When I connect my headphones (with built-in mic) into the 3.5mm jack of my MacBook Pro, the mic input picks up audio that is played through the headphones. This means that whenever I'm on a voice call, the other party can hear my system audio. This issue is not specific to any app. If I play any audio on the system and monitor the input level for the external microphone via System Preferences>Sound>Input, I can see the bars fill up, and this seems to be proportional to the volume of the headphones. I'm sure the headphone sounds are not being physically picked up by the mic. Also the headphones themselves are not causing this issue, because I tested them on my phone and there are no feedback loops. I'm inclined to think it is either a hardware issue with my Mac or something that is caused by software. Is there a way to figure out what's causing this? I tried booting into safe mode to see if anything I installed is causing this, but audio doesn't work at all in safe mode. I'm running MacOS BigSur 11.4 on a 2020 MacBook Pro (Intel 13").

  • It can be compensated by decreasing the "Input Volume" in System preferences -> Sound -> Input. Side effect is that you will have to speak loudly.
    – anki
    Commented Jul 5, 2021 at 10:47
  • @anki yes but don't we have a complete solution to this issue? Macbooks facing such issues is not what I expected.
    – Jatin
    Commented Sep 13, 2021 at 8:33

1 Answer 1


Check the plug fits properly into the socket. It sounds like you may have a short. Alternatively, the pinout may not be correct for Mac… but you didn't say what phone you have.

From Mashtips - Apple Headphone is Not Working on Android, PC, or PS4 (Solved)

enter image description here

  • The plug fits perfectly fine and is working on other laptops fine. I have tried with several other earphones as well and the same problem persists. Also, I am using a pixel 2XL which doesn't have an audio jack but I use it by connecting it via a headphone to c-type converter, and the earphones work just fine. This problem is only with my mac.
    – Jatin
    Commented Sep 13, 2021 at 8:30
  • That it fits & works on other non-Apple devices does not preclude that the pinout is different, as in the picture above. The conclusive proof would be how it functions on another Apple device.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Sep 13, 2021 at 8:57

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