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Are you sick of hearing microphone buzzing sounds every time?
We can all agree that a microphone is a vital tool in performing your task excellently.
This comes to play when you’re working remotely at home, but most of the time, instead of helping us, it becomes more of a challenge in terms of its functionality.
Hearing annoying microphone buzzing sounds is one of the many factors that hinder us from performing our best with our microphones.
Commonly, our initial move is to replace the microphone or headset with an upgraded version thinking that it will solve the problem immediately.
Well, that doesn’t sound like a good idea for it might cost you a lot without actually solving the problem.
But you don’t need to jump to that conclusion right away, there’s always a way to check and assess if it’s still capable of helping you accomplish your work.
Table of Contents
- How To Stop Your Microphone from Buzzing
- Common Cause of Buzzing from your Microphone
- External Troubleshooting
- Internal Troubleshooting
- Additional Boost to your Microphone
- Upgrading your Microphone
- Maintaining your Microphone
- Final Thoughts
How To Stop Your Microphone from Buzzing
The best way to stop your microphone from buzzing is to troubleshoot it.
There are two general ways to do the troubleshooting, it’s either you look over its external property or hover to its internal settings.
So before buying a new one, consider checking the one that you currently have so you avoid unnecessary spending.
Before we jump into the process of eliminating, let’s take a look first at the causes of microphone buzzing.
Common Cause of Buzzing from your Microphone
There’re many possible causes why your microphone may be producing annoying buzz but here are the common reasons for what you might be experiencing right now.
The first and most common reason is noise.
In acoustics and electronics, these are unwanted electrical signals that interfere with your computer or microphone thus resulting in an undesired sound.
It could be in a form of a soft to medium hissing sound or possibly an annoying buzz sound.
There are also other kinds of external noise microphones receive aside from electrical signals.
Usually, your ventilation system plays a significant role in producing the buzz, since wind tends to produce low frequencies whenever it hits your mic.
Another kind of noise is the background noise that you typically hear outside your room or house.
If your microphone is sensitive enough, even the sound of rustling leaves outside can be captured and turned into a slight buzz.
These are connections such as wires, cords, USB ports, or jacks that are incorporated into your microphone.
Sometimes, a simple loose cord connection might cause an uneasy interference in your sound system.
If the cord of your microphone is near the electrical cable, it’ll also cause interference due to electrical noise.
Your loose or defective microphone jack and plug may also be the source of that buzzing sound.
Hardware and Software Issues
This is by far the most complicated reason, for it deals more with the technical side of your sound system.
Hardware issues deal with the physical components of your microphone, headset, or camera.
On the other hand, software issues deal with the system, settings, and applications of your microphone that can be fixed or adjusted on your computer.
Later on, we will see how to properly check, adjust, and calibrate your microphone settings to lessen if not eliminate the buzzing.
Now let’s move to the step by step process on how to properly troubleshoot and fix your microphone problem.
This process involves checking on the external factors and hardware issues of your microphone.
You might be dealing with some electrical wires and cables in this process, so you need to be more cautious in doing this.
This might also require some moving and cleaning within your workspace, so if possible, ask for necessary help.
Checking the Cords
Checking your lines is one of the most important procedures in troubleshooting not just your microphone but other electrical devices as well.
You might experience some electrical injuries if your wiring and cabling systems are not properly maintained.
So I highly recommend doing a monthly or quarterly check-in of all your wiring systems.
There are two possible cords in a microphone, it’s either jack type or USB type.
But regardless of what you’re using, the troubleshooting process is almost the same:
- Unplug your cord, then check for any possible cut or exposed wires
- If there are broken wires or you accidentally cut one, you can fix it by either soldering or sticking it together with electrical tape
- Plug your cord, make sure that you insert it on the right port
- If the buzzing still exists, try to use another port
- If it still exists, try using your microphone on another computer or device
- If it works properly on another device, you might have a problem with your computer’s port
- If it still doesn’t work properly, you can move to another troubleshooting process
Checking the Environment
Aside from faulty cords, there are also external factors that we need to consider in our environment whenever we troubleshoot.
Here are a few tips to consider when checking your environment:
Check the position of your workstation
Make sure that you’re not close to any possible noise-producing source such as a fan, air coolers, loud clock, or window.
If you’re staying near a factory or workshop, you may want to sound-proof your room.
Try to adjust your station if it compromises the quality of your work.
Check your electrical wirings
Do not put electrical wires near your microphone cord for it may interfere with your sound system.
Take extra precaution in handling or moving any electrical components in your area.
Check other appliances around you
This is less likely the reason, but you might want to consider it anyway.
Turn off other appliances around you and try testing your microphone once again.
If the buzzing is gone, turn one appliance at a time, in that way you can identify which causes interference in your mic.
If it still exists, move to another troubleshooting process.
If the problem isn’t solved by checking externally, then there’s a high possibility that there’s an error in its internal settings.
The process of checking the settings of your microphone varies on what operating system you’re using.
For Windows User
- Go to the Control Panel by searching “Control Panel” on the search box in your taskbar
- Select Hardware and Sound
- Select Sound to redirect you to the audio tab
- Click Recording then right-click on the Microphone to visit its Properties
- Click Level then turn off the microphone boost
- Next, maximize the Microphone Volume
- Don’t forget to click Okay and Apply
- Lastly, test your microphone
This process, if done properly, will instantly remove the buzzing sound in your microphone.
In other versions of Windows, there’s an enhancement tab in the properties, you can go and click that tab.
Then make sure to check the noise suppression and acoustic echo cancellation button.
For Mac User
- Visit System Preferences
- Then go to Sound Preferences and click the Ambient Noise Reduction tool
- Make sure that the Use Ambient Noise Reduction box is checked
- Carefully calibrate and balance the sound by moving the dial-up and down to the desired output that you want.
Additional Boost to your Microphone
There are times that your environment doesn’t meet the appropriate volume that you desire for you to work excellently.
Those noises such as traffic outside your home, sounds of machinery or engines nearby, or even voices from your relatives living with you in the house are interferences that are somehow inevitable to remove immediately.
In that case, you need to consider buying some equipment that will help your microphone sound to cope up with the noises around you.
With that, I believe you’ll ask about what equipment you should consider buying and how much will it cost you.
To answer that, I have enumerated a few boosting types of equipment that will eliminate or minimize microphone buzzing.
If you happen to watch some vloggers on Youtube and see those furry things in their microphone, those are not for design or fashion purposes, those are microphone windscreen.
The purpose of putting windscreen is to remove or block the sound of air before it reaches the diaphragm which is located on the head part of your mic.
A windscreen is often used in wide or open fields where gusts of air are present, but nowadays, it’s also used for indoor works especially if you have loud electric fans, air coolers, or any noise-producing ventilation around your workplace.
It’s not limited to those furry designs though, it could also be in the form of some cup-shaped foam cover placed on the head of your mic.
The average price range of a windscreen varies and is affordable.
This depends on the design and durability of the material.
Before going to the nearest store or adding to the cart, make sure that you know the size of your mic.
Microphone Shock Mount
This equipment may just look like a normal stand for your mic but there has to be more than it just being a stand.
The important purpose of that is to create stability with your mic.
Unnecessary shakings, bumpings, or any movements that your mic experiences might cause a low-frequency interference that usually leads to buzzing.
It goes with different styles and structures but mostly, it’s already built-in or packaged together with your microphone.
Though there are lots of universal shock mounts that you will see in the store, still it’s best to first check the size of your mic.
Microphone Pop Filter
Also known as a pop shield or pop screen, this circular mesh is used to block the air that usually causes buzzing in your mic.
It’s commonly made of nylon but there are also variants made from metal or designed fabrics.
It might be of the same function as the windscreen but the main role of the pop filter is to block the sudden blow of breath or vocal plosives.
These plosives are breath-like sounds usually produced when we pronounce p, t, or b.
Sounds funny, but most of the time, interference comes straight from our mouth.
Pop filters are usually seen in recording studios used by professional singers or any voice artists.
As elegant as it looks, this equipment comes in a very friendly price range, depending on the brand and sustainability of your choice.
Those additional boosters help eliminate the noise that your microphone is suffering but you need to be careful in buying.
If it’s not yet on your budget, consider saving first or go to the affordable one temporarily then switch later on if you have the capacity.
You can also try to purchase the packaged set, it will help you save both money and time.
Upgrading your Microphone
If you try to do all kinds of troubleshooting that I mentioned earlier and the buzzing continues, maybe it’s time that you need to upgrade your microphone.
But before doing that, you might want to check first on the factors that you need to consider in purchasing a new mic.
In that way, you will avoid impulsive buying or overspending on the wrong product.
So, what are those factors that you need to consider before buying?
Types of Microphone
First of all, you need to ask yourself the kind of microphone you would be needing in your work.
Microphones might sound similar in general since their main role is to transduce sound, but certain aspects or environments work best against each type.
The first type is the Condenser which is also also known as the Capacitor Microphone.
This is a more sensitive type of microphone that can capture high frequencies within a certain location.
It has a complex structure and technology which makes it more expensive compared to another type.
Although it’s pricey, this type is delicate, fragile, and certainly cannot withstand a serious fall.
It’s good to use in the studio or for home recording since it can produce a balanced and clear sound.
The other type is Dynamic or Stage Microphone.
Compared to condensers, this type is less sensitive as it works best on low to medium frequency levels.
It’s obviously cheaper but it’s durable and can withstand a great shock.
It may be less sensitive but it offers a great deal of versatility.
It’s good to use when you’re recording with drums, acoustic guitars, or any loud musical instruments.
If you’re moving from time to time, this mic is your best choice.
Another factor that you need to consider is your budget.
Even though you’ve found the perfect one, if your wallet doesn’t agree, you’ll just end up looking for another one.
Try to canvass the price online so you’ll have a better idea of the cost.
Don’t settle on buying cheaper yet suspicious microphones, it’s better to spend more today and be satisfied in the long run.
Measured in hertz, it’s the amount or certain range of frequency that your mic responds to.
If you’re to use it for vocal or studio recordings, the best range is from 80 Hz to 20 kHz.
But if you’re purchasing for live recording purposes that include musical instruments the best range is from 80 Hz going down up to 30 Hz.
It’s the ability of the microphone to capture sound from various directions.
There are three types of directionality that we need to consider.
The first type is Omnidirectional which picks up balanced or even sound from every direction.
This type of microphone can easily and clearly capture sound in its front, side, or back part.
This type is ideal for any recording that requires excessive movement of position.
Another type is Unidirectional, this one picks up sound from a single direction.
This type captures sound from a dominant area which makes it more focused and clear.
This type is good for voice or any type of recordings that doesn’t require movement of places.
Lastly, Bidirectional picks up either an even or uneven sound from any two different directions.
It’s also the least popular and least used type since it has been overpowered by the first two.
This type is good for interviews, although professionals still prefer to use omnidirectional.
When looking for a new microphone, you also need to check its impedance, though this is not familiar nowadays, it’s still something that you need to consider before buying.
The key here is, the lower the impedance the better the quality of sound your microphone will produce even in long-distance set-ups.
The suggested measurement is less than 600 Ω.
It‘s a little bit expensive compared to those with high impedance, but always remember to settle for the long term of usage and better quality results.
Those are just simple tips and things for consideration in buying.
In the end, the decision is still in your hand so make sure that you properly study, consider and check the microphone that will best suit your working needs.
Maintaining your Microphone
Regardless of how excellent your microphone is, if you don’t maintain it properly, you’ll end up encountering challenges such as hearing buzzing and hissing sound.
This is also a good way of avoiding other possible damages aside from noise and other interferences.
Taking care of your mic is making the most out of the money that you have invested in purchasing it.
Here are some important tips on maintaining the excellent state of your microphone.
I know this is common sense but most of the time, this is not a common process in our routine:
- Make sure to create enough distance between your mouth and the mic to prevent plosives from damaging their capsule
- Don’t blow into the mic to avoid destroying its diaphragm
- Never adjust the volume above the capable maximum level
- Don’t tap the head of the mic, it might make you look like a pro, but you’re creating an undesirable impact on its head that can lead to a serious noise problem
- Lastly and most importantly, do not drop the mic, always make sure that it’s properly mounted and located somewhere stationary
Your mic also needs to rest, this should be done properly as well:
- Turn it off before unplugging it from the power source
- Store it in a clean, spacious, and dry place
- Keep the cables, these might trip you if you’ll leave them messing on the floor
- You can use a plastic bag or zip lock before placing it back into desired storage, in that way, you’re making it safe from dust and any particle that might settle on its tip
You might see a lot of do-it-yourself tutorials but those are complicated processes that may lead to serious damage to your mic.
Remember that a simple drop of water or a small amount of moisture can create big harm to the mic’s diaphragm.
You don’t want that to happen, right?
The best solution is to hire experts to check and clean your mics.
In that way, you will feel safe and at the same time ensured knowing that they understand what they’re doing.
Also, if you’re using a pop filter or windscreen, there’s a high chance that your mic is tidy and doesn’t need any cleaning service.
I hope this article has taken care of any microphone buzzing sound problems you’ve been having.
And not that only, but other problems that you’re currently facing with your microphone.
Commonly, buzzing happens when you have loose or faulty cord connections but most of the time, there are also both external and internal factors interfering with your signal.
Don’t rush and buy a new mic just because of that problem, especially if you don’t have a plan to upgrade at this time.
Apply every process first and be careful in troubleshooting, a simple mistake can lead to expensive problems.
If you experience serious damage to your microphone, be sure to contact servicing experts.
Always bear in mind that prevention is always better than cure and preventive maintenance is better than corrective ones.