I am a voice writer in court reporting school. I have a HP 64 bit operating system, Windows Vista and I have Audacity 1.3. I am using an external mic and headphones. I am new to Audacity and have no clue how to set any settings or anything. When I record myself dictating and go to play it back, I hear all my back ground noises but not myself. What can I do and how do I fix it. Thanks

You probably just need a better microphone.
Headset microphones are good for keeping the microphone close to your mouth - they should be positioned so that the microphone is close to the corner of the mouth so that you do not blow on it either from your mouth or nose. If you are working in a noisy environment this is probably the best option. If the environment is fairly quiet you may prefer to use a desktop microphone.

A little confused. I’m sorry. I am using a TalkTech Smart Mic (which is a voice writer mask) and then I have them little ear plugs like from a cd player. If I could find a way to send you the audio I would but I don’t know how yet.

There’s very little information on the TalkTech website about what these things actually are, so you’ll need to help us out a bit.
The microphone is built into a face mask and the lead from the microphone plugs into a USB adaptor that is plugged into your computer - is that right?

Yes correct, but it just plugs directly into my laptop. I don’t have the USB adapter.

The obvious question is how do you know that the microphone works without the adaptor?
Typical computer microphones require a low voltage to be supplied by the computer. Standard condenser type microphones require a much higher voltage that can be up to 48 v and will not work plugged directly into a standard computer sound card. So I’m just wondering whether you know for sure that this TalkTech mic will work correctly when plugged directly into your laptop. (by the way, is it a laptop?)

Hey I got it fixed. It was that my preferences were not set right. I had the wrong setting set for my type of mic I use. But thanks again for the help.

You had it set to record using the laptops built in mic?