So i have a Laptop with integrated sound. I have a Microphone and a Headphone socket. I connected an external audio source to the microphone. I can record the source using Sound Recorder so the plug works and is configured, but I cannot hear the source through my headphones or built in speakers - so no live playback of the microphone input.

In Windows XP I would just use the Mixer to enable the Microphone input as a Playback device, but Vista doesn't seem to have that option? I tried enabling Disconnected and Disabled devices in the Sound Control Panel of Vista, but there are no hidden options showing up (so no "Stereo Mix" or "Wave Out" under Playback devices).

Am I missing something? Or does Vista really not support live playback of a Microphone?

Edit: Going to "solve" this by buying another Soundcard (A wireless SoundBlaster, thus killing two birds with one stone). Sucks that this is not possible unless the driver offers that, because it shouldn't be a driver issue at all. But well, Vista got it's reputation for a reason :)

4 Answers 4


This has nothing to do with Vista - many oem sound drivers (esp. a lot of "business" laptops) do have this option disabled. Sometimes there are "hacked" sound drivers available.


You should be able to accomplish microphone playback with the provided Realtek driver in Vista.

Right click on on the speaker icon in the Taskbar, click sounds, then click the Playback tab. Double click on the device through which you want the microphone sound to playback, then click on the Levels tab. There will be a volume selector slide for the microphone. It may have been set to mute by default. Make sure the speaker icon shows sound waves, not a red slash-circle.


Depending on the machine, the audio driver (if you have installed it rather than using Vista's) might give a suitable option. See if you can find the manufacturer audio driver.


i have windows 7 and in the properties of the Recording device there is an EXTRA option called listen... with this you can hear your mic on your headset or speakers... but if you give the type of sound device you have maybe we can find a driver that gives the listen option. Good Luck

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