A cheap earbuds or earphones are a very common device. With smartphones, iPods, Mp3s and other audio music playing devices on the rise, there’s virtually no one who does not own at least a pair. Microphones, on the other hand, seems to be rarer, especially those that are not built into something. But are microphones that rare? Of course, they are not; earbuds are microphones.
Don’t get it twisted here, both are 2 different devices, but trade in vibrations and uses almost the same technology. While microphones monitor the vibrations produced by the sound in its environment to convert it into electrical signals, earbuds and headphones take up electrical signals and vibrate to create sound. So, can you use earbuds as a mic on pc? Of course, you can!
Earbuds convert sound into electrical signals and back to sound with its vibrating diaphragms, so you can use your earbuds to record audio. And since they are not built for recording purpose, their audio quality of the re-purposed earbuds’ audio is very low compared to that of a microphone, but with the audio settings in your PC, their audio quality can be improved. In this post, I am going to show you how to use earbuds as a mic on pc.
How To Use Earbuds as A Mic on Pc Windows 10
Step 1 – Plug in your earbuds
Look for the audio line-in or input jack (also known as the microphone jack) on your PC and plug in your earbuds.
Step 2 – Set the earbud as your default input device
Once the earbuds are connected to your PC, you have to configure Windows correctly, turn up the volume and select the earbud as your default input device. To do this, follow the steps below.
- Right click on the sound icon on your PC taskbar.
- Then Open sound settings by clicking on it.
- On the right, you’ll find the Sound control panel, click on it to open it. You can also open the sound control panel using the search box. To do that, simply type Manage audio devices in the search box as shown in the image below.
Check the results and select Manage audio devices to display the Sound control panel.
- After opening the sound control panel or settings, click on the Recording tab.
- Tap or speak continuously to your earbuds and watch the green bars on the screen. If your earbud is picking up the sound or the noise, you will notice the movement in the green bar which indicates that your earbud is listed and working.
- Select your improvised microphone and hit the Set Default button to make it your default input device.
Step 3 – Adjust the volume
Now, your earbuds are ready to function as a microphone, but you may need to adjust the volume to get its optimum performance. To do this:
- Click on the Properties button to open the properties of your improvised microphone.
- Click on Levels
- Drag the microphone bar to set it to the maximum volume (100).
- Drag the microphone boost bar to boost your earbud’s input signal.
Now, you can use your improvised microphone to record sounds as much as you like.
How To Use Apple Earbuds as A Mic on Mac
All Apple PCs come with a sound output or headphone jack, but only a few of them come with a recording input. So, aside from investing in a nice USB sound card, what can you do to record sound, especially if your Apple computer offers no recording input? No worries, there is a solution! The audio port of your Apple PC is switchable which means that it can function as an output or an input, but you have set your PC correctly to do this.
Having said that and learned how to use earbuds on Windows, you might be wondering if it’s possible to use your Apple earbuds as a microphone on Mac. Of course, it’s possible! I am going to show you how to use earbuds as a mic on Mac in the steps below.
Step 1 – Plug in the earbud into the port. Open System Preferences where you will be able to manage your Mac system settings. To do so, locate the Apple logo at the top left of your Mac screen and then select System Preferences.
Step 2 – Now, click on Sound and then on the Input tab which you will find at the top of the control panel for Sound.
Step 3 – Under “Select a device for sound input” click to select the built-in input.
Step 4 – Switch the audio port from output to input. To do so, locate and click the drop-down menu at the bottom of the window for “Use audio port for” to switch the port.
Step 5 – Adjust the input volume and you are good to go.
Reasons Why Your Earbuds May Not Work as A Mic On PC
1. If the earbud is faulty
Is your earbud faulty? That is the first question you need to ask yourself as it might be the reason why it is not recording the sounds. You have to make sure you are not experiencing hardware issues and to do that, plug the earbud into the output or an audio source and listen to check if it will produce the sounds. A faulty earbud will produce no sound. Try recording with another PC to figure out where the problem lies.
2. Wrong connection
Is your earbud plugged into the right port? Check your connection to confirm. The 3.5 mm jacks are usually color coded. While green generally signifies output, pink is for input. So, check your connection and make sure you are using the input connection. Check your PC manuals for details.
3. Muted Earbuds
Based on the model and the brand of your Earbud, it may feature controls located on its cable. Mute buttons and volume sliders are easily accessible here, but you have to be sure that the Earbuds are set for use.
4. Wrong input configuration
If you are still unable to record with your earbuds, check your audio input settings and select a different format for the input in the sound configuration window using the steps above. Open sound settings to see the list of your recording devices and make sure you select the right one.
To know if you selected the right recording input devices, try speaking into your earbuds and see if the green bars on the right side of the listed recording devices rises while you talk. The device with a rising bar, while you talk, is the right input device and should be set as default. You might need to increase the volume or level of the input or simply boost the earbud’s signal by clicking on Properties and then on the Level tab as shown in the image below.
5. Driver conflicts
Your earbuds will not work if there is driver failure or if you do not have the right sound drivers installed on your PC. You can update or re-install your sound driver, reboot and reconnect the earbud to check if works. Go to Device Manager to update, or un-install conflicting drivers for the connected earbud.
Using earbuds as a mic on PC is indeed very possible and very useful in case you need to do some urgent and important recording. This is really not a secret knowledge, but if you haven’t heard or tried this before, it will just blow your mind. You will probably be surprised and have fun the first time you try it out. So, go ahead, babble into your earbuds a little and take some time to feel like a kid again! And if your friends ask what the hell you are doing, just tell them “magic!”