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Windows 7: Quiet Headset Mic + Webcam Interference

19 Jun 2011   #1

Windows 7 x64
Quiet Headset Mic + Webcam Interference

Hi there,

I've been spending a lot of time on your forums over this past weekend, and have seen a lot of people have the same issue as me with a low mic volume within Win7. I haven't been able to find something that relates completely to my situation though (or an answer to the audio issue anyway). The TLDR is my new headset (HeadRush Vibration Headset) is too quiet, and my computer has decided that it is - despite being 3.5 jack based headset - the same mic as my webcam (Logitech 4000) which I am also unable to uninstall completely.

Here come the lengthier details of what I've tried and the issues I've ran into (with the oddest results bolded):

Before I discovered the webcam was interfering I tried...
  • The usual audio support suggestions including raising the volume/db and trying both the front and back panels. While my microphone just barely picks me up at 100, and I'm more audible at 20/30db, I end up with a lot of mic noise which completely defeats the point of getting a new headset.
  • Enabled/disabled all Enhancements with no difference.
  • Enabled/disabled Stereo Mix.
  • Changed the sample rate. This resulted in having noise reduction choices in Realtek HDAM at lower rates (44-48KHz), and lack of them (greyed out) at higher ones (96-192KHz). 44-48kHz gave me no noise but really bad audio, and the higher Hz's gave me great audio with lots of noise, but still too quiet.
  • Uninstalled and re-installed and updated version of Realtek with no change.
  • Muted and disabled the webcam mic (Logitech 4000 installed in Vista compatibility mode) through its own interface. At this point I realized that my new mic was being picked up as the webcam mic as this resulted in the settings of the set Default Microphone in my Recording Devices changing to what I'd changed the webcam mic settings to.
  • Uninstalled the Logitech Suite and ran into a new issue of being unable to uninstall the "Logitech Camera Driver" from Programs & Features. This issue is also present while using CCleaner and Revo (it crashes or must be crashed in all 3 cases as it holds at 99%).
  • Contacted Logitech about how to uninstall the driver and am waiting to hear back.
After I discovered the webcam was interfering and did the above I did the following and had the following changes:
  • A lot of the applicable things from above.. About 50 times.
  • Unhooked the webcam and new headset completely, uninstalled Realtek again and reinstalled. After this I still had the same options in Realtek with the noise cancellation options greyed out at higher Hz's, but now I don't actually have noise at higher rates regardless unless I raise the dB. A step in the right direction?
  • The dB now seemingly is working as more of an audio controller than the volume itself. If I check Listen to this Device and raise the dB, I start to be able to hear myself playback, but without any dB added, I don't hear a thing, though the mic is just barely picking me up still. I still have to keep volume at 100 though, and get lots of noise (as loud or louder than my voice) with dB applied. I'd like to avoid using that at all really.
  • Disabled the "USB Audio Device" option in Device Manager. I have no idea if this would actually have any effect, or if it is with 100% certainty the webcam, but I figured it couldn't hurt to try. It's still disabled and I don't think there has been any difference.
  • Installed THX TruStudio Pro as my board (P67A-GD53) says that it supports it, but this only resulted in better playback. No recording device options at all. Despite my card being onboard sound, I'd be doubtful it's a soundcard issue as the system is brand new and the site for my board boasts its lossless 24-bit/192KHz HD audio.
Beyond that, I'm at a loss beyond waiting for Logitech to get back to me about the driver I can't remove and hoping that might fix the issue. I'm posting this here because it's clear the low volume of microphones in Win7 is quite common, but I haven't seen any other posts that considered the webcam's built-in mic interfering, so this is in part just to post my findings in case it's helpful for anyone else out there. I don't think anyone has a known fix for this issue, but if anyone has any ideas about how to either raise the volume or remove the Logitech Camera Driver I'm open to suggestions.

I had considered removing all audio drivers through device manager as it seems like I have a couple too many anyway, but I'm a little scared to do so with my luck with audio and seeing as they all appear very generic, I'm not sure how easily they'd be replaced:

Quiet Headset Mic + Webcam Interference-audiodrivers.jpg

Also, here's what my Audio Devices look like. There are a couple of extra options (disabled) that don't exist anyway. I think these resulted from testing different connections, and I'm not sure if they would be interfering somehow, too. As it is, the Realtek Digital Output options show sound but I hear nothing from them, and it seems a little odd to me that CD Audio exists in my Recording Devices:

Quiet Headset Mic + Webcam Interference-recording-devices.jpgQuiet Headset Mic + Webcam Interference-playback-devices.jpg

My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jun 2011   #2

Windows 7 x64

Just had a weird issue after upping my dB to 30 in Realtek. The program started an endless loop of not recognizing the mic as a mic, and kept asking me to re-affirm that it was the mic. I would hear the noise in-between this, but it refused to set it so I had to uninstall Realtek yet again. This time I've installed the version from MSI instead of the link provided here. Their version is 6363. And now I hear quiet audio through the headphones even with the volume all the way down on them (not on the pc itself). They are the only 'speakers' connected at this point. I'm not sure my sanity can take another Realtek installation (and restartx2) at this point

Edit: Fixed the below issues with a very scary system restore.

And now I have all these extra options:

Quiet Headset Mic + Webcam Interference-updated-recording-devices.jpg

I fear I'm going to break it more. +_+ I just realized that now my xbox 360 controller is not working with the computer. Two of the lower front usb jacks just don't seem to detect it at all, though they do detect the headset, and the top usb jacks just cause it to endlessly blink like it's trying to find the computer.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Quiet Headset Mic + Webcam Interference

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