How to Use Laptop Microphone with Headphones (Explained)

how to use laptop microphone with headphones

Headsets are becoming popular especially those with a in-built microphone. However, despite having the best headphone, you can fail to get a good microphone input if the setup is not properly done. Imagine you are in the middle of an online class or important call using your new headphone, and then each time you try to speak, no one can hear you. The interruption in communication is not amusing, especially when giving instructions.

If you keep on plugging in your headphone and it does not play, it could be because it is not set as the default device, the volume is low, or it has an improper configuration. If this is the case, I would advise you to follow the steps highlighted below and see if they will be helpful.

Steps on how to use headphones with an in-built microphone in your pc

Set your headphones as the default device

  • To set your headphone as the default device, follow the steps highlighted below.
  • Make sure your headphone is properly connected.
  • On your screen’s bottom right corner, click the sound icon. It will open sound setting
  • On your right, you will see the sound control panel. Right-click on it.
  • Enter the headphone as your default input device

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Check if the microphone is disabled.

If you are unable to fix the problem, try checking if your internal microphone is disabled at the sound setting. There are two ways to solve this.

Method 1: using device properties

This is possible once your headphone is the default device. At the taskbar, search and click on the system settings. Select sound and enter the input section. Right-click the device properties option then check if the microphone is enabled. If so, turn it off and this will give access to other apps to use the headphone’s microphone.

Method 2: using the option of ‘manage sound devices’

This method applies if you want to enable or disable one or various microphones. Go to settings and select systems. Right-click on sound then select input. Click on manage sound device and under this select the microphone. Ensure you disable the other microphones and enable your headphone’s microphone.

Adjust the headset microphone volume

You may realize the headphones are set but you are still not audible. You can proceed to manually fine-tune the volume of your mic by following these steps; click system on your setting tab, then select the sound, and right-click on the sound control panel. Select the recording tab then open the microphone properties. Click on the levels tab and drag to the right the microphone boost slider. This will make the sound louder; however, don’t raise it too high to prevent the production of distorted sound.

Test your headphone microphone for any faults

The headphone at times may fail to work due to factors like connectivity or hardware issues and problems with compatibility. Testing will aid to identify the specific fault. Here are two applicable methods to test your headphone microphone.

  • Windows microphone setting will help you check if it is configured appropriately. Go to the system setting and select sound. Under input, choose your input device and then click on your preferred recording device. Begin to speak while you check if the soundbar moves. If it moves, then your microphone is good to go. However, if the soundbar is still, click on troubleshoot to fix the problem.
  • Sound recording test; this will measure if your microphone produces a clear and amplified sound. You can adjust by; opening the voice recorder app and speaking for a few seconds. Replay the recording clip as you keenly listen. If the clip is not clear, the problem is likely to be the app. if there is some interference; most probably the issue is the hardware.

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How to enable a built-in microphone with headset connection for a combo jack

Sometimes your headphone’s microphone may be broken or faulty due to a loose wire, this ends up hindering your communication since there will be terrible sound interference. It is possible to use your internal laptop microphone instead of the faulty headphone microphone while it is still plugged in. However, the problem arises when each time you plug in the headphone; you notice your laptop’s mic is disabled.

Here are steps you can apply to fix this problem and enable your built-in mic to function normally with your headset plugged in.

Step 1: Check if your microphone is disabled

If you want to confirm whether your microphone is disabled or not, here are some moves for you to follow.

  • Locate the volume icon and right-click to see recording devices.
  • Click on recording devices then select show disconnected devices.
  • Right-click on the microphone and select properties. There you will check if the microphone is disabled or not.
  • If not enable it.
  • Check also if it is set as default

Step 2: set your microphone as the default device

  • On the control panel, click sound.
  • A new window will appear where you will select recording, then right-click on disabled devices.
  • Check whether the internal microphone is in the list of devices.
  • If so, highlight it and right-click the set as the default device.
  • Press enter to enable it

Related: How to get files off a broken laptop screen


Once you manage to use your headphones with a built-in microphone comfortably, then all your online meetings and calls will be smooth.


Tom is a network engineer and a tech consultant. He spends his time solving networking problems while keeping tabs with the latest in the technology field.

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