I just bought myself an iPad to take notes with Notability so that I can record my teachers' voices along with my notes, for this upcoming summer semester. Now with the mandated lock down, all my summer classes will be taking place online with Zoom.

To try to still be able to record them while taking notes (without having to play the sound out loud), I bought myself a TRRS cable. I connected one end to the MacBook earphone jack and the other end to the iPad earphone jack. (Inspired by this Cult of Mac article: How to record any audio on your iPhone).

However, when I try recording sound coming from my Mac, here is what my iPad is picking up:

Test audio

Any ideas what could be causing this?

Also, here is the cable I bought : CableCreation 3 Feet 3.5mm TRRS Auxiliary Audio Cable

1 Answer 1


The reason you have this problem is not because of the cable, it’s because you’re sending speaker output to a microphone. It’s no different than taking a regular microphone and holding it front of a speaker and trying to record; it’s not going to work.

See this similar post for more details: Use 3.5mm jack as line in for a musical instrument

Instead of sending the audio out to your iPad to record it, just record it on your Mac (bypass the middleman):

  • Soundflower. Free, but abandoned by the original dev. Project is now hosted on GitHub.
  • Audio Hijack. Same developer as Soundflower, but a paid at $60USD)
  • Use a hardware solution like a USB DAC. I prefer this because for less money (half of the cost of AH) I get a device I can record from and output to. I get much better sound from my Mac when hooked up to my Bose wave radio than from the internal speakers.

As for your cable, it's looks to be a good one, but it won't change the fact that trying to record speaker output with a microphone is spotty at best.

  • the thing is, I need to send the audio to the iPad somehow because I record the audio with Notability.
    – Liam F-A
    Apr 20, 2020 at 6:38
  • Perhaps try airfoil? (And install the airfoil satellite on your iPad) It might work. But either ways, iOS is much less customizable than macOS, so try to remove your iPad from your audio capturing workflow.
    – Joy Jin
    Sep 1, 2020 at 11:31

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