How Do I Get the Headset Working on My Computer?

Updated March 23, 2017

Many computers, especially laptops, have built-in microphones and speakers. However, if you work at the computer regularly and make calls using VoIP, listen to music or want to audio chat, it can be helpful to install a headset. Most headsets either use two separate plugs, one for the microphone and the other for the speaker jack, or they make use of USB protocols. Both types are easy to install and use.

Plug the headphone into the correct ports. If your headset is a two-jack model, you need to locate the headphone and microphone ports on your computer. The headphone port is normally green while the microphone port is red or pink. These may be located on the front, side or back of your computer case. For the USB model, locate an empty USB port and insert the USB connector.

Check your line-in and line-out settings. From the Windows Start menu, open the control panel. Locate the "Sound and audio settings." In Windows 7, this is located under the "Hardware and Sound" heading. Click "Manage audio devices" to go to the settings. Here you can see whether your headset has been properly installed. If it has, it will appear under both the "Playback" and "Recording" tabs.

Test your headset. From the audio settings menu, select your headset from the list. Click the "Configure" button to open the test dialogue box. Here you can test both the sound and recording using your headset. First, open the "Configure" menu under the "Playback" tab. Click "Test" and the computer will play a sound. If you can hear it, your headset speakers are working properly. Next, perform the test in the recording tab. This will allow you to speak into the microphone and then the computer will play it back.

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About the Author

Robin Noelle is a professional writer living and working in Northern California. She has a degree in Journalism and a background in high tech public relations. She is the author of travel guides and end-user computer books.