Best Microphones For MacShopping for a USB audio recording microphone for your MacBook, iMac, Mac mini or Macintosh Pro computer? Improve the quality of your voice, music and Mac sound recording sessions with these Pro and Prosumer grade Mac compatible microphone options.
Top-Selling Apple Compatible MicrophonesThese featured computer recording mics for Mac vocals, musical instruments, voice-over work and podcasting provide clean digital USB audio and instant driver-free compatibility with your OSX based Mac sound recording applications. They're also ideal for use with Apple Dictation and speech recognition features built into MacOS Mojave and Sierra, as well as OSX ElCapitan, Yosemite, Mavericks, Leopard and Lion.
Samson USB G-Track Pro Mixer MicAll-In-One Mic With 1/8" Instrument Interface
Ideal For Vocal + Instrument Recording
Blue Yeti Desktop MicrophoneStereo USB Mic : Gain + Mute Controls
Audio Technica 2020 PlusCardioid Polar Pattern
Mac Compatible USB MicrophonesBy and large we feature USB interface microphones that are compatible with Mac desktop and laptop computers. These Apple friendly USB mics are compatible with ANY speed USB port: USB 1.1, USB 2.0 or SuperSpeed USB 3.0 and 3.1 interfaces so they're usable on Macintoshes old and new. Even high-fidelity Digital audio is NOT very bandwidth intensive, so they operate just as well on an aging and 'slow' USB 1.0 port as it does over much faster USB ports. An example of this might be USB speaker systems that deliver quality, pure Digital stereo audio even over a slow USB connection.
4-Pole Analog Mac Microphones HeadsetsMany Windows PC compatible microphones or headsets with mic require power on the 1/8" stereo mini jack and do not work on Mac systems. Unamplified Analog PC microphones just won't work. If you have a mic headset with TWO different 1/8" / 3.5mm plugs, Mac users wil need to use USB Analog to Digital adapter dongles with separate mic and speaker/headphone ports. As of 2010 and later - MacBooks, Mac desktops, and iPad Apple switched to a 4-Pole TRRS iPhone-style plug compatible with microphone equipped headphones or earbuds. Just plug your 4-pole headphones into the headphone jack, and the mic will be listed in your input sources.
With the broad switch to 4-conductor TRRS plugs there's a growing range of 1.8"/3.5mm Mac compatible microphones and USB stereo computer headsets options for Apple MacBook, Mac mini and Pro towers, iMac and MacBook Air computers. Check out some of our microphone reviews and recommendations for the best quality microphones for professional voice, music and radio recordings, Prosumer grade podcasting and videocasts. The Apple Macintosh friendly microphones featured on this website also are great for use with VOIP, online Mac Skype calls, iChat, FaceTime, WhatsApp and other voice supported webcam chat applications.
XLR Connector Microphones For MacUSB or Analog mics are fine when you need just one or possibly 2 microphones in your setup. But for multi-mic vocal and instrument sound capture you'll likely want powered XLR interface mics attached to a mixing deck. Do note some USB mics are natively XLR but come with an XLR to USB cable in the box for quick, direct hookup to your Macintosh computer.
Major Microphone ManufacturersSome of the key players in the computer microphone space have been around a long time and have extensive product lines for a wide variety of sound recording environments and needs. Some of the more notable brands include Shure, Rode, Blue, Audio Technica, Samson and others. Do note there's a lot of competition in this space, and many 2nd-Tier obscure brands from China are delivering suprisingly decent condenser and dynamic mics at a fraction of the price.
Setting Up A Microphone On A MacSetting up, switching and adjusting mic input settings can all be done in the OSX Sound Preferences pane. For more complex sound configurations for studio recording, the Apple Audio MIDI Setup app in your Mac's Utilities folder can provide extra configurability. Your Mac's microphone settings can be verified and set in OSX System Preferences pane > Sound. Apple's Sound preferences pane lets you select preferred audio devices for your sound input and output. There you can also test your microphone's device response and adjust its volume.
After attaching your headset or mic to your Macintosh's analog jack or USB port, if you do not see signal response indication, disconnect and reconnect the mic to your Mac. Drivers are generally NOT needed for USB audio devices. OSX has generic USB audio drivers built-in for a huge range of sound recording devices. The System Preferences > Sound pane can be used for alternate input device acessibility. In OSX Yosemite, Mavericks and Mountain Lion 10.8+ it will allow your microphone to perform voice recognition with Apple's Dictation software for Speech To Text functionality in any text handling app.
Audio level input bars in the Sound Preferences pane help you visually check your Mac compatible microphone sensitivity. When the bars don't respond to hollering or to taps on the mic, you'll need to trouble-shoot your connection. Make sure you haven't inadvertantly muted your mic. Some USB microphone solutions provide an onboard mute button on the device. You'll usually find a mute toggle on the base of the microphone. USB headsets may also offer a mute button on the cord, one of the earpieces, or on the USB audio dongle that connects to your Mac's USB port.
Once you have confirmed live voice input as indicated by the Input Level bars, make sure you've set up audio properly in your DAW or recording app or video-chat program. Video and audio conferencing programs like FaceTime, ISPQ, iChat, Messages, and Mac Skype may offer SEPARATE input settings within their built-in application preferences that are separate from system-wide Apple Menu > Preferences > Sound options. Make sure that your new Apple compatible microphone has been selected in whichever chat or sound capture program you use to agree with higher-level System sound settings.
TIP: In MacOS Mojave or Sierra, OSX ElCapitan, Yosemite, Mavericks, Leopard or Lion, you can Option-Click the volume control Speaker icon in the menu toolbar to select your preferred input and output devices without having to open Apple's System Preferences pane!
USB Microphone Connection Tip : Using USB HubsMany Apple compatible microphone solutions are USB-based. Ideally, you want to connect the mic to a USB port directly on your Macintosh. Sharing a Mac's microphone on a USB hub may be problematic, especially if you have other high-bandwidth, high-demand isosynchronos devices trying to share audio stream packets. Low transmission devices like a keyboard, mouse, digital camera, card reader, etc aren't usually a problem. However, other isosynchronous USB gadgets like other Mac audio gear, Mac TV tuners, video capture devices, backup drives - along with a USB microphone may cause slight microphone latency issues that might overwhelm and saturate your Mac's USB bus.
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