I'm looking for a stereo headset and not simply in-ear headphones for Skype at affordable prices.

From past experience, I own a dual-jack headset Logitech from my PC. Sound came out but the mic never worked on my Mac mini. A HP XA490AA headphone worked great on PC but was never recognized on OS X.

I'm thinking about a headset directly compatible with Mac OS X. I prefer a single-jack input over USB since it doesn't use a USB port, but USB is fine. What options exist and what standards will allow me to know a single-jack mic/headphone combination that will work with a Mac?

EDIT: I know iPhone/iPod/iPad headphones are compatible with MacBooks. But these are headphones.

What I read today and for sharing

The difference between USB and jack: USB uses the motherboard card. Jack uses the sound card. Usually laptops have crap sound cards. So go for USB.

EDIT May 31 2012: I finally bought a Logitech USB Headset H530 . Satisfied with skype clear voice. For most USB headphone, do not forget to turn on System Preferences > Sound > select the device in input and ouput tabs.

  • Ask Different is not a shopping site, this is off-topic per the FAQ. Voting to close. Commented May 15, 2012 at 13:37
  • If you take the affordable portion out and make this more subjective in terms of functionality, sometimes that helps make this objective. Price is extremely personal as is fit and design of something you wear that we've found these questions don't translate well here. Perhaps the chat room might be a better place to discuss this?
    – bmike
    Commented May 15, 2012 at 14:33
  • 2
    how can price be personal when it's stated UNDER 100 EUR , it's objective. BTW I think this question can help a lot of people to make their choices. It's better than have x questions "Is this headset brandblabla compatible with Mac OS X ?" . @bmike thanks I'll take a look at chat room chat.stackexchange.com/… Commented May 15, 2012 at 14:58
  • I re-edited it without a price tag to make Apple stackexchange less shopping site. Commented May 15, 2012 at 15:13
  • I agree with bmike. The current question is good, and is asking for a specific thing, which is much more objective.
    – daviesgeek
    Commented May 15, 2012 at 15:51

4 Answers 4


My experience is your best value is a USB based headset with over the ear cans and a plastic boom mic to get it near your mouth.

For a price premium, you can get headsets that use the 1/8 inch headphone jack, but these overwhelmingly have microphones in the cord which makes for a noisy conversation in my experience. Again, the Apple touch interface for the microphone where there is a play/pause button as well as volume up/down seems to drive the price of many units higher (in the $80 to $140 range in the US). Your best bet is to look for made for iPhone models since they work best with the Macintosh sound in / headphone out (of course many off-brands work just fine, just be sure you understand the return policy if you can't shop from a store that can speak to your need for it to work with OS X on the Mac hardware.)

  • I was comparing on amazon KOSS, Logitech, Sennheiser and checking if their USB is OS X compatible ... You just gave me straight the answer with product reference. Thanks a lot. For those looking for a headphone , there is no define answer. but I hope this question has helped you. Commented May 15, 2012 at 22:38
  • Perfect - I try to both get you the best answer I can, but also answer for people that find your question on google to help them solve their general question. Sometimes that is effortless - in this case, there was some tension between what I wanted for others and for you - sorry if that didn't work the best for you :-)
    – bmike
    Commented May 15, 2012 at 22:49

I've got the in-ear headset buds from Apple; they have a single jack and they're excellent. Purchased retail in Austria for around €70.

  • +1 Torben, but the in-ear headset buds look more like an earphone to me. In fact all the iPhone/iPod/IPad earphone work for macbook. I'm really looking for headset for skype. Commented May 15, 2012 at 15:23
  • Easy to miss that the iPhone headset (the ones included with iPhone 5) work really well. Far better than a Logitech C310 USB headset which was very noisy on Macbook Air mid-2011 and had non-working microphone input on Macbook Pro retina late 2013 - and the iPhone headsets don't consume a USB port!
    – RichVel
    Commented Nov 6, 2013 at 14:26

The problem that you may have had with the headset mic not working on your Mac is that the Mac is expecting Line Level input and the mic isn't supplying this.

If you have a headset you're comfortable with (Logitech in your original question) search various sites where you can get hardware and buy a cheap (and we're talking cheap) USB sound card which works on a Mac. I bought one in the UK from a proper retailer for about £4 (around $7) and it works fine with no need for drivers to be installed.

I leave the headset plugged into it so I plug it straight into the keyboard and be up and working in very little time


As stated, newer iPhone/iPod headphones (with inline microphone and controller) work fully with newer Mac hardware (approx 2009 onwards). The newer Macs accept 'four position' 3.5mm jacks (TRRS - Tip, ring, ring, sleeve) - allowing stereo audio, microphone (and control) over one jack.

To open up your headset options, you could look at a product that allows you to combine headphone and microphone channels into a single '4 position' 3.5mm TRRS connector; something like this.

  • The problem is iPhone/iPod headphones are earphones to me Commented May 15, 2012 at 22:17
  • Yes, they are earbuds. Reread my answer and you'll see that I've proposed a solution which should allow you to use any headset /w mic combo that you desire - all over a single port without USB
    – macaco
    Commented May 16, 2012 at 8:34
  • I wrote headset with 3.5mm single jack input so I won't bother with an extra connector. And that's rare among headphones. Thank you for the answer. Commented May 16, 2012 at 14:13
  • 1
    The only way you're going to get stereo audio and microphone over a single 3.5mm jack is with a headset that sports a TRRS 3.5mm jack that's compatible with the port on your MacBook. If you want to use conventional headsets /w mics (which are far more common) you have to bother with the converter that I mentioned.
    – macaco
    Commented May 16, 2012 at 14:31
  • Thanks that's what I discovered after my search. So there is really NO single 3.5mm jack headset with mic . Commented May 16, 2012 at 16:10

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