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How To Use an External Microphone on Mac

Mac External Microphone

Do you like to do a podcast? Record music? Make videos? If you’re a Mac user, there are many great tools to do all those things and more. One essential tool that many people don’t know about is the ability to use an external microphone with your Mac. 

Quick Answer

Normally, there are two kinds of external microphones for Mac, one with USB input and the other with a TRS jack. If you have a USB microphone, you can plug it directly into any of Mac’s USB ports. However, an external microphone with a TRS jack will need a TRRS adapter to connect to the Mac. Once you have attached your microphone, you need to configure the microphone in the system’s sound preferences setting.

Further, this post will discuss how you can connect and use the two types of microphones on the Mac. We will also share some of the benefits of using an external microphone and tips that help you get the most out of a microphone.

How To Connect an External Microphone to a Mac

There are a variety of microphones available, each with its method of connecting to a Mac. However, you can only connect a microphone to Mac through either a USB jack or audio jack. 

USB Microphones

USB microphones are the most convenient option for connecting to a Mac. These microphones can pick up sound and convert it into a digital signal—thanks to a tiny pre-amplifier chip

To use these microphones, you need to connect the USB cord that came with the microphone to the Mac.  

Due to simple connectivity, most Mac users prefer USB microphones over conventional microphones

TRS Jack Microphone

The Mac also bears an audio jack with a headphone label. This 3.5 mm jack supports headsets with a TRRS jack. TRRS means “tip, ring, ring, sleeve”. The identification of this jack is four black bands

But the problem here is that the microphones come with a TRS (tip, ring, sleeve) jack, which has three black color bands. It will not work when you plug this jack into the audio port.

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In these cases, we use a TRRS adapter. The microphone’s end goes into the adapter’s port, while the adapter’s TRRS jack is inserted into Mac.

How To Use the External Microphone on a Mac

Once you have connected the external microphone to the Mac computer, you will need to configure the sound input settings. 

To do this, open the System Preferences application and click the “Sound” icon. 

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In the “Sound Preferences” window, click the “Input” tab. Select the “External Microphone/USB Microphone” from the list of sound input devices. Adjust the “Input Volume Level” as needed.

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Using the Microphone in a GarageBand 

If you are using the external microphone for audio recordings, you will need to launch the application that you will be using to record the audio.

For example, if you are using GarageBand, you will need to launch GarageBand and create a new project. Once you have created a new project, click the GarageBand button. In the GarageBand window, click the “Preferences” menu and select the external microphone as audio input and output. Adjust the recording level as needed. When you are finished recording, click on the Stop button.

Benefits of Using an External Microphone on Mac

An external microphone is a microphone that is not built into the Mac computer. There are several benefits of using an external microphone over the internal microphone on a Mac computer.

  • Better Sound Quality: External microphones have better sound quality than the internal microphone on a Mac, which results in better audio quality. 
  • Acoustic Isolation Shield: External microphones can be used with an acoustic isolation shield to reduce background noise. 
  • Excellent Recording Capability: Most microphones are directional (i.e., they record the sounds coming from the front). As a result, you don’t hear ambient sounds in the recordings, and the overall quality of sounds is enhanced. 

Tips To Get the Best Sound Quality From an External Microphone

Here are some tips for getting the best sound quality from your external microphone.

  1. Position the microphone close to the sound source.
  2. Use an acoustic isolation shield to reduce background noise.
  3. Use a pop filter to reduce popping sounds.
  4. Adjust the sound input settings in the System Preferences application.
  5. Adjust the recording level in the audio recording application.
  6. Experiment with different microphone positions to find the best sound quality.

Final Words

Using an external microphone can significantly improve the sound quality of your audio recordings and podcasts. Following the tips above, you can ensure you get the best sound quality from your external microphone. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below.

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