How to Use an External Microphone on a MacBook Pro with Only One 3.5mm Headset Jack


Today I’m going to show you how to use an
external microphone on your Macbook Pro. I’m sure you probably tried this and you didn’t
get it to work so I’m going to show you how I got mine to work with my Macbook. So the
microphone I’m using is this super cheap computer microphone that has a 3.5mm plug on the end
of it. Now here’s where the real problem comes in. On the Macbook there’s only one port on
the side and it’s labelled for a headphone input. Now most people don’t know what to
do about this because most computers have a headphone output and a microphone input
as separate ports. But on the Macbook there’s only one port. So I’m going to show you how
to easily make your microphone work with your Macbook that only has one port on the side.
You will need to buy an accessory to plug your microphone into. I got this thing it’s
a Startech headphone and microphone adapter cable. It’s really cheap I got it on Amazon
for seven dollars and you will need this to be able to plug in your analog microphone
that has a 3.5mm jack on it. Now let’s get a closer look at this cable and see why we
need this. So this is kinda like a standard Y-splitter but actually it not really standard.
If you look on this end it’s got different imprints on here. I don’t know if you can
see that. This one has a headphone symbol on there and this one has a microphone symbol
on there. So obviously you’ll plug in your microphone in here and if you want a headset,
you can plug a headset into here. And then this end goes into your computer. One of the
major differences in the 3.5mm jack end of this is the end of my microphone it’s got
only three sections here. This is called a TRS connector. And if you take a look at the
splitter this one has four different contact points on here. And this is called a TRRS
type connector. And it allows you to split the wiring inside to the separate headphone
and microphone jacks right here on this end. So with this cheap adapter all you have to
do is plug in your microphone into the microphone end of the adapter. And now just plug the
end of the adapter into the Macbook. And let’s try it out with one of my recording programs
here. I’m just going to go ahead and do a quick test here. I’m going to hit the record
button and see what happens. Ok so it’s recording. And as you can see it’s picking up levels
from my voice here. But that’s because the external microphone is pretty close to me.
I’ll move it a little further away. Ok, and then the built-in microphone is right here
above the ESC key. And if I tap on it you won’t see any levels popping up on there.
And to show you that the external microphone works I’m going to go ahead and tap on it
in just a second so you can see that the levels are coming from the external microphone. But
if I switch sides over here I’ll show you that I’ve got the microphone plugged in but
I’m going to tap on the built-in microphone and you can see that it is disabled. It is
not recording any sound from here. I’ll stop talking for a second so you can see. So this
is a really simple solution to the problem of using an external microphone on a Macbook.
As you can see I just used a simple seven dollar adapter. It’s a TRRS microphone splitter
with headphone jack and microphone jack built in that I found on Amazon for only seven dollars
and it really works with the Macbook Pro. One thing I read on the reviews and comments
is that some people couldn’t get this adapter to work just by plugging in the microphone.
So some of them had to plug in their headset on the other side of the port as well. But
in my example here I’m just using the microphone side of the splitter and it seems to be working
just fine with my Macbook. Now when you plug in your headset jack here, basically you’re
building an entire assembly with the headphones and microphone and talk and listen at the
same time. Now when you do that you’re building exactly one of these. This is a headphone
microphone combination that comes with iPhones. Let me show you a closer look at this. So
on the volume controls of the iPhone earbuds, you’ll see the volume controls here but on
the other side that tiny dot you see is the microphone. So basically this little set up
is the same thing we built with the adapter with the separate headphone and microphone.
But on the set of iPhone earbuds it’s all built in. So this is what the end of the iPhone
earbuds looks like. It’s also a TRRS type connector. If you compare that with the adapter
I bought you’ll see that they are the same. They’re both TRRS type connectors. They have
four contact points on the plug itself. So if you really need to use a microphone on
your Macbook and you didn’t have that TRRS adapter, you could use your iPhone earbuds
temporarily or maybe permanently and use the microphone on that for your Macbook. It works
just fine! Almost exactly the same way that I showed you with that adapter with separate
microphone and headset. So I’ll give you one final demonstration here. I’ve got my iPhone
earbuds plugged in and I’m going to tap on the built-in microphone and I’ll show you
that it is disabled with that plugged in. And now I’ll pick up the microphone end of
the earbuds right here. Let’s go ahead and tap on this. So the earbuds work just fine
with the Macbook as a microphone. If you have one of these lying around you wouldn’t have
to buy the adapter. But with the adapter you do have the option of using nicer microphones
you may have lying around. If you get the adapter, again it’s a TRRS type adapter. It’s
really cheap and it’s really one of the easiest ways to get a 3.5mm microphone to work with
your Macbook. There’s a link in the description for the adapter that I’m using here in this
video in case you want to try the same one with your Macbook. So I hope you found this
video useful and if you did please give me a Like on this video and don’t forget to subscribe
to my channel for more video updates.

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