Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

When I plug my iPhone headset into my Macbook Air, the operating system recognizes both the headphones and the microphone. As a "side-effect" it disables the internal speaker and microphone.

Is there a way that it only disables the internal mic, but keeps the internal speakers functioning? What I would like to achieve is that the sound coming in from the external mic is played over the internal speakers. LineIn doesn't help me (yet), because the internal speaker gets disabled.

share|improve this question

You can solve this problem physically with an extension cable.

Check the tip of the extension cable (the male end) for the number of rings. If it only has 2, it is only recognized as a pair of headphones. The third ring carries microphone audio which you'll see on the end of the headset cable.

share|improve this answer

Just a suggestion: If you use an external USB microphone instead, you don't have that problem (I know, it's not exactly an answer to your question).

share|improve this answer
Good suggestion, but sadly not an option for me. I need to use the 3,5mm jack due to 'hardware requirements'. – fguchelaar Jul 30 '12 at 14:05
You could try such an adapter: USB to 3.5mm Audio Adapter – vilmoskörte Jul 30 '12 at 14:26

Press the Alt key while pressing the sound icon in your menubar. From here, you can select the microphone and output devices separately. You can also do this from the "Sound" setting in System Preferences.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.