The BOSE headphones come with a cable that has a remote/microphone. The BOSE website and even the box says:

The QuietComfort 15 inline remote and microphone cable is compatible with iPod nano (4th, 5th and 6th generation), iPod classic (120GB, 160GB only), iPod touch (2nd, 3rd and 4th generation), iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad and iPad 2, and Macbook (unibody) and Macbook Pro. The remote is supported by iPod shuffle (3rd generation). Audio is supported by all iPod models. Requires latest iPod software.

Although it doesn't specifically mention a Macbook Air, one would believe that the machines are using similar technology, but since it's not mentioned, I cannot be sure. I'm ready to go to an Apple store, buy it, test it and if it doesn't work, then return it right there, but perhaps someone can save me the trouble. I'm looking to use Skype (and similar) apps.

Does anyone has first hand experience with this combination and can confirm if the BOSE's inline-microphone will work when plugged into a Mid-2011 Macbook Air audio plug?

UPDATE: I tested this in the Appstore with my Macbook Air and it works, despite the models (air) not being shown in the package description. It appears as "external microphone" (replacing the internal, so you cannot switch between the internal mic and this).

  • I don't think you can return BOSE products that easy because of their 'molten' plastic packaging. This happened two just a few weeks ago. They would not take them back: Neither the third-party reseller nor BOSE directly. I ended up giving them to my dad for christmas and buying myself some other headphones.
    – gentmatt
    Jan 13, 2012 at 12:50
  • @gentmatt I've spoken with the Appstore guy (in person) and he said, if you want we can try them now (I had my MBA with me) and if doesn't work, we refund 100%, there's no restock fee. Sadly I was in a hurry, he asked to other App Store guys around and no-one was sure… Jan 13, 2012 at 19:53

3 Answers 3


I have a 2011 MacBook Air 13" and I can confirm that the microphone on the original iPhone 4 headphones works when plugged into my Air. They show up as "External Microphone" in System Preferences.

I think that with a Y cable, one could use normal headsets which come with two plugs. There are overpriced Y cables available for recording apps on the iPhone, but I'm sure there are cheaper alternatives.

Note that the MacBooks (also Pro) all have two jacks, one combined for analog/digital out, one for line in. Later, the analog/digital out jack was replaced with analog/digital out, analog in like on the iPhone, but the microphone jack remained. I'm not sure about the current MacBook Pro, but my 2008 unibody MacBook still had two jacks, even though line in was available on the headphone jack, too.

So, regarding your Q: I'm reasonably sure the Bose headphones will work with your Air.

  • Thanks for the info Crazor, I'll go to an Appstore myself and update this ;) I might have read somewhere (tho I can't find it now) something along the lines: "except MBA". I guess the last option is to test… Jan 13, 2012 at 19:55
  • I finally went to the Grand Central App store and brought them, then I went to Personalized Area and tried them with the app store guy, who was also curious about the issue. I can confirm that it works, and although you weren't sure, I'll grant you the answer :) Thanks. Recommended headphone if you have $299 to spare and a AAA battery recharger ;) Jan 25, 2012 at 16:41

Yes, I have a Macbook air with Skype and Quite comfort QC 15 headphones with the iphone cable fitted on it and it works like a charm.

Microphone is detected as an external mic and headphones as a plugged in headphones. 100% tested on a Macbook air 13" mid 2011


Laptops have 2 plugs one for mic in and one for audio. Perhaps there is an adapter i doubt the headphones would work out of the box without some adplapter for the mic jack

  • 2
    The Macbook Air (as well as all the other line of Apple laptops since the Powerbooks) only have a single optical input/output capable of receiving microphone signal. It's the same connector -mini jack- used in the iPhone/iPod/iPad line of products, where a single minijack can drive the microphone. Jan 13, 2012 at 0:26

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