Applies to

Surface RT, Surface 2, Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1.


Surface sound, volume, and audio accessories

Surface has two stereo speakers and a headset jack for listening to music or watching movies. The headset jack works for both audio output and microphone input.

You can plug headphones or a headset with a microphone into the headset jack or the USB port. The internal microphones come in handy when you’re making video calls or recording videos. Here's what you need to know about Surface sound and audio:

If you're not sure where the speaker and mic openings on your Surface are, see Surface features.


Adjust the volume

You can control the volume in many ways on your Surface:

  • Volume. Press the volume rocker (along the left edge of your Surface) to adjust the volume down or up.
  • Keyboard. If your Surface Cover or other keyboard has volume keys, press the volume down, volume up, or mute keys.
  • Settings. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Settings. Next, tap or click the speaker icon and adjust the slider down or up, or tap the small speaker icon to mute.
  • Desktop. From the Start screen, tap Desktop, and then tap the speaker icon on the taskbar (lower right corner.) Adjust the volume control down or up.
  • Audio accessories. Adjust the volume on the headset, speakers, phone, or other audio accessory, or in the software included with the accessory. For more info about adjusting volume levels, refer to the instructions that came with your accessory or visit the manufacturer's website.
  • Apps. Some apps have a volume control within the app.
Notes
  • The following volume settings all work together: the volume rocker, Surface Cover and keyboard volume up/down keys, the Start screen, and Desktop volume settings. If you raise, lower, or mute the setting in one, the volume level in the others will change, too.
  • Volume controls in apps and on accessories such as headphones and external speakers may work independently of the controls built into Surface. You may need to adjust volume levels in more than one place.
  • If the sound quality coming from your speakers or from an audio accessory isn't good, it's possible the audio recording itself isn't of good quality. Try listening to the same recording on a different device.

Adjust microphone settings

To adjust your microphone settings:

Step 1: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and tap Search.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then click Search.)
Step 2: Tap or click the arrow above the search box, and then tap or click Settings.
Step 3: In the search box, enter adjust sound, and in the search results, tap or click Manage audio devices.
Step 4: Tap or click the Recording tab, tap or click the microphone you want and then tap or click Properties. Be sure to select a microphone that is enabled and connected to Surface.
Step 5:

Tap or click the Levels tab. You'll see two sliders:

  • Microphone: Controls the microphone volume
  • Microphone Boost: Controls the strength of the mic's signal
Step 6: Adjust the sliders until your microphone is recording at the levels you want.
The levels you'll use will vary depending on the amount of background noise, and on whether you're using Surface's built-in mic or an external mic. A good starting point is to set Microphone to 50 and Microphone Boost to +24.0 dB.

Add audio accessories

You can connect external USB speakers, headphones, or a headset to the full-size USB port. To find out how, see Connect a USB mouse, printer, and more.

Or go wireless by using Bluetooth® headphones or speakers with your Surface. To find out how, see Add a Bluetooth device.

To get the best sound from USB or Bluetooth speakers, turn up the volume on both Surface and in the app (if it has its own sound control), and then adjust the volume on the external USB or Bluetooth speakers.

Set the default audio device

Step 1: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and tap Search.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then click Search.)
Step 2: Tap or click the arrow above the search box, and then tap or click Settings.
Step 3: In the search box, enter adjust sound, and in the search results, tap or click Manage audio devices.
Step 4:

Next, do either or both of the following:

  • Tap or click the Playback tab, tap or click the device you want to use for playback (for example, the built-in speakers on Surface, external speakers, or a headset), and then tap or click Set Default.
  • Tap or click the Recording tab, tap or click the device you want to use for recording (for example, the built-in microphone, or an external microphone), and then tap or click Set Default.
Step 5: After you've selected your default devices, tap or click OK.

Record audio

You can use the Sound Recorder app to record audio. To open the Sound Recorder app:

  • Swipe up from the middle of the Start screen, or click the arrow Down arrow near the lower-left corner of the Start screen, and then tap or click Sound Recorder.

For more info on the Sound Recorder app, see Sound Recorder app for Windows: FAQ.

Change which sounds play

You can choose which sounds play for notifications and system events (for example, the sound that plays when you get a new message.) Here's how:

Step 1: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and tap Search. (If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen and move your mouse down, and then click Search.)
Step 2: Tap or click the arrow above the search box, and then tap or click Settings.
Step 3: In the search box, enter system sounds, and in the search results, tap or click Change system sounds.
Step 4: Tap or click the Sounds tab, and under Program Events, tap or click an event (for example, Calendar Reminder) and under Sounds, tap or click to select the sound you want to play for that event.
Step 5: To hear the sound you've selected to play for an event, tap or click Test.
Step 6: Tap or click Apply to change the sound for the event, and then tap or click OK.

Turn typing sounds on or off

To find out how to turn off the sound that plays when you type, see Touch Cover.

Audio problems

For help with audio problems, see Troubleshoot Surface sound and audio accessories.

If you’re having audio problems when Surface is connected to another screen, see one of the following topics:

Note

VGA adapters and cables do not transfer audio. Audio will play from the Surface speakers unless you’ve connected external USB or Bluetooth speakers.



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