In perusing varying sources I have not reached a definitive answer on the ability to use a product such as the Headset Buddy on my MacBook Air.

Apple states...

Support for Apple iPhone headset with remote and microphone

...on their web site which led me to believe, along with varying comments that the audio jack is indeed both input/output. Having said that, I did purchase the above Headset Buddy and am unable to get it working in any way. It appears that the OS does not recognize the device in any way and it is not an available selection within Sound, only the internal components.

I want to avoid using a USB solution at all costs but more importantly identify if the port is indeed audio in/out and how I can get my Headset Buddy functioning properly?

  • 1
    You won't see any hardware difference in the Sound preference pane when a headphone-with-mic is plugged in.
    – Cajunluke
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 19:00
  • That is correct, the mic of my Bose shows as internal. The computer thinks its the same. Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 19:03
  • @CajunLuke It does appear as External Microphone versus Internal Microphone when plugged in via the Input tab; as it seems to be working now. When I unplug the device it reverts back to Internal Microphone. Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 19:28

3 Answers 3


The port does support headphone+mic combos, which you can verify for yourself by plugging in any headset that's compatible with an iPhone. Apple notes this on the Audio section of the Tech Specs.

The reviews on the product page suggest that it works with other Macs, so it seems likely you've got defective hardware somewhere in the chain. Try testing the components individually with other known-good devices. Test the adapter + headset with an iPhone or iPad, the headset itself with a PC, and the MacBook Air port with an iPhone headset.

  • Plugged it in to my Android based phone and it worked flawlessly. Went back to the MBA and plugged everything in again and it appears to be working now as I made a call on it, not sure what the issue was previously. An item of note is that the Sound preferences will show External Microphone versus Internal Microphone on the Input tab if it is recognized properly. Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 19:30
  • Maybe test the order of how you plug in the cables. The port does some "smart" detection to figure out what's plugged in, so if for example, you plugged in the headphones to the adapter, then the adapter to the computer, then the microphone to the adapter, it might only register the headphones. Anyway, glad it's at least working somewhat now.
    – robmathers
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 19:35
  • 2
    As a follow-up, if the mic on the actual device is set to off, it will not trigger within the MBA and thus the Internal mic continues to get used. I must plug in the device with the mic in the on position at the onset for the MBA to behave appropriately. Commented Sep 27, 2012 at 22:22
  • 1
    Bonus point: you can plug a regular microphone if you buy a cheap 3.5 mm jack splitter cable such as this one
    – NoWhereMan
    Commented Jan 15, 2013 at 21:12
  • @AaronMcIver Your comment about switching the mic on before plugging it in is bang on the money. Thanks, it's been driving me crazy. Commented Sep 22, 2014 at 8:15

You can probably benefit from my (rather expensive) experiment with a happy ending. ;)


using a 3.5 mm jack splitter for three poles (iphone style connector to mic/headphone split) will not work so well. sometimes a mic that is connected simply wont be recognized and sometimes it will. i connected my mixerboard in this fashion and got a high noise floor.

plus a weird thing happened when playing clipped sound on the computer. in some way the clipped sound must resemble how the button on a headset works cause every time i would play the same bit of clipped recording itunes would start.

all in all, unstable solution. i'd say, get a usb-soundcard!

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