Windows 10, AMD Ryzen: Poor digital mic-like recording

Hi there,

Use older Audacity version on my old Vaio laptop under Windows XP, it works fine.
However, just downloaded new version for my new HP Envy laptop under AMD Ryzen, Audacity works fully but the recorded quality is as being recorded with a poor quality digital cellphone’s mic…

One of the similar themes notes of " … its conferencing processing turned on and it didn’t used to be… “”
Reading other themes too…

Any real case and fixing the issue ??

Thank you!

You’re not the only one. There are many such reports of bad microphone quality with the HP Envy.
HP’s “solution” is here:
though I personally doubt it will make much if any improvement - I expect that it is just a poor quality sound card chip on the motherboard (as it is in my i7 laptop).

If you only want to make a few casual microphone recordings and don’t need “professional” quality, I’d suggest trying an inexpensive USB mic (such as the ATR4750-USB for well under $20 in the US - it won’t get any awards for sound quality, but it doesn’t break the bank either).

Thanks for the feedback!

Actually, the mic sounds normal in the headphones, no issues related to mic… after recording the playback sounds that different, kind of a chewed sound you may hear talking on GSM cell-phones; furthermore, the sensitivity is very low, my old Vaio laptop has 4-5 times more volume, also, HP does distort the sound at much lower volumes…

Well, I would like just to realize whether the mic settings are set properly to deliver a true mic sound, not a skype or camera-mic sound !!

Any more experience ??

Just noticed the following: in my old Vaio laptop, I have my mic switched off in the settings, however the signal goes to Audacity anyway and it records it fine. I can not do the same in my new HP, if I turn the mic Off, nothing goes to Audacity…
That unpleasant chewed sound heard on a recording is just the mic-sound laying onto the playback …
I have got installed another software and there is the same chewed beer-can sound in the playback…

So, any idea of how to switch the mic exclusively to audio-cart and switching it off from the sound settings ??

Thank you!

Well, tried everything and everywhere with settings, having changed/modified/enhanced/removed … nothing does help with that strange “under the sea” sound. With HP Envy default audio settings, every recorded track was of such a chewed sound, it improves a bit under disabled default settings of ‘Enhanced Audio’ but, anyway, that chewing noise comes in the back of a recording.
Attached are two files recorded by Audacity, the first (acoustic guitar) is recorded on my 15+ years old Vaio laptop, the second is that unpleasant sound fragment.

So after all this tryout I would like to have this second question: Can I improve my audio recording quality with this internal audio-card but with another audio driver ??? In other words, perhaps, the solution can be found in changing audio driver ??

Many thanks!

If that was you playing guitar, you deserve to treat yourself to a decent microphone and something better than a PC sound card to record with.

Have you considered recording on a portable digital recorder (a very popular and good quality example being the “Zoom H4n” though there are many others to choose from ranging from around $100 upwards)? One of the big advantages of portable digital recorders is that there is no fan (so no fan noise). If the PC has a flash card reader you can drag and drop recordings from the flash card to the computer hard drive.

I doubt it.
You may get reasonable recordings from a line level input (for example recording from a cassette player), but microphone signals are tiny and require much better electronics. The sound quality of “Untitled_0.wav” sounds pretty much like the sound card in my laptop (terrible).

Steve, thanks!

The purpose of such recordings is not a music production, it is all about demo and practice… actually, that short recordings were made for showing the internal mic pickup system’s characteristics, and certainly this is not the way for recording music! So for this type of demo-audio, using PC-Audacity combination is super easy and compact requiring just few minutes to be done…

You mention of a similar recording quality of your laptop’s audio-card, could you please tell me how old is your laptop and what model it is ? Thanks!

If this new HP Envy’s audio-card is totally a non-solvable case, then I will have to keep all such recordings done under my old Sony Vaio, it really seems to be having a decent audio in the housing.

I have a W10 HP Envy Laptop 17-ae0xx - it’s soundcard is Realtek High Definition Audio(SST)

I have no issues with sound quality on this HP Envy.

Recording from the on-board mic is nowhere near hi-fi quality (I wouldn’t expect that), but not as bad as a “poor quality digital cellphone”.
It does sound a bit as though I am recording in a large pipe.

In contrast my Macbook Pro of similar vintage(both about 3 years old) running Big Sur macOS 11.0.1 produces much better quality sound from its on-board mic.


It’s probably about 5 years old. A generic i7 laptop with SSD + hdd. The build quality is reasonable and it’s a good number cruncher (it’s very fast for the price, which is what I needed for software development). The fan is quite noisy and the sound chip is rubbish, but a decent display with NVidia Optimus graphics. Overall I’ve been very pleased with it (at only half the price of a slightly lower spec Mac Mini with no display).

The sound quality from your Sony Vaio sounded pretty good for a laptop, though a portable digital recorder is likely to sound noticeably better. As a musician I find my “Zoom H2” (old model) very convenient, especially for recording things like band rehearsals - just put it on a stand and press Record.

If your HP Envy is still under warranty it may be worth contacting the supplier - you may just have a bad one.

Thanks! Sounds very interesting, perhaps you do have a few demo-samples to listen to …!
My laptop’s audio quality is decent when listening to a studio-quality music, but the recordings I make in Audacity are below the zero point, this should be due to either internal audio-card or audio driver… I am still hoping for a solution with the audio output of my laptop.

It is very interesting what makes internal audio-cards vary that much in different model computers, I assume they all might be made under very few manufacturers and sharing almost the same technology and components as they are not a high-end class electronics… however, something makes them different !! I have never been a recording fan, so my experience is just a week-long, just downloaded Audacity and tried it in my old Vaio - all went easy and cool!
I was surely expecting even better quality with this new 2019 model HP laptop but, you never know …
It does not seem to be a warranty issue, all works well and fine, however the audio output is not that true you may expect to hear from the recording.
Still checking for potential improvements through HP customer service.

Here you go with my “dulcet” tones - I’m no VO artiste …


Macbook does sound not bad… Your HP Envy a bit better of cell-phone mic…
Just to make this clear: are these two samples recorded through internal camera’s digital mics ? or through headset mics ??

Actually, if I do record my voice in Audacity through headset mic, it does not sound that noisy and terribly chewed… however, plugging my acoustic guitar’s preamp into Envy’s headset mic Input-line, the final recording goes out that bad !! Comparing to Vaio’s mic Input, Envy has even lower sensitivity that in fact should be better to accommodate guitar preamp’s line output but, NO, it is hugely bad !!
In addition with searching potential ways, I would like to try a decent quality USB audio-interface with Envy because it is a superior machine and should do many tasks really fast, if that external USB adapter-interface can be a solution, then it does make sense to purchase one… are you sure that a professional-class USB interface does not care of the actual internal audio-card and thus is capable to offer a decent sound recording ??? Thank you!!

I also have an external USB soundcard (Edirol UA-1EX, no longer in production by Roland) - I bought it a decade or so ago when I was converting my vinyl (with an older long-dead PC). These days I use it to capture FM broadcasts - excellent results.

Although the Edirol is no longer in production you could for your guitar & preamp a USB card like the Behringer UCA202 (Steve and Koz both have these).


Thanks for the suggestions!
At the moment I am building large diaphragm condenser mic with my vintage CK12 capsule by AKG, actually this microphone encouraged me for all this recording-related enthusiasm and activity … hope the capsule works fine, then I will get a decent 2-channel USB interface. Steinberg and Roland models come first in the list…

As the one of the golden rules of SNR recommends, I tried recording with higher volumes today… and, that worked well on this new business laptop! Although, playing is not very comfortable due to high sensitivity of on-board transducers, however if you want this then you can really manage it! Sorry for such a detailed sounds from the body of the instrument etc…

Well, when considering computers for a direct recording, you may or may not be lucky with your actual internal audio-card, so here are a few tips of how you can do that with a really poor quality audio-card:

  1. Disable all Audio Enhancements
  2. Set computer’s Mic Boost to Zero
  3. Set the computer’s Input volume <1 closer to Zero
  4. Set your signal source at its highest possible (I got Gain of ~300)

I was a bit tired with the previous tryouts, so I have got these two samples quickly and used only Noise, Amplify and Bass&Treble effects, and just a very little Reverb for having the sound little bit smoother… so, thanks to Audacity for its easy but a decent recording characteristics !!

The EQ on those is, err, very unconventional …

Green is good acoustic guitar.gif

Thanks! At the proposed-link page, tried to find the meaning of “unconventional” but got found neither ‘unconventional’ nor ‘conventional’… it seems to be the next what I have to learn in audio as I am not a recording specialist…
Actually, there are more Mid-frequencies on your graphs, and this is what I dislike more; actually, I used only Low-High frequencies in Audacity’s EQ…

Initially, my task was all about eliminating the noise of internal audio-card and a very specific and unpleasant chewed-like sound of the instrument either on the back… so, I would be grateful for you comments noting of either of these two issues found in the sample-audios!!

As noted, this is not about music production, I just wanted to know on whether I could go over this noisy audio-cart, and Yes, it is possible! You only have to get the card’s input at its lowest…
However, wishing to record the music this way you will have to practice a bit not to get all the unnecessary sounds of hands/fingers, neck, body etc., and own a versatile preamp as it is mine :slight_smile:

I was being diplomatic: it sounds very abnormal, (not good).

If you compare the frequency-spectrum of your recording with that of store-bought guitar-music you can see how abnormal your equalization is.
Audacity’s plot-spectrum is independent of loudspeakers/headphones/hearing/Windows playback enhancements.

Possibly Windows is applying playback-enhancement on your computer,
and your extreme equalization is a consequence of correcting for that.

Could be a hardware problem: the EQ correction required to compensate for impedance missmatch.

Hi Trebor,

Many thanks for sharing your knowledge and competencies!
I can not disagree on your comments as the samples were made under abnormal settings and methods, however I cannot agree that these samples do not sound fine if comparing them to those firsts made under laptop’s audio-card controls…
Actually, I just needed to demoing the sound of this particular on-board mics’ system. Building this pickup/preamp system does cost almost nothing, however buying similar of a factory-made easily may cost over $1K… and that saved budget would definitely buy you a decent all-solid acoustics! :slight_smile:
Will always check with Audacity’s plot-spectrum for the next recording sessions!