What is mic monitoring?

Audio-direct.com get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
Home / Microphones / What is mic monitoring?

While buying a new sound card or a special headset, you might read the word “mic monitoring” on it. So, what is mic monitoring?

And should you enable this feature?

Read on, if you want to know everything about mic monitoring, so you can decide if it’s a suitable feature for you.

What Is Mic Monitoring?

Mic monitoring is a special feature that allows you to hear your own voice via a headset. Mic monitoring isn’t a new feature at all.

In fact, it has been around for decades now. Yet, a lot of people still don’t know much about this immensely useful feature.

The feature is available in most wired and wireless headsets of all kinds. This includes PC headsets, Playstation 4 headsets, and Xbox One headsets.

What Are the Benefits of Mic Monitoring?

One of the reasons mic monitoring became highly popular in the last few years is that a lot of users discovered how beneficial this brilliant feature is while using our modern headsets.

Let’s have a brief overview of the feature’s advantages.

Excellent Way to Test the Quality of the Recorded Sound

Have you ever started recording something, only to realize that the microphone has been muffled all the time?

I know I did, and countless times! To fix this, you have to stop and make sure that your recorded samples are all working, which can take some time if you’re putting quality as a priority for you.

On the flip side, some recordings are jarred with intense background noise that you won’t notice until you play your recordings back.

However, this problem has become something of the past since I started using the mic monitoring feature.

Now, whenever I’m about to record an audio or a video, I can hear my own voice. So, I’m well aware of the quality of the sound throughout the recording.

Ideal for Troubleshooting Some Problems

If you’re using your microphone while calling, working, or gaming, it might stop working and you wouldn’t be able to tell.

This can happen due to a wide range of reasons, such as software problems with the sound card or hardware problems with the microphone itself.

While trying to fix the headset’s microphone, mic monitoring can help you find the faulty part. Once it starts working, you’ll be able to tell what went wrong.

This can save a lot of time where you plug the headset in and out trying to troubleshoot the system.

Help You Stay Aware of the Noise You Make

While headphones are an extremely valuable gadget, it can be quite problematic for everyone else.

One of the popular problems that headset users know, is that they speak extremely loud while putting it on.

This happens because they’re not able to hear themselves properly, so they automatically start shouting in excitement.

This made some communities, especially the gaming one, excessively loud and filled with shouts left and right.

Not only does it make the experience worse for everyone, but it can also cause impaired hearing with time.

With the introduction of mic monitoring features in various consoles, online meetings, gaming, and every headset related activity became noticeably calmer and more enjoyable for everyone.

microphone and headphones

What Are the Drawbacks of Mic Monitoring?

Despite all their merits, mic monitoring can have some drawbacks and disadvantages. Here are some of these points.

It Can Cause Echoing While Recording

If your mic monitoring is too loud in your ears, the sound can be picked up again by your microphone. This might not be a problem if you’re casually using the headset.

Yet, if you were recording, it’ll feel like there’s a persistent echo in low volume in the background.

However, this problem isn’t a dealbreaker for me. In fact, some headsets are designed so that they cancel the mic monitoring sound while recording.

Also, If you simply lower the volume of your headset a little, it’ll eliminate the problem altogether. This way, you’ll still hear yourself without having any echos in the background.

It’ll Take You Some Time to Get Used to It

Some people don’t seem to have a problem with mic monitoring. But, it might take other people days to get used to hearing every single word they say repeated back after them.

How Do You Enable and Disable Mic Monitoring on Different Consoles?

Now that you know everything about it, it’s time to know how to enable and disable the mic monitoring feature on PC, PS, and Xbox.

On Computer (Windows 10)

  1. Write “Control Panel” in the search box of the bottom sidebar and open it
  2. Look for the “Sound” icon and click it once
  3. Choose the “Recording” tab on the popup window
  4. Double-click the default microphone device
  5. Choose the “Listen” tab on the new popup window
  6. Check the “Listen to this device” box
  7. Click on “Playback through this device”, and choose the headset you want to listen to your mic from
  8. Click OK and exit the opened windows.

To disable, you just need to uncheck the “listen to this device box” and press OK.

On Playstation 4

  1. Go to “Settings” on your main menu.
  2. Select “Devices”.
  3. Choose “Audio Devices”.
  4. Adjust the volume on “Sidetone Volume” to the level you want to start hearing your microphone.

To disable it, pull the “Sidetone Volume” volume slider all the way to the left.

On Xbox One

  1. Press the Xbox Button while on the home screen.
  2. Go to the “Gear” tab and choose “Audio” to find 3 different sliders
  3. Adjust the last one to control your mic monitoring volume.

To disable it, you’ll only need to slide the volume all the way down.

Top 5 Headsets with Mic monitoring on the Market

Wrap Up

There you have it. A complete guide that shows you what mic monitoring is, how to use it, and whether it’s worth it for you.

As you can see, mic monitoring is a great feature that has its benefits and drawbacks. However, since the pros of mic monitoring overweight its cons, I still recommend that you try and get used to it.