Hiss when recording.

I’m using Win 8 and Audacity 2.0.5.

I’m using my laptop and audacity to record my voice using the 3.5 mic port on my laptop and I have a loud hiss sound (or maybe static sound not exactly sure what to call it) when I’m recording. I’ve tried multiple mics and it’s always been the same hiss sound. I can hear a hiss too when I plug in headphones into the headphone jack.

I figured it was a noisy soundcard so I bought a external USB soundcard (Xonar U3) but I’m still getting a hiss during recording; though I no longer hear it through my headphones when those are plugged into the usb card. I’ve tried noise removal but it distorts the audio. Is there something else I can try with audacity to help me with this darn hiss?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Microphone hiss is a juggling act between the microphone and the microphone preamplifier. Your Preamplifier is inside the Xonar. Are you sure you’re not recording the laptop microphone?

Make sure your Xonar is selected in the Audacity Device Toolbar. If you can’t find it, remember to plug in your Xonar and then run Audacity, not the other way around.


Some hiss is normal. It’s your job to minimize it and then make your voice so much louder that it doesn’t matter any more.


Thanks for the reply.

I disabled the other microphone so it’s just mic through the Xonar I’m recording.

I think I may have solved my problem. I was using several microphones and two computers to try and troubleshoot and I think all the microphones I was using were broken because I’ve found another (cheapie) headset and it sounds fine running through just my regular mic input and has almost no hiss and good volume levels when run through my Xonar.

I’m experimenting with tiny USB recorder devices. I’m buying a number of them to make sure I get one that works.


Hmm. I never even considered a something like that. I’m new to this and I get a little bit more overwhelmed when I search for devices like that.

I use Startech ICUSBAUDIO adapters. They do about what yours does.


I had one fail in a weird way. It passed sound OK, but it also screwed up the DC or battery system. I could not edit the show audio. I should have taken it apart, but I just binned it.


One problem of bottom-feeding like this is the assurance that there is no Quality Control at the factory. If one device fails they just give you another one. I understand that there is one techie that bought a bag of stand-alone recorders and he’s sorting them according to volume.

“Here’s a loud one…”


A friend of mine bought a headset (that was on the cheaper side) and it came with an external sound card that seems to work just as well as my xonar.

I think I might pick up one of those Startechs just to see how it works compared to what I got.

Here’s one of my Startechs with an Olympus TP7 that I use to record telephone calls.


It does that just fine as well as other marginal sound tasks.

If the job is important, I drag out the full-on formal sound mixer and microphones. My Mac has a high quality stereo recording connection.