02-26-2010 01:01 PM - last edited on 02-26-2010 01:43 PM by andyP
All right, here is your picture, tzjplo.
Notice that the Smart Audio control panel is shown over the top of the Windows 7 Control Panel.
You can see that Smart Audio item just beside the Sound item you apparently know about.
To answer your questions:
- you set 'No Enhancements' as you can see, on the Smart Audio panel.
- you set Microphone Volume, and if necessary, Booster, on the Sound panel.
This gives you quality and range as good as any laptop built-in microphone has.
Probably you will need to speak with your face near the laptop keyboard, for good results.
Regards, and hope that helps.
Moderator note; picture(s) totalling >50K converted to link(s) Forum Rules
03-21-2010 07:35 AM
I too found this to be a problem, but may have found the solution! Its still not great, but works much better.. Before, I could not hear a thing even if I yelled into the mic..
In control panel, in the SOUND app, I clicked on the RECORDING tab, and then the microphone device then PROPERTIES.. There are two settings.. Microphone and microphone boost... It was set to the lowest setting, so I increased it to 100% and bingo!! it works..
I do not know why this would be the default setting for this driver!!
I hope this helps!
03-27-2010 05:29 AM
The smart audio that is in my lenovo G550 is not like that pic. Its different. Checked version and its the latest according to lenovo site. Microphone has a lot of noise setting idle. using recorder without recording and it shows slightly green and flucuates a little. When recording noise is very noticeable a lot. The mic is in the wrong place. Its up by the screen top of the key board. I can't figure out where its getting the noise from unless its a physical problem. I plug the jack hole and still got it. Went through all the smart audio and still can't correct it. Trying to get info out of lenovo isnt very easy, Too many hoops. I haven't any idea how to get this thing repaired. Any help is appreciated.
I have always trusted IBM laptops but now and, after all I am hearing, I am beginning to wonder. Looks like they are beginning to join the others in poor quality. I wish and hope not. May cost more but they were proven and tested as one of the best.
03-27-2010 12:55 PM - edited 03-27-2010 01:05 PM
Ok, wdy. I think you are expecting a bit too much.
Built-in microphones on laptops I think always offer low sound quality. They are there for convenience, in case you have a need and don't have a better microphone handy. The noise you are so concerned about will be the vibration from the disk drive and/or fan, depending on what's running. Since they're mechanically on the same chassis, it would be quite difficult to lower the noise below a point.
I would say the microphone is actually in the right place by design. It is where you want it when you have your face in view of the build-in camera on the lid, and as you speak into the 'corner' of lid and keyboard.
Now, how to get better results. I am working from a G530 here, but expect similar capabilities.
It turns out that with care, the Conexant driver enhancements can help. What you need to do is the following, by experiment, and listening to the results over Skype's echo-test (playback message) facility.
- I found best results using the first level of Conexant enhancements. That's Voice Recognition/Recording, rather than Speakerphone/Internet Telephony. The Speakerphone setting will work, but then you will have to talk very loudly, and I don't think the quality is better.
- What the VR/Recording setting does is put a soft noise gate into place, so that when you are not speaking, the gain is less. This allows pretty much eliminating the noise you are concerned about, giving an almost clean background quiet for the built-in microphone.
- To make this work, you also have to adjust your microphone gain settings appropriately, so that the background hum is below the noise gate level, but so your voice is significantly above the background. Otherwise you will hear the gate modulating your voice as it goes above and below the gate threshold, which gives a gravelly sound.
- I think you can't quite eliminate the gravelly sound, but you can do well enough that the Lenovo sounds not worse than many cellphones. For me, using a Microphone level of 50 (out of 100) and a Microphone Booster setting of +30Db gives this best result.
- You find the Microphone and Microphone Booster settings on the Windows 7 Sound control Panel. Choose the Recording tab, then select your microphone, and click the Properties button below. Click the Levels tab on the Microphone Properties dialog that comes up. There are the two controls, will expect, if your machine is similar.
Good fortune, wdy.
I think proper adjustments do make it work. If you want to do serious voice work with any laptop, I think you need a reasonable quality headset. The USB kind works well these days. A brand I've used for work that seems particularly good is Jabra. There are also Plantronics and Logitech. Don't get the cheapest model, probably, especially of Logitech.
With a headset, I think you won't need the Conexant 'enhancements', and I think will get quite clear sound that way.
06-12-2010 07:01 AM
Has anyone had a problem with the microphone fluctuating in microphone volume? Everytime I set it to a volume I like, it's trying to be smart " reduce" volume if it hears something too loud. It makes my volume be like a sine wave on the other end of the conversation. I've followed all steps you have provided here and tried endless possibilities, but maybe I missed something. I've seen a couple other complaints on this problem, but no solution yet.
06-12-2010 12:13 PM
Actually I suspect that what you observe is exactly what is going on.
Microphones are actually not that easy to use, especially in the midst of noisy life. It's because they can't 'tune in' on what's important like our ears can. And so our software at various levels is trying to help, make the best general compensations it can.
As you observe, sometimes this help doesn't sound best to us, or can even seem to add to the problem.
If you don't like the automatic gain on the microphone, you can probably turn it off. In the Conexant software that comes with the Lenovo, you use its Control Panel (in with the other Windows control panels) to select 'No Enhancements'.
On other software like Skype, in the options or settings you'll probably find something like a checkbox you can unset, labelled something like 'automatically adjust microphone settings.
If this works in your situation well enough, fine. The other side of things is that the automatic gain is responding to noise around you, and what people hear on the other end may still not be clear if you communicate where there is such noise.
Once again, this is because sending the sound from a microphone, especially since it's not in stereo, defeats many of the ear's own abilities to select what it wants to hear. The person at the other end can't move their head a little, as we unconsciously do all the time, to find the best listening spot, as an example.
You then have to recognize that microphones need better quiet compared to your voice than a simple conversation does. You can get that by going to a quieter room, or by using a headset, where your voice will more distinct because its picked up where it is loud compared to the room, just like talking close to someone's ear does. A better quality headset will even have a special microphone that especially emphasizes this close sound. That's why airline pilots etc. wear them.
Hope that helps.
03-19-2012 02:42 PM
By accident I may have found the problem.
Go to Control Panel -> Sounds -> Communications tab.
Select the "Do Nothing" button.
Fixed the mic volume on the G550 I was working on!