I have a Macbook Pro circa 2012 (last model with a 17" screen). It has 2 sound jacks.

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I have both Mac OS X and Windows 8.1 installed. In OS X, when I plug my iPhone earpods into the headphone jack, I can use them as a microphone and a speaker. And the quality is really good.

I've tried to do the same on Windows and it only works as a speaker. I them plugged the earpods into the input jack. And the Line In entry on the Sound/Recording tab lights up. However, I can't seem to be able to use the microphone. No matter what I do, the sound bar to the right of the Line In entry doesn't ever light up (or go green).

What am I missing?

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  • Changing the jack's function is something that Windows is not capable of configuring it. You'll have to find if the sound interface manufacturer provides an applet in Control Panel (installed as part of the device driver) that switches such functions. Search the sound manufacturer website (the one that provided the device to Apple) to see if they offer drivers for Windows.
    – Sanny
    Mar 10 '16 at 22:33

My guess is the Windows driver doesn’t know how to handle it. Apple’s weird TRRS setup is incompatible with most Windows computers altogether. Maybe the Boot Camp drivers don’t support it even when they have the necessary hardware.

One solution is to get an Apple USB-C to 3.5 mm adapter (and a USB-C to USB-A adapter, if you don’t have any C ports). Plug the EarPods into that and they will definitely work in Windows. That solution also works on any random Windows computer.


Actually I just did some research on that! Your problem is that yout Apple earpods have a 3.5mm TRRS male jack and your Windows machine has a 3.5mm TRS female jack.

My reseach was for a live stream via iPhone, but the jack problem is the same. You can read more about it on my blog.

TRRS and TRS difference (apple and non apple)

Blog link: http://blog.marcvanweeren.nl/2016/03/04/live-streaming-04/


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