Apple Compatible Analog USB Audio Adapter Dongle Recommendations | Mac Microphone Review Blog

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Apple Compatible Analog USB Audio Adapter Dongle Recommendations

Here's a sampling of Mac compatible recommended USB sound card adapters for analog microphone or headset use. These are low-cost analog 'DAC' devices that convert between analog and digital audio signals. For MacBook, iMac or Mac mini/Pro users they can be handy for connecting particular microphones or mic headsets. They might also be useful if for whatever reasons your Mac's internal audio circuitry has failed and you need an alternate way of getting sound into and out of your Mac affordably.

TS/TRS vs TRRS Analog Audio Adapters

Currenty, 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 Adapters

Those 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.

Dual Jack Mac USB Audio Adapter

Separate Microphone Input - Stereo Output


One-Jack 4-Pole TRRS USB Sound Adapters

More 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.

4-Pole TRRS USB Mac Audio Adapter

For 1-Plug Mic Headsets or Earbuds


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 Hubs

Need 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.

3-Port USB 3.0 Hub With 2-Jack Audio Adapter

TR Mono Mic + TRS Stereo Headset + Hub