MacBook Unibody audio line-in port not working at all...

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by dra3b, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. dra3b macrumors newbie

    Jun 10, 2009
    My 2.4 Aluminum MacBook has a very serious problem, but only with the line-in port. The headphones work fine through the line out.

    When I plug the microphone, the built-in mic still works,]. I tried everything, it just doesn't work at all, i plugged in the microphone and changed the system preferences manually and did everything with all the applications, but still, nothing is working...
    Please, if anyone could help, please do... ASAP.
    I have had this MacBook for 2 weeks now. I wish I waited couple of days for the pro... Anyhow, I'm so happy with it.... Only this audio line-in port issue...

    Please help :-(
  2. Nobita macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2008
    La la land
    I don't understand, did you plug in an earphone or a microphone to the line in? If it was an earphone, it shouldn't be working... only microphones supposed to be working in line in.

    However if it was line out, it would be working with both earphones and iphone earphone-microphone. Am I right here?

    Anyway if it's a 2-week old macbook, you still have apple care, right? And if you really have bought your macbook only less than 14 days back, you could actually swap for a new 13" MBP! ;)
  3. zen-cohen macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2009
    Use a USB Microphone/Headset

    You would think any off the shelf headset with earphones and microphone that plug in should work. The earphones will, but the microphone won't. We found out the hard way after much frustration, tech support time and two trips to the genius bar/repair department, shlepping our 24" iMac along.

    What made the diagnosis confusing is that in certain programs, even though we had the software setting on "line in", it was making use of the computer's internal microphone, making us think that the external microphone worked in certain programs, when in fact it didn't work in any.

    It's quite amazing to me that Apple tech folks don't know that standard issue microphones that come on most headsets dont' work with iMacs or Macbooks!

    Get yourself a USB Microphone/Headset

    Good luck
  4. kieMac macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2009
    The good news is that your line in port is probably the fine. The bad news is that your mic in port is not working. The good news is that you don't even have a mic in port (that's not really "good" news per se, but at least your computer isn't broken!).

    More often than not, computers have a line-level input as opposed to a mic-level input. The simple way to think about this is that the difference between the two analog input types (mic and line) is signal strength. Mic provides a much lower signal, line provides a much higher signal. To use a mic-level input (like an un-amplified microphone) with a line-level input, you'll need to amplify the signal first. You can use something with a preamp in it to do this. The Griffin iMic is a USB solution that will accept either mic or line-level inputs.

    Edited to add: As zen-cohen said, sometimes the built-in microphone leads people to believe their headsets are working. I was actually involved in a pretty lengthy argument with someone about whether the iPhone stereo headset or Earphones with Remote and Mic from Apple would work on a Mac. They insisted it worked for them; it took us a while to figure out why :D
  5. 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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