You’ve been preparing the whole week for your next Zoom meeting, go all in, only to find out your voice is choppy and robotic.
Nothing can be more frustrating than a meeting gone wrong only for bad voice streaming.
Mic problems are relatively common, and fortunately, have simple causes and straightforward solutions.
This article explores all possible causes for a robotic voice in your mic and how you can address them.
Mic Sounds Like A Robot (Causes, Fixes)
Before trying any of the solutions suggested in this article, restart your computer as the first option.
This way, you can address any unknown issues or temporary glitches with your mic.
If the problem persists, try the following tips:
1. Check Mic Hardware
The mic problems may stem from hardware or software issues.
Check the following hardware issues:
Check Your Headset
If you use a headset, the device may be faulty, and that, rather than your computer settings, could be causing the robotic sound.
Make sure your headset is working properly by replacing it with another headset.
More often than not, the robotic sound from your mic has a cause as simple as loose connections or physical faults with the hardware.
If the new headset doesn’t make your voice robotic, you may want to replace your old one.
Another thing you can check is its connections.
For example, if you use a USB extension cable, you may want to discard it as it can create connection problems.
Try plugging the headset directly into the mic jack or USB port without using any extensions.
Use a microphone that connects to the computer with an aux jack instead of a USB connection.
You could also check the headset physically and make sure it’s clean, and no particles are clogging the microphone.
Another thing you should check is all the cables and wires and make sure the cords aren’t frayed or damaged.
If you have a desktop computer, make sure you’ve plugged the headset into the right jack.
If it’s plugged into the front panel, try connecting it to the jack on the rear and vice versa.
If you have an integrated mic, make sure it’s not clogged by inspecting it carefully.
Use compressed air to remove any dust buildup from the internal parts of the integrated mic.
2. Sound Software
A. Disable All Speaker Enhancements
A robotic or squeaky sound may be due to a sound effect you may have added to your preferences unknowingly.
Try disabling all these effects and enhancements and see if it helps.
Here’s how to do it:
Press Windows key + X together or right-click the Start menu and open the Control Panel.
Double-click the “Sound” icon and select “Speakers.”
Click Properties > Enhancements > Disable All Sound Effects.
Hit “OK” and see if these steps have solved your problem.
B. Reinstall Sound Drivers
An outdated sound driver can create all kinds of sound issues for your mic and other sound devices.
You may think that the regular Windows updates take care of any issues of this kind.
While you’re not totally wrong, there may be some cases when issues persist despite Windows updates.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to manage these issues independently from Windows updates.
Here’s how to reinstall your sound drivers:
Type “Device Manager” in the search box on the bottom left corner of the screen or press Windows key + X and select Device Manager.
Click on the > sign next to Sound, Video, and Game Controllers to expand it.
Select your Sound Device and right-click on it.
Click uninstall and select the Delete driver software option.
Restart the computer to finish the uninstall process.
Then, head to the manufacturer’s website and download the drivers for your Windows version.
Now, you should install the driver in the Windows 10 compatibility mode.
Right-click the setup file for the driver and select “Properties.”
Click “Compatibility” and check the box next to “Run this program in compatibility mode for” and select your operating system.
Hit “apply” and click on “OK” to install the driver.
C. Roll Back To A Previous Update
If your mic problem started after a recent Windows update, the chances are high that those updates have made your microphone software faulty.
A possible solution is to roll back to the previous update.
Here’s how to do it:
Press Windows Key + X and type “Device Manager” in the box.
Alternatively, you could type “Device Manager” in the taskbar’s search box.
After opening “Device Manager,” locate “Audio Input Output” and click on it to open the list of audio devices.
Select your microphone or headset and right-click it.
Then, click on “Properties” and go to the “Driver” tab.
Find “Roll Back Driver” and see if it’s enabled.
If so, select it, restart your computer, and check if the issue goes away.
D. Reconfigure Your Microphone
Sometimes going through the mic configuration process again can remove any glitches that occur with this hardware component.
Right-click on the sound icon on the right corner of the taskbar and select “Sound” from the list.
Click on the “Recording” tab and select your mic.
Click configure and select “Set up a microphone” in the new window.
Follow the on-screen instructions and check if it has solved your problem.
E. Set Your Mic As Default
If you use multiple microphones and headsets, it’s better to choose one as a default mic.
Otherwise, you may experience temporary glitches like a robot-sounding voice.
Make sure the mic or headset you’re currently using is set as the default device on your computer.
To make sure, type “Control Panel” in the taskbar’s search box.
Locate “Sound” and click on it.
In the opened window, select the “Recording” tab and look at the list of all the recording devices connected to your computer.
Now, select your intended mic as default and check if it resolves your issue.
While you’re on this, check if your mic levels are at the maximum value to make sure people get the highest volume from your mic.
After choosing the default mic, right-click it and select “Properties.”
Move the toggle to the right until the microphone levels are at 100%.
Check if you can see another option as “Microphone Boost” under Microphone Levels.
This option can prevent noises from entering the mic while recording a voice.
Lower this level to reduce the noise in your recorded sound.
Higher levels of mic boost will make it more sensitive, recording the voice with higher accuracy.
This way, every little sound will get into the mic and, eventually, your recorded voice.
F. Run The Windows Troubleshooter
If you can’t identify the main culprit, you can rely on the Windows built-in troubleshooter to find any possible issues with the audio.
Click on the search box and type in “troubleshoot.”
Select the troubleshooting option in the search results and click “Additional Troubleshooters.”
Scroll down to find “Speech” and click on it.
Follow the on-screen instructions until the troubleshooter finishes its job.
G. Check Your Internet Connection
If your mic voice is choppy or robot-like when streaming audio or video during an online chat, the first culprit is your connection.
If you’re using a chat app, such as Discord, you’re using the VoIP (Voice-over-IP) technology to send audio within the chat.
This technology translates the audio captured by the mic into digital information and sends it to the other end of the chat.
If your connection is poor or suffers from packet loss, it experiences gaps between the bits of sound.
Anything that fills these gaps will make your voice sound robotic.
To tackle this issue, the first thing you should do is make sure you have a fast and reliable internet connection.
Do a speed test using the apps and tools available online.
Another thing you can do is make changes to your computer’s WIFI settings.
Click on the WIFI signal on the right corner of the taskbar and select a strong signal.
Check if you have full bars on the WIFI signal and ensure your router is close to your computer.
If you’re far from the router, you’ll experience frequent data losses.
Finally, call your Internet Service Provider and request a faster connection.
H. Check Sound Settings Within The App
If you experience the issue only in one app, then you don’t have a hardware problem.
To isolate the problem, try recording your voice on different apps and see if your voice is robotic in only one app.
If so, troubleshoot the sound settings in that app.
In Zoom, you can change audio settings by clicking the Gear or Settings icon on the right side of the app’s window.
Go to the “audio” tab and find “Microphone.”
Under the “Microphone option,” you can see several settings that can help you enhance your voice quality.
For example, you can adjust the input level to your desired value and record your voice using the “test mic” option.
You could also swap your recording input to another device using the dropdown box next to “Test mic.”
Another useful option is the “Suppress background noise.”
If it’s set to auto, try setting it to “Low” and see if it helps.
If you have a robotic voice in Discord, go to Discord settings by clicking the gear icon on the bottom left corner and clicking on “Voice & Video” on the left sidebar.
Uncheck “Echo Cancellation” and “Noise Suppression” and see if it helps.
Another setting you can disable is “Automatically determine input sensitivity” and set it to manual.
Xbox Game Bar
Windows 10 has a Game Bar utility that records screenshots and clips inside games.
Since some users have reported this utility has created mic problems for them, try disabling it to see if that helps.
Go to “Settings” by typing it in the search box and clicking on it in the results window.
Select “Gaming” > Xbox Game Bar and disable the slider next to “Enable Xbox Game Bar for things like recording game clips.”
Now, go to “Captures” and disable “Record audio when I record a game” and “Record in the background while I’m playing a game.”
Check if your problem has disappeared.
If not, go back to the Xbox Game Bar settings and enable all these options as they are useful features, and you want to have them while playing games.
I. Check The Apps With Access To Your Mic
If you have a mic problem in a certain app, it may be due to permission issues.
Although this issue will cause your mic to stop working, it’s worth checking for the robotic voice, too.
Windows 10 gives you the option to block some apps from accessing personal or sensitive data like your microphone or camera.
The mic problem may be because you’ve blocked this app’s access unknowingly.
Open the “Settings” app and click on “Privacy.”
Go to “App Permissions” on the left sidebar and select “Microphone.”
Check if the “Allow apps to access your microphone” slider is enabled.
Then, check the apps with permission to access your mic and make sure the problematic app is among them.
If you have this problem in a game, you can use Discord to chat and communicate with your fellow gamers.
This solution is much easier than changing audio and recording settings in each game individually.
J. Check For Conflicting Programs
Another curious cause reported by online users is that some programs installed on your system conflict with your sound software and create robotic effects on your voice.
In most cases, antivirus software is the main culprit.
Try disabling your antivirus to see if it helps.
If it’s the antivirus that’s causing the problem, you may want to uninstall your old software and opt for a new and updated one.
Whatever you do, you should remember not to leave your computer exposed by uninstalling the antivirus just because it’s conflicting with other software.
If the antivirus is okay and doesn’t cause software conflicts, run your computer in a clean boot to identify the conflicting programs.
To run your system in clean boot, make sure you’re signed in with an account that has administrative privileges.
Type “msconfig” in the taskbar’s search box and click on “System Configuration” in the search results.
Go to the System Configuration > Services and click on the “Hide all Microsoft services” option.
Now, go to the Startup tab on the same window and click “Select Task Manager.”
Go to the “Startup” tab in the “Task Manager” window and select the item that you think is causing the issue and select “Disable.”
If you don’t know which program is causing the issue, you need to select programs one by one, run your system in clean boot and see if you have the sound problem or not.
It’s a lengthy process and can seem frustrating.
To make it less troublesome, you can go through an elimination process.
To do so, divide the programs in the startup tab of the task manager into two groups.
Disable the first half and run your system in clean boot.
If the problem exists, disable the second half.
Otherwise, you can make sure that the culprit is in the first half.
Repeat the elimination process until you’ve identified the problematic program.
You can either disable it or get a new update from its manufacturer’s website to solve your issue.