Best Microphones For Mac
Shopping for a USB microphone for your MacBook, iMac, Mac mini or Macintosh Pro? Improve the quality of your voice, music and Mac sound recording sessions with these Pro and Prosumer grade Mac compatible microphone options. These featured computer mics for Mac vocals, musical instruments 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 OSX Yosemite, Mountain Lion and Mavericks:
Audio Technica 2020Response 20-16K Hz
Cardioid Polar Pattern
Blue Yeti MicrophoneStereo USB Mic : Gain + Mute Controls
Samson USB MicStudio Quality Condenser
Cardioid Pickup Pattern
Mac Compatible USB Microphones
By and large we feature USB inteface microphones that are compatible with Mac on this site. These Apple friendly USB mics are compatible with ANY speed USB port: USB 1.1, USB 2.0 or SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interfaces so they're usable on Mac's old and new. USB audio drivers built into every version of OSX Yosemite, Mavericks, Lion, Leopard and earlier allow a microphone to be recognized without needing any additional driver software. Even high-fidelity Digital audio is NOT very bandwidth intensive, it operates just as well on an aging and 'slow' USB 1.0 port as it does over faster USB ports. An example of this might be USB speaker systems that deliver quality, pure Digital stereo audio even over a slow USB 1.1 port.
Setting 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.
Setting Up A Computer Microphone On A Mac
Your Mac's microphone settings can be verified and set in OSX System Preferences pane > Sound. The Sound preferences pane lets you select devices for your sound input and output. There you can test your microphone's device repsose 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 devices. The System Preference pane > Speech 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.
Line level input bars help you visually sound check your 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 have not inadvertantly muted your mic. Some USB microphone solutions provide a mute button option. You'll usually find a mute toggle on the cord of the microphone or headset. USB headsets may also offer a mute button on cord - or on the USB audio dongle that connects to your Mac's USB port as well.
Once you have confirmed live voice input as indicated by the Input Level bar, make sure you've set up audio properly in your recording app or video-chat program. Video and audio conferencing programs like FaceTime, ISPQ, iChat, Messages, and Mac Skype offer SEPARATE input settings within their built-in application preferences separate from system-wide Apple Menu > Preferences > Sound options. Make sure that your new microphone has been selected in whichever chat or sound capture program you use to agree with higher-level System sound settings.
TIP: In OSX Yosemite, Mavericks, Leopard or Lion, you can Option-click the volume control in the menu toolbar Speaker icon to select input and output devices without having to open System Preferences!
Many PC compatible microphones require power on the stereo mini jack and may not work on Mac systems. Unamplified Analog PC microphones often won't work. As of 2009 and later - MacBook Pros (and iPads) are now compatible with iPhone microphone headphones. Just plug you headphones into the headphone jack, and the mic will be listed in your input sources. The volume/play/pause controls will work if in iTunes.
There's a wide range of Mac compatible microphones, USB stereo computer headsets and 1.8" analog microphone options for Apple MacBook, Mac mini and Pro towers, iMac and MacBook Air computers. Check out some of the best quality microphones for professional voice, music and radio recordings, Prosumer podcasting and videocasts. Apple Macintosh friendly microphones also are great for use with VOIP, online Mac Skype calls, iChat, FaceTime, and other voice supported webcam chat applications.
USB Microphone Connection Tip : Using USB Hubs
Most 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-bandwitdth, hi-demand devices trying to share the 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 microphone latency issues overwhelm and saturate your Mac's USB bus.