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Will I Need A Microphone To Use Cortana?

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015 by | Filed Under: Windows 10

A reader had a question about Cortana, the digital assistant in Windows 10 that you can control with voice activation. “Do you have to have a microphone to install and speak with Cortanta?”

You don’t have to have a microphone to use Cortana. You can simply type in your questions or commands for her, just as you would with any other search feature.


One neat thing about Cortana, even without voice control, is that she understands natural language. That means you can just ask her, “How do I change the picture on my desktop?” instead of searching for “Desktop settings.”

Of course, Cortana won’t be able to hear you without a microphone. The voice controls are fun, but not necessary to use Cortana.¬† However, microphones don’t have to be expensive. I’m using a pretty cheap model attached to a headset for Cortana and it works pretty well.

You should be able to find  an inexpensive stand microphone for less than $10 and headsets with microphones are available for just a little bit more.

Also, many laptops actually already have built-in microphones that you may not be using.

Bottom line, a microphone is nice to have and Cortana is fun to use, but it’s not necessary to use Windows 10.

~ Cynthia

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2 Responses to “Will I Need A Microphone To Use Cortana?”

  1. Frank A Wheeler says:

    I have had Windows 10 for a week now and would never go back to windows 8, I would XP if it was supported.
    I could, with effort, live with its start button & menu but tried Classic Shell and could not find an avenue to the APPs. It has an Apps selection, but it is empty. I found Start 10 from Stardock and it is pretty good and has a selection for ” Modern UI Application” which shows the Apps.
    Problem with 10 is finding the control for things. Like switching from speakers to bluetooth headset. It is a very cumbersome thing to do. Also I am yet to find the speaker volume control that shows a slide for each sound source. I know it is there because it poped up once while I was trying to get the computer to go to the head set.
    All in all, a Windows 8.1 hater is much happier with windows 10.

  2. Glendon Fleming says:

    You can buy a USB microphone for $1.67 including shipping at a popular auction site. The bad news is, it comes from China and takes 2 to 3 weeks to get it. I just bought one, so, I can speak to Cortana.

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