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Z790 Hero - Microphone Very Low

Soccerchamp43
Level 8
My microphone is extremely low and nobody can hear me.

Headset: Sennheiser GAME ZERO (3.5mm cable)
Mobo: Z790 Hero
OS: Windows 10 Pro

This issue occurs whether I plug the microphone directly into the motherboard or if I plug it into the case front panel. I've tested the headset on another PC and don't have any issues. On the other PC I don't need to raise the levels nor enable boost for others to hear me. But even when I do that on this PC, it doesn't make much of a difference.

I uninstalled all drivers in Device Manager under the "Audio inputs and outputs" section (except for my monitor) as well as the Realtek and Sonic Studio entries in the "Sound, video and game controllers" section. I restarted as Windows advised then installed the latest Realtek driver from the ASUS website on the support page for my motherboard. This is it: Realtek USB Audio Driver V6.3.9600.2342 For Windows 10/11 64-bit

In Windows settings, the blue test bar under the "Input" section of the "Sound" page barely moves at all no matter how loud I speak. I can scream into my mic and it doesn't even fill up 10% of the bar. I also tested the microphone in Discord with a similar result. And as I stated, people have reported that they can barely hear me.

After searching online, I checked the boxes next to "Disable All Sound Effects" in the Realtek Audio Control application. Didn't make a difference.

Here are screenshots of my settings (all are with headset plugged in unless otherwise noted):

Imgur Album if Easier: https://imgur.com/a/Svgs9Ec

Device Manager: 97718
Device Manager (headset not plugged in): 97728
Windows Sound Settings: 97719
Sound Control Panel 1: 97720
Sound Control Panel 2: 97721
Sound Control Panel 3: 97722
Realtek Audio Console 1: 97723
Realtek Audio Console 2: 97724
Realtek Audio Console 3: 97725
Realtek Audio Console 4: 97726

Could anyone please advise?
5,448 Views
14 REPLIES 14

RogScott
Level 12
This may not help, but....

I had similar problems on my Z690-E, which has similar Realtek circuitry. Tried different drivers, different mic, different connection (front/back). Tried methods to increase the "gain". Nothing worked -- microphone was barely audible.

I gave up and bought a cheap USB microphone (brand name is Jounivo, but I'm sure any of them will work) -- and there are no problems with volume.

My conclusion is that there are some REAL problem with the Realtek drivers and/or circuits, at least as regards an analog microphone. I just couldn't get it to work, so gave up and went to USB. I hate giving up on something that "I paid for it and it should effing work", but in this case I decided to just stop fighting it.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Z690-E, i9-12900k, 2x16 DDR5, 980pro nvme x3, Ryujin-II 360, Strix Animate-II, Evga 3090 ftw3

RogScott wrote:
This may not help, but....

I had similar problems on my Z690-E, which has similar Realtek circuitry. Tried different drivers, different mic, different connection (front/back). Tried methods to increase the "gain". Nothing worked -- microphone was barely audible.

I gave up and bought a cheap USB microphone (brand name is Jounivo, but I'm sure any of them will work) -- and there are no problems with volume.

My conclusion is that there are some REAL problem with the Realtek drivers and/or circuits, at least as regards an analog microphone. I just couldn't get it to work, so gave up and went to USB. I hate giving up on something that "I paid for it and it should effing work", but in this case I decided to just stop fighting it.


Thanks so much for your response.

That's actually really disappointing to hear. The last PC that I built was eight and a half years ago. It had an ASUS Maximus VII Formula and Intel 4790k. I can't recall one single issue that I had after assembling it.

This new PC, on the other hand, has been issue after issue. I've remediated most myself, posted another thread about a front panel issue (that was actually related to a case cable, though I'm now having another motherboard related front panel issue that will likely yield a third post here), and it feels like I just can't catch a break.

It's just a bummer paying so much for what you think is a quality component only to have so many issues.

Members of this forum seem informed, and they're certainly helpful, so I'm hopeful that someone may be able to assist here. Again, I appreciate your post and hope that it's something that can be fixed.

Saltgrass
Level 13
I tried that on both the Z590 and Z790 boards and the Z590 was able to play audio, but the quality was terrible. The Microphone, while showing as a Realtek Line-in device did not seem to be present.

The Z790 was even less workable than the Z590 system, so I have to agree there are some wired sound problems with these latest boards. I wonder if it is related to switching to the Realtek USB audio as opposed to Realtek audio.

Bluetooth works very well on both systems and the normal external speakers seem to work fine.
Maximus Z790 Hero,
Intel i9-13900k
Intel BE200

Guys, just in case it helps, I made the following notes after having terrible trouble trying to install all of the Realtek drivers some time ago. For example I couldn't get Sonic Studio 3 to work, no matter what I tried. After help and advice from MoKiChU it all installed properly (so I can't take credit, I made these notes based on his expertise). Bear in mind that depending on your motherboard you might need to modify things a little and possibly grab different drivers. Anyway, I hope that following these notes could potentially help with your microphone issues:

A. CLEANUP
=========
If you already have the following installed:

Realtek USB Audio Drivers
Realtek Audio Control/Console
Sonic Studio III
Sonic Radar III
DTS Sound Unbound

Uninstall them by going to Start > Settings > Apps. Right click and select uninstall, then restart the PC

Download and launch 'Driver Store Explorer' as admin. Check the boxes of any drivers (*.inf) beginning with:

a-volute
avolute
dts
extrtxusb
hdx
realtek
rtdusbad

Check the box "force deletion" then click on the "delete driver(s)" button

Next, Open Device Manager. Under "View" check "Show hidden devices". Look in "Software components" for the following:

DTS Audio Effects Component
DTS APO4x Service Component

If present, uninstall them with right-click/uninstall device and restart the PC

Now run the SS3 Cleaner software (you can find this in MoKiChUs posts) - right click on "A-Volute_SS3_Cleanup.exe". Run as administrator and then restart the PC

B. INSTALL DRIVERS
===============

For the Z690 Hero, get the latest copy of MokiChU's ASUS ROG SS3|DTS Sound Unbound Drivers (or the correct ones for you).

Make sure the zip file is unblocked (right click on the zip, select properties and then select 'unblock' if the option is there)
Extract the drivers folder

In the drivers folder, run update.cmd as admin. It should install lots of driver packages and restart automatically

If it freezes, wait for a while, but if still frozen after a few minutes, then close it and try again

Once rebooted, run install.cmd as admin, wait for the installer to finish and reboot (I know this seems to be the wrong way around, but that's the way we got it all working)

Check Armoury Crate - if drivers are not installed, run the installer again - seems to work on 2nd attempt

If they are not installed already, install what you want manually through the MS App Store (links below):

Realtek Audio Console
https://apps.microsoft.com/store/det...hl=en-us&gl=us

Sonic Studio 3
https://apps.microsoft.com/store/det...hl=en-us&gl=us

Sonic Radar 3
https://apps.microsoft.com/store/det...hl=en-us&gl=us

DTS Sound Unbound
https://apps.microsoft.com/store/det...hl=en-us&gl=us

Good luck. I don't know if this will help, but I hope it does. I've had zero audio issues since following the process above. If it works, send thanks to MoKiChU. By the way, I have USB microphones, so I can't confirm if my 3.5mm jack is working properly or not. I can only say that everything is good as far as I can tell.
Z690 Hero, 12900K, BIOS 3603, MEI 2406.5.5.0, ME Firmware 16.1.30.2361, 7000X Case, RM1000x PSU, ASUS TUF OC 3090TI, 2 x 16GB Corsair RAM @ 5200MHz, Windows 11 Pro 23H2, Corsair H150i Elite AIO, 4x Corsair RGB fans, 3x M.2 NVME drives, 2x SATA SSDs, 2x SATA HDs.

Saltgrass wrote:
I tried that on both the Z590 and Z790 boards and the Z590 was able to play audio, but the quality was terrible. The Microphone, while showing as a Realtek Line-in device did not seem to be present.

The Z790 was even less workable than the Z590 system, so I have to agree there are some wired sound problems with these latest boards. I wonder if it is related to switching to the Realtek USB audio as opposed to Realtek audio.

Bluetooth works very well on both systems and the normal external speakers seem to work fine.


Thanks for your comments and that information. I've also had no issues with external speakers. Haven't trying Bluetooth yet.

JohnAb wrote:
Guys, just in case it helps, I made the following notes after having terrible trouble trying to install all of the Realtek drivers some time ago. For example I couldn't get Sonic Studio 3 to work, no matter what I tried. After help and advice from MoKiChU it all installed properly (so I can't take credit, I made these notes based on his expertise). Bear in mind that depending on your motherboard you might need to modify things a little and possibly grab different drivers. Anyway, I hope that following these notes could potentially help with your microphone issues:


Thanks so much for your post. That fixed the issue!

Not sure if it got fixed from the Realtek driver being a newer version than that on the ASUS website, if it was one of the third party drivers, or perhaps it's related to the removal and installation instructions. Either way, the mic works now!

I maxed microphone volume to 100% and added that +10 boost which - after talking to someone else and receiving their feedback - seems to be the sweet spot.

The headset audio volume is very loud even with the physical dial turned all the way down on the headset and volume at 30% in Windows, however I've got no issue at all lowering that even further. I'm just thrilled that it works.

Thank you again very much!

Hi, got the same problem. Which version of the USB Realtek driver do you have exactly?

Saltgrass
Level 13
I just plugged in a USB microphone and it was picked up fine. The audio jack version seems to work fine with the output but the microphone input is a problem.

I am wondering why they have the input quality set a 2 channel 48000 Hz? That seems a little high for a voice microphone.

Also, I noticed the Microphone was picked up as a Line-In device on one system and a Sonic Virtual device on another.

I even had some problems with the microphone on a newly released Bluetooth headset.

This info is strictly for discussion, not help.
Maximus Z790 Hero,
Intel i9-13900k
Intel BE200

JohnAb
Level 17
Hi Saltgrass, I don't understand the microphone problem to be honest. I'm going to see if I can find a microphone with a 3.5 jack and see if mine is working normally. I have Z690, not a 790 board so maybe like you suggested above it's related to the chipset or the board somehow. I only know that Realtek audio drivers can be tricky to get working properly, hence why I thought it might help somebody if I posted the summary of MoKiChU's cleanup and install process that worked for me...

Wish I knew more 😞 Just a thought, does your microphone work normally with Microsoft drivers only? I'm just thinking, what if all of the Realtek drivers are uninstalled. Could that help maybe?
Z690 Hero, 12900K, BIOS 3603, MEI 2406.5.5.0, ME Firmware 16.1.30.2361, 7000X Case, RM1000x PSU, ASUS TUF OC 3090TI, 2 x 16GB Corsair RAM @ 5200MHz, Windows 11 Pro 23H2, Corsair H150i Elite AIO, 4x Corsair RGB fans, 3x M.2 NVME drives, 2x SATA SSDs, 2x SATA HDs.

JohnAb wrote:
Hi Saltgrass, I don't understand the microphone problem to be honest. I'm going to see if I can find a microphone with a 3.5 jack and see if mine is working normally. I have Z690, not a 790 board so maybe like you suggested above it's related to the chipset or the board somehow. I only know that Realtek audio drivers can be tricky to get working properly, hence why I thought it might help somebody if I posted the summary of MoKiChU's cleanup and install process that worked for me...

Wish I knew more 😞 Just a thought, does your microphone work normally with Microsoft drivers only? I'm just thinking, what if all of the Realtek drivers are uninstalled. Could that help maybe?


My experience with the Z690-E says it’s the hardware. Â*Whether using Microsoft or Realtek drivers, I could never get decent (usable) gain on an analogous microphone. Â*A cheap usb microphone worked fine, so that solved it for me at a reasonable price - but I don’t need high fidelity. Â*
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Z690-E, i9-12900k, 2x16 DDR5, 980pro nvme x3, Ryujin-II 360, Strix Animate-II, Evga 3090 ftw3