Sign up ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I just bought a new microphone, and plugged it into the back of my Mac Mini. I can't seem to get it to work. I went to System Preferences > Sound > Input, and the only device I see listed is "line in." This isn't the microphone, is it? Nothing I do seems to make it work. Any suggestions?

share|improve this question
I'd think "Line In" is the correct device (if you plugged into "audio in", second from top-right:…). Not sure how to make it work though... I'm testing the same thing with my Mac mini and a headset. +1 for the question. –  Jonik Jan 31 '10 at 0:54

1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The Mac Mini's line-in port is a line-level input. That means it's not providing any power to the device, so an unpowered computer mic is not going to work. You need something to pull the mic-level input of the mic up to line-level, like a mixer or certain types of powered mics.

Alternatively, you can use something like the iMic, or any USB mic/headset from Logitech, etc. If your Mac Mini is a model with Bluetooth support, you could also use a Bluetooth mic.

share|improve this answer
Great answer. I for one was totally unaware of this. –  Jonik Jan 31 '10 at 1:04
thank you! this is good information –  Jon Tefft Jan 31 '10 at 1:17
Just bought the iMic, but beware, there is a 1/4 second delay if using using speaker for output. I was using it for singing and guitar playing and this letancy renders iMic useless. –  user216946 Apr 14 '13 at 14:17

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.