What Is Mic Monitoring and Why Is It Important?

Mic monitoring is a feature on headsets that feeds the audio signal from your microphone to your own headphones. This allows you to be able to hear yourself more accurately.

When using mic monitoring, people generally speak at a suitably lower volume which improves their microphone audio quality, by not overloading the microphone and not causing the signal to clip (digitally distort).

Mic monitoring is particularly useful in gaming, or in any other setting where a user needs to use a headset for communication.

Mic monitoring allows a person to hear themselves speak and kind of hear how their voice sounds. It is also generally a more comfortable experience for both the speaker and the listener.

It’s great for the speaker, particularly when using noise isolating or noise-canceling earphones. Otherwise, it can feel like your own voice is quite muffled, and it may feel strange and uncomfortable to speak.

In this case, users often increase their volume far too much, which causes audio quality issues and volume jumps.

You can enable or disable mic monitoring on Windows, Xbox One, and PS4, and we have included steps and instructions for how to do it below.

On Mac, if you want to enable mic-monitoring, some programs allow you to do this, such as Quicktime.

Mic Monitoring on Windows 10

  • Press the Windows Key
  • Type ‘Sound’ and select the ‘Sound Settings’ option
  • Scroll down to Related Settings and select ‘Sound Control Panel’
  • On the pop-up window, select the ‘Recording’ tab
  • Select your microphone device
  • Click on ‘Listen’
  • Enable the ‘Listen to this device’ checkbox

Xbox Mic Monitoring

  • Press the Xbox button while on the Xbox home screen
  • Go to System and select ‘Audio’
  • Alter the ‘Mic Monitoring’ slider up or down as required

PS4 Mic Monitoring (Sidetone)

  • Go to Settings > Devices
  • Select Audio Devices
  • Alter the Sidetone Volume up or down as required

Mic Monitoring Significance

Producing clear audio while gaming or even when work-related, is extremely important, whether you’re in a group lobby with your friends and gaming away or you’re having a meeting regarding, work you will need your sound to be as crisp as possible.

Mic monitoring also comes in very handy when it comes to balancing out sounds and voices. Sometimes gaming could be a hectic event that is consistent with shouting or yelling on numerous occasions.

This is where mic monitoring shines, as it balances out the sounds, whether it’s the background sound or when a voice is raised, it drowns out all the other sounds as to not overly peak and distorts in ways that most people would find irritating. The same goes if you’re too quiet. It’ll balance out the sound. It makes it sound as though you’re speaking in a normal tone of voice without having the need to raise it or shout.


Mic monitoring is particularly important no matter how good your microphone is. In general, if you go far too close to a microphone, and if you’re speaking loudly into that microphone, you can end up overloading it and causing it to digitally Distort and clip.

This is bad news for your audio signal and can cause a very poor listening experience for anybody else that’s on your call or in your group.

Therefore, mic monitoring is very useful for gaming, where clear communication is important. If you’re listening for long periods of time, you do not want to subject everybody else on your chat with poor quality audio! They don’t want to have to keep increasing and decreasing the volume as you’re speaking, and they often will not be able to do this because their hands are already tied up gaming!

So if you’ve noticed that mic monitoring option for months or years and never enabled it, then enable it now and see how much it can improve your headset experience!

Brian Clark

Brian Clark

I’ve been a writer with Musician Wave for six years, turning my 17-year journey as a multi-instrumentalist and music producer into insightful news, tutorials, reviews, and features.

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