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Diman

Headset with Macbook

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Hi All,

 

I was the proud owner of a 13" Black MacBook, until today.

 

It appears that the Apple MacBook does NOT support plugging in standard PC compatible Headset/Microphone devices, as the Line-In/Microphone port does not pickup the Microphone. I have logged a support call with Apple and they suggested that this is NOT a known issue and it they should work. In testing I replaced my Headset/Microphone and tried a couple of different models from NetComm (Australian Brand), Logitech and Sony, all fail to register the Microphone. The Line-In/Microphone port on my Macbook definitely works, as I can run the output of my iPod into the MacBook and record using GarageBand and QuickTime Pro. Strangely standard headphones, like Apple iPod Headphones or Sony Headphones work as Microphone input devices through this Line-In/Microphone port, but standard Headset/Microphone devices commonly used on PCs for Skype, Yahoo Messenger usage, do NOT work on The MacBook. Has anyone experienced this? Can anyone offer an explanation or work-around, as Apple has not being helpful in resolving my issue. Thanks.

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Perhaps the mic you're trying to use requires power and I don't believe that the line in on the macbook is a powered line in. I may be off base here but I seemt to remember hearing/reading that you will need a special device for a mic that requires power. I would check that first.

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have you told os x to use the line in for the audio source in System Prefs?

 

jack

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I spent 38 pointless minutes on the phone with Applecare, so yes we did select the Sound Input Device as "Line In", amongst other troubleshooting procedures.

 

I guess that's the point - it doesn't indicate "Microphone In" nor does it indicate anywhere on any Apple Web site that the MacBook supports Microphone Input.

 

It does say on Apple Support pages under MacBook: External ports and connectors - "Analog line and optical digital audio input is accepted through a 3.5mm mini phone jack which does not provide power to a connected device, so you must use self-powered peripherals."

 

So does that mean that you MUST us a self-powered Microphone? Where does one get one and how much? This is poor design and marketing on Apple's entry level notebook.

 

Apple specifically markets the Macbook stating "Analog and digital audio in and out" What they appear to have forgotten is a disclaimer that states "Requires self-powered Microphone"

 

Someone please confirm my conclusion, MacBook cannot support standard Headset/Microphone, as these units do NOT have self-powered microphones, therefore the only solution really is to buy a more expensive USB Headset/Microphone. Correct?

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Or you could get the griffin iMic.

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actually, it is not poor design to have a non powered port. It is a laptop, so it is probably a way to save energy. If you come here, you will usually get recommended a usb mic, because they are usually better quality (and the port can power them!) The line in is usually recommended for things like your ipod or some other iine in device. (maybe an instrument)

 

You would be better off (for quality reasons) to get a usb or BT headset. your Mac will support low power analog ones, but as i was saying above....

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Or you could get the griffin iMic.

 

he probably doesn't want to get another line in port since he already has one. And that happens to be fourty bucks. He could get an "expensive" usb headset for the price.

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What is missing from this thread is an understanding of the differences between a common microphone and a line input.

 

Most microphones produce an output level in the range of millivolts. In order for this to be used successfully it must be connected to a rather high gain amplifier.

 

A line input connection, which is what is found on all current Mac models, is designed to accept an input signal of about 1 volt.

 

To use a standard microphone with a Mac you would need to first boost the signal level by running it through a preamplifier that has a microphone level input and a line level output.

 

USB microphones completely sidestep this issue because they present a digitized audio stream to the computer wrapped inside the USB protocol.

 

Powered microphones, a term not often encountered outside the Mac world it seems to me, are microphones that contain an integral preamplifier so that they output a line level ~1Volt signal.

 

I agree with the other posters that a USB microhone is a good solution. Logitech makes both USB microphones and USB headsets. Most people report good results with the Logitech products, myself included.

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This post seems way to confrontational to bother with. For one thing he seems to have already returned the mac so why are we bothering offering solutions. Why exactly would you sign up for an apple tech forum after you already got rid of your mac?

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I think he's just venting.

 

I think it is a bad idea to not make the line in a Line In/Mic In port like it is on most PC Laptops.

 

It sounds like he just trying to get clarification. and the Prof explained it well. It has nothing to do with it being in a mobile computer, it's just either penny pinching or they didn't have the space for the preamp circuits.

 

The BT module takes a ton more power than the stupid little mic would.

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In PCs, there's usually a separate mic input that expects a mic-level input. At least that's my (mostly desktop) experience with them.

 

As far as why Apple doesn't provide a mic input, it's probably because they already provide you a passable microphone internally. Not good by any means, but passable. It used to be in the left speaker, but now is situated next to the iSight. Anyone interested in a better mic than that is advised to go USB anyway since the quality is much better and the price not too different. High end users will opt for an external mic interface for their analog mics rather than ever touch a mic in. It's something Apple considers unnecessary and therefore dropped it, kinda like floppies and modems.

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This post seems way to confrontational to bother with.  For one thing he seems to have already returned the mac so why are we bothering offering solutions.  Why exactly would you sign up for an apple tech forum after you already got rid of your mac?

 

Hi Josh

 

The OP did say that he was a proud owner until today, but he did not explicitly state that he had returned his Mac. I took him to mean that he was not so proud any longer, not that he had returned the purchase.

 

I agree with Goatman, I think the guy was venting. I sure do that sometimes, well quite often, so I'm going to cut him some slack :-)

 

And Trium Shockwave is certainly correct, virtually all PC sound cards have a Mic input designed for the low level signal that comes from a typical microphone. This is in addition to a line level input as is found on a Mac.

 

I too was puzzled when I could not get a PC style headeset to work with my Power Mac. If I recall correctly the nice people here helped me to understand what was going on.

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Hi All,

 

Thanks for the posts, I might have to choose my words more carefully, as I haven't gotten rid of my MacBook.

 

Sorry for venting, I was just annoyed with AppleCare not being upfront about my issue and suggesting that the standard non-powered microphone wasn't compatible.

 

I am a recent switcher (1 Year, previously had iBook without Line-In), who was used to having headphone and microphone ports on all the PCs & Laptops I've owned over the last 15 years.

 

I will read the fine-print more carefully before purchasing peripherals for my MacBook from now on, as a lesson well learned. I am using a Logitech USB Headset/Microphone now and very happy with its capabilities.

 

It appears that whilst Apple has switched to the Intel CPU platform, it still integrates its hardware with Apple Design principles, which is great and one of the reasons I switched platforms!

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