Limitations of OS Level Mute
OS level mute and unmute sounds like something that should work universally across all platforms and all operating systems. This is a common misconception due to the general belief that audio is completely controlled by the operating system. This is not the case and user should be aware of the limitations of muting at the operating system level.
In some cases operating systems do not have complete control over the devices connected to them including microphones that are connected to the computer. Audio control on computers has existed for a very long time and some of the mechanisms to control audio bypass the operating system completely. Therefore, there are devices on the market currently, which do not allow control from the operating system. This is much more prevalent on macOS than on Microsoft Windows, but the problem exists on both.
If the operating system is unable to control either the audio interface or microphone, then we will also be unable to control it. On macOS this is easy to check.
Use macOS "Audio MIDI Setup" to see if macOS can control
- Open "Audio MIDI Setup" from the Utilities folder in the Applications folder, or by searching for it using Spotlight.
- In the "Audio Devices" window, select the microphone or device in question.
- Click on the input tab if not already selected.
- Check the "Mute" checkbox next to the "Input volume" slider.
- If you are unable to click the Mute checkbox than macOS is unable to control the microphone input.
Alternatively, you can also use the "Input volume" slider to adjust the volume of the microphone. Moving the slider to the left will reduce the volume, while moving it to the right will increase the volume.
On windows, it is much more difficult to understand and see if the operating system can actually control the device or not. In most cases, Windows when it cannot control only gives you the ability to disable the device which is not the same thing. The only way to verify is to use other third-party utilities that may be able to control and mute microphones as well.
If you experience other issues please use the chat box below to contact our customer service team who I should be able to help you solve any configuration issues.
Last Updated: 3:18 - PST - January 6, 2023
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