Can You Hear Me Now? How to Conduct a Microphone and Audio Test on a Mac

Can You Hear Me Now? How to Conduct a Microphone and Audio Test on a Mac

Did you recently replace your old Windows desktop with a Mac computer?

Like other brands of desktops and laptops, your Mac or MacBook also comes with built-in speakers. You can use the built-in mic in your Zoom meetings. Also, it’s suitable for navigating and interacting with your Mac through the Voice Call feature.

However, the mic and speakers sometimes encounter some hiccups along the way.

Thus, it would help if you learned how to conduct a microphone and audio test on your Mac. If you have no idea where to begin, we invite you to continue reading below. Check out our quick guide to performing an audio test microphone on your Mac.

Check the System Preferences

There are many possible reasons behind an internal mic not working. One reason is technical damage that merits a trip to the repair center. Sometimes, it can be a case of a recently downloaded app. 

These applications require permission before using the mic.

Regardless of the reason, the first way of conducting a mic audio test is to check the system preferences for the mic. It’s a mandatory step if you’re using an external mic.

First, you want to open the “System Preferences app.” From there, go to “Sound preference” and head on to the “Input” tab. Chose the input device you wish to test—the microphone.

Next, adjust the volume, allowing the Mac can pick up the sound input from the mic. Speak into the mic to check if it registers your voice. If it does, the bars will light up.

Otherwise, the mic isn’t picking up any sound.

Run a Mic Test on Your Browser

Sometimes, your Mac detects the mic from the System Preferences app. However, one of your apps may not pick it up. When it happens, it’s likely a problem with that app or with the permissions.

To resolve this:

  1. Run a mic test using your web browser.
  2. Launch your browser and open the Microphone Test app.
  3. From there, go to the right-hand corner and press the “Play” button.

It will prompt the app to begin the mic test. Moreover, your browser will ask permission to access your mic. Grant it and start speaking into the mic.

Check the small test area window and examine the sound input. Check if the line moves. If it does, it means the app is detecting the volume of your voice.

Checking Your Mac’s Internal Mic

What if you’re using the internal mic instead? The first step for fixing the microphone is to clean it. It can get tricky since it’s sometimes challenging to find the mic.

Check the diagrams and tech specs that come with your Mac. Find the exact location of the mic. After locating it, get a small microfiber cloth and wipe the mic clean.

Get rid of any debris that causes the mic to malfunction. Alternatively, use compressed air to get rid of the dust and lint. From there, start configuring the mic.

Open “System Preferences” and hit the “Sound” icon. Go to the tabs at the top of the window and choose “Input.” Look for “Internal Microphone” on the list and select it.

Speak toward the mic and look at the grey bars below the “Input” selection. Drag the slider to increase the volume. If you don’t see “Internal Microphone” on the list, it means your Mac isn’t detecting it.

In such cases, you may proceed to the following few options below.


If your Mac or MacBook doesn’t detect your mic, reset the Parameter RAM (PRAM). This type of RAM stores various small settings for your Mac. Some of these include settings for volume, start-up disk, and mic configurations.

To perform a PRAM test, hit the Apple icon in the top-left portion of the screen. Select “Shut Down” and wait for your computer to turn off.

After shutting down your Mac:

  1. Press the power button while holding the cmd+alt+P+R keys.
  2. Hold the buttons for about 20 seconds or until you hear a chime.
  3. Release the keys and wait for your computer to start up usually.

Turn On the Dictation Feature

We mentioned earlier that the problem could be the app permissions. To rule this out, consider turning on the Dictation feature. Not only will this enable the essential feature, but it will also download key drivers that may address your mic issues.

To do this, open “System Preferences” and head on to the “Keyboard” window. Hit “Dictation” and select the “On” button. It will prompt your Mac to search for drivers and other language packs for download.

After completing the download, give your mic another try and see if it works.

Running an Audio Test

When it comes to checking the internal speakers, run an audio test. It also applies if you’re running a headphone audio test. First, make sure you’re running in an updated macOS.

If not, update your OS before checking your settings. Disconnect all cables from the different ports after the update. These include your Thunderbolt, USB, and 3.5mm audio ports.

Go to the Apple menu, select “System Preferences,” then hit “Sound.” Go to the “Output” tab and choose the built-in speakers.

Check the slider and see whether it’s set on low. If it is, slide it to the right to increase the volume.

If you enabled “Mute,” disable it, then give the speakers another round of testing. If the speakers still don’t work, it is best to contact Apple Support.

Keep Your Mac in Excellent Performing Condition

Now you know how to do a microphone and audio test. It ensures your mic and speakers will work during those webinars and important Zoom meetings. You will also have a solid foundation if you need to perform other related diagnostics like an audio delay test. However, fixing your mic and speakers is only one way of ensuring your Mac’s top-notch performance.

Learn more about troubleshooting by reading our other blog posts. We share topics that will keep your Mac computers in excellent condition.


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