Getting Your Headphones to Work for Your PC

Isaac Fernandez

Headphones can be an essential tool for people who spend a lot of time on their PC, Whether it’s for work or your gaming needs. However, with even the best headphones on your head, you might not get the ultimate experience until you’ve set it up correctly. Let’s set up your headphone and microphone to work on my pc.

How to Set Up Your PC

Getting Your Headphones to Work for Your PC 1
View of modern workplace with laptop, headphones and notebook

First and foremost, plug it in! It’s easy to get this step wrong if you’re not familiar with the different ports for audio on a PC. If you are using a Bluetooth headset, it’s another story. Here are the options for different headset owners:

  • 3.5mm Jack: Older or more affordable headphones usually have the cable split with two 3.5mm jacks. Simply plug it in, and you’re all set.
  • USB: USB headsets are pretty standard nowadays. These offer enhanced experiences thanks to their higher features in quality. Again, plug it in the corresponding port.
  • Wireless: Bluetooth headsets remove all cables between and your computer, allowing you to sit and move more comfortably. To connect, go on the Bluetooth option on the menu and search for the headphones and follow the prompts.

Check the Sound Output

Once you have your headphones connected to the PC, it’s time to run some tests to make sure it’s configured correctly. To check if Windows has the headphones selected as the default output device, do the following:

  1. Left-click the sound icon in the taskbar.
  2. Click ‘sound device’ in the drop-down menu.
  3. Select the connected headset.

If you want, you can rename each entry on this list to make it easier for you to know which is which. Now you’ll need to test the output to make sure you’ve selected the correct device, and everything is working as it should. You can do this by firing up some tunes from your library or using the Windows test function. 

  1. Right-click the sound icon in the taskbar.
  2. Choose ‘Open sound settings.’
  3. Select ‘Sound control panel’ on the right.
  4. Pick the headphones (should have a green point).
  5. Click Properties.
  6. Choose the Advanced tab.
  7. Click the test button.

If you can hear the sound through your headphones, you’re all set. If not, check to see if the headset itself is plugged in thoroughly. We’ve all been in a situation where the headset didn’t work because it wasn’t connected all the way.

Test Recording your Voice 

If you plan on using your microphone for work or gaming purposes, you’ll need to test record your voice to make sure everything checks out. After you’ve tackled the steps above, you’ll need to select the microphone as the default input device and make sure the volume is turned up. To address this, let’s run through similar steps carried out above.

  1. Right-click the sound icon in the taskbar.
  2. Choose ‘Open sound settings.’
  3. Select ‘Sound control panel’ on the right.
  4. Choose the ‘Recording’ tab.
  5. Select the microphone.
  6. Click ‘Set as default.’
  7. Go on the ‘Properties window.’
  8. Click the ‘Levels tab.’
  9. Set the desired volume.

Some applications often take complete control of the microphone and adjust levels accordingly. In contrast, others allow you to play with the volume to save you from opening the recording window every time.


If your microphone doesn’t work after you’ve done all the steps discussed above, there is a chance it may be a hardware problem. If you own an external microphone, try connecting it to another PC and see if it works. If it doesn’t, the microphone hardware might be compromised.

If the microphone does work on another PC but not yours, it’s likely there’s an issue with the audio jack on your PC, but that’s another topic entirely. 

Here are our top headset recommendations if you’re in the market for new headphones.

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