USB-C Microphone For Mac or iPad ProDue to the wide adoption of USB-C audio in many new smartphones, we're starting to see a growing number of USB-C microphones, USB-C headsets and USB-C earbuds coming to market rather quickly. That makes them ideal candidates for use on recent Apple iPads and Macs / MacBooks which have either a Type-C Thunderbolt 3 / USB 3.1 compatible port.
Here's a few examples of Mac / iPad compatible USB-C lavalier clip-on mic ideal for podcasting, speech recognition, online conferencing or video recording sessions and interviews where a small, unobtrusive microphone is desired. It's optimized for accurate and voice production.
Simply plug the Type-C lav mic into a modern MacBook, Mac mini or iMac computer with their USB-C compatible Thunderbolt 3 ports. They can also be used in the USB-C connector on one of the new(er) Apple iPads that now have a Type-C instead of a Lightning port , After setting your sound input device preferences, you're good to go!
USB-C Headsets For Thunderbolt3 MacsWondering which companies make USB-C headset with microphone peripherals for new Macs with Thunderbolt 3 ports? Because the new Type-C ports speak BOTH Thunderbolt and USB protocols, USB-C microphone headsets will supplant the older 1/8th inch 4-Pole analog microphone / speaker jack for audio device connectivity. Plantronics seems to be ahead of most competitors with a complete range of single and dual ear USB-C headsets in their Blackwire 32XX and 52XX series:
USB audio isn't very demanding in general, and the notion of licensing an expensive Thunderbolt 3 chipset to put in a headset is ridiculous. So expect USB-C headsets supporting Thunderbolt 3 compatibility to be the way to go. There's a lot of USB-C earbuds with inline microphones on the market since a lot of smartphone companies are starting to use the universal Type-C connector.
The rest of the market for larger, over-the-head style USB-C headphones and headsets with microphone is starting to take hold. But currently, the vast majority of Thunderbolt 3 compatible headsets with mic use the rectangular USB Type-A connection we're so familiar with. If you already own a USB-A style headset, a cheap USB-A to USB-C adapter is all you'll need to use it on a new Mac with Thunderbolt3 ports.
Far less weighty and klunky than it's hulking cousin, the Blue Yeti Nano delivers silky-smooth audio recording response in a somewhat smaller, lighter footprint. Available in Gold, Onyx, Grey and Blue, there are four microphone color choices to suit your aesthetic taste. And it still features a built-in 1/8th inch analog headphone monitor jack for real-time listening as you record. It's also more affordable, saving you $20-30 or more over the cost of it's larger sibling.
There's a lighted, front mounted volume control and mute combo button on the front for easy access. A rear push button also allows you to switch between Omidirectional and Cardiod pattern modes when needed.
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 are 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.