Why Is My Headset Giving Feedback?

Getting constant feedback on your headset when you’re joining calls? Learn how to troubleshoot feedback, static, and echo issues on your headset.

Female blocking ears from noise

There’s always that one guy in a call with his headset giving feedback. I’m sure most of you have been that guy at one time. I’ll admit, I’ve been that guy with the mic giving feedback. It’s an annoying thing to fix. So, to spare you the trouble, I’ll show you a solution.

Feedback, static, and echo are common problems with headsets. A headset will give feedback because of hardware or software issues. Mostly, it’s because of background noise and speaker-mic interference.

There’s more to the answer, you can’t fix this without troubleshooting.

Troubleshooting Headset With Feedback

In most cases, there is a fix available. I’m not going to lie to you though, with hardware issues, the best thing is to get a new headset. Troubleshooting is best done if you know where to look. So, let’s start with that.

Headset resting on a laptop

Feedback, Static or Echo

The first thing you need to do is determine what the sound you’re hearing is. There are big signs that will help you quickly find out what you’re dealing with.

I’m guessing you found out about the problem when it started interrupting the conversation. Your friend couldn’t handle it so they told you. This is not always the case though, you could be the one hearing the noise.

Finding out when the noise occurs and who can hear it is the first step in solving the problem.

  1. Muffed sounds, and background noises that occur when you speak point to a headset with feedback. The feedback can be heard by everyone but it only occurs when you press to speak.
  2. The annoying buzzing sound that occurs even when you’re not talking points to a headset with static. The static can be heard by everyone but you.
  3. Echo makes the others in the conversation hear you twice.

Right now, we’ll focus on feedback but I’ll make sure to say a thing or two about echo and static.

Test The Headset

The next thing that you need to do is make sure you’re not dealing with a software issue. Testing the headset for feedback is simple. It helps to have a friend to help you out though. Just to have an insight into how the headset sounds.

Start by trying out the headset on another device. Check if the same feedback occurs on other devices. A headset that is giving feedback on only one device is a sign of software issues with the device.

You can also try turning the headset off and on. See if the problem exists. Headsets with a plugin usually give feedback when not connected properly or when damaged.

Test the headset on other communication apps. This may lead to a problem with a particular application.

If you’re lucky enough, you’ll quickly move on to fixing the software settings. Don’t worry though, there is a way to cut the feedback to a minimum even with hardware issues.

Related article – Best Headset For Zoom Meetings

Mic-Speakers Interference

Now, it’s important to note that feedback rarely happens with quality headsets. By “quality” I mean a headset that has noise-canceling headphones and a mic with noise suppression. Why did I just mention that?

The thing is, many headsets are just poorly made models. While they may serve a purpose when used occasionally, good headsets are required for everyday use.

With some headsets, the speaker has bad noise-canceling, and the mic can register what you hear. For instance; while gaming the sounds from the game are registered by the mic. So, all your teammates hear that sound as feedback.

In some cases the speaker is fine but the microphone is too sensitive. So, no matter the noise-canceling, the mic will still pick up the sound. Test this by going to Settings>System>Sound. You’ll find a “Test your microphone bar”.

You can only lower the volume so much, with bad headsets this problem is unsolvable.

Related article – How to Use Headphones with Built-in Mic on PC

Dog wearing a headset

Background Noise

Just like the mic could recognize the speaker’s sound as input, it can recognize background noises as input too. This is also a sign of a poorly made headset.

Unfortunately, few of us have the privilege of a studio, so I’m guessing your room is full of background noise. Cars, appliances, devices, and neighbors all contribute to background noise.

The headset’s mic registers these sounds as input, so it gives out a certain muffled noise. You can test this out with a friend. If there’s no output for the speakers but the mic still registers input, background noise is the problem.

Headsets with noise suppression don’t have to deal with this. I highly recommend considering one.

I assume you’ve located the source of the feedback issue. What can you do about it?

Interesting read – Do Quarterbacks Have Headsets In Their Helmets?

How To Fix Feedback On A Headset

As I said, the software gives you the chance to have a little bit of control over feedback. While it may not fix the feedback completely, it will decrease it. If the feedback persists after trying these steps, probably means you need a new one.

  1. Enabling noise suppression. Many apps have an option to enable noise suppression for your mic. This will keep background noise and speaker-mic interference to a minimum. Steam, Discord, and Zoom, all have this option.
  2. Lower the volume of both the mic and the speaker. You have control over these settings on Microsoft and Mac PCs. In addition, apps will also let you regulate mic and speaker volume. Lowering the volume down means fewer noises, hence, less feedback.
    Windows 10 settings for headset
  3. Decrease microphone boost(Windows 10). Open the “Run” dialog box, and type in “mmsys.cpl”. In the “Recording” tab, choose your mic, and open “Properties”. In the “Levels” tab you’ll find the “Microphone boost” bar.
    Microphone Boost Windows 10
  4. Switch to “Press to speak” from “always speak”. Even if you have feedback, you can control it by how much you talk. If your input is shared always, even when you’re not speaking, the feedback will be constant.

Well, that’s about everything that you can do when it comes to feedback. If you’re willing to get a better headset, keep the following in mind.

Look for a headset with noise-canceling headphones and a mic with noise suppression. With these two features added to the software’s controls, feedback won’t be a problem.

Headsets With No Feedback

Let me recommend to you some headsets that will guarantee no feedback.

Logitech Zone Wireless

Sennheiser GSP 500

I don’t think there’s anything more to add here! Hope this helps you.

Related Questions And FAQs

How To Get Rid Of Static On A Headset

Static is a problem only with wired headsets, especially those with a jack plugin. There’s not much to do to get rid of static. Check for wire damage, and check the plugin. I recommend switching to a USB connection or Bluetooth.

How To Fix Echo On Headset

Headsets send out an echo when the speaker interferes strongly with the mic. So, it’s not just noise for the mic, it’s a clear sound that it sends out twice. Enable noise-cancellation, and lower the volume of the speaker.

Related article – USB vs 3.5mm Analog Headset – What’s The Difference?