I need a simply jack Mic unamplified physically connected to my Mac Mini (late 2012 model) through Audio-IN and it doesn't work.

I also tried the original iPhone's headphones to no avail and I wonder if this is normal?

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Does the Mac Mini require a USB microphone or can I use the Audio Line-in port with another type of microphone?

UPDATE 10/14: I tried using a 3 channel splitter like this

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then I plugged my speakers and my earphones with mic but nothing to do, mic still doesn't work... (maybe just because this splitter has a 3 channel male jack but it's a normal 2 ch; I bought it for 2€ from China so it's possible..)

  • Is your simple jack mic expecting phantom power or an amplifier? Which Mac Mini do you have since the hardware has changed significantly since it was introduced in 2005.
    – bmike
    Commented May 3, 2013 at 18:04
  • Mac Mini late 2012 and simply jack Mic unamplified
    – Matte.Car
    Commented May 3, 2013 at 18:06

4 Answers 4


The audio-in port on Mac Minis is a line-level port, meaning that a standard PC microphone may not be audible without some sort of amplifier.

On any Mini from 2010 and later, you can use the Apple headset (the kind that comes with the iPhone), but you have to plug it into the headphone port, not the audio-in port. There are also adapters available that allow you to use any standard PC headset with that port.

On older Minis, you'll have to use a USB audio adapter. The iMic is a popular one, but there are many others out there.

  • aaahhhhh so headphone port is pre amplified and Audio-IN port no, right? So something like this would be a solution? happydgroup.com/ebay/Cost/1095wht.jpg (to speakers and mic)
    – Matte.Car
    Commented May 3, 2013 at 18:02
  • Can't tell for sure from that link (it's just a picture), but it appears like that would do the right thing. It does have the proper TRRS connector. If that answers your question, please mark it as answered (green checkmark).
    – robmathers
    Commented May 3, 2013 at 19:10
  • I purchased one of those adapters, it works with my iPhone but not with my 2011 iMac. iPhone earbuds do work with my iMac. Commented Sep 25, 2014 at 1:21

My Mini is mid-2011.
In System Preferences->Sound if offers:
- Internal Speakers
- Line-in

I tried to use a simple Logitech headset (which I use on my PC) with the adapter, but it didn't work - simply nothing happens when I plug it in, Preferences stay the same, and no sound is heard.

Today I tried different headset, the one that came with LG G4 smartphone. And it works. As soon as I plug it in, the System Preferences->Sound changes.

System Preferences->Sound now shows:
- Headphones
- External Microphone
- Line-in

When I select External Microphone, it records nicely.

So, it depends very much on the headset.


had the same issue with my late 2012 mac mini today, found the adaptor that i discarded for my pc gaming headset and plugged it into the line out socket, now works perfectly in Skype, teamspeak etc

  • So you connected two jacks (one for output, like speakers, and one for input, like a microphone) and they all works fine (you can play music in speakers and record from microphone)?
    – Matte.Car
    Commented Dec 13, 2015 at 10:37

Get a USB Stereo Sound adapter $8 problem solved

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