How to Use Apple Earbuds as Mic on PC: Step-by-Step Guide


Apple provides quality products that come with a certain amount of exclusivity. But this exclusivity often leads to compatibility issues when you try to use Apple products with non-Apple products.

Surely, you would have faced such issues in the past or are probably facing one right now.

So, how to use Apple Earbuds as a mic on a PC or laptop?

In order to use the Apple earbuds, you can use the following settings:

  1. Open the Control Panel on your computer
  2. Click on the Sound option
  3. Find the Recording option and then located the External Mic option
  4. Now select or enable the Apple earbuds as a mic

Save these settings and you should now be able to use your Apple earbuds on the computer.

Steps to use Apple earbuds as a mic on a PC

However, sometimes the solution might not be as easy as the one above. There might be different issues you face while trying to use the Apple Earbuds on your desktop, laptop, or Macbook. Let’s explore different scenarios with their solutions.

Connecting Apple earbuds with a 3.5 mm jack to a PC

On your computer, you will first need to locate the audio jack. Older computers might have two slots – one for headphones and the other one for a mic. And the newer systems should have only one slot. If you have one slot, insert the wire into the slot. Now follow these steps.

  1. Open the Control Panel and located Sound or Hardware and Sound option
  2. Find the Manage Audio Devices section. Click on it
  3. Now open the Recording tab
  4. The Apple earbuds should show in the list of connected microphones
  5. Make it the default mic and apply the changes

In most cases, these settings should work and you will be able to now use the Apple earbuds on the computer. Follow the below-mentioned steps to configure them.

  1. Find the sound icon found on the bottom right corner of the Taskbar
  2. Click on the icon and open the Sound settings
  3. Alternatively, open the Control Panel through the Start Menu and open the Sound options
  4. Once the Sound settings window is open, head to the Recording tab
  5. Your microphone should feature here. In case it doesn’t, click on Setup Microphone
  6. Once the system starts the process of validating your microphone, it should start working
  7. Click on Apply and then Exit the settings
  8. Check the mic by recording an audio

Connecting Apple earbuds with a 3.5 mm jack to a PC with two audio slots

Some older computers came with two audio slots – one for headphones and the other for a mic. Such options are available in the newer products as well. Now if your computer has two slots, then you might need to use an adaptor or a y-splitter.

Suggested splitter with two jacks

splitter

Price button

This splitter comes with one 3.5 mm input jack and two jacks that connect to your computer’s input and output slots. The gold plated splitter delivers high-quality audio and the braided wires provide durability and protection from damage. Once you get them you can plug in your earbud 3.5 mm jack into the adaptors jack, and then connect the two jacks to your computer. Post this, you will have to then configure your system settings.

Connecting Apple earbuds with a lightning jack to a PC

If you have the new Apple Earbuds then you know that they do not have a 3.5 mm jack that connects to a computer. So, in order for these to work, you will need an adaptor. There are two kinds of adaptors that can work depending on the ports provided on your computer

  • USB-A
  • USB-C

USB-A ports, which are much bigger than the USB-C ports, are the ones most computers will have. This is the port you use to plug in your hard disks, flash players, charging cables, etc. Apple’s own devices also use the USB-C ports and some other brands have also started using it. But surprisingly, the lightning earbuds aren’t compatible with these as well.

Find a USB-A adaptor will be very challenging as these are not mass manufactured. You will have to do extensive research online and offline to locate one. However, if your computer has a USB-C port then you can buy that and use your earbuds. For the Sound settings, you can follow the steps we listed previously.

Suggested Lightning to USB-C adaptor – Anker

lightning to usb-c


Price button

This lightning to USB-C adaptor by Anker is an Apple MFI certified product and works seamlessly with your lightning earbuds. Anker promises to deliver lossless audio that retains its original high-quality output and is constructed using premium materials. Once you get the adaptor, all you need to do is to connect the Apple Earbud lightning cable into the lightning slot of this adaptor and then insert the USB-C jack into the USB-C port of your computer.

If you are using an Apple Macbook then you need to follow the next steps to get the mic configured. Before that make sure that the earbuds and connected to the MacBook via the adaptor

  1. Click on the Apple logo on the top left corner to see System Preferences
  2. Alternatively, you can click on the Spotlight search and type System Preferences
  3. Click on System Preferences to open the window
  4. Click on Sound and then select the Input tab
  5. Here you need to select the right input device which you plan to use

Apply the settings and then test the microphone to see if it works or not.

If you are on a Windows computer then you will need to follow these steps.

  1. From your Start Menu, open the Control Panel
  2. Look for Sound or Hardware & Sound option
  3. Open the Sound settings and click on the Recording tab
  4. You should see the earbuds listed there
  5. Select them and make them the default for microphone

Now apply the settings and test your microphone. If you are using the Anker adaptor we listed above then do note that it works only for systems running Windows 8 and above. If you use an older version of Windows then you might not have to USB-C jack or if you do, look for a compatible adaptor.

Adjusting mic volume on a Windows computer

Now that you have your Apple Earbuds working as a mic on your computer, you need to adjust their volume and sensitivity. Follow these steps

  1. Click on the Start menu, and then Control Panel to enter the system settings
  2. Locate and click on the Hardware and Sound option
  3. In case, your folder view is set to Small/Large icons, then you need to scroll through the options and find the option for Sound
  4. If you were in the Hardware and Sound window, you need to click on the Sound option
  5. In the Sound window, you will see a Recording tab. Click on it
  6. All your configured microphones should show here. Please ensure that the earbuds are connected to your computer
  7. Right-click on your mic and then select Properties
  8. Under mic properties, there should be four tabs – General, Listen, Levels, and Advanced
  9. Click on the Levels tab
  10. Check the sound level. It should be at the maximum (100). If it isn’t, then drag the slider towards 100
  11. If you tend to speak loud, then you could reduce this a bit
  12. Once your changes are done, click on OK so that the changes get applied

Changing the volume level should take care of the mic sensitivity issues you are facing. To check if it worked, record audio with your mic and then see how the output sounds.

Adjusting mic volume on a Mac

To adjust the mic volume on an Apple Macbook, do the following

  1. Open System Preferences and locate the Sound icon
  2. Click on it. Now you will see a tab for Output. Click on it
  3. Make sure your earbuds are connected to the system and they will feature in the device list
  4. Select the right option and then you will see the Input Volume slider below
  5. You can increase or decrease this to adjust the mic volume. The sensitivity is shown in the Input Level

Apply these settings and you are good to go!

Conclusion

All over the world people buy Apple products due to their exclusivity, unmatched quality, and high performance. They would great within the Apple ecosystem but if you decide to move out of that ecosystem, you will face compatibility issues. While using the expensive Apple earbuds on non-Apple devices, you will always find issues related to connectivity. And it can be very frustrating to find the right solutions.

These issues are mostly resolved with the usage of splitters and adaptors but some of them can be tough to find. The solutions listed above will help you resolve your problems to a great extent and you will find our product suggestions to be very helpful. Hopefully, through this article, you now know how to use Apple Earbuds as a mic on the computer!

Evan Grant

A Musician, headphones lover, boyfriend and also the lead Editor of ElectricFieldsFestival, Evan Grant is the guy who runs this site. He's a great Roger Federer fan and is always up for a game of Tennis.

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