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Mic Problem - only hear static sounds, not sure if software or hardware

Last response: in Windows 7
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November 12, 2013 12:45:51 PM

I have a mic issue that seemed to have just started out of no where for no reason i can think of. I am unsure if it is a hardware issue or a software issue. Eveyrthing has been working fine and then a couple days ago the mic just stopped working, but it had worked the previous time i had used my computer. I played some BF4 before bed (mic worked), woke up and next day when i played BF4 again the mic didnt work. I tried 'listening to device' option and all I can hear is a horrible static sound. I had microphone boost +20 db, which is what I have always used and it has been fine. The static sound was terrible, I can only describe it as a sort of static sounding stutter or echo with other constant static noises along with it. The sound hurt my hears and head to hear it. I turned down the db and it was more faint but still made my head feel kind of weird from the frequency of the sound (similar to how I felt listening to one of those high pitch frequency applications you can download on a phone). I have tried to:

- uninstall/reinstall audio drivers
- bought a cheap new headset from local store to test and rule headset as the problem
- i have tried using both front panel audio ports on case and direct ports to motherboard
- i have checked windows audio settings for volume, levels, etc.

the following are relevant items being used:

- windows 7
- z77 sabertooth onboard sound RealtekĀ® ALC892 8-Channel High Definition Audio
- plantronics gametron headset with mic
- front audio ports on thor v2 case

I am at a complete loss as to what the problem is. I did test the gametron head set on my laptop and could not hear anything. But I have also used a brand new mic on my desktop and still had the same issue with that annoying static sound. With the new mic I was able to hear my voice faintly at first but it was very echo sounding and faint. Now I cant pick up my voice on the mic at all and it only seems to show any activity on the mic volume meter when i unplug/plug in the mic into the port. maybe there is a setting i accidentally turned on that i dont know about either with some of the realtek audio settings or windows setting but i had already check everythign i could think of in windows. If anyone has any ideas of what is wrong, I'm all ears.
a b $ Windows 7
November 12, 2013 12:51:52 PM

Try uninstalling any Windows updates that were installed since just before the problem first occurred.

Strangely, this is the most likely cause of this issue.
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November 12, 2013 1:32:15 PM

himnextdoor said:
Try uninstalling any Windows updates that were installed since just before the problem first occurred.

Strangely, this is the most likely cause of this issue.


I'm looking in the windows updates 'view installed updates' and the most recent one shown was from 10/10/13 and 10/9/13. I know I had installed some windows updates within the last week but I do not see them in there.
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a b $ Windows 7
November 12, 2013 1:46:33 PM

Perhaps you should go to the Windows Update site and have a look at the Update History that is there.

Any clues?

Have you tried using the 'Restore' function to return your configuration to a pre-problem date?

Also, have a look at your regular Installed Programs list and see if there is a driver installation package listed there that was installed recently.

Windows sometimes updates hardware device drivers.

Badly.
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November 12, 2013 1:53:54 PM

himnextdoor said:
Perhaps you should go to the Windows Update site and have a look at the Update History that is there.

Any clues?

Have you tried using the 'Restore' function to return your configuration to a pre-problem date?


i must have looked over them before because I looked again and saw some from this month so I uninstalled all of them. restarted. I can hear my voice very faintly with the new headset. all volume settings are maxed. it almost sounds like some sort of effect is on. i checked the realtek hd audio manager and it says there are 'none' in the effects boxes. i really have no clue what is going on.

edit: i can hear when i move the headset or flick the microphone but my voice only picks up very very very faintly.
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a b $ Windows 7
November 12, 2013 2:31:24 PM

Has uninstalling made any difference at all?

With the headset plugged in, go to Device Manager and see if your headset device shows up here. Does it?

Are there any switches on your headset, a boost switch for example?
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November 12, 2013 3:55:03 PM

himnextdoor said:
Has uninstalling made any difference at all?

With the headset plugged in, go to Device Manager and see if your headset device shows up here. Does it?

Are there any switches on your headset, a boost switch for example?


I have tried uninstalling audio drivers, restarting computer and reinstalling drivers twice. i have tried system restore for windows to 4 days ago. i have tried updating my bios audio drivers.

is there a way to uninstall recent bios updates like i did with the windows update? asus z77 sabertooth is my mobo.

my gamertron headphones have a mute switch and volume control. i have made sure to test with mute off. the cheap headphones i bought to test just have a volume control but no mute that i can see.

i cant get any voice with the gamertron. i can barely hear my voice with the new cheap headset but i cant hear it very very faintly. when i move the volume control on the new mic, it seems to cut in and out of the noise i hear thru 'listen to device'. maybe the new headset is faulty too? but im thinking its not the headset
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a b $ Windows 7
November 12, 2013 4:28:48 PM

Does your headset show up in Device Manager?
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November 13, 2013 6:00:33 AM

himnextdoor said:
Does your headset show up in Device Manager?


In device manager, under "Sound, video and game controllers" three things show up: nvidia high definition audio, nvidia virtual audio device (wave extensible) (wdm), and realtek high definition audio. I dont see anything about the headsets. Where would i look for this? If this is where they should be showing up then no i do not see them but i dont recall ever seeing my headsets show up in device manager (i have never specifically looked for them either).
When i right click ont he sound icon on desktop taskbar in lower right and select recording devices, it shows my microphone with green check confirming that one is plugged in.

EDIT: now when i plug in either headset with playback volume turned up, i can hear static (from both mics). when i change the volume level mic playback, i hear a tapping sound that changes frequency of tapping as i change the volume level of playback. i can also hear a tapping/thud type noise when i unplug the mic from port. also a constant subtle static noise, likes its on but not picking up anything.

the mics speakers seem to work fine for anything i use (games, music, browsers, etc) and this was never a problem. the mic just stopped working out of the blue.
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a b $ Windows 7
November 13, 2013 8:55:05 AM

Okay. Well, give this a try.

First, turn down the volume on the computer to about fifty percent. We don't need ear-drums problems that could render this entire exercise irrelevant.

Right click on the volume icon.

Select 'Recording devices'.

Click on the top one and click on Properties.

Select the Listen tab and check the Listen to this device' box.

Select the Levels tab and boost the volume a little.

Do the same for all the 'Recording devices'.

If you find one that works, set it as default and stop the other devices from being listened to, if you want.

Any improvement?
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November 13, 2013 10:44:07 AM

himnextdoor said:
Okay. Well, give this a try.

First, turn down the volume on the computer to about fifty percent. We don't need ear-drums problems that could render this entire exercise irrelevant.

Right click on the volume icon.

Select 'Recording devices'.

Click on the top one and click on Properties.

Select the Listen tab and check the Listen to this device' box.

Select the Levels tab and boost the volume a little.

Do the same for all the 'Recording devices'.

If you find one that works, set it as default and stop the other devices from being listened to, if you want.

Any improvement?


I had tried this before but tried again anyway. Nothing.

One weird thing that happens is sometimes when I'm playing witht he volume levels while "listen to device is on', i will hear different types of noises (but none sounding like they are anything the mic is picking up from my room. The noises are electronic, static, buzzing, humming sounding. Sometimes when I play witht he levels the sound will change. The sounds are also different depending on the headset im using, my primary ones and the new ones i bought for testing. The new cheap headset will produce more of an electronic tap or beat sound that may or may not change in frequency of beats/taps depending on how i play with the volume levels. The gamertron headset will make more of echo, extreme static, high pitch sound that hurts my ears if the db is too high.

I have tried everything I can manage to look up on this or other forums but nothing has helped. I havent found anyone else with this same problem. I have tried everythign I know to try. I am at a complete loss as to what went wrong. And it all seemed to just happen out of the blue without me changing anything physically or in software settings. One day it worked, next day it didnt. I dont NEED voice comm, i prefer to use it for games and such. But just the fact that I cannot resolve this issue is driving me crazy.

EDIT UPDATE: I just got back from best buy. I exchanged the unversal stereo headphones/mic for similar priced usb headphones/mic, both were dynex brand. I set the dynex mic as default and gametron speakers as default. I can now hear my voice and use voice comm. However, this hasnt fixed the problem, only got around it for now. Does this mean there is a problem with the mic port? I have tried both direct to onboard audio and thru front panel audio. Would this mean its a motherboard problem or some sort of feedback issue>? I still have no clue and am still frustrated with the problem, although it helps that i can at least now use voice comm with the usb mic.
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a b $ Windows 7
November 13, 2013 11:33:05 AM

When you were in the 'Levels' setting for these devices, did you notice any little red circles with a line through them?

Have a check. They are easy to miss.

You should expect at least one input to be muted.

And that little re circle means that the channel is muted.
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November 13, 2013 11:47:11 AM

himnextdoor said:
When you were in the 'Levels' setting for these devices, did you notice any little red circles with a line through them?

Have a check. They are easy to miss.

You should expect at least one input to be muted.

And that little re circle means that the channel is muted.


Yep all unmuted. But the usb mic works fine. The universal stereo speakers work but mic does not. usb speakers and mic both work. before returning the dynex universal stereo headset for the usb one, i had tried them on my other computer, a laptop that i had just recently completely reformatted. the laptop's built in mic would work, but when i tried using the headset it would make the same noises as on my desktop computer. that electronic beeping/tapping sound that would change in frequency of beeps/taps depending on the volume level. again my voice would not be picked up, only this noise. perhaps those headphones were faulty by some chance (brand new) or could there be some sort of external device that could cause interference with that type of port connection?

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a b $ Windows 7
November 13, 2013 12:54:57 PM

Okay.

It is a USB device, right?

Unplug the device and open up Device Manager.

Expand the USB devices tree so you can see all the entries.

Now plug your USB device in.

Does the device show up here?

If it does, uninstall it, remove the device, restart, reconnect the device -

Does anything happen?
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November 13, 2013 1:07:20 PM

himnextdoor said:
Okay.

It is a USB device, right?

Unplug the device and open up Device Manager.

Expand the USB devices tree so you can see all the entries.

Now plug your USB device in.

Does the device show up here?

If it does, uninstall it, remove the device, restart, reconnect the device -

Does anything happen?


I now have a usb that i exchanged today and it works (i had added this to a previous post response as EDIT UPDATE but you may have missed it if I added this edit after you saw my response). the problem was never with usb mic that i just exchanged the other one for today. the problem is with the universal stereo mic. it still doesnt work, and ive tried with two different mics. i wanted to try usb to see if that helps narrow down the problem, and usb works does this mean there is a problem with the hardware? with my universal stereo headphones/min the sound works fine for the headphones speakers but the mic does not and makes the crazy static noises. with usb both the headphone speakers and the mic work. i would like to stress the point that I had no mic issues prior to 4-5 days ago, now it just makes the crazy static noises.
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Best solution

a b $ Windows 7
November 13, 2013 2:36:29 PM

Sorry. I didn't notice.

To be honest, that is partly the reason that I sometimes double-post.

Wait a minute - stereo mic?

But I think the mic input on your computer is 'mono'.

As far as I can tell, the only way to get a stereo mic to work would be by plugging it into the Line In input of your sound card.

Then select 'Line In' as your default device and check the 'Listen to this device' box in Listen.

Make sure it is un-muted in 'Levels' and say "Testing, one, two, three."
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