Anyone that uses software like Discord knows that there’s few things more annoying than hearing someone’s keyboard through their microphone. What’s worse though, is finding out that, that person, is you. Don’t fret because recognizing there’s a problem is the first step! Check out these simple solutions to fix a microphone that’s picking up noise from your keyboard.
Re-position Your Microphone so the Keyboard is out of its Directionality
Microphone directionality refers to the direction a microphone best detects sound from. Cardioid, unidirectional, bidirectional, and omnidirectional are some of the most common types of directionality.
Unidirectional and carboid based microphones will benefit the most from a simple repositioning. Many microphones also have a physical switch that allow you to change the directionality. This heavily depends on which microphone you have but take a look because you might be in luck. With proper positioning and the right settings, you may be able to reduce how much your keyboard is picked up by your microphone.
Below is an example of a microphone in unidirectional mode positioned in a way that reduces keyboard noise.
Adjust Microphone Sensitivity / Gain
Higher end microphones, like the Blue Yeti X model, usually have some kind of dial to adjust sensitivity / gain. You might find that simply lowering the sensitivity of your microphone stops it from picking up noise from your keyboard. Only changing your sensitivity may not be enough though so try combining this with the positioning techniques mentioned above.
Adjust Software Settings
If your microphone is physically lacking sensitivity or volume dials then you’ll have to adjust your settings via software. You can do this in both Windows and usually third party VOIP programs like Discord. We recommend adjusting your Windows settings first and then third party applications afterwards.
Adjust Microphone Levels in Windows 10
Step 1: Click the
Start button and search for
Change system sounds and then hit
Enter on your keyboard
Step 2: In the
Sound window, click the
Recording tab and then Right click your microphone and select
Step 3: Click the
Levels tab and shift the slider to the left to reduce the volume of your microphone (click
OK when finished)
You can also use the
Listen to this device checkbox in the
Listen tab to test your microphone in real time. Try lowering the levels while listening to your microphone until you can no longer hear your keyboard. Make sure you wear headphones while doing this to prevent echoing!
Adjust Microphone Sensitivity in Discord
Step 1: In Discord, click the gear icon next to your name at the lower left corner
Step 2: Click
Voice & Video under
App Settings on the left hand side
Step 3: Use the slider under
Input Sensitivity to lower the sensitivity of your microphone
You can also listen to your microphone in Discord by clicking the
Lets Check button under
Mic Test. Try lowering the sensitivity settings while listening to your mic until you can no longer hear your keyboard.
Other Voice Software
Most voice software will have similar ways to adjust volume and sensitivity. Try looking through the settings of the software for some kind of slider. There’s also plenty of resources online. Here’s an article on audio settings in Skype and here’s one for Teamspeak.
Use Push to Talk
If your microphone is still picking up noise from your keyboard you can always enable push to talk. With this setting your mic won’t be heard unless you’re pushing a specific key on your keyboard. You can usually set which key will be your activation button. We like to use the left
Alt key as it’s easily accessible with your thumb. Here’s how to enable push to talk in Discord.
Step 1: Navigate back to the
Voice Settings by clicking the
User settings gear icon and then
Voice & Video under
Step 2: Under
Input Mode click
Push to Talk
Step 3: Click the
Record Keybind button and then press the key on your keyboard that you want to be your voice activation key
Step 4: Click
Stop Recording when finished
Get a Quieter Keyboard
If nothing else has worked you might consider getting a quieter keyboard. Mechanical keyboards are great and the switches they use provide a unique tactile feel when typing. The downside to this is that they introduce additional noise that can creep through your microphone.
Not all mechanical keyboards are the same though. The switches they use are usually designed for different user preferences. The short version of this is that a keyboard with red switches will generally be less noisy than a “clicky” blue switch keyboard. You might benefit from changing out your keyboard for a quieter one. You can find more information on this topic in our article on mechanical keyboards.