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Test Your Microphone and Camera in 3 Simple Steps

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During webinars, there always is the fear of not knowing if things will work properly. And this is exactly what you want to avoid when there are 100 people waiting to watch you perform.

What are people most afraid of? You guessed it. It's that there microphone or camera will not work during the webinar.

Based on our experience, we collected the best tips to ensure everything will work during your webinar. Even better, we have 3 simple steps to test your microphone and camera so that you're 100% sure everything is setup correctly even before the webinar starts.

At the end of the article, we'll also show you how to test your internet speed and other tips for when you're having trouble getting things to work.

Why you should test your camera and microphone

  • Great audio and video will make you look more professional
  • A professional look helps you build brand authority
  • You'll avoid any technical problems that will cause people to stop watching your webinar

1. Use a webinar test room / backstage

Modern webinar platforms like Contrast offer you a backstage where you can test your microphone and camera before starting your webinar. It's the easiest and most accurate way to check if your camera and microphone are working.

How to test your camera and microphone using the backstage

For this to work, most platforms require you to create a new webinar. From here, you'll find a link to the webinar room. On Contrast, this is called "Enter Studio".

After clicking on that, you'll land here. As you can see, my cam and mic are not being used yet.

Screenshot of a browser asking permissions to use camera and microphone
Apps that use your camera and microphone always need permission first

Now the first thing to do is to give permissions to your browser to use both the camera and microphone on your computer. We recommend you to use Chrome, and if you're having trouble – this is how it works.

Screenshot showing a camera and microphone permission modal in Google chrome
Always allow access to your camera and microphone

After giving permissions, you should be able to see yourself. Also, your microphone should be working now. See how my MacBook's built-in microphone has been detected?

Screenshot that shows device setup on Contrast Studio
As you can see, both camera and microphone are working

Now you can enter the webinar room as a backstage participant. If you're here with others, add yourself to stream (off the backstage). Now you can see and talk with the other people in your webinar.

Inside Contrast Studio and its backstage feature on the left

2. Run a test or rehearsal webinar with colleagues

The safest way to ensure that everything is working is to do a rehearsal webinar with your colleagues and external speakers. Because certain webinar platforms charge for seats/speakers, this can quickly become costly.

That's why we recommend having a webinar platform like Contrast, where having multiple speakers doesn't increase costs so that you can run as many test webinars as possible.

The easiest way to run a rehearsal is to duplicate your webinar. This way, everything will be exactly the way you expect it on the day itself.

You can use our template below to invite other speakers to your rehearsal webinar.

🗒️
Hey {name},

Thank you again for speaking at our event on {date, time}.

To make sure that everything goes as planned, we're organizing a rehearsal webinar where you can make sure your everything is working correctly.

The rehearsal takes place on {date, time}. You can join us using this link {link to webinar studio}.

We recommend you to use Google Chrome and a steady internet connection. If you're having trouble using your webcam or microphone, you can use this article to troubleshoot: https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/2693767?hl=en&co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop

Looking forward seeing you there!

3. Run an online camera and microphone test

If you don't have a webinar platform with a backstage or test environment, you can use a website that helps you check your camera and microphone.

We like the pre-call test from Vonage, a video infrastructure provider. In about 20 seconds you'll understand if your camera and microphone are working and correctly setup.

💡
If you have a brand new computer, you may have to first give permissions on your computer so that the browser can access your microphone and camera. If you're using a Mac, please read this article. Windows-users, there's this article.

How to start your camera and microphone test

You can ignore most of the text you see on the screen and straight click on the button Run Test. Now your browser will ask you for permissions to use your camera and microphone.

Screenshot of a browser asking access to the camera and microphone
Give access to your camera and microphone to run this test

It is important you click on allow, otherwise it's not possible to test your camera and microphone.

Give the test a couple of seconds to run, in the end you'll get your summary of how things are working.

How do I know if my camera and microphone are working?

Screenshot of the pre-call test from Vonage
Video and audio are clearly working as indicated

As you can see in this example, both the webcam (I can see myself) and microphone (the green bar moves when I speak) are working.

You can now confidently use your camera and microphone in your next webinar.

Run an internet speed test

If you're worried about your internet connection, it's smart to run a speed test. There are different kinds of speed tests. We'll explain two of them.

Run a basic speed test

The most simple one is this Speedtest by Ooka, simply click go and it will start measuring your internet's speed. Here we've to look at upload speed. It's a little more complicated than this, but in general if your upload speed is higher than 10mb per second, you're in the safe zone.

Upload speeds higher than 10mbps guarantee that you're safe

If you're not hitting the 10mbps minimum, we recommend you to move closer to your router, switch networks, use a mobile hotspot or cable if possible.

Run a detailed speed test

You can also use the pre-call test from Vonage that we recommended earlier. It will test your camera, microphone and expected quality based on your internet connection. The report looks like this.

Screenshot from a pre-call test on Vonage
Both scores for video and audio are excellent

Improve your camera and microphone quality

Perhaps your camera and microphone are working, but you're not entirely satisfied about the image quality or that of your microphone. Here are a few tips we like to share with our customers:

  1. Sit in a well-lit room to improve your image quality
  2. If you're still not happy, use a tool like Camo Studio to use your phone as a webcam
  3. Use earbuds to improve the quality of your microphone

We've written another article on how to further improve your camera and microphone quality without breaking the bank.

How to test my camera and microphone on Windows 7, Windows 10 or Windows 11

You can use the built-in camera and microphone apps to test your devices on Windows 7, 10 or 11.

How to test your microphone on Windows

  1. Make sure that your microphone is connected to your computer
  2. Open the Start menu and select settings
  3. In the settings menu, select System and then choose Sound
  4. In the Sound settings, go to Input and select the microphone that you want to test
  5. The sound bar should move when you speak or make sound. If it doesn't, make sure you've updated your drivers.

Official documentation from Microsoft

How to test your camera on Windows

  1. Make sure that your camera is connected to your computer
  2. Open the Start menu and search for the 'Camera' app
  3. Turn on your webcam and check the image. You can also record a clip to check the audio and video quality

Official documentation from Microsoft

How to test my camera and microphone on MacOS?

You can easily test your camera and microphone on MacOS by using the pre-installed apps on your Mac. Let's learn how.

How to test your microphone on MacOS?

  1. Make sure your microphone is connected to your Mac
  2. Select the Apple icon on the top-left corner and click on System Settings
  3. In the search bar, search for Sound
  4. From the Sound menu click on Sound Input
  5. Check if the sound bars react to sound (like your voice)

Official documentation from Apple

How to test your camera on MacOS?

  1. Make sure that your camera is connected to your Mac
  2. Click on the Finder icon, and search for the app PhotoBooth.
  3. Check your image to see if your camera is working.

Official documentation from Apple

ℹ️
With Hand Mirror you can check if your camera and microphone are working straight from your Mac's toolbar. Never worry again.

How to test my camera and microphone on Zoom?

If you're using Zoom, you can test your webcam and microphone directly from their app. We recommend to do it before joining a meeting or webinar.

How to test your microphone before joining a meeting

  1. Sign in to Zoom, click on your profile and now click on settings
  2. Click on the audio tab and follow the instructions to test your camera and microphone

How to test your webcam before joining a meeting

  1. Sign in to Zoom, click on your profile and now click on settings
  2. Click on the video tab and choose your camera and follow the instructions to test your camera and microphone.

It's also possible on Zoom to join a test meeting.

How to test my camera and microphone on Google Meets or Hangouts?

Google Meets (ex-Hangouts) has a built-in green room to test your camera and microphone.

How to test your microphone and camera using the green room

  1. On your computer, go to Google Meet
  2. Select the meeting that you want to join
  3. Before you join the meeting, at the bottom of the preview, you’ll find your connected cameras and microphones
  4. To check your audio and video, at the bottom of the preview tile:
    --> Check the sound bar, it should move
    --> If you see a preview of your camera, your camera works

Official documentation from Google Meets

Frequently asked questions

What is the best browser to host a webinar from?

We generally recommend to use Google Chrome as your main browser. Most cameras and microphones will automatically work with Chrome and you don't have to install any other software.

Also, you'll find that most webinar companies create their software to specifically work with more popular browsers like Google Chrome.

Always make sure to update your browser to ensure that you can use all its features and keep up-to-date with security updates.

How do I know if my internet is fast enough to host a webinar?

Do a speed test that will show you the speed of your internet connection. You can use a website like.

If you want to be sure your webinar will go without trouble, it's recommended that you have a speed of 10mbps or higher.

How do I use a different or external camera or microphone?

Generally most apps these days support using different or external cameras and microphones. As always, make sure your browser has access to your camera and microphone, as explain before. Then look for your settings, and look for the dropdown next to the camera/microphone label. Here you can usually select other devices that are connected to your computer.

It seems the camera/microphone on my computer is not working at all

If you have a brand-new computer, you may have to firs give permissions on your computer so that the browser can access your microphone and camera. If you're using a Mac, please read this article. Windows-users, there's this article.