I've been looking around at various USB microphones and I've noticed that some of them offer a monitoring feature. While it's clear that this means that I will be able to listen to the sound picked up by the microphone with headphones, it's less clear whether all microphones that offer such a feature allow additional audio from the computer to play through the headphones as well.

My use case is for podcasting. Obviously when doing a podcast it's important to be able to hear other participants in the conversation from the computer, so I'm wondering if it's safe to purchase a microphone that has monitoring and assume it can act as a computer output as well.

  • You can't make this assumption. It could be computer audio + monitor, monitor only, or computer audio only. Read the manual or read reviews to find out which it is. Also check if it's possible to mute one or the other independently.
    – endolith
    Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 21:56

1 Answer 1


I don't think this is a safe assumption. I used one a couple months ago that provided an audio output to the computer, but it wasn't wired up anywhere. It did offer an output, but it was only the output directly from the mic.

  • 1
    Thanks, all it takes is one exception. If you don't mind me asking, which mic was it?
    – Kyle Cronin
    Commented Sep 13, 2011 at 16:30
  • I don't remember... I do remember it was not a whole mic, just an adapter, it was cheap, about 4" long, and was painted black. It had an 1/8" headphone jack on the side.
    – Brad
    Commented Sep 13, 2011 at 16:39
  • That's true, audio adapters that offer monitoring also could potentially not appear as outputs. However, it's usually easier to find out whether they do or not (they usually will have a knob for the volume control for the computer output if they do)
    – Kyle Cronin
    Commented Sep 13, 2011 at 16:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.