External microphone not working - needs power?!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Cattywampus_, Jan 3, 2007.

  1. Cattywampus_ macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2006

    I just bought a new Logitech headset with microphone for my Macbook Pro as the internal mic is naff. I have plugged it in but cannot for the life of me getting it working.

    After snooping around it seems that microphones won't work in the Line-In port on the Macbook pro as its not the same kind of thing as on a PC (the mic works fine on my PC). It seems I need either a USB mic, or a Griffin iMic to convert it into a USB mic?

    Is this true? What a stupid thing for Apple to do.
  2. Warbrain macrumors 603


    Jun 28, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Is there any software that you need to install to use it? Logitech usually makes you install some software to make their products work.
  3. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    That is true. What Apple has is a line-in port...it requires a pre-amp to boost the signal of your mic. Your PC likely has a mic-in port.

    They're different ports...very similar but they accept different levels of input. Apple likely wants you to use their built-in mic for mic use and the line-in port for line-level audio sources.
  4. Cattywampus_ thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2006
    Fine, God sake.

    So is there any cheap way of getting around it? Are there no simple cables I can buy that converts it to sommet I can plug in the USB port? Otherwise Im looking at a £35 headset!
  5. redeye be macrumors 65816

    redeye be

    Jan 27, 2005
    The iMic you mentioned does a great job.
    And it will ad you an audio out, that way you can split up system and skype sound (eg).
  6. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2004
    Huntsville, AL
    I've answered this exact question before here.


    Line inputs are more useful, most of the time, than simple mic inputs.
  7. Dewdman42 macrumors member

    Jul 25, 2008
    After much futzing around on the net reading so many disinformated posts I finally figured this out. Basically Apple changed the line-in to actual line level, rather than mic level. This has nothing to do with supplying power to the mic as some people have incorrectly stated on the web. Rather its about the signal level coming from the mic not being strong enough. If you run a cable from a line level output such as from an iPod, it will work fine.

    That being said, it seems that this has broken many people's possibility to use a mic headset.

    However, it also turns out that the actual headphone jack on the MacbookPro that I have appears to recognize my iphone headset mic that has stereo+mic on the same jack. Plug that type of headset into the headphone jack on the MBP and then set the input to built-in mic. If the headset is plugged in it will use it, if not it will use the internal mic on the MBP.

    Works like a charm now.

    A USB headset is NOT necessary.

    So the only hiccup is if you have an older headset where the mic and headphones are separate cables, then that won't work on the MBP anymore. You'd have to get some kind of Y cable possibly to make it work. But there are numerous headsets designed for phone use, such as the one supplied with the iphone, that work exactly right with MBP. And those are actually a lot more compact to stash in your laptop bag!

    I rather like this setup more than before, but its not documented well. Tell a friend, there are a lot of frustrated people on the net talking about this problem.

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