Sunday, March 24, 2013

Razer Megalodon Microphone Issues in TeamSpeak

This is just a small post to describe a solution to a strange problem I experienced with my Razer Megalodon gaming headset. First, I'd like to say I've had these for a few years now and they've never given me any issues previously, whether simply making Skype calls, or in-game VOIP solutions. However, recently I started using TeamSpeak (version 3) in order to chat with friends while setting up and playing certain titles (World of Tanks and Day-Z to be precise) and a rather annoying problem presented itself:

Everything would work perfectly to begin with, but after a while I found that none of my friends could hear me. Alt-tabbing out of the game revealed that the TeamSpeak client was indicating I was still pressing my push-to-talk button, despite me having released it in order to hop out of the game. Thinking the problem lay with the software, I tried closing the the application expecting it to be unresponsive, but was surprised to find it exited cleanly. Restarting TeamSpeak resolved the problem, but only temporarily; the problem would reoccur after a short while. One of my friends even suggested we switch to Skype for the duration of the session, to rule out TeamSpeak, and while this seemed to last longer, the problem did eventually resurface, much to my dismay.

Searching online revealed others had been experiencing the issues themselves and two solutions were suggested, but there was no confirmation that they actually worked:

  • Use a powered USB hub for the headset - the logic here is that the USB port the headset was connected to was unable to provide enough current to the device. I doubted this was the problem, as I'd been using the front panel USB on my rig without issue for years! also didn't have access to a USB hub of any kind, so I could only try another USB port on my system to test this theory.
  • Ensure the device was using the latest drivers - something I had never done was look for updated drivers for the headset; they had always just worked with whatever system they were connected to. This was something I could easily check, so I began a search for a driver update.

The support page for the headset on Razer's site didn't point to any updated drivers, but there was a firmware update utility. Once installed, it walked me through placing the device into an upgrade mode, which involved holding down the central button on the devices's control unit while connecting it to my system. Sure enough, my headset was running an older version of the firmware (2.10 vs. the latest 2.12), so I let the utility perform the update. After the update, the device needed to be unplugged and reconnected to the system to switch it back into it's normal mode of operation.

Since I went through all the above, I have managed to get through a very long session of Day-Z (around 4 hours) without experiencing any problems! Good times!