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Microphone -Work, Uses, Type, How to Test Microphone USB in PC Skype

Microphones are an inevitable part of all technological devices such as computers, smartphones, television, and others. No matter its a call or a conference, it is a bare minimum requirement to attend it. In this article we will discuss about Microphone, How it Works, Types, Uses, How to test Microphone USB in PC, Skype and How to Turn it Off.

A Brief History of Microphone

The microphone is an input device that converts the electrical energy into sound waves or to input the data in the computer. It was developed in the year 1877 by Emile Berliner.  A liquid mechanism was used by the first electronic Mic.

Inventor of Microphone
Emile Berliner – Inventor of Microphone

The first Mic was based on the diaphragm strategy where the currently charged needle was put into the diluted Sulphuric Acid solution for the connections. However, these Mic(s) were not capable of producing intelligible speech.

What is a Microphone

An electronic device that captures audio and converts the same into an electrical signal or electronic waves and outputs the sound waves or inputs the audio into computers. It is done through analog signal or digital signal and is typically performed by digital audio devices or a computer.

What is Microphone
Introduction to Microphone

Microphones are normally designed based on directionality. This includes various types of devices such as omnidirectional, shotgun, directional, bidirectional, or two unidirectional devices.

How Does a Microphone Work

Inner View of Microphone
Inner View of Microphone
  • Whenever a person speaks, it generates sound waves which enter the microphone and generates energy.
  • The diaphragm moves forward and backward whenever the soundwaves hit it. It is typically made out of thin plastic and is normally located inside the Mic. The diaphragm connected to the coil also moves backward and forward.
How Microphone Works
How Microphone Works – Courtery:Rfvenue
  • An electric current passes through the magnetic field when the coil moves backward and forward through the magnetic field. The magnetic field is created by the permanent magnet inside it.
  • An electric current passes on to the entire Mic and the sound recording device. The sound recording equipment is also driven by the electric current. It assists in storing the sound or sending it to the loudspeaker. In the loudspeaker, the electricity converts the waves into louder and high sounds.
Sound Wave and Voltage Correlation in Microphone
Sound Wave and Voltage Correlation in Microphone

Types of Microphone

There are various uses of a microphone and accordingly, the preferences and requirements change. To adhere to these requirements, there are many types of microphones available in the market such as:

  • Omnidirectional Mic
  • UniDirectional Mic
  • Bidirectional Mic
  • Close Talk Mic
  • Clip-on Mic
  1. Omnidirectional Mic

This microphone comprises a circular polar pot and therefore it can pick and detect sound from all sides. We use such mic(s) in studios.

We use these mics so that we can record the sound from all the directions such as the voices of more than one musical instrument or person. Unlike a unidirectional mic that receives the sound from only a single direction, this microphone captures sounds from all sides.

Omnidirectional Microphone
Omnidirectional Microphone
  1. Unidirectional Mic

It captures sound from a single direction and we can record the maximum sound only when the speaker speaks from the front. If the voice is not in the correct direction then the recording is not successful. We use this kind of microphone to record sound in a voice-over or a podcast.

  1. Bidirectional Mic

The microphone is alternatively termed as the figure of eight microphones and can capture high sensitivity sound from the backside and front sides of the mic. We use this microphone while taking interviews so that we can hear sounds from the interviewer and interviewee equally.

Types of Microphones
Types of Microphones
  1. Close Talk Mic

While recording sound through a close-talk microphone the user has to speak while being very close to the mic. Also, there should not be any disturbance by other sounds and noise. These mics are normally used in voice recognition software, headset, or phones.

Close Talk Microphone
Close Talk Microphone

It is highly recommended for fixed station applications as it can provide excellent quality of voice. It also comprises a feature called a humbucking coil. This increases the quality of voice for communication and also reduces the unnecessary disturbances of other sounds.

  1. Clip-On Mic

The microphone is termed with several names such as personal mic, collar mic, neck mic, body mic, lapel mic, or lavalier. They are handsfree small mics that we can attach to shirts, collars, ties, or such other clothing. We use this microphone to provide hands-free operations such as public speaking, television, or theatre.

Clip On Mics
Clip-On Mics

Uses of a Mic(s) with Computer

The microphone has been an inevitable device for computers in recent days. With the advancement in technology and more and more uses of computers, mic(s) have also been finding a place in the environment. Some of the major uses of Mic(s) are:

  • Voice recording uses.
  • Users can have an option for voice recognition.
  • Recording sounds of musical instruments.
  • Online chatting.
  • Allows voice over internet protocol.
  • Computer gaming uses.
  • Recording voices for dictation, podcasts, singing, and many more.
Uses of MICs
Uses of MICs

How to Test Microphone USB for Windows 10

To test a microphone on windows 10 follow the below-mentioned steps:

  • Connect the microphone to the computer.
  • Click on the start button. Then go to the settings menu and browse through the System menu under it
  • Click on the Sound button
  • Under the menu of sound settings, browse to the input menu and click on Test your mic.
  • Observe the blue bar under this menu. It falls and rises to match the frequency of sound as you speak on the mic. If the blue bar is moving, it implies that the microphone is working appropriately
  • If the bar does not move then there is some problem with the microphone. To fix the same the user should seek to troubleshoot.

How to Test Mic USB on Skype

To communicate with your family and friends for free, skype is a wonderful video and phone chat application through the computer. Therefore it is also inevitable to have the correct and appropriate microphone configurations.

Follow the below-mentioned steps to test the microphone on skype:

  • Click on the start menu from windows and then click on the Control panel to find hardware and sound and select sound from it.
  • Under the sound, the menu selects the Recording tab. It offers all the available microphones. Select your desired one and set it as the default one
  • Under the levels, tab set all the properties as per your preferences. Click on Apply button and enter.
  • Start the skype application and select your default microphone from the drop-down menu.
  • Under the contacts, the menu clicks on the Sound/Echo test service. After the beep sound, you have to record your message. This message replays after a few minutes if your microphone is performing properly.

How to Test a Logitech Mic

Logitech is the major manufacturer of various computer microphones and are widely in use for voice chat, recording memos, recording audio, and other functions.

We can test a Logitech mic through the following steps:

  • We should connect the Logitech mic to the computer. The standard ones are connected to the microphone port while the USB ones are connected to the USB port on the computer.
  • Select all the desired settings for the microphone by clicking on the Start -> Control Panel -> Sounds and Audio -> Audio -> Audio -> Sound Playback and Sound recording.
  • Ensure that the mute button is unchecked and also adjust the outgoing and incoming audio volume.
  • Thereafter click on the Test microphone button for recording a sample and check if your mic is performing properly.

How to Use a Microphone USB on a PC

USB microphones are very simple to use. All the user has to do is plug the USB into the computer port. However, when sometimes the drivers are not compatible with the computer and the USB microphone then we should follow below mentioned steps:

  • With the use of an appropriate USB cable plug the USB microphone.
  • To assist the digital communication between the computer and the USB microphone download appropriate drivers. The drivers may communicate automatically or manually.
  • Select the USB microphone as your input or output device as required.
  • If the Mic is mute, unmute it.
  • Raise the volume of the mic if required.
  • We can test the Mic in the computer’s settings window.

How to Turn Off the Microphone

There are several ways for turning off the microphone. The list of some of the ways is here:

  1. Using Device Manager

Select disable on the microphone under the audio inputs and outputs section. This menu is available under the Device Manager.

  1. Using Device Properties

We can access the device properties under the Sound settings. Select the microphone from the drop-down list and disable it. With this, any of the applications will not be able to use the microphone.

  1. Using Additional Device Properties and Control Panel

There are several tabs such as General, listen, levels, and advanced under the additional device properties. The users can customize these settings as per their preferences and requirements.

  1. Through Managing Sound Services

There are many input and output audio setups for Bluetooth devices, headphones, and other such applications. We can disable Through manage sound devices link microphone for performance.

  1. Muting the Microphone in Particular Apps

Turn off to use the microphone from application permissions for a certain specific app.

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Chakrasthitha is a B.E (Medical Electronics) and has work experience in MatLab and Lab View Software as Design Engineer at BCS innovations and Manipal hospital as Biomedical Engineer. She is an author, editor and partner at Electricalfundablog.


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