Using computer Microphones

Troubleshooting Microphones in Windows Vista

Many owners of personal computers with the Windows Vista operating system are experiencing problems with traditional wired microphones. We provide some simple tips for maximizing your success with such systems.

Regrettably, Microsoft made some changes to the audio controls which negatively impact the ability of users to record or input sound with a microphone using the internal sound card. On the other hand, USB microphones and USB sound devices continue to work easily in Windows Vista.

The Fixes

1. If you have an external USB sound device such as those made by Andrea, Buddy, or VXI, go ahead and use this. These operate virtually identically in Vista and XP, although the sound device might show up in the Dragon Audio Set-up Wizard with a different name. These USB sound devices tend to provide predictable great performance with most wired microphones.

2. If you must use a wired microphone plugged into your pc, you should do the following:

  • Be sure you have updated drivers for your sound card. Check with your pc manufacturer about this. These drivers are generally available for on-line downloading (be aware that some suggest there are problems with Creative Labs drivers and generic Windows drivers may be preferable).
  • Be sure that you are configured to show your microphone and that it is enabled by following the steps below:
    1. Open control panel
    2. Open the Sound control panel
    3. Go to the Recording tab
    4. Right click anywhere in the blank white area of the window to display the show disabled devices context menu
    5. Click on "Show disabled devices" (See below)
    6. Once your microphone is visible, right click on it and be if not already ticked, click on "Enable" - this should get your microphone working. Vista Audio

Confirming Proper Functioning of your Microphone

Once you have completed the above steps you can test your microphone under the Vista operating system using the sound recorder. This involves the following steps (borrowed from Microsoft Help):


Make sure you have an audio input device, such as a microphone, connected to your computer.


Click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, and then click Sound Recorder.

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The FBI appears to have begun using a novel form

by Never-sucked

The FBI appears to have begun using a novel form of electronic surveillance in criminal investigations: remotely activating a mobile phone\\\'s microphone and using it to eavesdrop on nearby conversations.
The technique is called a \\\"roving bug,\\\" and was approved by top U.S. Department of Justice officials for use against members of a New York organized crime family who were wary of conventional surveillance techniques such as tailing a suspect or wiretapping himthe eavesdropping technique \\\"functioned whether the phone was powered on or off.\\\" Some handsets can\\\'t be fully powered down without removing the battery; for instance, some Nokia models will wake up when turned off if an alarm is set

Popular Q&A

Do USB Microphones Work The Same As Wired Microphones?

Today I want to buy a microphone or a microphone headset but I do not know if a USB headset/microphone as a wired microphone/headset by the way as "Wired" I mean get plugged in to the place on your computer with the mini microphone picture. Please tell me if the same or not. Thank you.

It works the same, you only have to read description. most of time You need to install the software( takes a few minutes) then plug in, and you computer auto-detecs the microphone or headset.

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