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How to adjust your microphone volume levels to prevent background noise and ensure quality dictation

The audio input level from your microphone will have an impact on the quality of your transcriptions.

This video demonstrates how to set up and troubleshoot microphones for best dictation results with Talkatoo. See below for written instructions.

Microphone set-up


Higher means a more sensitive microphone.  For a noise-cancelling microphone set your volume around 70. For a built-in computer microphone set the volume to around 90.

These are initial settings, and every voice differs.  If you're using the Philips SpeechMike, or another really high quality noise cancelling microphone, and have a lot of background noise, especially people speaking, try setting the level at 40 and adjust up or down as needed.  


  1. Click Start, and type Control Panel, and select when it's listed,
    1. If you'd prefer, there is a shortcut to skip these first 3 steps: click Start and type mmsys.cpl, then press Enter.
  2. Change view to show icons if it is currently displaying Category (top right)controlpanelcatview
  3. Double click Sound
  4. Click the Recording tab
  5. Double Click the microphone you are using 
  6. Click the Levels tab and adjust the slider as needed.  
    Control Panel sound settings
  7. Ensure that the microphone is not muted.  It will show a red line on the speaker. Click to unmute.


  1. On your Mac, choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, click Sound, then click Input.

  2. Select the device you want to use in the list of sound input devices.

  3. Adjust the input volume by dragging the volume slider.