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The Best Mic Settings for Gaming


A huge part of the gaming experience is interacting with other players; one needs a great-sounding mic to fully participate. Whether you are communicating with a teammate, having a face-off with an opponent, or conducting a gaming live stream, you will need a mic to help you be heard.

If you think your gaming microphone already sounds its best, then you may be surprised by how tweaking its settings can push the mic audio quality further. In this article, we will be sharing the best microphone settings for gaming so you can achieve high-quality audio while suppressing background noises as much as possible.

What is the Best Mic Setting?

The Best Mic Settings for Gaming

While there are 10 different types of microphones with varying uses, the most common mics for gaming are a USB microphone, a standalone microphone, and a headset mic. Although each mic is different, tweaking the mic settings for gaming is generally the same.

What would differ here is where your mic is plugged in. With that, here’s how to best tweak your mic settings for gaming depending on which device, console, or streaming platform you’re using.

For Windows PC or Laptop

The Best Mic Settings for Gaming

If you’re a PC gamer, then adjusting the mic settings of your headset mic, USB mic, or standalone mic is a must. Recording stuff near the PC can be a bit tricky because of all the hardware and vibrations that may affect the overall audio quality of your stream.

Here’s how you can adjust the mic audio settings for this device.

  1. Plug your mic into the computer or laptop.
  2. Once your mic is plugged in, an icon or message in the bottom right should pop out informing you if any installations are needed.
  3. Check your microphone settings by opening the Settings menu and clicking on the speaker icon.
  4. Ensure that your microphone is currently selected as the input device and your speakers as the output device.
  5. Under Related Settings, click on “Sound Control Panel”, and look for your mic on the Recording Tab.
  6. Once you find your mic, right-click on it and select “Properties”.
  7. Go to the Levels tab and ensure that your volume is up. Make sure that the “Mute” option is not checked.
  8. Test your mic level by speaking into it. 
  9. Adjust the mic sensitivity to your liking by dragging the mic level from left to right. If your microphone is near the speakers or if you’re using a headset mic, then it’s ideal for you to decrease your mic sensitivity to the left. If your mouth or any sound source is far from the microphone, then you can increase your mic sensitivity to the left so it can pick up more sound. Your mic positioning will play a great role in this step.
  10. Additionally, you can make your microphone louder by adjusting the microphone boost upwards. However, keep in mind that the more you increase the microphone level, the more audio anomalies it may create such as sound distortion and echo.

For Mac

The Best Mic Settings for Gaming
  1. Open the System Preferences Menu and click on “Sound” or the speaker icon.
  2. Click on “Output” and select your microphone or headset mic if you’re using one. 
  3. Make sure the balance slider is at the center.
  4. Click on “Input” and adjust the microphone level sensitivity by dragging the arrow from left to right based on your preference. Option to tick the “Use Ambient Noise Reduction” box if you’re recording stuff in a noisy room or don’t want any excessive background noise from the game to be picked up by the mic.
  5. Adjust the input volume by sliding the arrow to the right if you want it to be louder or more sensitive. Similarly, adjust the sliding arrow to the left if you to be less sensitive. The rule of thumb is to stop adjusting the slider when the input level bars are already at the halfway point.

For PS4

The Best Mic Settings for Gaming

If your mic tends to pick up background noise and echoes or you are noticing a distorted sound, then you may want to check on the mic settings of your PS4 directly.

  1. Press and hold the PlayStation icon on your controller to open the “Quick Menu”.
  2. Click on “Sound/Device” and scroll down until you see Adjust Microphone Level.
  3. Adjust the mic audio volume by dragging the slider to the right if you want it louder or to the left if you want it softer. If the input level of your mic is too high, then background noise may be picked up and cause mic echoes. This may be distracting for other players in the game or those watching your stream so try to keep level on the low-middle ground.

For Xbox

The Best Mic Settings for Gaming

To get your mic to sound better on Xbox, you will need to adjust the mix and chat mixer levels accordingly. Failing to do so might get your teammates and even opponents confused as you might sound inaudible to them.

  1. Plug your mic or headset mic into the Xbox controlled and press the glowing Xbox icon to open the menu.
  2. Select “Audio” and tweak the audio settings to your preference.
  3. Adjust the mic input volume level by balancing it with your mic monitoring. The more you increase the mic volume or audio level, the more noise and sound it may be able to pick up. Additionally, increasing the mic monitoring too high up may cause audio feedback or echoes.
  4. Unfortunately, the mic sensitivity cannot be adjusted via Xbox so in case your mic audio is still too loud or is picking up plosives, then you may want to invest in a mic foam cover or windscreen.

For Discord

Gamers often share their love for gaming on live-streaming platforms such as Discord. However, it would be quite difficult to sit down and watch a live stream if the audio or sound of the stream is poor because of the mic. Here’s how to adjust your mic settings on Discord.

  1. Click on the gear icon to open the “User Settings”. The gear icon should be seen on the bottom-left corner of the screen.
  2. Click on “Voice and Video” to access the voice settings and adjust the mic audio accordingly.
  3. Under the “Input Device” column on the left, click on the drop-down menu and select your mic. Adjust the mic audio and input volume to your liking.
  4. Under the “Output Device” column on the right, click on the drop-down menu and select your headset mic or speaker. Adjust the output volume or output level to your liking.
  5. Under “Input Mode”, you can adjust your “Voice Activity” if you want your mic to broadcast any audio or sound you make or if it picks up from your surroundings. If you tick this, make sure that you’re in a quiet room. Otherwise, the sound recording or audio quality of your stream may come out too noisy.
  6. If you want your mic to broadcast only your audible audio whenever you press a specific button, then tick “Push to Talk”. You can customize the button to be pressed by clicking on “Edit Keybind”. This is especially useful if you don’t want your mic to pick up any other sound apart from you talking.

How Do I Make the Sound Quality of My Mic Better in Games?

The Best Mic Settings for Gaming

Aside from tweaking the settings of your mic via the computer, console, or streaming platform, you may also make use of recording software. Using such software will sometimes make a huge difference in the overall sound quality of your mic, especially in games.

Most software will give you audio filters to use to help gain control. Audio filters will also help you adjust the volume of the audio, turn up the gain level, and reduce any noise.

Audio filters also help with noise suppression and can even give you a description of the polar pattern recommended for the audio signal of your mic. Several gamers use Streamlabs as their preferred audio filter for games.

Aside from using audio filters and software, one can also personally equalize their mic to help improve the sound quality. This will help you get quality sound and audio as it adjusts the volume frequency of the mic sound within an audio signal. Overall, this helps the peaks or dips of your recording.

One of the easiest ways to improve the sound or audio performance of your mic is to ensure that the microphone is in its optimal position. Knowing the best placement and optimal position for your mic about your setup, recording environment and room, and requirements would play a major role in how clear your recording will be.

Final Note

The Best Mic Settings for Gaming

While owning the best gaming microphone can help you achieve the best audio results for your gaming needs, tweaking the settings can take the overall quality to the next level.

This is a must-know for gamers as one would also tend to play games using different consoles, so tweaking the mic settings and audio levels depending on the device is recommended.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the perfect mic volume?

Generally, the perfect output volume for your mic is between 75% and 85%. However, the optimal loudness of a mic will differ based on preference, recording application, and external factors that can affect the clarity of your recording.

For this, it’s best to adjust the output volume of your mic and monitor how the audio will sound like. You may test out the mic volume via speakers or by plugging in a headphone jack to your device for direct input monitoring.

How do I get rid of background noise?

Reducing unwanted noise in your audio recording can be easily achieved by investing in noise-canceling accessories such as a windscreen, pop filter, and microphone foam. If your mic tends to pick up vibrations, then you should consider mounting it via a boom arm.

If you’re recording in a noisy environment, then consider changing places or making changes in the room to avoid picking up any unwanted audio. Refrain from setting up your mic near an open window or door, below an air conditioner, or right in front of a fan.

Another way to reduce noise levels is by manually tweaking the settings and enabling noise suppression. This can be done via the boost tool in a Windows system where you can reduce sound by turning the dial down and enabling noise suppression.

For Mac, you can go to system preferences and click on noise preferences. Check the Ambient Noise Reduction tool to help with noise suppression and noise reduction.

Here’s an in-depth step-by-step on how to get rid of background noise so you can fully make your audio recordings clear.

Is there a way to improve mic audio quality?

Improving the mic audio quality can be achieved by tweaking the settings and placement, maximizing microphone features, and sometimes investing in additional accessories.

Ash Burnett

Hailing from Chicago, IL - Ash made his break into journalism at the age of 23 writing music reviews for a local website. Now in his late 30's and after being pulled closer towards the technical side of the music and live gig industry, he founded Shout4Music to write thorough microphone reviews.

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