Whether you’re dictating with speech recognition or talking to a family member or gaming buddy over voice chat, speaking can be faster and clearer than typing. Luckily, setting up a microphone on Windows is simple and easy to do. Here’s how to set up and test your Microphone on Windows 10.

Setting Up a Microphone

One of the first things you’ll need to do before setting up your microphone is to plug it in–or connect it via Bluetooth– and install any drivers. Most of the time Windows will automatically search for and install the necessary drivers, but if that doesn’t work, then you might need to check the manufacturer’s website for specific drivers.

RELATED: The Best USB Microphones

After you’ve installed all the necessary drivers, right-click the volume icon in your system tray and then click the “Sounds” command.

In the Sound window, switch to the “Recording” tab to see microphone settings. Select the microphone you want to use and then click the “Configure” button.

In the Speech Recognition window that opens, click the “Set Up Microphone” link. And while this tool is geared toward speech recognition, setting up your microphone here can also help configure it better for voice chats.

Once the setup wizard opens, choose the type of microphone you have and then click “Next.”

The next screen provides tips for using your microphone that match up with the microphone type you chose on the previous screen.

Next, the wizard provides you with some text to read aloud. Co ahead and do that and then click “Next.”

That’s it, your microphone is now ready to use. Click “Finish” to close the wizard.

If your computer didn’t hear you, your microphone was muted, or you have more than one microphone installed that might be picking up your voice, you’ll see this message on the next screen. You may need to repeat the previous screen to set up your microphone.

RELATED: How to Get Started With Speech Recognition on Windows 7 or 8

Testing Your Microphone

Whether you configure your microphone using the wizard, we described in the previous section or now, you can perform a quick test anytime to make sure your microphone is hearing you.

Open up the Sounds window by right-clicking the sound icon in the taskbar and clicking the “Sounds” command.

Next, switch to the “Recording” tab to see a list of available devices.

Now, speak into your microphone and look for the green bars to move as you do. If the bars are rising with your voice, your device is working properly.

If you can see the green bar moving, but it’s barely going up at all, you might try to turn up the levels for your microphone. This works by increasing the sensitivity of the microphone, so it’s able to pick up more sounds. From the “Recording” tab, click the microphone, then on “Properties.”

Switch to the “Levels” tab and then adjust your microphone’s sensitivity so it can pick up your voice more easily.

If you’re still unable to see the bars rising, you may need to reinstall or update your drivers.

RELATED: The Only Safe Way to Update Your Hardware Drivers on Windows

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Brady Gavin has been immersed in technology for 15 years and has written over 150 detailed tutorials and explainers. He's covered everything from Windows 10 registry hacks to Chrome browser tips. Brady has a diploma in Computer Science from Camosun College in Victoria, BC.  
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