For often a third the price of a premium mic like MXL's shown above, OEM manufacturers in the far east are widely selling Mac compatible cheap desktop USB conferencing microphones for MacOS users that contain sensitive, high-quality condenser mic capsules at far cheaper prices. You'll often see the same OEM hardware sold under ever-changing 'no-name' brand names: same components, different branding and packaging.
As shown above, we have two fairly comparable USB conferencing mics with plug and play Mac OSX compatibility, similar styling and performance - with one at a far, far cheaper price. This is just one example of the split occurring across the Mac compatible microphone market. Premium mic brands under tremendous pricing pressure from 2nd-tier knockoffs.
TS/TRS vs TRRS Analog Audio AdaptersCurrenty, there's two dominant approaches to the kind of 1/8th inch / 3.5mm plugs that Apple-friendly USB audio dongles accept. For many years, particularly in the Windows PC world, computers featured SEPARATE microphone and speaker / headset connections. In general the microphone is mono and the headphone/speaker jack stereo. As such you'll find many Apple compatible USB audio adapter dongles that support two-jack style devices.
Two-Jack TS / TRS USB Sound AdaptersThose with separate jacks are ideal for older 2-plug mic headsets or mono microphones. The mic is a 2-conductor 1./8th inch (mono) plug and the headphone a 1/8th inch 3 conductor (stereo) plug.
One-Jack 4-Pole TRRS USB Sound AdaptersMore recently, since around 2010 and the rise of the smartphone and iPhone - audio in and out have been consolidated into a SINGLE 4-Conductor 'TRRS' type of plug that can handle both a monophonic microphone input and stereo audio playback to earbuds or headphones. These USB soundcard DACs have a single input jack on them to handle both mono audio in and stereo audio out. Those with a single jack are more appropriate for more modern 4-pole headphone with mic type of use.
Note that the above featured products are USB audio DACs that attach via a short USB cable. These may be a far better choice - especially on Apple MacBook Pro or Air laptops where a more common dongle 'block' would literally block the adjacent USB ports nearby.
Combo USB Audio Adapter HubsNeed to conserve USB ports? This MacOS friendly device combines a 3-port USB 3.0 high-speed hub AND a dual-input microphone / headset adapter into one device.
Once connected to your Mac computer via USB, the Turtle Beach Stream microphone offers up to 6 different mic pattern modes can be set with the press and or hold of a button to control directionality of the condenser microphone's pickup pattern. A colored LED ring around the mic's front-facing mute button indicates which pattern is selected. The microphone can be set to front, front and rear, or omnidirectional front, side and rear pickup depending on whether you're using it solo -- or with other people in the room.
Turtle Beach's Mac compatible USB Stream Mic also has a standard 1/8" 3.5mm stereo headphone jack for real-time audio passthrough monitoring which has it's own volume adjustment thumbwheel at the rear of the microphone. All of this is housed in an elegant, stylish and compact design that will look great with your Apple computer setup
Here's some key features in the mobile Blue Raspberry microphone review of note:
• High-quality mobile USB microphone for Skype, podcasting, live streaming, music and voice-over
• Blue mic's premium capsule circuitry for studio-quality, highly detailed sound
• An IAD Internal Acoustic Diffuser to focus vocalizations while minimizing ambient noise
• Onboard mic level, mute and headphone volume control for easy live monitoring
• 48kHz 24-bit resolution. Instant Plug-&-Play with Mac, iPhone, iPad or PC
The Go Mic Connect is Samson's newest portable USB stereo microphone. It's a highly advanced audio recording solution for Apple computer recording, as well as Mac Skype, VOIP, conferencing and Mac OSX speech recognition.
It's somewhat unusual design is much like a webcam, the Go Mic is a compact oblong device with 2 front facing condenser mic elements. Below is a folding clip to position it atop a MacBook's lid or an LCD desktop display for optimal center positioning. On the rear is a 3.5mm stereo headphone jack for realtime audio monitoring. Atop the mic is a mute button. There's a LED behind the front metal microphone grille to indicate mute status as well as turning RED as a peak level warning indicator.
By combining Active Noise Cancellation and Focused Pattern Technology, the Go Mic Connect generates a targeted pickup pattern which focuses the mic’s sound-field toward the preferred source. This helps to ensure that cleaner, high-qaulity audio is delivered to your Mac's computer applications.
• Pattern: Omnidirectional Polar
• Mic Capsule: Dual 10mm Condenser Capsules
• Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20kHz
• Sample Rate: 44.1kHz - 48kHz
• Bit Rate: 16 Bits
• USB Power Requirements: 50Milliamps at 5V
• Color:s Available: Black or Silver
• USB Cable and Protective Pouch Included
• Windows and MacOS compatible: No driver required
• Digital Noise Reduction: Software Filter Algorithm
At the core of the Mac compatible Go Mic Connect is a advanced, unique version of the Samson Sound Deck software. The software’s Focused Pattern Technology allows the focus array to be positioned, as well as toggled on and off. Once set, all sound that originates outside the focus area is significantly reduced, making the Go Mic Connect ideal for business communications and mobile recording. Sound Deck’s Active Noise Cancellation improves intelligibility of the audio heard through VoIP communication, while the Echo Erase feature reduces echo or feedback caused by monitoring audio with speakers during recording.
Go Mic Connect features a custom, compact design that clips to the top of your laptop or computer monitor, as well as internally shock-mounted dual microphone capsules and a headphone output for zero-latency monitoring. Go Mic Connect combines studio-quality sound and “next-level” technology for exceptional audio via Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts and more.
• Portable USB stereo microphone
• Compact design clips atop your laptop or computer monitor
• Zero-latency headphone monitor output
• On-board mute switch
• Focus Pattern Technology aligns the microphone’s peak sensitivity with a desired sound source
• Active Noise Cancellation eliminates background noise for clearer communications
• Echo Erase (Windows only) minimizes feedback caused by computer speakers
• Compatible with VoIP, DAW, Chat and Speech Recognition software
• Ideal for FaceTime, YouTube, Hangouts, Skype and other conferencing platforms
Download and install the Mac OSX version of Samson Sound Deck software app from www.samsontech.com
• Microphone features a 1" Aoedein capsule which delivers studio fidelity
• Includes a quality shock mount, desktop tripod stand, and USB cable
• Windows and MacOS compatible - No driver installation required
• Perfect for voiceovers, vocals and music recording, podcasting, Skype
• Full-Range frequency response : 20Hz - 18kHz
• Backed by a full 1 year limited warranty
Above we have Fifine's stylish condenser mic with mini-tripod stand that offers the flexibility of it's native 3-Pin XLR interface for mixing decks, but also comes with a XLR to USB cable for direct recording to your Mac computer. On-board controls allow direct adjustment of volume and another to add digital ambient echo when desired without having to fiddle with settings in your Mac's DAW application. A foam windscreen is also included to minimize 'pop' at close range.
Designed to plug directly into your MacBook Pro or Air's USB port, it's diminutive size makes it easy to take along in your MacBook sleeve or cases pocket while taking up very little space.
14mm condenser microphone diaphragm
Pickup pattern: Cardioid
44.1/48kHz, 16-bit resolution
Flat, smooth frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz
USB bus powered - iPad compatible with USB Lightning Adapter
Chrome-plated body : White & Matte Black Editions Available
Removable magnetic base for optimal desktop positioning