Why Is My Microphone Only Recording on One Side? (5 Reasons)

Microphones capture the audio waves and convert them into digital signals so that the recording or listening device recognizes them. Then the recognized digital signal is converted into audio waves and provided as output.

This is the basic working of any microphone. But sometimes, you can find your mic to be recording only one side. This means that the output you hear after recording in the mic will be from just one speaker or channel.

Why Is My Microphone Only Recording on One Side? (5 Reasons)

This is a common issue many people face and, in this article, we will discuss why it happens and how to rectify it.

Why Is My Microphone Only Recording on One Side?

Your microphone doesn’t record only one side. Rather the output you get from your microphone is transmitted through a single channel.

This leads to the sound being heard from only one speaker. This can happen due to the following reasons and by rectifying them you can get rid of this problem:

Recording in Stereo

Many of us use recording software or a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) to record from a mic. The recording settings will be in stereo which causes the sound from the mic to output on the left side of the speaker.

Generally, mics don’t record in two channels. The audio signal from the mic is single and only the processing device splits it into two. If you have chosen a stereo configuration for recording the sound from a mic, it requires two input devices connected separately.

But since we connect a single mic or recording device, you have to choose Mono or Input 1 in your workstation or recording software input configuration.

If you do this, you can find the output from your mic to be from both speakers.

Mostly, the issue will be solved once this is done. But if you still find the recording to be from one side, then you can proceed to other fixes.

Misconfigured Audio Interface

The use of an Audio interface for recording gives a better audio output. But sometimes if you don’t properly connect the mic through proper channels, you will not get the desired output.

So, setting up the audio interface and connecting the mic to a proper channel can fix the issue right away.

Usually, small audio interfaces used for PCs have two channels. If you connect your mic to one channel, it will by default play through a single channel and produce output in the left speaker only.

Because the interface is designed to have two inputs, the recording software or DAW will be set to stereo output by default.

So, you have to change the input to Mono or select the input channel you have connected the mic to. Do not select stereo or input 1 & 2.

This will solve the single-channel output problem and provide you with surround output from your mic.

Microphone Position

Condenser mics and Dynamic mics tend to capture sounds from specific directions. For example, they can be cardioid, omnidirectional, etc. These polar patterns govern where the sound must be captured.

So, if you had bought a cardioid mic, the mic picks up the sound only from the front direction and cancels out all the sounds coming from other directions.

In dynamic mics, you have to be very close to the mic for better sound pickup. When you have such mics, you can have the output sound to be very faint and they can sound like a single speaker output.

In such cases, you have to properly use the mic in that particular direction according to their polar pattern. Only then you will get the sound picked up completely.

Check out your Mic Plug

There are different types of mic plugs like XLR, TS, TRS, TRRS, etc. All these have different connectivity to the jack and their output will also differ.

For example, if you are using a TS plug mic, the tip transfers an unbalanced mic signal and the sleeve is for ground. But in the case of TRS, you have positive polarity in the tip, negative in the ring, and ground in the sleeve.

So, each type of connector aids in different sound outputs. So, according to the type of your mic, you have to select the type of input in your interface or workstation.

Also, if there are any defects in the plug, you will not get the output properly. There will not be proper connectivity and you will have issues with the recording.

Driver Issues

Sometimes, you might not have updated your audio drivers and this can cause issues in recording. Even if you change the settings and use all the above-mentioned fixes, you will not get the right output if the drivers are outdated.

Go to the device manager and choose Sound. Check for recording devices and check whether the drivers are up to date. If you find the drivers outdated, update them right away.

You can also update all the sound-related drivers from the device manager itself. Otherwise, go to the Windows update manager and check out optional updates. Sometimes, these driver updates might be present in the optional updates section.

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How to test the microphone before recording?

Before recording it is always recommended to check your mic status and quality so that you can ensure proper recordings.

You can use your workstation or simply the Sound settings of your Windows Sound Manager to check the mic levels when testing. These are the different methods you can test your microphone before recording:

  • Tap or Blow into the mic: This is a classic testing method to check the sensitivity and working of your mic. If you can hear the tapping or blowing equally from your speakers, then the mic is working perfectly. Also, you can see an increase in the level indicator of the software.
  • Record a Test clip: Open a sound recorder in Windows or any other recording app and record a test clip. Then play it back to check for any abnormalities. If the recording comes out fine, you can start using it. Otherwise do the necessary setup and fixes.
  • Check mic direction and levels: If you are using a directional mic, then try testing the mic in different directions and at different distances. This will give you an idea about the perfect setup for recording and playback.
  • Use Mic Diagnostic Software: You have several online and offline tools to check your microphone quality. Use them and check out the performance of your mic in the best way possible.


If these troubleshoots do not work, what are the other options?

If you find this troubleshooting to fail, you can simply use another mic and check whether it is working. If nothing works, then you have to probably replace your sound card and check whether the mic works properly.

Why is my mic not picking up my voice?

Check whether you have enabled the connected microphone in your Sound Manager. Also, check whether you have enabled the mute switch. If the mic is disabled, enable it and try using it.

Unmute and check whether the mic works properly. Sometimes it can also be a driver issue. Therefore, download and install the proper driver for your mic or update the driver.

How to reset the microphone in the PC?

  • Go to the device manager and click on Sound.
  • Choose the microphone installed and first disable it.
  • Restart the PC and again enable the mic in the device manager.
  • Now restart the device.
  • You have now reset the mic.
  • Try using the mic and check for any issues.


A microphone can be very important for several users, especially for professional audiophiles. But sometimes, you might have issues with PC connectivity and you can make use of these troubleshooting ideas to fix the errors.

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