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Scenario - I want to use my mic plug as a "line-in" input that will get mixed with the other audio being output to the speakers. How can this be done on Windows 7 / Vista?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Windows 8.1

  1. Right-click the volume-control icon in the notification area

    Illustration of the volume control icon in the notification area

  2. Select Recording devices in the context menu

    Illustration of the context menu of the volume control icon in the notification area

  3. Find your microphone in the list of recording devices

    Illustration of the list of recording devices

  4. Click Properties and go to the Listen tab

  5. Check the Listen to this device checkbox

    Illustration of the Listen to this device checkbox

Windows 7

  1. Click the volume control icon in the notification area

    Illustration of the volume control icon in the notification area

  2. Click the speaker icon above the slider

    Illustration of the speaker icon button

  3. In the properties dialog go the the Levels tab

  4. Unmute the Microphone there:

    Illustration of the mute button in the Speakers property dialog

Windows Vista

  1. Go to the Control Panel
  2. Click Hardware and Sound
  3. Under Sound click Manage audio devices
  4. Click Speakers and then Properties
  5. In the properties dialog go the the Levels tab
  6. Unmute the Microphone there.
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Couldn't ask for a better answer than this :) –  Christothes Aug 13 '09 at 17:16
    
I don't think those instructions will work. Those allow the microphone to record, but unless some application is playing back what is recorded, nothing will come out of the speakers. –  Steve Rowe Aug 13 '09 at 17:27
    
It definitely works here in sending what the microphone picks up to the speakers. The setting won't change the volume or mute state of the recording device. That's why it's on the speaker's property page. –  Joey Aug 13 '09 at 17:45
    
In Windows 8.1 the microphone is missing on the Levels tab. Is that my machine thing or Windows thing? –  Septagram Dec 1 at 11:18
    
@Septagram: I updated the answer for Windows 8.1 –  Joey Dec 1 at 11:29

Windows 7 supports this out of the box.

  1. Right-click on the volume icon and select Recording Devices
  2. Double-click on your microphone
  3. Select listen tab
  4. Check the "listen to this device" box
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Should have known about that one. I even read Larry Osterman's blog ... Those two different ways we describe also seem to be orthogonal. Also my described way causes the output to be slightly more quiet. Interesting. –  Joey Aug 13 '09 at 17:48
    
You're right, they're orthogonal. Your solution requires that the manufacturer provide hardware support for the feature, Steve's solution doesn't require hardware support (thus works in more cases) –  Larry Osterman Aug 21 '09 at 13:54

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