Connecting Your Headphones/Microphones
Note: the following instructions are based on typical Windows PC components. Your exact equipment may vary.
To participate in the audio/talk channel in an Elluminate Session (WebMeeting) you will need a microphone and headphones or speakers. A headphone/microphone combination works well. You don't need the most expensive headphones. A headset that is recommended at the Sitka campus is the Koss CS100 Speech Recognition Computer Headset -- it has noise cancellation features and is designed for "computer games with sound cards, telephone, voice activated and voice recognition software". These headsets will cost $10-$15 and can be purchased at electronics or computer stores. Students enrolled in Sitka campus classes who live in remote areas and can't easily purchase a headset should inquire about the availability of equipment for loan.
Examples of microphone and headphone/microphone combinations and the "mini-jack" type of plug:
Some microphones have USB connectors - these may be "plug and play" and theoretically easy to install . However these have proven difficult in some PC computers. Macintosh computers have less problems with these types of microphones or headsets
Examples of USB microphones or headsets and a close-up of a USB connector:
Identify Headphone/Microphone Plugs
If your headset is not a USB device it will have two plugs at the end, one for the microphone and the other for the headphones. Microphones will have only one plug. Color coding for different brands will vary - they might look like the following:
The headphones plug (1) may be identified by one of the following characteristics:
- Colored Black or Green or Blue
- Displays a headphone logo
- Embossed with the word "phones"
The microphone plug (2) may be identified by one or more of the following characteristics:
- Colored Pink or Red or Light Gray
- Displays a microphone logo
- Embossed with the word "mic"
Once you know which plug is which you can find the matching jacks on your computer to plug them in.
( If you have a USB microphone or headset it will plug into a USB port which is a rectangular port identified the symbol Follow the installation instructions that come with your microphone.)
On a PC the dual connectors for a headset with "mini-jack" plugs will be inserted into the microphone port (also called a "jack") and the speakers or headphone port.
The microphone and headphone jacks may be identified with the symbols shown above.
If you do not have microphone and headphone jacks that are located next to each other it may be necessary to unplug your speakers (if any) and insert the headphone plug into the speaker jack and the microphone plug into the adjacent microphone jack.
On a PC the microphone jack will typically be color coded pink or red and the speakers will be color coded green. Do not use the blue "line-in" jack. (That port is for recording sounds from other devices). The microphone jack may be labeled with a microphone symbol and the speaker/headphone jack with a picture of "sound waves" and an arrow going OUT from the center. Remember that the plugs on your headset may not be color-coded the same way as the jacks on your computer.
Headphone Volume/Mute Controls
Your headphone may be equipped with controls on the cord. If so, you will generally have a rotating volume control and a mute switch similar to the one shown below:
After plugging the headphones into your computer, be sure that the volume is turned about halfway and that the microphone is not on mute.
Check to see that the sound on your computer or laptop is not muted. On a PC this is usually indicated by an icon in the lower right.
If your sound is muted then double-click on the speaker icon - this will open up the Volume Control panel and allow you to un-mute your speakers/headphone and adjust the volume.
Testing your Audio set-up
After the microphone and/or headphones are installed you can test your sound equipment.
- Go to Elluminate Live! First Time Users
- Click on the text "Configuration Room" to enter an Elluminate test room.
- Enter any name you like to login
- You will see instructions for testing the sound level on your speakers/headphones and microphones
University of Alaska Southeast
Portions of this page are adapted from material prepared by the Center for Distance Education at the University of Alaska - Fairbanks