What Is Mic Monitoring And How To Use It?

by Emma Williams | Published On

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what is Mic Monitoring

Are you someone who constantly keeps asking about ‘Am I audible’ in a conference even with a stable internet connection? Going through this tiresome routine of asking for feedback can become problematic. With the mic monitoring feature, you’ll not need to depend on anyone to establish clear communication.

Moreover, not knowing how much of your voice is being heard and how it’s heard may keep you in doubt and concerned. To help with this problem, this article will explain how and why you can use mic monitoring on various devices.

Mic Monitoring- Definition and Working

Mic monitoring or microphone monitoring is a function that allows the device to make the user’s voice audible to them while they speak through the microphone. Mic monitoring allows the real-time monitoring of your voice as you talk and lets you modulate it even if you’re wearing headphones.

By monitoring one’s voice, one can better control it and troubleshoot any existing problems to deliver clear audio to the audience in a virtual setting. Furthermore, with mic monitoring settings ‘on,’ the user will not have to adjust the headphones often.

The Mic monitoring function works by picking the audio of the user’s voice from the microphone and playing it into the headphones or speakers for the user to hear. You can use this feature on devices such as computers, Xbox, PlayStation, etc.

Mic Monitoring In Different Settings

With mic monitoring, you can watch out for audio distortion that can help you make modifications. This technique cross-checks your voice in real time by enabling you to gain proper control over audio quality

For gaming, the players converse and often shout at each other. Especially in a multiplayer mode of online gaming sessions, gamers tend to express their emotions with raised voices. Even if you are using one of the best gaming headphones, you need to make sure that the mic monitoring is enabled as this feature prevents gamers from raising their voices beyond a level, making it a fuzzy experience.

When you hear your voice, you can know whether your voice’s volume is at the right level or not. As a result, you don’t need to lose your game over ineffective communication with the team players or opponents.

Mic monitoring features can instantly determine the microphone’s sensitivity and tune it accordingly. In addition to that, mic monitoring helps them to get a clean and un-spoiled recording.

They can instantly determine whether or not their recording is absorbing the background noises. Thus, the recording sessions can be conducted smoothly, without recording it multiple times and lessening the burden of post-recording edits.

Mic monitoring drives you to hear your voice when you sing or speak in a loud or noisy environment. This improves overall audio quality by giving you a free hand in communicating better with your team and monitoring audio aspects like signal recording and interference, device speed, etc.

How To Use Mic Monitoring On Different Devices?

To enable mic monitoring for PC users, the first thing to check is the type of window running on. Most windows come with pre-installed mic monitoring settings, so you won’t need to do any additional installations or use any third-party programs. If you’re running window 10 or 11 on your PC follow the below steps:

  1. On the desktop screen, go to the taskbar. Right-click on the sound icon present all the way to the right of the taskbar.
  2. Open ‘sound’ for window 10. For Windows 11 users, they need to click on ‘sound settings’, then select ‘advanced’ and ‘more sound settings’. Here you can note that in both window cases, a new and similar pop-up window will appear.
  3. Click on the ‘recording’ tab option and select the device or microphone you’re using. This is typically the default device on your PC.
  4. Select the ‘properties’ in the bottom right corner of the pop-up window.
  5. Click the ‘listen’ tab where you can enable hearing yourself. Check the option ‘listen to this device’. Press ‘Apply’ and finally ‘ok’ to save the settings.

Mac manufacturers don’t provide a built-in option to activate the mic monitoring settings, or for that matter, any microphone modulation settings. However, it is still possible to bring on this function- for which you need to install and run some certain third-party applications. The most popular and convenient method available is running the ‘QuickTime’ program. For this, you need to:

  1. Open QuickTime player.
  2. On the bar, go to the ‘file’ menu and click on ‘new audio recording’.
  3. Fine-tune the volume slider towards the highest setting.

Users with gaming consoles such as Xbox must have their mic monitoring enabled to resolve audio issues. Using the mic monitoring feature in Xbox is very easy as no additional setup or programs are required. However, unlike the PCs, the Xbox lacks inbuilt mic monitoring settings. 

Therefore, you will first need a headphone that supports the mic monitoring feature. That being said, not all headphones on the market have mic monitoring capability. In addition to that, not all headset manufacturers list this feature and people may end up buying headsets lacking this feature. Thus, be careful, check all the headphone specifications thoroughly, and make sure to buy which supports this feature within. After covering the first step of headphone purchase, you can follow the below steps to set the mic monitoring.

  1. Connect mic-monitoring-enabled headphones to your Xbox controller jack.
  2. On the controller’s home screen, press the Xbox button. This will open up a menu.
  3. On the menu, select the audio or speaker icon to enter audio and music settings where you can find the ‘mic monitoring’ function as the 3rd option.
  4. If the slider is on the extreme left, it indicates that the setting is off. To turn it on, just move and drag the slider toward the right side.

The PlayStation refers to mic monitoring as ‘side tone’. Llook for locating the side tone option. Here are the steps that you need to take to activate side tone on different PlayStations.

To enable mic monitoring on PS4 while playing, you’ll need headphones that are compatible with the microphone monitoring feature.

  1. Plug headphones on the PS4 and locate the settings.
  2. After opening settings, go to the ‘devices’ tab.
  3. Choose ‘audio devices’.
  4. Next you’ll be able to see the option ‘sidetone volume’. You can increase the volume level to the extreme right to find out the appropriate volume required and turn on it to full capacity.

For PS5, follow these steps-

  1. Plug your headphones into the PS5.
  2. On the home screen, open the ‘settings’ icon present at the top right corner. The setting menu will appear.
  3. Click ‘sound’ > ‘audio output’ > ‘sidetone volume’.
  4. Drag and adjust the sidetone volume to your desired volume level.

Disadvantages Of Mic Monitoring

While mic monitoring is useful to many users, it also comes with its own drawbacks. Some of them are:

  1. Mic monitoring causes an echo that happens when a listener hears several sound waves reflecting back through the surface. This reverberation occurs when the voice is picked up by both the microphone and the headphone/speaker. Echo can be really annoying and distracting- especially to hear your own voice back repeatedly.
  2. At times, hearing your own voice back through the headphones can prevent you from hearing others as well, thus struggling with your focus to think and speak.
  3. Getting used to one’s own voice and simultaneously modulating it in real-time can be difficult for new users.

Wrap Up

If your device or headphones are compatible with mic monitoring, it is the quickest and easiest method to ensure clear communication. In addition, you can also adjust or completely turn off the volume of the mic monitoring function as and when required.

Some headphones also have advanced mic monitoring features which can be pretty helpful in picking up ambient noises if they want to know and eliminate the noises in their surroundings. Overall, mic monitoring is helpful for anyone to ensure that their audio is balanced at an appropriate volume.

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