Mic Monitoring: What is it and How Does it Relate to Gaming?

by Alex.   Last Updated On July 15th, 2022.
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Remember the first time you got a gaming headset with a mic? You set down your Code Red, turned on the Xbox, and plugged in the setup, ready to play. Five minutes into your first round, though, you found yourself diving into the menu screen to mute the ear-splitting screaming coming from half your team.

See, the beauty of a high-quality mic (instead of using your Chromebook’s mic), whether being used for gaming or zooming with coworkers, is it picks up every little sound coming out of the mouth. The downside to that, though, is if you can’t hear yourself or your own audio levels on the mic, you may be causing some serious damage to everyone else’s ears.

Now maybe “damage” is extreme, but at a minimum, if your audio levels are off, you’ll find yourself on mute and waiting in the next video game lobby alone.

If you’ve experienced this, a little something that will help is Mic monitoring.

Table of Contents

What is Mic Monitoring?

Microphone monitoring is the process of feeding your microphones input through your headphones.

By doing this, microphone monitoring lets mic users hear the audio coming from their own microphone. This audio will sound the same to the user as it does to other listeners.

The real-time feedback provided to the microphone user allows adjustments of the mic level on the fly.

How Can Mic Monitoring Help with Gaming?

Microphone monitoring will work anytime you are not sure what the person on the other line can hear.

That makes it great for conference calls with clients or times when you’re using apps like Discord, Skype, Zoom, or Facebook messenger that can sometimes have spotty service.

The ability to hear yourself is especially great for gaming, though. Many of today’s online games rely on player-to-player communication.

Mic Monitoring during these communications gives you a better idea of how your voice sounds to other players.

Gaming headphones tend to be bulky, comfy, and noise canceling. So, most players will find that they talk louder than they do in day-to-day life when wearing these headphones. That’s because the brain perceives the environment as loud when it can’t hear its own voice.

In games like Call of Duty or Battlefield, where there can be hundreds of different players talking at the same time, proper audio levels not only ensure that you don’t ruin the game for others by talking too loudly but also ensure your own team can actually hear you if you overcorrect the other way.

How do you turn on mic monitoring?”

The way you enable microphone monitoring will often depend on the specific device you’re using. If you’re using headphones without the feature, many headphones allow you to plug in an independent microphone. In that case, make sure you purchase one with monitoring capabilities.

If you have gaming headphones with a mic (compare gaming gaming headset vs. headphones with mic here) already on board, you’ll want to find the equalizer setting. If the headphones allow microphone monitoring, the on-off feature should be found there.

Keep in mind that many new gaming headphones have done away with analog equalizer settings and instead rely on a downloadable application.

What if My Headphones Don’t Have Mic Monitoring?

If you’ve found that your current headphones don’t have monitoring, here are a few stand-alone microphones and gaming headphones that you might want to consider.

The Pacrate gaming headset is a great-looking, affordable over-the-ear option. It works on most gaming systems and has multiple color choices, so you can get exactly what you’re looking for.

The microphone on this headset is also super sensitive. That feature combined with noise canceling and onboard mic monitoring should take care of any audio issues you’ve been having.

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 is a lossless gaming headset with 2.0 surround sound. The low latency, zero interference design, and immersive surround sound give this headphone a real audio advantage.

And the microphone on this doesnt just come with monitoring capabilities. It actually offers a noise-canceling feature too. So your voice won’t just come through at the correct audio level, it’ll also come through crystal clear.

These headphones are a bit spendy, but if you’re looking for killer sound clarity on top of mic monitoring capabilities, these are for you.

And the microphone on these comes with more than monitoring. Its AI noise canceling is top of the line. The dedicated microphone noise canceling application can eliminate over 50,000 different background noises.

A lavalier mic is a great option if you want to keep the headset you have and ad a mic with monitoring capabilities. This one is super affordable and comes equipped with omnidirectional noise canceling.

The Maono wireless mic is a little on the spendy side for just a lav mic, but it’s known for having superior audio quality. Throw this one on, and you’ll be blessing your buds with buttery smooth audio during all your gaming adventures.

And the mic monitoring on this one is real-time and lossless. That paired with its premium adaptive omnidirectional noise reduction tech makes it a real winner.

Microphone Monitoring FAQs

Couple more Questions? Here are a couple more answers.

Does mic monitoring cause echo?

It can! If you have the volume up too loud, your mic may pick up the audio from your headphones.

To combat this, just turn the volume down a bit and make sure the headset is fit securely on your dome.

Does mic monitoring cause static?

Xbox actually has its own mic monitoring feature. If you’re getting static with your mic monitoring, it’s probably because you have both features turned on.

To fix this problem go into your Xbox settings and turn off the systems monitoring.


If you’ve been having trouble with your audio levels, don’t worry, you’re not getting old. If your friends complain about you yelling over your microphone, don’t worry, It’s not time for a hearing aid.

It is time for a little Mic monitoring, though.

By inputting your microphone audio through your own headphones and microphone monitoring, you’ll turn a problematic audio experience into a pleasurable one. Of course, your audio may still not sound as smooth as this guy, but hey, you can dream.