If you are anything like me, you’ve spent several hours playing co-op games with friends on your PC or console. After years of engineering audio, it bothered me that I couldn’t hear myself when I spoke into my microphone. This lead to a lot of confusion about how loudly I was talking and didn’t allow me to adjust accordingly.
Thankfully, mic monitoring is becoming a widespread feature in gaming headsets and a setting on newer consoles. Let’s take a look at what mic monitoring is and how it can help your gaming experience.
What is Mic Monitoring?
Mic monitoring is a setting that can change the way you deal with voice chatting in games. First Person Shooter games are especially popular, and many of them allow you to hear your teammates and speak to them in return through a headset microphone.
The problem with this model is that you’re also wearing headphones. This covers your ears and makes it difficult to hear yourself. The result is that many people raise their voices to ensure that they’re being heard, leading to loud audio for the rest of the team.
Mic monitoring is a fix for this. It allows a player to hear their voice as they’re speaking into the headset microphone. I find this to be essential. Once you get used to hearing your own words repeated back to you, it can become an easy way to tell if you have any background noise going on, if your microphone is working, and if you’re speaking too loudly or too softly.
Mic monitoring can help overcome a variety of issues that have arisen from online gaming. It can make your gaming sessions with your friends that much more enjoyable as well.
How to Use Mic Monitoring
There are two ways to use mic monitoring, and it depends on your system. On Windows PCs, there is a built-in mic monitoring setting that you can access through the settings menu with your headset connected. Here, you can toggle mic monitoring on and change certain levels and settings to enhance the volume of your voice playback.
Consoles have their settings, but most headsets will have an option to switch mic monitoring on. Check to make sure that the headset has a mic monitoring feature and read the user manual to learn how it can be turned on, as it varies for every headset.
How to Use Mic Monitoring for Xbox One
To turn on the mic monitoring feature on your Xbox One, you need to select the ‘Broadcast Settings’ option from your user menu. You might have missed it because it isn’t with the other audio settings menus on the Xbox One.
Once here, you’ll find a few options. You can choose to turn your mic on and change the volume. There is also a mixer feature that allows you to change the balance between hearing your teammates and hearing the game sounds and music. You can shift this in any way you choose so that you get the best experience possible.
The mic monitoring slider is next. It allows you to adjust the monitoring volume. If you don’t mind hearing your words repeated as you speak, you can turn this up louder so you can accurately determine what you sound like. Otherwise, you can turn it down lower to help hear your friends better.
Once you have your headset connected and your mic monitoring settings set to your satisfaction, you’ll have a much better time in team-based games.
How Can Mic Monitoring Improve My Gaming Experience?
Mic monitoring can improve your gaming experience, but it helps your teammates out even more. If you are shouting into your microphone, they may mute you or not be able to talk to you. The result is less cohesive team play. This can make all the difference in First Person Shooter team-based games, where you need to work together to stay alive.
Becoming a tolerable member of the team can help you get invited back into groups, too. No matter how well you play, no one is going to want to play with someone who is screaming into their microphone. I’ve stepped out of many matchmaking lobbies because there was one person who didn’t know they were talking way too loudly.
You can also tell if there’s excessive background noise being picked up by your microphone. If your teammates can hear your fan going in the background, you’re all going to be distracted and likely annoyed.
So yes, mic monitoring is a feature that can greatly improve your multiplayer game experience if you know how to use it.
Best Gaming Headset for Mic Monitoring
So which is the best headset for mic monitoring? You want to be able to wear the headset comfortably, hear both your voice and the game well, and have a good enough mic that your voice sounds natural.
For all of these reasons, we choose the HyperX Cloud Alpha S Gaming Headset. This headset has so many features that allow you to adjust volume levels, game settings, and even activate mic monitoring directly from the corded control pad. This is a wired headset so you don’t have to worry about the battery going out on you.
The microphone is detachable, so you can still use the headset without worrying about speaking yourself. When you aren’t monitoring your microphone with a team in-game, they’ll still produce amazing sound. The ear cups are a comfortable leatherette that sits around your ear. Plus, the connectors and adjustment points are extremely sturdy, so they won’t come apart easily.
When you need a headset for monitoring your microphone, this is a perfect choice. Use it without the mic to hear your single-player games come to life with amazing clarity and sound fidelity.
Mic monitoring can be a useful feature that improves your gaming experience exponentially. If you choose to purchase a headset that uses mic monitoring, the HyperX Cloud Alpha S is one of the best available right now. Don’t get kicked out of team games because you’re speaking too loudly or too softly – choose to monitor your mic and optimize your microphone’s output.