How to Use Apple Headphones as a Mic on PC

How to Use Apple Headphones as a Mic on PC
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Using Apple Headphones as a Mic on PC

Apple headphones are fantastic for everyday listening on your iPhone or other devices.  However, did you know that you can use your earphones as a microphone for your PC? Finding a good mic for your PC – whether for recording music, narration, or chatting with others – can be tricky.  However, if you already have a good pair of Apple headphones to hand, there’s no need for you to go splashing the cash.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at how to use Apple headphones as a mic on PC systems.  Despite Apple’s earphones and headphones having been designed for their own systems and platforms, they can actually be used to help you record and chat with friends via laptop or desktop.  But how exactly do you get started? Read on for the full lowdown.

how to use apple headphones as a mic on pc

Are Apple Headphones Guaranteed to Work on PC?

You may have already tried to get your Apple headphones up and running for your PC.  In many cases, people find compatibility to be a real issue. That’s because this hardware is built for iOS and MacOS.  Windows PCs were never taken into account during the design process!

However, that’s no reason to get downhearted.  While there may not be a guarantee that all Apple headphones will work as a mic on PC, there are a few tips and tricks you can try in an attempt to work around compatibility concerns.

Connecting to Your PC

When learning how to use Apple headphones as a mic on PC, you’re going to need to find the right ports on your Windows system.  This may not sound too hard, but if you’ve never had to use them before, it could take a bit of searching around.

Most laptops and desktop PCs should have two jack input ports.  One will be for headphones, the other will be for microphones. The headphone port, of course, will be used if you want to listen to something through your PC or laptop in private.  The microphone port, naturally, is used when you want to record or transmit sound through your PC.

When using Apple headphones or earphones as a mic, you’re going to need to use the microphone jack.  If you want to listen to music via PC, you’ll use the other port. For now, we’re sticking to the mic zone only.

how to use apple headphones as a mic on pc

PC Configuration

Believe it or not, the process of getting Apple tech to work as microphone on your PC isn’t a plug-and-play affair. You’re going to need to access a few settings which will ensure your computer recognises your new device as a mic – not as earpieces.

Head to Control Panel in your Windows settings.  The easiest way to do this is to search your system, which is always easy to do, regardless of the operating system you’re using.  Windows won’t hide the Control Panel away from you as it’s so useful!

Once you’ve found it, head into the Panel and look for ‘Hardware and Sound’.  From here, you’re going to need to look for ‘Sound’ on the next page, and ‘Manage Audio Devices’. It’s here where you’ll let Windows know what you’re going to use the headphones for.

Clicking ‘Manage Audio Devices’ will bring up another menu with various different tabs. You’re going to need to click ‘Recording’. You’ll find your headphones listed as a Microphone, however, you’re going to make sure you need to set it as a ‘default’ option.  Some laptops have built-in microphones. Alternatively, you might already have a separate mic plugged in. It’s best to remove it during this process.

Adjusting Your Settings

Now your PC recognises your Apple headphones as a mic, it’s time to tweak a few of the settings. It’s important to know how to get the best audio quality out of your recordings, so do be sure to make a mental note of the route you followed above. Let’s head back there for this particular exercise.

In the ‘Recording’ tab, you’ll see your Apple earphones or headphones listed as your default mic.  However, you can fine-tune your experience a little further. Click on the tab marked ‘Levels’, and make sure to refine your microphone boost if you find the sound levels to be too low.  You can tweak these as you see fit, but do be aware that increasing the boost level too much could lead to unnecessary feedback or noise.

You can also use this section of the Control Panel to adjust your headphones for listening.  However, you’ll naturally need to switch into the other port. You can set the same pair of headphones as a default option for listening, too.  This may be worth doing if you only have one set of headphones to use at a time. However, it’s probably going to be more efficient for you if you make sure you use two different devices.

Settings in Programs

While the above process explain how to use Apple headphones as a mic at a basic level, you’re probably going to find that some programs require you to tweak their settings.  Skype, for example, will normally need you to adjust their default settings so that your headphones are recognised as the main input. The same will likely apply with programs such as Audacity, where you’ll need to tell the program where you’re recording from.

Using most Apple headphones as a mic for your PC shouldn’t be too tricky. It’s sadly not guaranteed for all devices, however, the process in getting them recognised isn’t too tricky.  For many people, making the best out of Apple’s fantastic tech just makes sense. Why spend more money on an expensive mic when a perfectly good pair of Apple headphones could do the job for you?  Give them a go and see what happens.

Do also remember that Windows will let you customise your sound input and output tech even further. You’ll be surprised at just how flexible the Control Panel is – take a look around and see for yourself.

For more tips and guides find more articles in our resource centre.

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