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Where Is The Microphone?

 
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Smallwheels
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:12 pm    Post subject: Where Is The Microphone? Reply with quote

I have a 2.4 GHz MacBook that is nine months old. I don't remember where my documentation is.

I just bought some headphones with a built-in microphone. It has a jack for the headphones and separate jack for the microphone. Something isn't working right and it is hard to figure out. The microphone has a mute button. It doesn't seem to be working because I can record audio no matter if the button is pressed or not.

The weird thing is that even when I unplug the jack the audio gets recorded at the same level. This makes me think that the audio is being recorded by the MacBook microphone instead of the headset.

This poses two problems. Why is the MacBook microphone still on when the microphone jack is plugged in? Because of this I don't know if the microphone jack is really working or not functioning.

If I could cover up the MacBook microphone with my thumb then the audio should change some. That is a theory.

There are two small holes beside the video camera. I know one of them is a light. There is also a hole on the bottom half of the MacBook on the left front beside the sleep light. I thought that one was for the remote control but obviously I'm not sure. I have covered both of them and unplugged the jack on the headphones and the audio still records at the same levels.

What is going on? I don't have a different computer on which to test this. Let me know for sure which hole is the microphone. At least that way I can stop testing by covering the wrong hole.

I do have the audio jack plugged into the correct socket. The headphone part works well. It has a volume control on the cable and I like that feature.

Has this happened to anyone else?

Thank you.

Smallwheels
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dungeon92
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well there is a simple answer, there is no microphone audio port on any MacBook, there is however an audio in. While it seems like they should be someway interchangeable they are not. The only way to get mic in ports on a MacBook (or any Mac currently I believe) is to use some form of USB or FireWire device.
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trustory
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As dungeon said you will need an external device to plug your Mic in, either USB or firewire. This is because the socket on a MacBook is a line in rather than a Mic input. The input from a microphone is very low level so it needs pre-amplification before it can go into a standard line in socket.
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Smallwheels
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 1:24 pm    Post subject: Thank You Both Reply with quote

Thank you both for your information. What would be the name of such a device? I've read of an online store that sells connectors and cables cheaply. If I could remember their name they would probably have it.

Let me know what it is called and anybody who knows of that specialty retailer please post its name here.

I suppose that having an audio in jack is a good thing for some people. I don't record or transfer music at this time so a microphone in would suit me better.

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Smithcraft
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, after getting a device recommended above, you wouldn't need to cover up the microphone on the computer.

In the Utilities folder, launch Audio MIDI Setup, and change the Input.

SC
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Smallwheels
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 2:20 pm    Post subject: Apple Store Is Useless Reply with quote

I went to the Apple Store and tried to find something that would work as an adaptor. I saw nothing. Then I used Apple Chat. What a waste of time.

There is no way to save the chat session with Apple Chat. The copy command isn't available in their chat window. I just had to save it because I felt the person on the other end was... an idiot.

To record it I used the command + shift + 4 to capture different sections of the chat. Is there a simple way to add images to a post? I don't want to create a Flickr account just for showing this chat. This is one of those times I wish I had software that could recognize text within an image and copy it.

I still need to know what type of adaptor to get. I found a place called monoprice.com and they didn't have what I needed. They suggested going to Apple.
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Wedge
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My guess is that the system is using the built in mic on the MacBook, hence why your sound levels haven't changed. You can check to see what's going on by opening up the Sound system preference, and going to Input. If it's set to "Internal Microphone" then it's using the built in mic, which is one of the pinholes near the camera.

As for the audio input jack, it's a Line-in connector, not a Mic connector. They're physically the same size, but receive different levels of voltage, which means that not every device will work on the Line-in port.

I couldn't find a specific knowledgebase article referring to the MacBook, but this info on the PowerBook G4 is exactly the same for your MacBook. Suffice to say, your headset's mic may not work on the Line-In port, or it may need to be boosted quite a bit to work (which you can do with the Input Volume slider in the Sound System Preference).
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Smithcraft
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is one you can check out:
http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/imic

SC
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Smallwheels
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:58 am    Post subject: Thank You Reply with quote

Thank you all for your information. The headset I bought via the internet is very uncomfortable. The cups were the type that pressed against the ear lobes instead of surrounding them. The pressure began to hurt my ears after about a half hour. Therefore I sent them back for a refund.

The audio was clear and had a good range. They might have been comfortable for an eight year old child.

This means that I'll be shopping for another headset with a microphone. Perhaps I'll find one that is compatible with the Mac Book. On the other hand I do want it to be compatible with a Vista computer too. So it will probably need to be a set that doesn't have an amplifier for the signal going into the audio input jack.

I suppose my other option would be to get plain headphones and buy some type of separate microphone with an adaptor. Of course I could continue to use the Mac Book microphone, but; I might be selling it and buying a Mac Mini.

I'm at the computer no less than twelve hours per day and the glossy screen is bothering me. I've ordered a 23" matte screen and it will arrive in a day or two. I'm now using my computer in clamshell mode with a different 15" matte screen monitor and it is better for my eyes.

I would welcome some reviews of good headphones.

Thank you.

Smallwheels

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iMav
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 5:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as compatibility is concerned, any USB headset should be fine.

I'd check out reviews on sites like newegg to get an idea of comfort and sound quality.
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