I have the ~$80 apple earbuds, and it has a built-in microphone which works fine. I've used it for skype and taking calls. In Preferences, the drop down for Dictation's input has 'Line-in", but when selected, Dictation does not hear me. In Sound preferences, 'Line-in' has the full title of 'Audio Line-In Port', so it is 'there'.

So I'm just curious why Dictation won't listen via my earbud microphone.


Your earbuds have one plug that goes into the headphone socket on your laptop, that socket does NOT have a microphone pickup.

The socket in your iPhone is dual capable, both headphone and microphone connections.

You will need to get a headset that has both a microphone and headphone plugs if you want to use your laptop for dictation

  • I have the audio-in port next to the audio out port, would that work? – Karric Aug 5 '14 at 13:31
  • Make sure that it is a microphone not a line-in port. Some older and high end macbook pros had line in rather than microphone ports which meant the signal from a normal nicrophone was too low to be useful – Paul Gilfedder Aug 5 '14 at 13:33
  • I think that's what I have then, the icon has a purple level, but very low. MBP 2008. Thanks for the help! – Karric Aug 5 '14 at 13:47
  • There are cheap splitters you can buy to avoid having to buy new headphones. It's hard to find a good one, but here is an example. Be sure to read the first review on the product, though - it contains vital info. – Reid Aug 5 '14 at 15:46

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