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HP G60 (500-599) model Microphone concerns
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Honor Student
erniewerner
Posts: 2
Member Since: ‎02-23-2010
Message 21 of 63 (7,859 Views)

Possible workaround for Microphone problem

I too have the fluctuating/low volume problem with my G60-5xx Conexant Pebble Hi Def SmartAudio microphone.  I checked this forum and then called HP support and a nice fellow named Affan was very reassuring, but of no real assistance in addressing the issue or even admitting that there is a systemic problem.

 

I came up with a workaround that so far is working for me.  I used the Skype Echo/Sound test service to help figure this all out (it is a free call that plays back your recorded message).

 

I am using a cheap headset with a mike that plugs into the small jacks on the front of the computer.  The clue to figuring this out was that the outgoing volume of the first 3-4 seconds of each call was okay and then modulated downward and then occasionally fluctuated from there.  There is software that automatically modulates the outgoing mike volume as you speak and continuously adjusts it.  My fix cuts down on the degree of that modulation.  Here is what you do:

 

1. click on the microsoft flag Start button

2. Type "microphone" in the search box

3. Click "manage audio devices"

4. Click the "recording" tab

5.  Double click on Conexant Pebble Hi Def SmartAudio Default Device

6. Click the "levels" tab

7. Slide the "microphone" selector to 100 and the "microphone boost" selector to +10db

8.  Now click on the "advanced" tab and uncheck "enable audio enhancements"

9. Click the "okay" button 

10.  Click the "levels" tab again and leave this window open

11. Use the Skype Echo service and call using your headset or internal mike.  While the call plays back watch and adjust the levels to get a combination that works for you.

12.  Annoyingly, the "microphone" volume will still fluctuate without any input from you, but unclicking the "enable audio enhancements" seems to cut way back on the amplitude of the fluctuations.  With the default settings, my volume was down at zero for most of every outgoing call attempt.

 

By the way, when you initially type in "microphone" you get 2 other choices besides "manage audio devices" that look promising.  However, "Set up a microphone" and "Find and Fix audio recording problems" are dead ends and will undo much of what my fix accomplishes and will not help the Skype issue.  Interestingly, the mike volume does not fluctuate with the internal "sound recorder" program.  It stays constant.  But if you try to Skype before you apply the fix with the "levels" window open, you will get a visual representation of the true nature of the problem.  Again, the levels I used work for my mike on my computer, my guess is that this fix will work for you, but you may need to use different levels settings than I did.

 

Good luck.

 

Intern
lakeside339-web
Posts: 65
Member Since: ‎01-18-2010
Message 22 of 63 (7,850 Views)

Re: Possible workaround for Microphone problem

Thanks for the thoughts. However, many people have tried amny variations of messing with the audio settings - including HP repair people o ver and over. Genreally what I found was that anything i fixed in the levels, etc, basically reset itself once you turn the computer off.

If you go over to this other thread, you can see more of the extent of the problem.

Notebook-PC-Sound-and-Audio/HP-G60-535DX-Windows-7-Home-Premium-Internal-Microphone

Intern
Goody2Shz
Posts: 84
Member Since: ‎01-07-2010
Message 23 of 63 (7,857 Views)

Re: HP G60 (500-599) model Microphone concerns

There are at least 3 of us who are strongly campaigning for HP to replace our laptops or refund our money.  The campaign is also trying to get HP to recall all laptops that are still on retailers shelves or for sale online.  It is unconscionable that the laptops continue to be sold to unsuspecting consumers.

 

It would be awesome of others would join the fight.

Honor Student
erniewerner
Posts: 2
Member Since: ‎02-23-2010
Message 24 of 63 (7,848 Views)

Re: Possible workaround for Microphone problem

<<Thanks for the thoughts. However, many people have tried amny variations of messing with the audio settings - including HP repair people o ver and over. Genreally what I found was that anything i fixed in the levels, etc, basically reset itself once you turn the computer off.>>

 

For me it has been a durable fix.  Perhaps you should give it a try??

 

1. click on the microsoft flag Start button

2. Type "microphone" in the search box

3. Click "manage audio devices"

4. Click the "recording" tab

5.  Double click on Conexant Pebble Hi Def SmartAudio Default Device

6. Click the "levels" tab

7. Slide the "microphone" selector to 100 and the "microphone boost" selector to +10db

8.  Now click on the "advanced" tab and uncheck "enable audio enhancements"

9. Click the "okay" button 

10.  Click the "levels" tab again and leave this window open

11. Use the Skype Echo service and call using your headset or internal mike.  While the call plays back watch and adjust the levels to get a combination that works for you.

12.  Annoyingly, the "microphone" volume will still fluctuate a little without any input from you, but unclicking the "enable audio enhancements" seems to cut way back on the amplitude of the fluctuations.  With the default settings, my volume was down at zero for most of every outgoing call attempt.  At least it's usable now and seems to survive restarts.

Student
positivelyken
Posts: 1
Member Since: ‎02-24-2010
Message 25 of 63 (7,802 Views)

Re: HP G60 (500-599) model Microphone concerns

[ Edited ]

Count me in as another unsatisfied victim of this issue. I bought a G60-530CA laptop as a Christmas gift for my wife, so it sat unopened for more than 14 days before we even began to use it, let alone test the microphone -- which meant that Future Shop would not take it back. Like Goody2Shz, I called HP's customer service and asked to replace the laptop with similar specs but from a different line -- since, obviously, simply replacing it with an identical model would be pointless, as they all have the microphone problem. Like the rest of the posters in this thread, I was told they're working on a fix, but it's not available yet. It may be rolled out in the next month. Meanwhile, they refused to replace the laptop. I also asked if HP was going to recall them from stores, since they knew fully well that these models are defective out of the box, and the answer again was no.

 

Incidentally, at first I thought something had been corrupted in Windows 7 by something we installed on the computer. It wasn't until I did some research online that I discovered that it's a manufacturing defect by HP itself.

 

My wife wanted to use the laptop largely to talk to her family in other parts of Canada and other countries, and this issue has ruined probably the most important function she wanted from it. I'm all for pressuring HP to do the right thing, recall any remaining items still in stock, and replace laptops that have already been sold. Being told to wait for a patch that may be available at some unspecified future time is not a satisfying resolution to a known problem.

Intern
lakeside339-web
Posts: 65
Member Since: ‎01-18-2010
Message 26 of 63 (7,797 Views)

Re: HP G60 (500-599) model Microphone concerns

I really encourage everyone to send and email to HP -

Intern
lakeside339-web
Posts: 65
Member Since: ‎01-18-2010
Message 27 of 63 (7,758 Views)

Re: Possible workaround for Microphone problem

erniewerner   -

I wanted to see if your fix was anything differnt than I'd already tried and see if it would help. I had previously  seen that the volume level just would drop while talking.

My setting were already at 100/10 but I did turn off the 'enable audio enhancements'.

I tried it with a variety of microphones plugged in and-  the preferred way - no external mic. Part of the idea with having a built in mic in a laptop is to not have to carry extra equipment with you.

Here is what I found using Skype

Using the Skype Test Call Robot (seems to be the new name for the echo test call), it looked like it might work with a headphone (though NOT what I want to have to wear or carry around) - the volume level stayed put. With no headphone plugged in, I had to increase the microphone boost all the way to 40 for Skype to record my voice at all -  (but the volume level held).


Next I called a freind on Skype. Without a mic, I had to boost the microphone to 40 (max) which caused a lot of hissing background noise but any less than he could not hear me.  Using the headset I was able to  reset the boost to 10 and at least for ½ minute of talking with a headsetplugged into the external mic jack, the volume seemed to hold up and he could hear me clearly.  (However his sound was cutting in and out a bit).  Then I tried it with a standalone mike that plugged into the same external mike jack.  The volume immediately started drifting back down to zero and after a second he could not hear me.  We tried this several times and the same thing always happened.


Then I tried using voice recognition which is built into the computer, which is how some people want to use this.  For the first time it actually let me configure the mic, however as I watched  the levels the microphone volume reset itself all the way back down to zero.  Despite that the voice recognition program is hearing me though at  the times I have to yell (still at boost up to 40).  And if I want to now use Skype with or without a microphone I will have to reset the microphone volume again.

So, my overall results are that turning off "enable audio enhancement" helps to some degree. The best result (actually the only really usable result) is obtained on Skype if you're wearing a full headset.  A headset also seems to work if you're wanting to dictate or run the computer using the built and speech recognition.
Results vary and you will probably still have to adjust your volume.  I have not yet tried shutting off the laptop or restarting it  before making this post so I'm not  really sure what willhappen. However, people may find that, while needting to wear a headset and carry it around with with you is less than idea, it may at least enable you to use the microphone in certain situations and be better than nothing.

The cleaner idea, of course,  (outside of an actual fix)  is to use a USB mic so you don't have to deal with this funky internal mic and fiddle with settings at all, and hopefully not have to use a headset (though is some situations - ie using Skype, plugging in even the USB seems to shut off the speakers, so you need a headset anyway - it may be dependent  on the specific USB mic).

 

thanks erniewerner, for the revised idea.

Intern
Goody2Shz
Posts: 84
Member Since: ‎01-07-2010
Message 28 of 63 (7,754 Views)

Re: Possible workaround for Microphone problem

I find it ludicrous that any of us have to do any of this crap to get something to work that should...well...just work.  The laptop was advertised to work with the integrated webcam and microphone.  It doesn't.  HP has failed miserably to take care of its customers.

 

As I've said before...I will never buy another HP product.  Ever.  Not even a printer.  They don't properly take care of their customers.  They use smoke and mirrors to keep users at bay, and do not honor promises.  HP will pay for all of this with lost customers.  Nobody needs to threaten HP with anything.  They are taking care of ruining themselves on their own.

 

Shame on you HP for making your customers dance and jump through hoops--for what?  For nothing.

Intern
lakeside339-web
Posts: 65
Member Since: ‎01-18-2010
Message 29 of 63 (7,729 Views)

Re: Possible workaround for Microphone problem

Addendum -

I later tried talking to someone again via Skpe (computer had been on) - though it was better than originally, volume still fluctuated and soon the person could not hear me even with a headset.

So - this is workaround really does not work well enough for me.

Honor Student
beggsfamily
Posts: 2
Member Since: ‎02-25-2010
Message 30 of 63 (7,714 Views)

Re: HP G60 (500-599) model Microphone concerns

[ Edited ]

Just joined the forum after finding out about the mic not working on my "new" HP G60-508us.  Got this on sale black friday.  Finally got the webcam from the mail in rebate and everyone said they couldn't hear me.  Popping and fading in and out.  So I did an online chat with HP that got me no wear.  I called.  They did a BIOS update and told me they are awear of the problem and to call back in a week.  I'm going to have to call Office Depot.  I have had this thing for months.  Just got the webcam a few weeks ago.  Didn't know it was going to be such a problem. Have had HP computers for years.  Oh and the jack on the front of the computer won't over ride the built in mic.  So buying a headset is worthless.

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