Don't want to use the HTC Vive's integrated microphone? Here's how to use any device with the headset.

While the HTC Vive has its own inbuilt microphone, its usability in many situations is sometimes questionable. Between the low-quality and positioning, the inbuilt microphone is an easy way to communicate in virtual reality games, however, other methods are recommended to preserve the eardrums of your allies.

Thankfully, whether it's a standalone microphone or gaming headset, a wide range of devices can be used instead of the integrated microphone on the headset. Furthermore, options hidden away inside SteamVR make automatic microphone selection seamless, after only a brief setup. These are the steps to change your microphone used alongside an HTC Vive, as well as how to automate the process going forward.

How to choose your microphone when using an HTC Vive

In most games for the HTC Vive, the source microphone is determined by the default currently selected by Windows. Before starting a game, we recommend selecting your desired device through Windows' native "Sound" app, which allows active recording devices to be selected.

  1. Open the Windows Sound application.
  2. Select the Recording tab.
  3. Right-click on the microphone you plan to use.
  4. Choose Set as Default Device.
  5. Right-click on the microphone you plan to use again.
  6. Choose Set as Default Communication Device.

How to automatically switch microphones when using SteamVR

Within the settings for SteamVR, default audio devices can also be set to automatically change when your HTC Vive is and isn't in use. This means that while you may use a certain microphone and headphones at your desk, when starting SteamVR, your devices can automatically change to a different set of preferences. Here's how to customize your automated microphone settings from SteamVR.

  1. Open the SteamVR desktop application.
  2. Select Settings from the SteamVR drop-down menu.
  3. Open the Audio tab.
  4. Configure your sound preferences to switch to your preferred when starting SteamVR. To prevent recording issues after finishing with SteamVR, configure the settings to select a different input after closing the application.

Have questions about using an external microphone with your HTC Vive not covered in this guide? Make sure to drop your thoughts in the comments and we'll be sure to get back as soon as possible.