I've read a few older posts about headsets and the TRRS headphone/mic input here, here, here, here and the consensus seems to be that the Macbook is expecting "line-level" input (either that or you have the mysterious occasional answer of "mine works!").

My question is more clearly related to this answer: which is, if these Macbook Pros only accept a powered/line-level input, then how do they recognize the iPhone earbuds/microphone? I have not seen this addressed anywhere else.

My Turtle Beach XO Four Stealth is not powered, its only hookup is a TRRS jack. When I plug it in the Input doesn't switch from internal to external as it does for my Apple earbuds/mic.

Any explanations for the difference in behavior? I assume this may just be dependent on the hardware of the headset, but what would this difference be.

Turtle Beach TRRS vs. Apple iPhone Earbud TRRS

1 Answer 1


Apple use the CTIA standard TRRS while most other companies use the OMTP standard.

These 2 pictures should short it out. Notice the Ground and microphones are switched.

Hope this answers your question.

  • Sort. Sort it out. Short means something else and would be a bad thing in this context.
    – dlamblin
    Commented Nov 27, 2016 at 7:47

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