Maybe you were using a soundboard and playing audio through your microphone, or perhaps there’s been a freak accident in your computer’s brain pipes causing all of your audio-related woes.
Nonetheless, all kinds of issues could result in your computer playing audio through the microphone. When you want to play sound through your computer’s built-in speakers, or through an external speaker, it can be infuriating when all audio is emitted from a microphone only.
Here are some troubleshooting methods to get your audio to play through your speakers again.
Why Is My Audio Playing Through My Microphone?
If your audio is unexpectedly playing through your microphone, various factors could be at play. For those not savvy with audio troubleshooting, here are some potential causes and how to fix them:
- Speaker malfunctions: Sometimes, if your speakers are failing, your computer might default to your microphone for audio output.
- Microphone as an output device: While unusual, your computer might accidentally designate your microphone as an output device.
- Microphone picking up sound: If others can hear your computer audio during calls, your microphone might be inadvertently picking up sound rather than directly playing it.
How to Reroute Your Sound Back Through Your Speakers on Windows 10/11
- Check speaker recognition: Begin by determining if your computer is recognizing your speakers. Open settings by pressing the Windows Key and typing “Sound Settings.”
- Access Sound Settings: Alternatively, you can right-click on the Volume settings in the taskbar toolbar and select “Sound Settings.”
- Choose sound output: In the Sound Settings window, select “where to play sound” and choose your speakers from the dropdown menu. If your speakers aren’t listed, you’ll need to troubleshoot them. Alternatively, select a different audio device for immediate sound rerouting.
- Deal with malfunctioning speakers: If your speakers are not listed in the menu, they might be malfunctioning. Until fixed, you can reroute your sound to a pair of headphones.
How to Reroute Your Sound to Your Speakers on MacOS
- Access sound settings: On MacOS, click on the small speaker icon on your taskbar to open volume and sound settings. Alternatively, navigate to the Apple menu and select the Sound option.
- Change sound output: In Sound settings, alter the “play sound through…” option to your preferred sound device. This change should reroute your audio accordingly.
How to Reroute Your Audio Through Your Speakers on Linux
While Linux is function-first rather than user-friendly, changing sound settings is relatively straightforward:
- Open Activities overview: Begin by opening the Activities overview and typing in “Sound” to access the sound settings.
- Change output settings: In the sound settings window, navigate to the “Output” tab. Here, select the output device you want to use.
Other Potential Causes
In some instances, the problem could be caused by a more rare (and hard to diagnose) problem.
If the above fixes don’t resolve the problem, there are a few more steps you can take.
First, you should consider reinstalling your audio drivers. These drivers will be dependent on your microphone and operating system, but there will likely be a step-by-step guide available for you depending on the particular products you are using.
Second, you should adjust Microphone settings, making sure that no unusual settings have been turned on. Sometimes toggling the Mute button, or adjusting noise cancellation, is the only thing required to fix the issue.
Software Interferences: Are Your Programs Playing Tricks?
Occasionally, the issue of audio playing through your microphone can be due to certain software or programs installed on your system. Some applications, like communication software or certain games, have the ability to override default audio settings to function optimally. This could result in your audio being rerouted through the microphone.
How to Troubleshoot:
- Check Running Programs: Look at your currently running programs to identify any that might potentially override your audio settings. Applications like Discord, Skype, or certain gaming platforms could be the culprits.
- Check Application Settings: Once you’ve identified possible problematic applications, delve into their individual audio settings. See if they have been set to play audio through the microphone.
- Alter Settings or Uninstall: If the application’s settings are causing the issue, alter them so your audio returns to your preferred output. If the problem persists, consider uninstalling the program to see if it rectifies the issue.
Remember, software interference can be a common problem, especially when multiple audio-centric applications are involved. Understanding how these apps interact with your computer’s audio settings can help in troubleshooting.
It can be hard to get used to technology, and so much of it seems to break without warning. We hope you have learned something new about your favorite devices, and we’re glad to teach you everything you need to be a technology pro.
We have covered all the primary desktop functions you need to change your audio output device to your favorite speakers. If you’re still having trouble getting your computer to route your audio through the speakers, you’ll want to hire someone that can remotely access your desktop to change the settings for you or bring your desktop into a shop to show you how to do it.
Once you have learned how to alter your computer’s settings it tends to be somewhat like riding a bike, you’ll never forget.
So, learning how to do it yourself is the best way to save yourself a boatload of money on getting your PC serviced!
What do I do if my speakers are not listed in the output devices?
If your speakers don’t appear in the list of output devices, they may be malfunctioning or their drivers may be outdated or corrupt. Consider troubleshooting your speakers, updating or reinstalling the drivers, or contacting the manufacturer for support.
Why is my microphone picking up the sound from my computer during calls?
This can happen if your microphone is too close to your speakers, causing a feedback loop. Try moving your microphone further away from your speakers. If the problem persists, check the audio settings of your communication software (e.g., Zoom, Discord) to ensure it’s set up correctly.
Is there a way to prevent specific programs from changing my audio settings?
Most programs that can change your audio settings have an option within their own settings to prevent this. Look for options like “allow applications to take exclusive control of this device” or similar, and make sure this is turned off. If the option isn’t available, you may need to consult the program’s support or community forums for more specific advice.