Full Fix: USB Headset Issues on Windows 10, 8.1, 7

6 minute read

Many people use USB headsets, but it seems that some users are having issues with their USB headsets. If your USB headset is giving you trouble today we’ll show you how to fix those issues on Windows 10.

Users are reporting distorted sound on their USB headsets and replacing the USB headset with the exact same model doesn’t fix the issue. So if the problem isn’t the USB headset what can you do to fix this problem?

How To Fix Distorted Sound And Other USB Headset Issues On Windows 10

USB headsets are great, but sometimes you might encounter certain issues with them. Speaking of USB headset issues, here are some problems that users reported:

  • USB headset mic not working – Sometimes the microphone on your USB headset isn’t working properly. This can be a big problem, but you might be able to fix it by changing your microphone settings.
  • USB headset not working Windows 10, 8, 7, on Skype – This problem can appear on any version of Windows, and if you encounter it, you should be able to fix it using the solutions from this article.
  • USB headset not detected, not showing up in playback devices, not working with YouTube – Sometimes your headset might not be detected at all. To fix this issue, be sure to reinstall your USB headset and check if that works.
  • USB headset audio, sound not working – If your USB headset isn’t working, the issue might be a third-party application. To fix the problem, you need to find and remove this application from your PC.
  • USB headset noise problem, static, crackling, buzzing – These are some common problems that can appear with USB headsets. To fix the problem, temporarily disable your headset and enable it again.
  • USB headset is not working – If your USB headset isn’t working, you might have to reinstall your USB drivers. Once your drivers are installed, check if the problem is still there.

Solution 1 – Unplug the headset while Windows 10 boots

Users report that there might be some conflicts with your USB headset and other USB devices, and in order to fix this issue, it’s required that you unplug your USB headset while your system boots. When your Windows 10 starts you can plug in your USB headset and it should work without any problems.


Solution 2 – Update your BIOS and reset CMOS

Some users report that updating BIOS and resetting CMOS fixes the distorted sound issue. Updating your BIOS is an advanced process and it’s different for each motherboard. If you don’t know how to do it properly maybe hire a professional to do it for you if you want to avoid any potential damage to your system.


Solution 3 – Don’t use your headset as default playback device

This solution applies to headsets that come with built-in sound card and connect to both USB and audio port on your computer. The issue with these headsets is that you’re hearing sound only from one speaker when gaming, and in order to fix it you need to do the following.

  1. Right-click the Sound icon in the Taskbar and choose Open Sound settings from the menu.
    USB headset mic not working
  2. Select Sound control panel.
    USB headset not working on Skype
  3. The sound window will now appear. Right-click your headphones and choose Properties from the menu.
    USB headset mic not working
  4. Set Device usage to Don’t use this device (disable) and click Apply and OK to save changes.
    USB headset not working Windows 10

By doing this you will make the sound card process your audio instead of the card that is built in your USB headset.


Solution 4 – Remove the problematic applications

Sometimes third-party applications can install their own drivers, and that can lead to USB headset issues. To fix the problem, it’s advised to remove the problematic application from your PC.

Some users reported that Etron software caused this problem to appear, and in order to fix the issue, you need to remove the software. You can remove the application using the Settings app, but this method isn’t always effective since it can leave certain leftover files that can still interfere with your USB headset.

To fix the problem, it’s advised to use an uninstaller software. This is a special application that can remove any application from your PC along with all of its files and registry entries. By using an uninstaller application, you’ll remove all files and registry entries associated with the problematic application and prevent any future issues from occurring.

There are many great uninstaller applications on the market, but IOBit Uninstaller is one of the simplest to use, so be sure to try it out. Once you remove the problematic application, the issue should be permanently resolved.


Solution 5 – Uninstall your USB drivers

According to users, sometimes USB headset issues can occur due to your USB drivers. Several users reported issues with USB 3 drivers, but after reinstalling them, the problem was permanently resolved. To do that, you just need to follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + X to open Win + X menu. Now choose Device Manager from the list.
    USB headset is not working
  2. When Device Manager opens, locate your USB 3 driver, right-click it and choose Uninstall device.
    USB headset not detected
  3. Confirmation dialog will now appear. Choose Uninstall from the menu.
    USB headset audio
  4. After the driver is uninstalled, click Scan for hardware changes icon.
    USB headset noise problem

Windows will now search for the default driver and install it. Once the default USB driver is installed, be sure to check if the problem is resolved. Keep in mind that this solution works for both USB 2 and USB 3 drivers, so you can use it regardless of the USB type you’re using.

The default drivers should work without issues, but sometimes it’s better to use a dedicated driver. You can download the appropriate drivers from your motherboard’s manufacturer’s website. Simply visit the website, enter the model of your motherboard and download the latest drivers for it.

If searching for drivers manually seems a bit complicated to you, there are tools such as TweakBit Driver Updater that can download the necessary drivers with just a single click.


Solution 6 – Temporarily disable your USB headset

Sometimes there might be a glitch in your system, and that glitch can cause various USB headset issues to appear. One of the fastest ways to fix this problem is to temporarily disable your USB headset. To do that, you just need to do the following:

  1. Open Device Manager.
  2. Locate your USB headset, right-click it and choose Disable device from the menu.
    USB headset not working Windows 8
  3. Now right-click your USB headset and choose Enable device.

After doing that, your USB headset will start working again. Keep in mind that this is just a workaround, so you’ll have to repeat it if the issue reappears.


Solution 7 – Disconnect the headset and turn off Razer Synapse software

Sometimes USB headset issues can be caused by a software such as Razer Synapse. According to users, they managed to fix the problem simply by unplugging the headset and closing the Razer Synapse. After doing that, you just need to connect the headset again and restart Razer Synapse software.

Keep in mind that this is just a workaround, so you’ll need to repeat it whenever the issue occurs.


Solution 8 – Check your privacy settings

According to users, USB headset issues can occur due to your privacy settings. Users reported that apps weren’t allowed to use the microphone on their USB headset due to certain settings. However, you can fix that issue by doing the following:

  1. Open the Settings app. You can do that quickly by pressing Windows Key + I.
  2. Navigate to the Privacy section.
    USB headset sound not working
  3. In the left pane choose Microphone. In the right pane, make sure that Allow apps to access your microphone is enabled. In addition, be sure to check the list below and allow individual applications to access your microphone.
    USB headset static

After enabling your microphone the issue with your USB headset should be completely resolved.


Solution 9 – Uninstall any old USB headset drivers

Several users reported USB headset issues after purchasing a new headset. According to them, the problem was caused by drivers from an older USB headset. To fix the problem, it’s advised to remove the older driver since it might interfere with your new headset. To do that, just follow these steps:

  1. Open Device Manager.
  2. Now go to View > Show hidden devices.
    USB headset not showing up in playback devices
  3. Locate your old USB headset driver, right-click it and choose Uninstall device.
  4. If available, check Remove driver software for this device and click Uninstall.

After removing the older driver, the issue should be completely resolved, and you should be able to use your USB headset without any problems.

In case none of these solutions worked for you, go and check out our article about sound problems in Windows 10, maybe it will be helpful.

However, we hope this article helped you to solve the problem with your USB headset in Windows 10. If you have any comments, or questions, just reach for the comments, below.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2016 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


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