Microphone help

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by azRieLThaNe, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. azRieLThaNe macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2012
    I just got my 21.5 inch iMac yesterday, and I was so excited I video chatted with cousin about it. I plugged the microphone to the mic slot and well...it didn't seem to work. I already changed the audio in settings to line in instead of the internal speakers since they're so sensitive to noise, the same for skype, I changed it to input from line in, but I'm still not getting any sound from the mic. You may say it might be broken, but no. I plugged it back to my old Windows laptop and it was working fine.:( Could anyone help me with this? thanks!
  2. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    on the Western Slopes, with E. A. Poe
    What is the exact maker and model of your microphone? If it's not a powered mic with line-level outputs, then plugging it into the audio-in jack won't work.

    The Mac audio-in jack requires line-level inputs, approx 1 volt p-p. A microphone without an amplifier only outputs a few millivolts (called mic-level), which is roughly 1000 times too low a level. It's like whispering from midfield in a football stadium.

    PCs often have mic-level inputs (jack labeled MIC) and sometimes separate line-level inputs (jack labeled LINE or LINE IN). The MIC input has a builtin amplifier stage so it can accept mic-level input.

    I suggest getting a USB headset or a USB microphone. It will probably cost less than buying a microphone pre-amp**.

    ** If you're handy with a soldering iron, there are circuits freely available, google: mic preamp circuit.

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