In summary, mic monitoring is an easy to set up feature that can greatly enhance your voice or video chat interactions with other people whenever you’re playing online multiplayer games, helming a virtual meeting, or catching up with loved ones online. It’s not just limited to laptops and PCs, either, as many of the more modern video game consoles also support mic monitoring.
Now let’s delve deeper into what mic monitoring is, its benefits, and how we can enable it across different devices.
What Does Mic Monitoring Do?
Communication is a vital aspect of our everyday lives, and it plays a key role in the majority of what we do, whether it’s gaming, work, or interacting with friends and family.
One of the things that can cause a major breakdown in virtual communication is microphone trouble, and most of the time, you won’t be aware that you’re having issues until someone lets you know. A great way to solve this and vastly improve your interactions with others is through something known as mic monitoring.
To put things simply, mic monitoring lets you hear your microphone input by channeling it directly through your headset or speaker. That way, you can listen to exactly how your voice sounds and what you’re saying when talking to other people using your mic. As a result, you can immediately find out if your mic is malfunctioning or if something you said didn’t come across clearly.
What Are The Benefits Of Mic Monitoring?
Mic monitoring can be hugely beneficial in a lot of our activities. For example, gamers who have a penchant for online multiplayer titles cannot overstate how important voice chat is during team-based gaming sessions. After all, nothing breaks up team play quite like a person whose microphone is garbled or cuts in and out frequently.
The same goes for work. You might be going through a Powerpoint presentation with your team, completely unaware that the volume of your mic is too low, and some of your colleagues are struggling to hear what you’re saying.
With mic monitoring, you can hear these issues on your end as well, prompting you to fix them without waiting for someone to complain about your audio input device. Even if you’re not encountering any mic issues, you can hear what you sound like to other people, allowing you to modulate your voice if it’s too soft or you find yourself mumbling.
How to Switch On Mic Monitoring
A lot of devices nowadays support mic monitoring, and there are simple steps you need to follow to get it up and running. Here’s what you have to do:
- Ensure that an audio output device like a speaker or a pair of headphones is connected to your machine, along with a microphone.
- Open up your PC’s Control Panel, navigate to Hardware and Sound, and select Sound.
- Switch over to the Recording tab, right-click the microphone you’re using, and select Properties.
- Navigate to the Listen tab and ensure that the Listen to this device checkbox is ticked.
- Click Apply to save all settings.
Note: This method works for both Windows 10 and 11 operating systems.
Playstation 4 / 5:
Both the Playstation 4 and 5 support a mic monitoring feature, though Sony opted to call it Sidetone instead. It’s usually enabled automatically whenever you connect a compatible headset to your controller, but you could switch it on manually in case it doesn’t activate for whatever reason.
- Make sure your headset is connected and go to Settings from the home screen.
- For the PS4, head to Devices and then Audio Devices. If you own a PS5, navigate to Sound, followed by Audio Output.
- Locate the Sidetone Volume option and select a volume level to enable it.
Similar to the modern Playstation devices, Xbox consoles automatically enable mic monitoring whenever a compatible peripheral is plugged into the controller, but there is also a way to turn it on from the console itself.
- Attach your headset to your Xbox controller.
- Tap the Xbox button on the controller from the home screen and head to System.
- Select the Audio option, and you should see a bunch of sliders to manipulate.
- Adjust the last slider, which is labeled Mic Monitoring, to switch on the feature.
Unfortunately for Mac folks, Mac-based machines don’t come with a built-in mic monitoring feature as Windows PCs do, so you’ll need to enlist the help of third-party programs to help you out instead. The most popular software that can help in this area is QuickTime, though you can also try GarageBand.
As previously stated, consoles need a compatible audio playback device for you to enable mic monitoring, so not any old headset will do. If your headset just doesn’t cut it, you can still make it work by investing in an amp that supports the feature.
Mic monitoring is a fantastic and delightfully simple way to elevate your voice or video chat experience without costing you a thing, as long as you have supported audio peripherals. By hearing your voice, you can eliminate miscommunications due to volume and tone, and you’ll be able to instantly tell if there’s something wrong with your microphone or the way you’re talking into it.