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How to reduce microphone background noise on a PC



  An audio headset with a built-in microphone that can reduce background noise.
Micolas / Shutterstock.com

Whether you have video conferences with colleagues, chat with friends or record content for public consumption, the quality of the audio recording is always important. Here's how to get a crisp, clear audio recording and minimize background noise on a Windows PC.

Basic Tips for Clear Audio Recording

Before going into software features, you should follow some basic practices for clearer audio recording. Here are a few quick tips:

  • Wear headphones: If your microphone picks up noise from your speakers, put on headphones to eliminate the echo.
  • Use a special microphone or headset: Many laptops have fairly low-quality built-in microphones. Of course they work, but that's about all that can be said for them. Try connecting a special microphone or headset to your PC.
  • Eliminate or remove the background noise: Close windows, move away from vents, move into less noisy rooms, close applications that cause your laptop's fans to buzz. move your microphone further away from your mouth so that other people cannot hear your breathing, and generally think about how to avoid noises. Consider swapping out that noisy mechanical keyboard for something calmer during calls. Consider muting yourself during the call while you are not speaking.

Enable noise cancellation in Windows

Just like Windows 7 before it, Windows 1

0 offers some integrated microphone options that help with background noise from the microphone. The exact options available depend on the sound hardware in your PC and your manufacturer's audio drivers.

These options can be found in the traditional control panel. They are not available in the new Settings app. To find them, open the Control Panel from the Start menu and go to Hardware and Sound> Sound.

 Open sound options in Windows 10 Control Panel

Click the "Record" tab in the sound window, select your microphone device and click "Properties".

 Open the properties window of a microphone device

Click the "Levels" tab. If you're dealing with background noise, try lowering the Microphone Boost option – maybe down to +10.0 dB instead of + 20.dB. This makes the microphone more sensitive, which means it can hear you more easily, but it will also pick up more background noise.

After you have reduced the microphone gain option, try setting the microphone volume all the way to 100. If you lower the boost setting, the microphone is softer. Increasing the volume here will make it easier for people to hear you.

After changing some settings, click "Apply" and retest your microphone to see if it helped. [19659011]   Microphone volume level and boost options that affect background noise

Finally click the "Enhancements" tab. This tab may not be available – it depends on your PC's audio hardware and drivers.

If there is an option for noise reduction or noise reduction, enable it. Other options here can also help reduce background noise. For example, on the PC we tested this on, there was an "Acoustic Echo Cancellation" option that would reduce the echo from speakers if you were not wearing headphones.

Click "OK" to save your changes and close the window.

 Enabling Noise Canceling on Windows 10

RELATED: Setting Up and Testing Microphones in Windows 10 [19659025] Using Noise Canceling Software or Features

Popular communications tools are getting more advanced noise canceling features that working in conversations. Some software programs promise to remove background noise while recording an application on your PC. Here are some tools you can use:

  • Google Meet: Google added noise reduction to Google Meet on April 22, 2020. Google Meet automatically filters out background noise.
  • Zoom: Zoom has built-in background noise reduction that is enabled by default. To check these options, open the Zoom settings window from the menu, select & # 39; Audio & # 39; in the sidebar and click on the & # 39; Advanced & # 39; button. You will see the functions 'Suppress background noise suppression', 'Suppress background noise suppression' and & # 39; Echo cancellation & # 39 ;. These audio processing functions are all set to "Auto" by default, but you can disable or tune them to make them more or less aggressive.

  Zoom's background noise options in the settings window.

  • NVIDIA RTX Voice: With the NVIDIA RTX Voice application installed, you can activate a "Remove Background Noise" feature that uses machine learning and the power of an NVIDIA GPU to remove background noise from your microphone in any application on your system. According to NVIDIA, this software only works on systems with NVIDIA RTX GPUs. However, Ars Technica reports that it can also work on PCs with older NVIDIA graphics hardware.
  • Discord: Discord now has a built-in noise reduction function from Krisp.ai. To enable this during voice chat, click the Noise Reduction button in the bottom left of Discord's sidebar and activate "Noise Reduction".

  Noise Reduction in Discord

Krisp.ai, available for free in Discord, also offers a software product that allows noise reduction in any application, such as NVIDIA & # 39; s RTX Voice software, but for PC & # 39; s without. It has a free tier that offers 120 minutes of free noise cancellation every week, but after that you have to pay $ 3.33 per month.

Many other video conferencing applications also have built-in noise reduction functions. You may be able to configure them from the application settings window. If you're using an old video conferencing tool that doesn't have built-in noise reduction, your organization can better move to a modern solution that does.

Consider a Noise Canceling Microphone [19659005] If nothing else works fine, you may need a better microphone. Some microphones are designed to filter out or reduce ambient noise. For example, they have two built-in microphones: a primary microphone to record your voice and a secondary microphone to record ambient sound. They can then filter out the ambient noise. They are often marketed as & # 39; noise canceling microphones & # 39 ;.

Even if you don't include a microphone specifically designed for that, a better quality microphone can greatly improve the audio quality over a built-in laptop. microphone or an old headset you had lying around.

RELATED: The 6 Best Free Video Conferencing Apps


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