what is mic monitoring

What Is Mic Monitoring: Complete Information [2021]

This guide will explore all the relevant details on what mic monitoring is for gamers and non-gamers.

To give a brief preview, this is a universal tool that can amazingly impact your communication with your teammates during intense moments of a multiplayer game like Fortnite.

It also acts as a game-changer in vital conference calls with your super-important clients.

So, without further ado, let’s get started:

What Is Mic Monitoring (Meaning And A Quick Overview)

Let’s get into the details

Now, you may already know that a wireless headset usually has a microphone attached to them. This helps gamers talk with their teammates while playing the game to exchange vital information leading to their victory or defeat.

Microphone monitoring is that feature that lets the speaker talking into the microphone hear themselves through their wireless gaming headset. It transmits sound using the USB port into your headphones on any audio interface like your computer.

Most modern headphones are blessed with this feature.

Undoubtedly this feature helps gamers dealing with chaotic voice channels amidst game sounds.

Again, it improves the sound quality for people dealing with frequent conference calls at their work.

Its use even extends to your personal meetings with your family and friends. Let’s discuss its key advantages to give you a clearer picture:

Benefits Of Microphone Monitoring (Advantages Explained!)

Why it’s a big deal?

It is so surprising that very few people utilize this amazing feature. When applied correctly, both gamers and non-gamers can have an enjoyable experience in games and work as they get the superpower of clear communication.

Before we get into the details on how to enable it on different platforms, let’s find out the key benefits of applying it in the first place:

#1: Corrects Audio Troubleshooting In Real-Time

At the heat of a multi-player game, one single move can determine your virtual life and death. In such a tense situation, you will obviously not care about whether your teammates heard your command or not.

But if your audio is unclear, they will misunderstand your next move, and your full gameplay will be shattered into pieces.

Same with your client meeting. If you constantly ask him whether your sound is clear or not:

Your negotiation and promotion will always be left unclear.

And here is where mic monitoring comes to your rescue. As you can hear your own voice through your headset, you can easily tell if your sound quality is good or excessive noise around you.

Not only that, if your voice gets unclear during the game or meeting, you now will have the power of volume control in real-time without the need for anyone else to prompt you.

This can literally skyrocket your gaming experience and work performance!

#2: No Need To Raise Voices Again!

I really feel amazing when I have to raise my voice frequently so that my teammates can hear me through.

Shouting in front of your laptop in a closed room really makes me feel enchanted!

You don’t have to worry…I am fully fit and fine! The truth is that raising voices is a highly uncomfortable experience 🙁

If you can constantly monitor and oversee your voice during the game or meeting, you can easily determine whether you are loud enough.

And then, there can be an opposite situation when you are speaking too loud, hurting the ears of your teammates.

Here are some real-life examples:

First-Person Shooter (FPS) games usually come with a ton of background noise. This drowns your team’s voice channel, and you naturally tend to compensate for it by raising your voice.


Again loud game music during gaming sessions also tempts us to raise our voice subconsciously.


Microphone monitoring confirms whether you are speaking excessively loud or if it’s just fine. Thus, your future conversations will be sweet and smooth.

#3: Improve Team Communication

Let’s admit this:

No one likes a person in the meeting with bad audio. It ruins your impression and inherently shows that you are not serious enough.

This means that all your effort to make a hyper-engaging personalized pitch to your client will go to waste.

During games, constant shouting can cause stress and is not fun. Not to mention the internal conflicts after your team loses because of your bad audio.

As mic monitoring allows you to judge your overall sound quality, you are in control of what’s getting transmitted to the other end. This is no less than a superpower in games or meetings.

And you can get this superpower in a set of easy-to-follow simple steps. Let’s head over to them without further delay:

How To Enable Mic Monitoring Across Various Platforms (Step-By-Step)?

As easy as it gets

You have cleared your basics and understood why having this feature is no less than a superpower.

Now, let’s implement this superpower for some amazing gaming experience!

But first up: Microphone Monitoring is available on various platforms, and for each platform, you will have to enable this feature differently.

We have covered all the popular platforms which support this monitoring feature. Just follow this tutorial to end all your audio woes:

For platforms like PS4 and Xbox, you will need a dedicated gaming headset with a mic monitoring feature. So if you are using this platform, make sure your headset has this feature built-in.

On Mac

Mic Monitoring is not the default setting in Mac. But this does not mean that you can’t control your chat volume here.

In fact:

Just by installing some specific apps or programs, you can easily use the monitoring feature.

For this tutorial, we will be focusing on QuickTime which is the easiest way to monitor your gaming sounds. Other options worth trying are AudioMonitor and GarageBand.

Ok, so all things being clear, here are the steps to follow:

Easy, isn’t it?
  • Head over to the QuickTime Player bar, and click on File > New Audio Recording
  • You will see a volume slider on the screen. Slide it all the way up.

Yes, the steps are that easy. And there is no need to click the Record button to monitor sound quality.

(Check out this video tutorial for more details)

If you exit QuickTime or slide down the mic volume bar, you will be able to disable the Mic Monitoring feature on your Mac device.

On PC

When it comes to online gaming, PC is the most popular platform. So, whether you are playing modern marvels like Valorant or a fan of classics like World of Warcraft, you will surely benefit from Mic Monitoring for clear audio.

Here are the steps you need to follow:

Steps on PC
  • On your PC control panel (You can find it by typing “Control Panel” on the search bar on the left), right-click on the Sound icon and select Sounds.
  • A dialog box will appear with 4 different tabs. Click on the Recording tab and then look for the device you are using. Once you find it, right-click on it and select Properties.
  • A new dialog box will appear with 4 distinct tabs again. Click on Listen tab and tick the box that says Listen to this device.

Easy, isn’t it?

To disable the mic monitoring settings, follow the same 3 steps as I detailed above. But instead of ticking the box, uncheck the box that says Listen to this device.

On PS4

I have said this earlier. You can enable this Monitoring feature on gaming consoles like PS4 only if you have a compatible headset with a mic monitoring feature built-in.

This is because gaming consoles cannot send or redirect your own audio signals to your speakers on their own, like laptops or desktops. It needs help from another system.

PS4 calls this Monitoring feature “Sidetone,” which you can activate through some changes in its settings.

Here is what you need to do:

Mic Monitoring on PS4
  • Plug into your compatible headphone and head over to Settings > Devices > Audio Devices
  • Inside Audio Devices, navigate down the options to select Sidetone Volume.
  • Turn up the volume level to enable the feature.

You can go to Settings > Devices > Audio Devices and turn off the Sidetone feature if you want to use your headphones without monitoring your sound quality. Otherwise, plugging out your headphones will turn off the feature automatically.

(Want to see how this is done live? Check out this video guide!)

On Xbox

Just like PS4, Xbox also needs special headphones with a built-in Microphone Monitoring feature.

I have already detailed the reason before. So, let’s dive into the step-by-step process:

Steps on Xbox
  • Plugin your compatible headset on your Xbox Controller.
  • Click on the Xbox button and navigate to the System tab (having a gear icon) on the right. Then, choose Audio.
  • The Mic Monitoring slider will appear on the screen. Adjust as per your preference and enable our special feature.

Here is the fun fact:

You will need to take these steps (though so simple) very rarely. Most often, plugging your headphones will automatically activate the feature.

If you lower the slider, you can use your headphones without the Monitoring feature. Alternatively, you can remove your headphones to disable the option.

(Looking for a Youtube Guide? Check out the link right now!)

What To Do When Your Headset Doesn’t Have Mic Monitoring Built-In?

Be Cool And Find Our Solution

Gaming consoles need a separate system to redirect or send audio signals to your speakers. So, if you don’t have a mic monitoring headset, you will have to:

Start practicing to shout louder in front of your mic with all your might!

Just kidding. The real answer is AMPs.

Amp stands for amplifiers. They increase the volume range of your headset by amplifying low voltage audio signals to high voltage ones and help make a decent connection with your console.

The result?

You get just that accurate sound quality you have always wanted.

There are plenty of choices for AMP in the market. Here is my favorite:

Astro Gaming MixAmp

This AMP is suitable for PC, Mac, and Xbox One platforms, making it a go-to choice for gamers, busy professionals, and content creators.

It lets you adjust volume settings for different platforms and also features Dolby Digital Surround Sound.

I like its four different EQ modes, which you can customize as per your need. Plus, you get dedicated mixers for sound balance between chat volume and in-game audio.

FYI: Although this AMP comes from the Astro brand, it will work fine and awesome even for headphones from different brands. So, my favorite is 100% foolproof!

Who Should Use Microphone Monitoring (Apart From Gamers)?

Hint: Real-Life Champions

You have known already that mic monitoring is a matter of survival for gamers (especially team gamers). So, if you are trying to go pro or play games out of passion, make sure you have the superpower through the simple steps we detailed above for multiple platforms.

But this superpower is not limited to gamers alone.

Smooth communication can help you win the game of life too. Here are some of the fields where you can utilize it:

Office-Goers For Conference Calls

Imagine this:

You are holding a super-important conference call with a big-ticket client which can make or break your next promotion.

He is one of the regular clients of your business and is eagerly waiting to hear the vivid details of your company’s new product.

But all he hears is this amazing line in an oddly loud tone:

Can you hear me, sir? Am I audible? Can I…

No, you cannot start like this. At least, if you want to have a killer first impression.

Monitoring your mic audio will help you practice beforehand so that on a fateful day, you can detect errors and make adjustments accurately.

And this will make your client and boss very happy!

Take Conference Calls Like A Pro

The biggest advantage of this feature is that you don’t have to depend on someone else’s confirmation to find if your sound quality is good or not.

It sounds like a tiny thing, but believe me, such minute changes can add up to a persuasive pitch skyrocketing your chances of success.

There is one more benefit:

You can detect your mistakes as you speak in real-time. For example: If you call your boss by his first name behind his back, you will likely repeat that while speaking for an official meeting.

But by hearing your own voice, you can correct yourself and call him by his family name.

That’s a lot of improvement, right? Well, there is something more:

Skype Callers

You know that playing games are cool. But there is something more amazing:

Becoming a great speaker at important functions or social gatherings.

Just think about it:

You delivered a powerful speech at your office function, and your words got imprinted in everyone’s minds.

Sounds really great, isn’t it?

But to achieve that feat, you need to practice. And by using this monitoring feature, you can listen to your voice, understand where your presentation lost its flow, and make amends easily.

Knowing how well you sound as you speak can be that turning point you were looking for to ace online conferences!

What Are The Disadvantages Of Microphone Monitoring?

I have nothing to hide.

Enough of good things about this monitoring feature.

How can this be that one feature has only good points and no drawbacks?

There must be something that this pesky author is hiding from us. Let’s head over to some other blog.

Before these thoughts even come into your mind, let me discuss some of this feature’s legit drawbacks:

#1: You Will Take Time To Master Mic Monitoring

As a beginner, using this feature to play your favorite team games can be overwhelming.

You will have to monitor both visual cues and your mic audio at the same time.

Same for the conference and skype calls. You may not always like to hear everything you say.

But going through these initial woes is worth it. In the long run, your gaming mates will know you as the master communicator!

And your boss will always trust you with important client meetings.

So, give yourself time to get used to this feature. Practice till you get the “clear” gaming sessions you always wanted!

#2: You May Hear Your Voice Echo

This monitoring feature might cause your voice to echo if the microphone volume is set too loud.

Aha! There I got hold of this pesky author! I told you earlier that something should be wrong with this feature!

(My dad would have definitely said this!)

Jokes aside, this echo problem is not a deal-breaker. All you have to do is lower your headset volume. Also, some headphones have a specially designed mic with a sound baffle built-in!

Try looking for these features in your next purchase and say goodbye to all these echo issues!

Conclusion

It’s now your turn

There you have it. All the details on mic monitoring, along with the step-by-step tutorial on how to activate it in the platform you use.

I found those steps damn easy to follow.

And I discussed the disadvantages of this feature too. So, at least my dad will have nothing to complain about!

For this guide, at least!

But do you have something to complain about? Any point I missed?

Or did you find this feature useful? Whatever be your feedback is, share it in the comments right now.

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