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I have tried three different microphones with my MacBook unibody and none of them worked.

Yes I did select them as the audio input from the system preferences :)

Now, I've read here and there that the line-out does have some problems with some headphones, so I was wondering if the line-in suffers from similar problems (and I couldn't find anyone talking about that).

Since I've also read the line-in problems are mostly caused by poor headphones, it might help you to know that the last mic I've tried is new, and while it's not an expensive one, it's not the chepest either (paid 12€, when the cheapest, from the same brand, costed about 5€)

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Dear Mr. Lo'oris, Your title at present is very non-specific. To aid others in finding your question and learning from its answers, you should describe the problem you are experiencing in a clear and succinct manner in the title, and then expand on it in your question body. To that end, you should also try to clarify what you mean by "none of them worked" in your first sentence. –  Shog9 Nov 24 '09 at 17:47
    
Dear Mr. Shog9, my original title was very different, but that was changed (not by me). Furthermore, I think that "none of them worked" is clear enough - in fact I've received a proper answer. –  Lohoris Nov 24 '09 at 19:08
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Your original title was much worse than this one, and this one still sucks. –  Geoffrey Chetwood Nov 24 '09 at 19:54
    
Suggestions are welcome. –  Lohoris Nov 24 '09 at 23:10
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1 Answer

up vote 6 down vote accepted

"Line-in" is not synonymous with "Mic." You either need an amplifier to bring the mic signal up to line levels or a USB microphone.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Line_level

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The jack is neither labeled nor advertised as a mic input. The only inconsistency is in the reading comprehension skills of consumers. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Line_level –  Hasaan Chop Nov 24 '09 at 1:07
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@Lo'oris: The outgoing signal is powered and thus it doesn't matter for headphones. It is not powered coming in, so it's expecting the device sending the audio to send it with power. –  Chealion Nov 24 '09 at 3:38
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nsd and chealion are correct. "mic" labelled inputs on soundcards act like a pre-amp, providing a bit of power to boost the return signal. "line-in" doesn't. some soundcard inputs can switch between the two, but unless you've found a specific setting in your driver or control panel, it's best to assume the labelling is correct. –  quack quixote Nov 24 '09 at 4:12
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This is why some sound cards have a speaker port, line out, line in, and microphone port. –  Troggy Nov 24 '09 at 16:16
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@Lo'oris: you can use any type of mic you want, but if you want to use them with a "line-in" input, you need to use a pre-amp to boost the power. this has been the case in consumer electronics since before PCs had soundcards. –  quack quixote Nov 24 '09 at 16:36
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