started, then call and follow the instructions. We have a handy guide to explain how to make a test call.

    If you can hear your recorded message played back, then your microphone is working fine. The problem might be with your friend’s connection or playback device. Ask them to check out our guide to solving speaker or headset issues.

    If you can’t hear your recorded message, continue through these steps to check your microphone settings in Skype.

  3. Check your Skype settings.
    Watch this short video for the lowdown on checking your audio and video settings, or follow the steps below.


    In Skype, click Tools > Options, and then on the left click Audio settings.

    In the Microphone drop-down, select the mic you want to use. If you only have your computer’s built-in mic, you’ll only see one option.

    Make a noise. If the microphone can hear you, the green on the Volume bar will move up and down. If you have more than one mic and you’re not sure which name relates to which mic, talk into each microphone in turn and check the volume bar for movement.

  4. Check your Windows settings.
    If the above steps haven’t helped, you might have a problem with your Windows audio settings. Microsoft has a tool for Windows 8.1 and below to automatically diagnose and fix audio problems.

If the audio quality is poor – meaning that your friend can hear you but your voice echoes, sounds muffled, or drops in and out – the following tips can help.

  1. Use the latest version of Skype.
    We’re always improving call quality, so for best performance, make sure that you and the person you’re calling are using the latest version of Skype. Download the latest version.
  2. Check your connection.
    If there are gaps or delays in the audio or if one of you starts sounding like a robot, it might be your internet connection (or your friend’s) causing the problem. Check out our guide to solving connection issues.
  3. Check your Skype settings.
    Click Tools > Options, and then on the left click Audio settings. Make sure Automatically adjust microphone settings is checked – this lets Skype choose the optimal setting.
  4. Improve the speech to noise ratio.
    The best way to improve audio quality is by increasing the contrast between the sound of your voice and all other sounds around you. There are lots of ways to do this:

    • Move closer to the microphone. Being too far away from your microphone makes it hard for the mic to pick up your voice clearly. If you’re using the built-in mic on your computer, make sure you know where it is and check there’s nothing blocking it.

    • Reduce background noise. Quiet spaces are best for audio quality because there is less noise for your voice to compete with. Built-in microphones tend to pick up sound from all around. 

    • Reduce the volume of the playback. If your speakers are too loud, or too close to your microphone, it can cause interference or echo. Turn down the volume on your speakers and if possible, move them further away from the microphone.

    • Use a headset. Almost all of the issues above can be improved or solved by using a USB headset on both ends of the call. If you’re already using a headset and you’re having problems with audio, try plugging it into a different USB port. If you don't yet have a headset or continue experiencing problems with yours, you might want to review our list of the best usb headsets according to Skype users

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