Quiet, muffled microphone issues

Aug 13, 2018
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Hey I'm having a problem with my headset/microphone and similar threads haven't been helping me. Here's a description of my issue:

TL;DR Mic is quiet and muffled. Mic records sound output from speakers. Suggestions from other forums/threads haven't worked. Problem began 8/12/18. Specs are at bottom.

My headset was working perfectly fine for the first month I had it. The mic volume and quality was good, but now its turned into a muffled, very quiet humming of what it used to be. I was testing this using https://online-voice-recorder.com/ and I trust the recorder because 1) the Recording Devices in my "Sound" window reflects the issue described and 2) I've had feedback from users on the Discord app saying my mic was busted. Additionally, my mic is picking up sound output from my computer (i.e. if I play a youtube video, my mic will record whatever audio is coming from the video).

I don't think this is a problem with the hardware of my headset. To prove this, I returned my headset and got a new one of the same model. When I got home with it, the problem persisted.

Many threads have suggested reinstalling my Realtek High Definition Audio Driver. I've done this several times to no avail. Also, for some reason, I'm unable to open the Realtek HD Audio Manager program on my computer despite reinstalling.

I've also messed with the "Microphone Properties" tab for my mic. The "Listen to Device" is unchecked. The "Levels" are boosted to 100 and +30.0db. All sound effects are disabled. And the audio format is set to 2 channel, 16 bit, 48000 Hz (DVD Quality).

I'm unaware of any recent Windows updates that may have occurred to cause this. My headset was good between 7/9/18 - 8/11/18 and the problem began 8/12/18. (After the problem occurred, I updated my BIOS driver. I'm not sure which one because it popped up from one of the Windows Support applications. If the BIOS update version is important, please request!)

Here are some specs:

Headset: Corsair HS50
Audio Driver: Realtek HD Audio
OS: 64-bit Windows 10
Motherboard: Dell XPS 8500

If you need anymore specs or information, please ask!! I'm pretty desperate for a solution right now. :(

Thank you for any and all of your suggestions!
 
Oct 8, 2018
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I'm using an old Blue Icicle. Fix for very low volume and poor quality was to:
1) right click on volume icon and select "Troubleshoot sound problems"
2) click on "Yes, Open Audio Enhancements", then select "Advanced" tab.
3) In the dropdown Default Format pick a sample rate that matches the mic
For an Icicle Blue it is "Sample/Word: 44.1K/16bit" -- The lowest value on the menu.
Default was much higher rate and 24bit.
 

Lutfij

Splendid
Moderator
Yeah the BIOS version is important. Which version were you on and what are you on now? Just asking to understand if the BIOS was updated. Considering that the headset is analog and you're genuinely working off the Realtek audio solution, I'd ask you uninstall your audio drivers and reinstall with the last, most stable, version of the driver. If that fails, you can uninstall and reinstall using the drivers found of your support site or on Realtek's support site.

Or are you referring to the audio drivers being updated via Windows update? Can you check and see what your system resource usage is when idling(after boot up to GUI)?
 
Aug 13, 2018
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Thank you for replying. The BIOS version prior to update was probably A13. I'm not entirely sure, but I constantly looked for BIOS driver updates (due to booting problems) and I assume I was as up-to-date as possible. Currently, the BIOS version I'm running is A14.

To answer your question, I was referring to the audio drivers being updated by going into Device Manager and clicking Update Driver then selecting "Search web for new drivers.." option. After that didn't work, I updated the driver using the "Browse my computer's files for driver updates.." option and selected Realtek for updating. I also downloaded drivers from Realtek's website after uninstalling the Realtek drivers from my computer. After opening their .exe, InstallShield Wizard (or some shit) reinstalled Realtek drivers on my computer after 2 reboots. No progress was made here though. Also, I'm not sure what Realtek version I was running when my mic was at full capacity and I'm not even sure how I would obtain that version since Realtek's site only seems to distribute the most updated audio driver.

Regarding system resource usage, I will reply some other time when I can restart my computer for a test. I assume you want CPU/Memory/Disk/GPU usage %? If not, feel free to clarify. Otherwise, I'll respond with them later tonight.

NOTE: I've also confirmed that my issue is not hardware related in regard to my headset. I tested it on a separate computer and it worked at full capacity, as it did 1 month ago on my personal computer.

NOTE: I've contacted Dell's customer support center and their currently in the middle of resolving my issue. They reinstalled Realtek drivers several times now with no luck.
 
Aug 13, 2018
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My motherboard is also about 6 years old and came with Windows 7. I'm now operating on Windows 10 and I've been told that my audio issues may be deriving from my motherboard's incompatibility with Windows 10. Is this possible? I feel like this is not a legitimate answer since the audio was perfectly sounds for about a month before encountering my problem.
 
Oct 8, 2018
1
0
20
1
I'm using an old Blue Icicle. Fix for very low volume and poor quality was to:
1) right click on volume icon and select "Troubleshoot sound problems"
2) click on "Yes, Open Audio Enhancements", then select "Advanced" tab.
3) In the dropdown Default Format pick a sample rate that matches the mic
For an Icicle Blue it is "Sample/Word: 44.1K/16bit" -- The lowest value on the menu.
Default was much higher rate and 24bit.
 
Aug 13, 2018
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I was never able to fully resolve my problem, but I "treated" it by turning on "Echo Cancellation" in Microphone Properties under the Enhancements tab. I also boosted my Levels up to 20 db so people could hear me.

My mic still relays my computer's audio, but its tolerable now. I further reduced the issue by going to Speaker Properties and turning on "Environment" and "Loudness Equalization" in the Enhancements tab.
 
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