Why does My Mic Echo? General fix and for Windows 10/11

Microphones have gained a sweet spot in our daily lives. Whether a built-in microphone or an external one, it does justice in this digital era. 

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But what if you are in the middle of a webinar and suddenly start hearing an endless loop of echoes while sharing your thoughts? You would lose your course of thought and it might break your flow while the people on the other side wouldn’t understand what you are trying to say. 

Imagine how daunting it would be if your microphone keeps picking up ambient noise while you are recording your favorite song. Won’t you feel as if your ears are bleeding with the continuous echo? You might just want to mute all your audio devices or smash your keyboard. 

Source: Reddit

In this article, we will learn about the causes of an echoing mic and how we can fix them.

Top 5 causes of an echoing microphone and how to fix them

1. Mic in proximity to the speaker or an audio output (microphone proximity)

You may experience mic echoes when the distance between your microphone and speaker is very less. If you have placed the microphone in proximity to the speaker or when the volume of the speakers is too high, you will be caught in an indefinite loop of audio feedback. Audio feedback is a pattern where the audio input at the microphone gets amplified at the speaker and this amplified output is then fed back to the microphone and played by the speaker again resulting in an infinite loop.

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How is audio feedback different from an echo?

  • The proximity of an audio input and audio output results in audio feedback. The resulting sound is a high-pitched, howling sound, and sometimes causes a long beep which is very unpleasant.
  • In the microphone glossary, echo is referred to as a reflection of sound waves in a local room. Consider an example where people are sitting in a conference room where every individual has their microphones. When one person speaks into the microphone, this is amplified to the audience through the speakers. Their microphones will pick up this amplified audio and send it back to the speakers in the same room. Thus due to improper noise cancellation, there’s a repetition of sound.

2. How to eliminate audio feedback?

  1. To avoid audio feedback, keeping the microphone and speakers at a far distance will significantly reduce echo.
  2. Use a good quality headset to minimize the microphone echo as there are fewer chances that the microphone will pick up unwanted audio as the headphones directly inject audio in the ears.
  3. Turn down the speaker volume so that the microphone won’t pick up any audio signals.
  4. Position the microphone away from objects such as a wall that has a tendency to reflect sound waves.
  5. Install noise filters or digital feedback eliminators to avoid audio feedback issues.
  1. Sensitive microphones

Sensitive microphones are a plus to keep the volume levels constant while listening to music, but their sensitivity is also an issue since they pick up any amplified audio as input and cause an echo.

How to deal with the echo from sensitive microphones?

Sometimes, the reason behind the mysterious echoing of the microphone isn’t as easy as keeping the volume low. Sensitive microphones are more susceptible to echo. However, you can adjust the sensitivity of your microphone and suppress the noise on different platforms such as Android, iOS, Mac, or Windows.

  1. Installing noise suppression filters can rule out the possibility of unwanted audio including the ambient noise in the background.
  2. External mics can be fitted with foam covers, aka windscreens, to further improve filtration. Typically, external mics record better than internal mics. If possible, you should use a high-quality external mic.

3. Use of multiple microphones

Source: Kevin Ross

If you have left multiple recording devices connected to your system with the microphone on, then you will sound as if you are shouting down into an echo chamber where the voice keeps reverberating. You might have enabled one or more microphones while recording your podcast and forgot to disable it later or another possibility is that you left your Xbox controller with the mic enabled while playing your favorite game. In case if you are using an external webcam that has a built-in microphone, remember to disable it after use.

The simples solution to shoo away the mic echo is to disable the microphones which are not in use. But if you have to use multiple microphones in any case, then here’s what you can do to help you achieve a better audio quality:

  • Position the microphones away from each other or at some distance, but not too close. If they are positioned too close, there are high chances of echoes.

4. Bad weather conditions

Poor weather condition is also one of the contributing factors to the echoing of the mic. We cannot prevent the echo caused due to poor weather conditions like lightning and thunderstorm as they are not in our control. To ensure the safety of the electronic devices, it is best to disable them as the power surges during thunderstorms and there’s a possibility that your devices might get damaged.

5. Poor internet connectivity

Wondering why you and your team are hearing repetitive chains of sounds while you are in the middle of a voice or a video call, disrupting the flow of the call? Poor or an unstable network at your or your teammate’s end can also lead to mic echo problems. Data gets lost when the internet connectivity falls and results in a meaningful and incomplete sentence. You can deal with this when you are talking casually to a friend but what if this keeps happening during your professional calls? Check with your internet provider if you keep experiencing latency and if they can’t stay up to your expectations, probably it’s high time you switch.

When nothing seems to work, the next best thing you should probably try is restarting your digital microphone like the USB mics. In case you are using an analog microphone, unplug the cable and try replugging to make sure the cable connection isn’t loose.

Now you know the most common reasons for an echoing microphone. But what triggers an echo on the microphone when using Windows 10? Let’s head to the next section to know how to deal with this problem on Windows 10.

How to deal with microphone echoes on Windows 10?

If you are encountering microphone echoes on Windows 10, you are not alone. Use the following checklist to keep you on track to deal with microphone echo issues on Windows 10.

  1. Go to Speakers on the taskbar and right-click on it.
  2. Click on ‘Recording devices’. Or go to Control Panel > Sound

Source: VibhWicked

  1. Under the Recording tab, select ‘Microphone’.
  1. Right-click on Microphone and go to ‘Properties’.
  1. Under Microphone Properties, head to the ‘Listen’ tab and uncheck the option- Listen to this device.
  1. You will find the ‘Enhancements’ tab under Microphone properties and ensure you have selected the option to disable all sound effects.
  1. Go to ‘Levels’ just next to the ‘Listen’ tab and check the Microphone level, it should be set to 100.
  1. Head back and go to the ‘Playback’ section.
  2. Scroll down to find the Speakers option and right-click on it and go to Properties.
  1. Make sure you have disabled all sound effects under the ‘Enhancements’ option.
  1. Under Levels, the microphone level should be set to 100 as described in step 7.
  1. Lastly, verify the audio quality under the ‘Advanced’ tab.

Final Thoughts

We all have experienced mic echo problems at some point in time and undoubtedly, it gets on our nerves when it happens at the wrong times. But we hope finding the cause and solution is not difficult anymore with the tips we’ve shared with you. Hope this article has helped you and given you the confidence to become an IT pro and troubleshoot and shoo your mic echo problems away!

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