Microphone issues can be really frustrating; I'm the founder of LanguageConvo, consider myself fairly adept with technology, and microphone problems drive me bonkers.

Using Our Test page to Help Find the Problem

First, try out our test page. This is the fastest way to find and fix a microphone issue in my experience.

The general idea here is you're going to select a microphone, record a short 5 second of yourself speaking, and then play back the video. If you can hear yourself speaking in the video, you're all set! If you can't hear yourself, then switch to a new microphone and try again:

  1. Make sure you can hear! I recommend playing part of a YouTube video to ensure you can hear that. If don't hear anything when playing the video your speakers are the first problem to address

  2. Go to the test page, Classroom - AV Test

  3. Click the green box, and select a microphone

  1. When the test starts, speak loudly into your microphone

  2. After the test finishes, play the video. If you can hear yourself speaking in the video, you're all set!

  3. If you can't hear yourself, click the green box and select a different microphone

  4. Repeat this process until you can hear yourself in the test video. Try selecting every microphone listed, even ones that seem to have similar names

Test on Some Other Websites

This will help determine if the problem is specifically only with our website. Here are a few places to test; these are well-known companies so should be safe, but I'd still refrain from speaking about your bank account number!

On both of these test pages you should see the "waveform" move up and down, indicating your mic is working (if any of these links are broken please let us know):

www.vidyard.com/mic-test/

www.drift.com/video/mic-test/

What to Try Next

If none of the test videos had sound, try these steps next:

  • Try a different browser. If you're using Safari, switch to Chrome. If you're using Chrome, switch to Firefox, etc. Browsers have their own security settings, and your browser may be blocking use of your microphone

  • Check your computer's microphone settings. If you have a Windows computer, search for "Microphone" in the search bar. If you have an Apple computer, click the Apple icon at the top then "Sound."

  • If you're using a mobile device try using headphones that have a microphone built-in. If you were already using headphones that have a mic, try not using it

  • Look on your keyboard for a microphone button. Some laptops especially have a mute button; although looking in your computer settings should have shown your microphone was on mute, sometimes pressing this button on your keyboard is all that was needed to fix the issue

  • Your microphone may just be broken. One particularly frustrating incident for me was when my microphone simply broke; if it's broken, no amount of changing settings will help!

Why Audio is Important, and Recommendations on Buying Devices

You will notice that all of our teachers have very clear audio; this is because they have an external microphone rather than use the microphone that is built in to their computer. When you do the audio/video test, what you see and hear is exactly how your teacher will see and hear you. If your audio isn’t very clear, 95% of the time this is because your voice is being recorded by a microphone built into your computer, and usually this microphone is of very low quality even on expensive computers.

There are a few good options for getting a better microphone:

  • A standalone microphone is a great option, and can be had for less than $10 USD. Search Amazon for a term like “desktop microphone”.

  • Almost all webcams come with a microphone. Most of these are of good quality.

  • Headsets are a great option if you don’t mind wearing one. In our experience, Logitech is one of the better brands but there are many good options.

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