Applies to

Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, Surface Pro 3, Surface 3.

Applies to

Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, Surface Pro 3, Surface 3.

Applies to

Surface RT, Surface 2.

Operating system:

Surface sound, volume, and audio accessories

Use the built-in stereo speakers and mic or your favorite audio accessories to listen to music, make phone calls, record audio, and more.


Use your favorite audio accessories

The stereo speakers and microphones built into Surface let you listen to music and videos, make phone calls, and record audio. Or, you can connect your favorite USB and Bluetooth® accessories like speakers, a mic, or a headset. For more info on connecting accessories, see Connect a USB mouse, printer, and more and Add a Bluetooth device.

Adjust the volume

You can control the volume on your Surface in a few places:

  • Volume button. Press the volume button on your Surface to adjust the volume up or down.
  • Keyboard. If your Surface Type Cover or other keyboard has volume keys, press the volume-down, volume-up, or mute keys.
  • Desktop taskbar. In the desktop taskbar, select Speakers Speakers icon, and adjust the volume up or down.
  • Audio accessories. Adjust the volume on the headset, speakers, phone, or other audio accessory, or in the software included with the accessory. To learn more, check the info that came with your accessory or visit the manufacturer's website.
  • Apps. Some apps have a volume control within the app.

How volume controls work together

If you raise, lower, or mute the volume using one of the following volume controls, the volume level in the others will also change:

  • The volume button on your Surface
  • Desktop volume setting in the taskbar

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.

Adjust microphone settings

To adjust your mic settings:

Step 1: Select the search box in the lower left corner of the screen, enter sound, and in the search results, select Change system sounds.
Step 2: Select the Recording tab, select the mic you want, and select Properties.
Be sure to select a mic that's enabled and connected to Surface.
Step 3:

Select the Levels tab. You’ll see two sliders:

  • Microphone: Controls the mic’s volume
  • Microphone Boost: Controls the strength of the mic's signal
Step 4: Adjust the sliders until your mic 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 the mic that’s built into Surface or an external mic. A good starting point is to set Microphone to 50 and Microphone Boost to +24.0 dB.

Use USB or Bluetooth 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 your 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: Select the search box in the lower-left corner of the screen, enter sound, and in the search results, select Change system sounds.
Step 2:

Do either or both of the following:

  • Select the Playback tab, select the device you want to use for playback (for example, the built-in speakers on Surface, external speakers, or a headset), and select Set Default.
  • Select the Recording tab, select the device you want to use for recording (for example, the built-in mic or an external mic), and select Set Default.
Step 3: After you've selected your default devices, select OK.

Record audio

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

Step 1: Go to Start Windows logo.
Step 2: Select All apps All apps icon in Start, and select Voice Recorder.

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: Select the search box in the lower-left corner of the screen, enter sound, and in the search results, select Change system sounds.
Step 2: Select the Sounds tab, and under Program Events, select an event (for example, Calendar Reminder).
Step 3:Under Sounds, choose the sound you want to play for that event.
Step 4: To hear the sound you've picked, select Test.
Step 5: Select Apply to change the sound for the event, and select OK.

Turn typing sounds on or off

The Touch Cover can play key sounds as you press the keys. (If you aren’t sure which Surface keyboard you are using, see Find out which Surface keyboard you have.) Here’s how to turn the key sounds on or off:

Step 1:Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, or select Action center Notification icon in taskbar in the taskbar.
Step 2:Select All settings > Devices.
Step 3:Select Typing, and under Touch keyboard, set Play key sounds as I type to On or Off.
Note
To adjust the volume level of key sounds, use the volume button on your Surface.

Audio problems

If the sound quality coming from your speakers or 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.

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

If you have trouble with audio while your Surface is connected to another screen, see:

Note
VGA adapters and cables don't transmit audio. Audio will play from your Surface speakers unless you’ve connected external USB or Bluetooth speakers.

Use your favorite audio accessories

The stereo speakers and microphones built into Surface let you listen to music and videos, make phone calls, and record audio. Or, you can connect your favorite USB and Bluetooth® accessories like speakers, a mic, or a headset. For more info on connecting accessories, see Connect a USB mouse, printer, and more and Add a Bluetooth device.

Adjust the volume

You can control the volume on your Surface in a few places:

  • Volume button. Press the volume button on your Surface to adjust the volume down or up.
  • Keyboard. If your Surface Typing 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, tap or click Settings, tap or click Volume Volume icon, and adjust the slider up or down. To mute the sound, tap or click Volume Volume icon.
  • Desktop taskbar. On the Start screen, tap or click Desktop, and in the desktop taskbar, tap or click Speakers Speakers icon, and adjust the volume up or down.
  • 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, check the info that came with your accessory or visit the manufacturer's website.
  • Apps. Some apps have a volume control within the app.

How volume controls work together

If you raise, lower, or mute the volume using one of the following volume controls, the volume level in the others will also change:

  • The volume button on your Surface
  • The Settings charm
  • Desktop volume setting in the taskbar

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.

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 click Search.)
Step 2: In the search box, enter sound, and in the search results, tap or click Sound.
Step 3: 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's enabled and connected to Surface.
Step 4:

Tap or click the Levels tab. Depending on which Surface model you have, you'll see either one or two sliders:

  • Microphone: Controls the microphone volume (all Surface models)
  • Microphone Boost: Controls the strength of the mic's signal (Surface Pro models and Surface 3 only)
Step 5: 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 the mic that’s built into Surface or an external mic. A good starting point is to set Microphone to 50 and Microphone Boost to +24.0 dB.

Use USB or Bluetooth 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 click Search.)
Step 2: In the search box, enter sound, and in the search results, tap or click Sound.
Step 3:

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 4: 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 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: In the search box, enter sound, and in the search results, tap or click Sound.
Step 3: Tap or click the Sounds tab, and under Program Events, tap or click an event (for example, Calendar Reminder).
Step 4:Under Sounds, 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 tap or click OK.

Turn typing sounds on or off

The Touch Cover can play key sounds as you press the keys. Here’s how to turn the key sounds on or off:

Step 1:Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and tap Settings.
(If you’re using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and click Settings.)
Step 2:Tap or click Change PC settings, and tap or click PC and devices.
Step 3:Tap or click Typing, and under Touch keyboard, set Play key sounds as I type to On or Off.
Note
To adjust the volume level of key sounds, use the volume button on your Surface.

Audio problems

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.

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

If you have trouble with audio while Surface is connected to another screen, see:

Note

VGA adapters and cables don't transmit audio. Audio will play from the Surface speakers unless you’ve connected external USB or Bluetooth speakers.


Use your favorite audio accessories

The stereo speakers and microphones built into Surface let you listen to music and videos, make phone calls, and record audio. Or, you can connect your favorite USB and Bluetooth® accessories like speakers, a mic, or a headset. For more info on connecting accessories, see Connect a USB mouse, printer, and more and Add a Bluetooth device.

Adjust the volume

You can control the volume on your Surface in a few places:

  • Volume button. Press the volume button on your Surface to adjust the volume down or up.
  • Keyboard. If your Surface Typing 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, tap or click Settings, tap or click Volume Volume icon, and adjust the slider up or down. To mute the sound, tap or click Volume Volume icon.
  • Desktop taskbar. On the Start screen, tap or click Desktop, and in the desktop taskbar, tap or click Speakers Speakers icon, and adjust the volume up or down.
  • 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, check the info that came with your accessory or visit the manufacturer's website.
  • Apps. Some apps have a volume control within the app.

How volume controls work together

If you raise, lower, or mute the volume using one of the following volume controls, the volume level in the others will also change:

  • The volume button on your Surface
  • The Settings charm
  • Desktop volume setting in the taskbar

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.

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 click Search.)
Step 2: In the search box, enter sound, and in the search results, tap or click Sound.
Step 3: 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's enabled and connected to Surface.
Step 4:

Tap or click the Levels tab. Depending on which Surface model you have, you'll see either one or two sliders:

  • Microphone: Controls the microphone volume (all Surface models)
  • Microphone Boost: Controls the strength of the mic's signal (Surface Pro models and Surface 3 only)
Step 5: 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 the mic that’s built into Surface or an external mic. A good starting point is to set Microphone to 50 and Microphone Boost to +24.0 dB.

Use USB or Bluetooth 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 click Search.)
Step 2: In the search box, enter sound, and in the search results, tap or click Sound.
Step 3:

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 4: 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 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: In the search box, enter sound, and in the search results, tap or click Sound.
Step 3: Tap or click the Sounds tab, and under Program Events, tap or click an event (for example, Calendar Reminder).
Step 4:Under Sounds, 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 tap or click OK.

Turn typing sounds on or off

The Touch Cover can play key sounds as you press the keys. Here’s how to turn the key sounds on or off:

Step 1:Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and tap Settings.
(If you’re using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and click Settings.)
Step 2:Tap or click Change PC settings, and tap or click PC and devices.
Step 3:Tap or click Typing, and under Touch keyboard, set Play key sounds as I type to On or Off.
Note
To adjust the volume level of key sounds, use the volume button on your Surface.

Audio problems

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.

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

If you have trouble with audio while Surface is connected to another screen, see:

Note

VGA adapters and cables don't transmit audio. Audio will play from the Surface speakers unless you’ve connected external USB or Bluetooth speakers.