Solved! Microphone issue on Win10 PC (buzzing sound) / dedicated sound card upgrade?


Apr 30, 2017
Hello guys,
Hoping I am posting this in the correct section.

I am hoping to get help on my issue with my microphone on my Win10 desktop PC.

Very poor audio in voice chat from my Zalman clip-on mic, sound is either whisper quiet (must set volume at 100% and use some boost, otherwise people can't hear me), or produces static that makes my voice almost impossible to hear.

Windows 10
Onboard audio from ASUS P8Z77-V DELUXE(Realtek® ALC898)
Superlux HD681 EVO headphones
Zalman zm-mic1 clip-on microphone
Occasionally some Logitech 2.1 speakers (forgot which)

Light gaming, music (Google music mostly, some MP3 and some FLAC lossless)
100% Desktop PC use.

Steps taken:
Same issue with front or back audio ports of the motherboard.
Knowing it is a cheap $5 microphone, at first I thought it must be dead. I bought a new one. Same issue. I had the new one replaced by Amazon, same issue. So I had the same issue with 3 different zalman mics. It is a cheap mic, but I know many people use it with no such issues. This makes me think the issue is not the mic. I could always get yet another mic(diff. model) to test? but at this point I'd be surpised the mic is the issue...
I updated the Realtek driver to the latest one from Realtek (the ASUS board is quite old and doesn't have the latest listed), same issue.

Sorry for the novel, here is the part where I'd like advice.
I figured I could go on on wasting time in trying to troubleshoot this, or I could simply maybe buy a sound card of some kind and hopefully bypass the issue?

- fix the mic issue somehow
- maybe buy a cheap 3.5mm to USB adapter, not sure on results to expect from this
- maybe buy something like a Sound Blaster Play or Xonar u3
- maybe might as well buy a Sound blaster Omni/Xonar u5
- maybe might as well buy some USB amp/DAC even though my headphones don't really need it
- maybe buy an internal sound card like a Xonar DGX or the like
- maybe buy another mic and try it out?
- buy a USB headset and bypass issue (I kinda love my headphones though)

What do you guys think? in the end I just want decent audio quality and a mic that works well.
I have no complaint with the audio quality from the onboard audio and my headphones right now but if spending <100bucks to get rid of the mic issue gets me better sound, as well I wouldn't mind...

Thanks for reading

Feb 18, 2018
Its probably the mic not being compatible, or you don't have the mic power on. That is a lavalier mic which is a condensor mic that requires 5-12V power. Most desktops have this "phantom power" but laptops, its touch and go. Since you have an ASUS P8Z77-V , which is a desktop motherboard, I would look if the jumpers and the microphone jack is configured correctly for microphone power.


Apr 30, 2017
Just for reference for people stumbling across this thread for answers:
Long story short, after trying a billion things and finally buying a STRIX SOAR sound card being sure it would fix it, I still had the issue.
I then bought the cheapest clip-on mic I could find on Amazon that was not a Zalman, just as a test, and boom problem gone.
I felt a bit dumb, but at the same time trying 3 different Zalmans made me rule out the mic as the culprit for the issue..if you only knew how many tests and experimenting I did.. swapping PSUs, GPUs... :D
I am not sure at this point why I would only experience this issue with the Zalman mic(unless I am so unlucky I got 3 bad mics??), but it is what it is. Voice is loud and clear now. I kind of want to get a modmic but hoping I won't see the issue coming back if I spend that kind of cash.

Thanks guys for your answers.