Do I need drivers for this cheap-o $6.00 mic?


Jan 13, 2009
A friend of mine is hosting a Vent server for us to use during WoW or Civ or whatever. I picked up a mic today so I could play along. I can hear just fine but nobody can hear me talk. I can also hear the audio alert when I hit the "Push to talk" key so I don't think Vent is the problem.

In XP Home I went to control panel/sounds and audio devices and did "Test Hardware" under the voice tab. My new microphone was not detected.

There are three ports on the audio section of my sound card. The microphone was not detected regardless of which port it was plugged into.

Do I need drivers for this cheap-o $6.00 mic? I just always assumed that Windows had the correct drivers for a cheap-o mic.


Apr 5, 2007
Did you check to see if the recording volume control was set to "Microphone"? Sometimes it's on a different one, and so it don't work.


Red, White, & Blue, baby!
Dec 17, 2004
There should be a clearly designated microphone port on your machine, and that should work. It's usually pink with a microphone icon.

You can google for driver, but usually particular software (i.e. the game) provides the driver. I suspect if the mic wasn't detected, it may be broken, or you may have an issue with your audio driver. Try uninstalling the current audio driver, reboot, then install an updated driver (google the manufacturer of the sound on your mobo/sound card).

For the mobo sound, go to your mobo maker first for the updated driver, but if that fail you can also try the sound maker---probably Realtek or AC'97.

If that doesn't improve things, also look in the Control panel at the Sounds and Audio Devices, and separately at the Device Manager->Sound, Video, and Game controllers to be sure everything is enable, not muted, etc...

Also, if you have any other VOIP--e.g. Skype, try those, as well as other game you own that have in-built voice chat. Valve's Steam is free and has that for configuration. Hopefully you'll get some kind of positive feedback that way.

If all else fails, consider trying another mic or soundcard.
A mic head set that is working great for me currently is the Creative "Fatal1ty", for about $50 online. A cheap Creative audigy card for about $25 is also a good buy if you have a generic card or just onboard audio.
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