How can I test my microphone to make sure it’s working properly?

That’s a great question, especially since we discussed using your microphone in Wednesday’s newsletter. So, if you want to test either a recently purchased external microphone or if you want to test one you already have (external or internal), this is the tip for you! It’s a good idea to test your microphone hardware every once in awhile just so you can be sure that everything is working properly. If you use your mic quite often, this is even more important for you.

Alright, let’s get started. For Windows XP, make sure your external microphone is plugged in and ready to go (if you have an internal one, you should be set to go) and click on Start, All Programs, Accessories, Entertainment, Volume Control. The Master Volume box will come up and you will want to go to the Options menu at the top and choose Properties.

Now, choose the radio button that says Recording and click OK. Another window will appear and you’ll just want to make sure the Microphone channel is selected. Go ahead and move the mic volume slider to around the middle section, just so it’s placed in that general area. Now, just leave that box open.

Next, we’re going to need to go into the Control Panel, so click on Start, Control Panel and click on the Sounds, Speech and Audio Devices link. Choose Sounds and Audio Devices and click on the Voice tab. Now, under the Voice recording area, click on the Test Hardware button and the testing will begin.

The Sound Hardware Test Wizard will come up. Just click on the Next button and wait for the wizard to complete the tests of the sound hardware. This could take a couple minutes or so. When that is done, the Microphone Test window will come up your screen. Now, go ahead and speak into your mic or you can just tap it lightly if you wish. The Recording Volume slider should move up and down in response to the sound you are making through your microphone. When you’re all done testing your mic, just click on Finish and the wizard will close.

Just in case this happens to you, while you’re using the wizard, an alert box may pop up telling you that the “Run a DLL as an App” program is blocked and it will ask you if you want to unblock it. You can if you want, but it is not necessary to unblock it for the mic test to function correctly.

You can follow similar instructions for older versions of Windows. The only difference may be that you’ll go to Start, Programs, Accessories, Entertainment and choose Sound Recorder instead of Volume Control. From there on out, the above directions are very similar and you will be fine if you just follow them.

~ Erin