While I was using a new laptop I was unaware that I was talking to people through the built-in microphone. I thought I was talking through the microphone on my headphones because I was unaware that there was a microphone already built-in to my laptop. After looking into this, I found ways to figure out whether your computer/laptop has a built-in microphone.
How do I know if my computer has a built-in microphone? For Mac, navigate to System Preferences then Sound followed by Input. You should see a table with a row that says “Internal Microphone”. The type should say “Built-in.” For Windows, navigate to the control panel then Hardware and Sound followed by Sounds. You should see Microphone Array and when you talk into your laptop green bars should show.
Trying to navigate through your computer’s OS to check whether it has a built-in microphone can sometimes be tricky. There are different ways of finding out if your computer has a built-in microphone. Whether your computer does have a microphone or does not have a microphone you may still consider going for an external microphone because they tend to offer better quality.
Finding Out Whether Your Computer Has A Microphone
The following is a guide to find out whether your Mac computer / laptop has a built-in microphone.
- Navigate to the top left of your screen and click on the Apple icon
- Next click on System Preferences
- Click on Sound then navigate to the Input tab
- If you see something similar to “Internal Microphone” like in the picture above then your laptop/computer has a built-in microphone.
The following is a guide to find out whether your Windows computer/laptop has a built-in microphone.
- Navigate to the search icon on the bottom left and search for Control Panel
- Another option is to hit the “window key + s” on your keyboard and search for Control Panel from there
- Click on the section called Hardware and Sound
- Click on Sound and then switch to the Recording tab
- You should see a microphone called Microphone Array or something similar to that. When you speak near your machine the audio levels to the right should increase
Remember that there are different versions of the Mac and Windows operating systems so depending on the version that you are using, your computer may call the internal microphone / Microphone Array something different. The name you see should be similar to the names above. You can also test them by speaking near the mics assuming that they are enabled.
Alternative Method For Finding Your Computer’s Built-In Microphone
I recommend using the applications suggested above to find whether your computer has a built-in microphone but if that is not an option for you then you can try to observe your laptop for signs on whether it has a built-in microphone.
For Mac computers/laptops, the microphone will be on the left side of your laptop. For the 15″ laptop’s the microphone is within the left speaker grid. For the 13″ laptops the microphone is on the top left of the bottom portion of your laptop. They will be tiny holes right above the escape key.
This is a general location for where the microphone is and they may be in a different location for your particular macbook model. I recommend going to the website also if you are still having trouble locating the microphone.
For computers/laptops that run Windows, such as Dell, there will be tiny holes on the body of your laptop. There will sometimes be a sticker with the image of a microphone next to the microphone as well. There are quite a few different windows machines which is why I recommend consulting the guide that came with your laptop/computer or to go to the website of the company that manufactured your machine for more help.
The External Computer Microphone Route
If your computer does not have a built-in microphone then another option is to purchase an external microphone. Depending on the quality that you get, external microphones can offer better quality than the built-in mic in your computer.
The microphone on your headphones can also be used with your computer but there are times where you can run into compatibility issues.
For instance, I tried using my apple headphones with a windows laptop and discovered that the microphone on my apple headphones was not compatible with the Windows operating system. This may not be the case for all windows laptops but this is the experience I had.
External microphones can be found at places like Best Buy, Amazon and typically local technology or electronic stores. Going to a local store can make it easier if you are having trouble finding a microphone that is compatible with your computer.
How do I turn on the microphone on my laptop? For Mac, navigate to “System Preferences” then click on “Sound.” Go to the “Input” tab and click on the desired Mic. Then scroll the Input volume bar as far to the left as possible. For Windows, navigate to the speaker icon on the bottom right. Right-click the icon and press “Sounds.” Go to the “Recording” tab. Right click on your Microphone such as “Microphone Array” and press Enable.
How do I test my microphone in Mac? Navigate to “System Preferences” then click on “Sound.” Go to the “Input” tab and click on the desired Mic under the “Name” tab. Speak into the mic and the input level bars should light up. Adjust the “Input Volume” to your desired level.
How do I test my microphone in Windows? N