How to Stop a PC Headset From Buzzing
By Jason Artman
A buzzing computer headset can obscure the audio, potentially causing you to miss important details during business conference calls and voice chats. Although your first response might be to purchase a new headset, this could lead to disappointment, because the source of the problem could be something else, such as software settings or the computer's audio adapter. Examine the possible causes of a buzzing headset to identify and eliminate the problem.
Check your computer manufacturer's website to see if an updated device driver for the computer's sound card or integrated audio is available. If your headset connects to the computer via a USB port, it requires its own device driver; check the headset manufacturer's website for an updated driver instead. The updated driver may resolve software conflicts that cause the headset to emit a buzzing sound.
Remove and reconnect the headset. If the connector is not seated firmly in the computer's audio jack, the headset may make a buzzing sound.
Check the computer's audio jack for damage. If the jack is bent, it may not make a solid connection with the headset. Many desktop computers have two headphone jacks: one in the back and another in the front. Connecting the headset to the secondary jack may eliminate the buzzing sound without the need to purchase a new sound card.
Mute any recording devices that might cause interference. Right-click the speaker icon in the lower-right corner of the screen and select "Recording Devices" on the menu. Right-click each device on the list and select "Disable." Click "OK" to close the window. If your headset has a microphone that you need to use, skip this step.
Adjust the volume of the microphone. Right-click the speaker icon and select "Recording Devices" on the menu. Right-click the microphone in the new window and select "Properties." Click the "Levels" tab in the new windows and lower the "Microphone" and "Microphone Boost" sliders to their minimum levels. Raise the "Microphone" slider until you can hear your voice through the headset. If you still can't hear your voice when the slider is raised fully, raise the "Microphone Boost" slider. Skip this step if you have disabled the microphone.
Connect a different headset to your computer and check for a buzzing sound. If the issue is resolved, the buzzing headset has a problem such as a loose wire and must be replaced.
Install a sound card or external USB or an IEEE 1394-compatible audio adapter if you continue to hear a buzzing sound through the headset after completing all previous steps. Some integrated audio chips pick up electrical noise from other nearby components, which you may hear as an audible buzz or hum when a headset is connected. Installing a discrete audio adapter should resolve this issue.
Jason Artman has been a technical writer since entering the field in 1999 while attending Michigan State University. Artman has published numerous articles for various websites, covering a diverse array of computer-related topics including hardware, software, games and gadgets.