How to tell if my computer has a microphone

Updated: 05/21/2018 by Computer Hope

Computer microphoneWhen referring to computer microphones, they generally are one of two types: external or internal. The following sections describe both, as well as how to detect these devices using software.

External microphones

External microphones are peripherals that are usually purchased separately and plug into the computer. Essentially, if you do not have a microphone attached to your sound card or to a USB port, you do not have an external mic. The sound card is located on the back of your computer and is where you connect external speakers. USB ports are also located on the back of the computer.

Internal microphones

Internal microphones can be seen as a few small holes under the bezel of your computer monitor or somewhere on the body of your laptop. Although the hole(s) for the microphone may be difficult to see, they usually have a small graphic of a microphone or the word "Mic" indicating their location.

Tip: Many webcams have microphones built into them that may be used separately from the camera.

Locating a microphone using software

Whether your microphone is internal or external, it shows in your devices list. For users with Microsoft Windows, following the steps below helps you determine whether or not you have a microphone.

  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. If using the Category view, click on Hardware and Sound, then click on Sound. If using the Small icons view, click the Sound option.
  3. In the Sound window, click the Recording tab.
  4. If your computer has an external or internal microphone, it will be displayed in the list on the Recording tab.

If you click on the microphone in the list, then click the Properties button, you can view and modify settings for the micorphone.

Where do I buy a microphone?

Almost every local computer store or electronics store carries a microphone that is compatible with your machine. If you have determined that your computer did not come with a microphone, visit a retail store or online store to purchase one.

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