Mic Monitoring: What Is It? How Do I Turn It Off?

Mic monitoring is incredibly beneficial in gaming, voice chat, conference calls, and a number of other situations.

It occurs when a user uses a headset to communicate. In the virtual world today, talking on devices apart from smartphones is essential for our everyday routines.

When you are on a voice chat with someone, do you think you are speaking too loud or too quiet? Mic monitoring may be beneficial. This guide will explain what it is and its uses.  

We’ll explore mic monitoring, including how to enable it and its applications. Let’s understand the benefits of using one of the most underappreciated functions on headsets available today. 

What is Mic Monitoring? 

Microphone monitoring (also called “sidetone”) applies to hearing your voice through a headset.

The function assists you in monitoring your voice, feeds your mic input to your headsets, and modulates the voice volume.

Mic monitoring is helpful for online gamers who require an audible, clean-cut, less chaotic chat setting. Unlike an unwanted echo, mic monitoring is a benefit to users.

You can often find this feature in wireless headsets.

In addition, if you participate in regular conference calls while working, it can be beneficial. You can use mic monitoring to determine whether you are too close to the microphone or whether it is picking up too much background noise. 

What does Mic Monitoring do? 

The first thing that mic monitoring can do is the reason it got designed. People that can’t hear themselves while online gaming speak louder than they would if they could listen to themselves. It makes people on the receiving end of the microphone feel uncomfortable.  

Mic monitoring does the job of helping because loud game music and noise-canceling headphones can sometimes unwittingly result in raising your voice to an unintended decibel. 

A microphone monitor can be valuable when chatting online or using headphones in other circumstances. By listening to yourself, you can determine your voice quality and volume. It makes for a pleasant experience for both the speaker and the listener. 

Reasons why Mic Monitoring is essential 

Mic monitoring offers several key advantages: 

  • Creates crystal-clear sound while gaming 
  • Balances out noises and voices 
  • The other sounds get drowned out so as not to become too distorted and peak 
  • Real-time troubleshooting is possible — adjust your voice based on what you hear
  • It solves the problem of people talking too loudly
  • Mic monitoring could be helpful on platforms and programs such as Skype, Zoom, and Google Voice

How does Mic Monitoring work on the Xbox? 

As previously stated, gaming consoles, including the Xbox, frequently utilize headphones with built-in Mic Monitoring.

Gaming consoles, except for laptops and desktop computers, cannot divert or transmit audio signals to your speakers. Hence, you may require another system to streamline this process. If your headphones don’t support Mic Monitoring, you can always invest in alternative solutions to enable the function. 

Ensure your headset has a mic monitoring feature before proceeding. Besides, keep in mind that settings differ between headset brands. 

How can you enable Mic Monitoring on the Xbox? 

You can use Mic Monitoring to keep your headphones on and hear what’s happening in the game while talking. It reduces distractions and enhances concentration on the game. 

To enable Mic Monitoring on Xbox, take the following steps: 

  • On your Xbox controller, connect your Mic Monitoring-capable headphones. 
  • On the home screen of the Xbox One, push the Xbox button of your controller. 
  • Navigate to the System tab and choose the Audio tab. It’s the gear icon on the extreme right. 
  • Choose the last slider. It’s the one that does the mic monitoring. 
  • Now you can fine-tune the slider as required. 

One important note: if your headset has its own controls for mic monitoring, whether physical controls on the headset or digital controls on the app, the “mic monitoring” option will not be available in the Xbox’s System > Audio tab. Instead, you will need to enable/disable microphone monitoring using the headset’s controls (either buttons on the headset or settings on the companion app).

How can you disable Mic Monitoring on the Xbox? 

To disable Mic Monitoring on Xbox One or Xbox Series, follow these steps: 

  • Access the mic monitoring section of the Xbox Menu. 
  • Go to your Xbox One’s home screen and press the Xbox button. 
  • Choose the System tab, then Audio. 
  • Move the slider as required.  
  • Turn the volume down to zero. 

One important note: if your headset has its own controls for mic monitoring, whether physical controls on the headset or digital controls on the app, the “mic monitoring” option will not be available in the Xbox’s System > Audio tab. Instead, you will need to enable/disable microphone monitoring using the headset’s controls (either buttons on the headset or settings on the companion app).

How can you enable Mic Monitoring on PlayStation? 

Even though Mic Monitoring comes enabled by default on your PlayStation, you can change the volume. 

To enable Mic Monitoring on a PS4, you may follow these instructions: 

  • Navigate to Settings, then choose the Devices tab. 
  • Choose Audio Devices. After which, you should see an option named – sidetone volume. 
  • Now, you can adjust the volume as you want. 

How can you disable Mic Monitoring on PlayStation? 

The Sidetone feature turns off automatically when you unplug your headphones from the console. With that said, you can disable this function and continue to play with your headphones.  

Just do the following: 

  • First, navigate to Settings, and then go to Devices. 
  • Choose Audio Devices and look for the “sidetone volume” option. 
  • You can then slide the sidetone volume to the far left. 

How can you enable Mic Monitoring on Windows? 

Mic monitoring for PC is helpful in business settings. If you’re on the phone with a client or in a meeting with coworkers, you should always be able to hear yourself. 

If you want to enable Mic Monitoring on your computer, and supposing you have Windows 10, you may follow these steps: 

  • Hook up a microphone and your headphones to your computer. 
  • Click on Control Panel to open it. If you search for “Control Panel” in the search bar, you can find it. 
  • Select the sound icon. 
  • Tap the second tab from the top marked “Recording,” when a tiny window appears. 
  • Select the default microphone device by double-clicking it. 
  • Once a new window appears, press on the “Listen” tab. 
  • Then you can click the box that says, “Listen to this device.” 
  • Select the device you will use to listen to your microphone output under the option - ”Playback through this device.” 
  • Then, tap OK. 

How can you disable Mic Monitoring on Windows? 

To disable Mic Monitoring on Windows on your PC, follow these steps: 

  • Click the Sound icon in the Control Panel. 
  • A small window will appear. Choose the “Recording” option. 
  • Select the default microphone device by double-clicking it. 
  • A new window will appear. Tap on the “Listen” tab. 
  • Next, uncheck the tab that says “Listen to this Device,” then click “OK.” 

How can you enable Mic Monitoring on your Mac? 

On Macs, there is no built-in method to enable mic monitoring, as you can on your Windows PC. All the same, you can still access this feature by installing applications or software.  

QuickTime is the most convenient tool for mic monitoring your sound. 

To enable mic monitoring on a Mac, follow these steps: 

  •  Click “File” in the QuickTime Player bar.  
  •  Click “File” in the QuickTime Player bar.  Choose “New Audio Recording.” 
  • Increase the volume to maximum. 
  • It’s not required to record your voice to test mic monitoring. 

You can use programs like AudioMonitor in addition to QuickTime on your Mac. 

How can you disable Mic Monitoring on your Mac? 

This one is easy. To disable mic monitoring on a Mac, follow these steps: 

Just slide the volume down or exit from QuickTime. 

How does Mic Monitoring work on a camera? 

On cameras, monitoring is much easier than on computers and laptops. A 3.5mm jack is found on many X Series cameras, allowing you to connect earphones to hear what is getting recorded. After you plug in the earphones, you can listen to the sound in real time. What happens, though, if the camera lacks a headphone jack? The best option is to use a microphone with a monitor jack. 

How do you enable Mic Monitoring on your phone? 

You can usually monitor the microphone level by using the sound level bar on an iPhone or Android device. 

You’ll be able to tell whether the bar is soft or loud by how it moves up and down. That said, it does not indicate what will happen with the sounds. You can use a phone microphone with a 3.5mm monitoring jack to accurately listen to live sounds. Doing this allows you to hear what gets captured and make adjustments. 

Simple steps: 

On Android, go to Settings > Apps > Permissions > Microphone to modify the microphone settings. You’ll see the apps that have access to the microphone settings. Depending on what is required, apps may be given access to the microphone or not. 

Does Mic Monitoring cause an echo when used with Xbox? 

When using the internal microphone on Xbox One, there may be an echo problem at higher volumes. When you are in party chat, you may hear the echo from everyone else at your party. Most likely, this occurs because the Xbox One is set to audio output party chat to both speakers and the headset. 

Mic Monitoring Across Different Devices

We’ve extensively discussed how mic monitoring can be enabled and disabled on various platforms like Xbox, PlayStation, Windows PC, Mac, and your phone. However, let’s further delve into the world of mic monitoring across different devices and understand the compatibility of various gadgets with mic monitoring.

PC Gaming Headsets:

For gamers, PC gaming headsets are a vital tool. Most of the high-end gaming headsets come with built-in mic monitoring or sidetone features. Brands like HyperX, Logitech, SteelSeries, and Turtle Beach are renowned for their headsets’ sound quality and user-friendly features, including mic monitoring.

With such headsets, you can instantly monitor your voice during the heat of the game, avoiding unnecessary shouting or whispers. All the mentioned brands offer their dedicated software where you can control the mic monitoring feature and adjust the volume as needed.

Bluetooth Headsets for Smartphones:

For those who are frequently on call using smartphones, Bluetooth headsets with mic monitoring features can come in handy. Brands like Plantronics and Jabra offer Bluetooth headsets with active sidetone features. These allow you to hear your voice in the headset, preventing you from speaking too loudly in quiet environments.

AirPods Pro and AirPods Max:

Notably, Apple’s AirPods Pro and AirPods Max have a feature called Transparency Mode, which functions similarly to mic monitoring. When turned on, Transparency Mode allows external sound to come in so you can hear your surroundings and your voice naturally while speaking on a call or recording audio.

Final Thoughts 

Mic monitoring is critical regardless of how good your microphone is. That said, speaking loudly into a microphone while getting too close can overload it, resulting in digital distortion and clipping. 

This guide defined mic monitoring for you and showed you its benefits. It also illustrated how to enable and disable the feature on various platforms and devices. 

Ergo, if you’ve seen that mic monitoring feature on your device but haven’t used it, try it now and see how it can enhance your audio experience! 


Can I use mic monitoring on any device?

Yes, you can use mic monitoring on any device provided it supports this feature or you have a headset with built-in mic monitoring. Platforms like Xbox, PlayStation, Windows, and Mac all have ways to enable mic monitoring, and many headsets come equipped with this feature.

Does mic monitoring work with all games?

Yes, mic monitoring can work with all games if your headset supports it. The feature is not game-dependent but rather relies on the capabilities of your hardware (headset or gaming console).

Is there a delay in mic monitoring?

Usually, mic monitoring offers real-time feedback. However, depending on your device’s processing power and the quality of your headset, you may experience a slight delay. Most high-end headsets and devices manage to minimize this latency significantly.