When your Mic doesn’t work on your Mac

It looks like I’m not so much lucky with audio and Macs. In the last 24 hours, I have been struggling to understand why my Plantronics headphone’s mic wasn’t working in the same manner it was before I left Italy last year.

I even brought the headphone at my workplace and tested on a Windows system to be sure it was a microphone’s fault. However, with big surprise the mic worked fine on Windows. So I thought the London’s air have been beneficial to the set, and almost happy I went back home where I connected the set once more to my Macs discovering that it wasn’t.

I was so upset that I opened the chassis to see if some wire was hampered, then I started looking after a replacement, but the classic “genius moment” arose in my mind.

How is it possible the set worked properly one year ago, it was working this morning, and it is not right now? I suddenly remembered that the headphone was connected to the Mac using an USB adapter. We all know what and USB does, don’t we?

If you don’t know, the answer is pretty simple. USB carries out a slight amount of electricity and that’s what the Line Output socket of a Mac doesn’t.

This apparently seems to be a common problem with all electret type microphones. This means that in the mic there is a field effect transistor that requires a power supply. A so low-level voltage (I would say less than 12V) which both PC’s socket (mic input) and USB connector provide.

So, next time you are wondering why your mic is not working on a Mac, let’s read this post first.

Now the problem is another. Where did I damn stock my Plantronics USB connector?

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