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How to Troubleshoot Audio or Sound Recording Issues

Summary: This article provides information about how to troubleshoot and resolve audio or sound recording issues with the microphone on a Dell computer.

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Article Content


Symptoms

Troubleshoot your Internal External Microphone

Duration: 01:41
Closed captions: English only

Are you having trouble with the microphone or recording audio on your Dell computer? If you notice symptoms like microphone not working, stuttering, jarring, crackling, or choppy recording, intermittent issues with microphone recording, distorted recording, follow the troubleshooting steps below.

Cause

The audio or sound recording issues may be caused due to an outdated audio driver, audio recording settings, no microphone available on the computer, faulty microphone, or microphone settings on the third-party software such as Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, Google Meet, Discord, and so on, that you are using.

Resolution

Troubleshooting

Expand the sections below for more information and follow the troubleshooting steps in a sequence.

For help with audio or sound playback issues, see the Dell knowledge-base article How to troubleshoot audio or sound issues.

Dell recommends ensuring that the device drivers and BIOS are up to date using the SupportAssist application for optimal recording performance and to help resolve common microphone-related issues.

To run the SupportAssist application, perform the following steps.

  1. Press and hold the Windows key (Windows Button), and then press the q key.
  2. In the search box type SupportAssist.
  3. Select SupportAssist (App) in the list of results.
    NOTE: When SupportAssist does not show up in the search results, go to the SupportAssist for PCs and tablets page for information about downloading and installing SupportAssist.
  4. Touch or click Start Now to run the tests.
    NOTE: You can touch or click the down arrow and then run the individual test. Dell recommends running a full computer test.
  5. SupportAssist runs the tests one by one and provides the results and suggested actions.

Optimize your System using SupportAssist

Duration: 00:32
Closed captions: Available in multiple languages. Click the Closed Caption icon and select the language that you want.

To learn how to manually download and install a device driver such as Chipset driver, and Audio driver on your Dell computer, see the Dell knowledge base article How to Download and Install Dell Drivers.

To learn how to download and update the BIOS on your Dell computer, see the Dell knowledge base article Dell BIOS Updates.

NOTE: Dell recommends restarting the computer after installing the driver updates.

Update your System Setup (BIOS)

Duration: 02:06
Closed captions: Available in multiple languages. Click the Closed Caption icon and select the language that you want.

If the issue persists, go to the next steps.

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The following audio performance issues may occur if there is any type of damage to the audio cables or the audio ports on the computer:

  • Microphone stops working or works intermittently.
  • Choppy or distorted audio
  • Static noise

Audio ports are exposed to elements that may cause a buildup of dust or even physical damage. If you notice that the port or connector has dust or other contaminants, use a can of compressed air to clean the ports. To learn more, see the Dell knowledge base article Guidance for Keeping Your Dell Technologies Equipment Clean.

WARNING: Do not use any type of cleaning solution, water, or even a damp cloth. Disconnect the audio cable before using the can of compressed air to clean the ports.

If you notice any physical damage, contact Dell Technical Support to learn more about repair options that are available in your region.

If there is no damage, go to the next step.

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A simple reboot can resolve many issues almost immediately. Restarting your computer is an effective way to clear the memory (RAM) and ensure that any errant processes and services that started are shut down.

Restarting your computer closes all the applications or software running on your computer, applications running on the taskbar, and dozens of other services that may be running in the background, which were started by various applications.

WARNING: Before restarting your computer, ensure to bookmark open web pages, save any open documents, spreadsheets, or other unsaved work.

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Standard headset or microphone

Most analog microphone ports are pink and belong in the corresponding pink connector on your headset or microphone. Most standard headsets with microphones are designed to work with the single audio connector on your laptop.

NOTE: Audio ports may not be color that is coded on all computers, see the User Manual of your computer to ensure that the microphone is plugged into the correct port.

Using mobile earphones or headphones with one single jack will not work on a computer that has two split audio ports (one port each for speaker and microphone).


USB headset or microphone

Try swapping between USB ports. If you are using a USB hub, bypass the USB and connect the USB headset or microphone directly to the USB port on your computer.


Bluetooth headset or microphone

Ensure that the Bluetooth headset is paired with your computer and is selected as the default recording device on the computer. See the Bluetooth troubleshooting section in this Dell knowledge base article.

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The default audio recording device is the device that Microsoft Windows uses to record or listen to the sound. When you connect a microphone, Bluetooth headset, or other microphone enabled device to your computer, you can select which device you want to use by default. Windows can record audio through the microphone port, integrated microphone, or Bluetooth. It is essential to select the correct recording device and check the volume settings for recording to work on your computer.

NOTE: Only one device can be set as a default microphone or recording device.
To set a default recording device and check volume settings
  1. Right-click the Volume icon in the notification area (bottom-right corner) and select Recording devices.
  2. Select the recording device and click Set Default.
  3. Click OK.
  4. Click the Volume icon in the notification area and set the volume to your preference.

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Voice communication software such as Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, Google Meet, Discord, and so on, have their own audio controls to choose which recording device or microphone is used as default.

Typically, this option is available in the settings menu of the application. The location of the audio settings may differ between each application. See the app manufacturers website for more instructions on how to access the audio settings and choose the default microphone.

For Windows 10 computers, see the following Dell knowledge base articles to ensure that the microphone is enabled correctly.

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Microsoft Windows includes various 'troubleshooters' designed to quickly diagnose and automatically resolve many computer problems. Although Windows Troubleshooter cannot fix hardware problems, they are a great place to start if you encounter a problem with your computer. Windows Troubleshooters are built into the Control Panel in Windows 10, 8.1 or 8.

How to run Windows Troubleshooter in Microsoft Windows 10?

  1. Click Start and select Settings (gear icon).
  2. Click Update & Security and select Troubleshoot.
  3. Click Recording Audio and then click Run the troubleshooter.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the troubleshooting process.

How to run Windows Troubleshooter in Microsoft Windows 8.1 or 8?

  1. Right-click Start and select Control Panel.
  2. Under System and Security, click Find and fix problems.
  3. Under Hardware and Sound, click Troubleshoot audio recording.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the troubleshooting process.

If the issue persists, go to the next step.

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Pair your Bluetooth headset with your computer.

NOTE: Your Bluetooth headset and computer will usually connect anytime the two devices are in the range of each other with the Bluetooth turned on. The range of the Bluetooth signal may vary across different Bluetooth devices.
 
NOTE: Some Bluetooth headsets may require a passcode to pair and connect, check the User Manual of your device for specific instructions.

Running a hardware diagnostic test can help you identify hardware-related problems and provide you with troubleshooting steps to help resolve the issue. To determine if your Dell computer is experiencing a hardware problem, it is recommended that you first run a hardware diagnostic test on your computer. Dell offers both integrated and online diagnostics. The Dell ePSA hardware diagnostic test checks if the hardware devices are working correctly.

Running hardware diagnostic test using Dell SupportAssist

If your computer can boot into Windows and has an active Internet connection, run a hardware diagnostic test on the sound or audio card using Dell SupportAssist.

Running Dell Pre-boot System Assessment or enhanced Pre-boot System Assessment (Dell PSA or ePSA)
If your computer cannot boot into Windows or does not have an active Internet connection, follow these steps to run a diagnostic test.
  1. Restart the computer.
  2. At the Dell logo, tap the F12 key until One-time Boot Menu appears.
  3. Use the arrow keys to select Diagnostics and press the Enter key.
  4. Follow the on-screen prompts and respond appropriately to complete the diagnostics.
  5. If the test passes, go to the next step.
  6. If the test fails, ensure to write down the error code and validation code, and contact Dell Technical Support for repair options that are available in your region.

ePSA Preboot System Assessment (Official Dell Tech Support on YouTube)

Duration: 02:28
Closed captions: English only

Performing Hardware Scan - Dell SupportAssist

Duration: 02:11
Closed captions: English only

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Windows updates can support your Windows operating system in many ways. Windows updates can solve specific problems, provide protection from malicious attacks, or even add new features to the operating system.

How to install Windows Updates in Microsoft Windows 10 and Windows 8 or 8.1?

  1. Right-click Start and click Settings.
  2. In the Settings panel, click Update & Security.
  3. In the left panel, select Windows Update.
  4. On the right panel, click Check for updates.
  5. Restart the computer after downloading and installing the updates.

If the issue persists, go to the next step.

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System Restore is a integrated Windows tool that is designed to protect and repair the operating system. When something goes wrong with your computer, System Restore should be used before restoring the computer to factory defaults.

Select the Operating System installed on your computer to find more information about how to perform System Restore:

If the issue persists, go to the next step.

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If the diagnostic tests on the USB ports passed, it is most definitely an issue that is related to software installed on your computer. If the above troubleshooting steps did not resolve the issue, you can try to restore your computer to factory defaults as a last resort.

Dell computers are built with a small amount of hard disk space that is reserved for reinstalling your operating system. This method is the easiest way to restore your computer to factory condition. The restoration process deletes all user data from the computer, so be sure to back up all your files before starting this process.

WARNING: Restoring your computer to factory defaults or reinstalling the operating system using any recovery media erases all data on your computer. Be sure to back up all important data like documents, spreadsheets, images, and videos before restoring or reinstalling the operating system.

Select the Operating System that is installed on your computer to find more information about how to restore your computer to factory defaults:

NOTE: After restoring or reinstalling the operating system, it is recommended that you download and install the latest device drivers from Dell Drivers & Downloads website.

Perform a Reset in Windows 10

Duration: 01:36
Closed captions: English only

Troubleshooting Audio Issues in Windows 8 or Windows 10

Duration: 02:26
Closed captions: English only

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Article Properties


Affected Product

Alienware, Inspiron, Retired Models, OptiPlex, Vostro, XPS, G Series, G Series, Alienware, Inspiron, Latitude, Vostro, XPS, Retired Models, Latitude Tablets, XPS Tablets, Fixed Workstations, Mobile Workstations

Last Published Date

21 Sep 2021

Version

17

Article Type

Solution