Apple is notorious for making products that only work on iOS or with other Apple products. The lack of compatibility with other devices can be frustrating sometimes, especially when you might have a PC as your work or personal laptop and an Apple phone with Apple headphones.
It’s easy enough to use your headphones on your laptop and your phone, but there’s actually a way to make the headphones work as the mic on your PC (or any non-Mac device, for that matter). Headphones have gotten more sophisticated in recent years, and the ones that can function as both mics and headphones make it a lot easier for you when it comes to thinking about what you might need when video-conferencing with others.
Here, we’ll break down how to:
- Use Apple headphones as a microphone on your PC
- Use Apple headphones with a microphone on Skype
Use Apple headphones as a microphone on your PC
First things first, you need to check whether your headphones are even compatible with your system. To do so, you’ll need to take a look at your PC model and look for where the microphone jack is. Remember that the key is to use the microphone jack, and not the headphone jack. Once you’ve identified which one to use, go ahead and insert your Apple headphones into the microphone jack.
You then need to configure the headphones to work as a microphone on your PC by going into your Control Panel and managing your audio devices. To do so, launch the Control Panel in your operating system. You can do this by either typing in and selecting ‘Control Panel’ in the search bar, typically in the bottom left of your screen. You can also choose to press the Windows key (either WIN or the Windows logo, in the left-bottom corner of your keyboard) and R simultaneously and typing Control Panel into the search function that pops up.
Once you’ve clicked on Control Panel, the following screen should pop up:
You then want to click on the category Hardware and Sound, right under Network and Internet and above Programs. Once you’ve clicked through, look for the Sound option and click on Manage Audio devices.
You’ll be redirected to the settings for all your sound devices. Click on the Recording tab, where you should see your plugged-in Apple headphones as one of the options under Microphone. If you’re able to see this, that means that the headphones that you have on hand are indeed compatible with your laptop.
All you have to do then is to enable it by setting it as the Default audio option. Going forward, whenever you plug your Apple headphones into the microphone jack, you should be able to use the headphones seamlessly as the mic.
If your PC happens to only have one hack for headphones and microphones, as it is increasingly the case for newer, more streamlined laptop models, all you need to do is to mark the same pair as the Default audio option for both recording and headphones.
The functionality and compatibility would differ from PCs to PCs, but generally you will be able to follow these steps on a Windows operating system to get what you want out of your Apple headphones. Windows 10 offers decent compatibility with most devices out there so setting things up properly should solve all your connectivity issues.
If you want to adjust the volume and other sound levels, you can adjust everything by following the same steps as above to the Recording tab. Select the Levels tab and change the Microphone Boost levels up so it’s hovering around 20dB so you don’t need to speak too loudly into the microphone anymore.
Use Apple headphones with a microphone on Skype
We’ll also break down how, within Skype, you can configure and use your Apple headphones with a mic on your PC.
Like using your headphones as a mic, it’s a relatively simple set-up process, but does take a bit of technical know-how. But once you have it all set up, the advantage of using Apple headphones is that it better mitigates against the echoes that you often hear when you’re on a Skype call with one or multiple people.
First, like the process for setting your headphones up as a microphone, you’ll need to configure all the inputs. Once you’re logged into your Skype account, go to Settings and click on Microphone under the Audio tab.
You’ll see a similar option for making your Apple headphones the default device. If it’s not currently set up as the default, you can choose from the drop-down list until you find the right option for you to click.
After you’ve set it up as the default, you can conduct a test call on Skype so that you can check whether everything is working on your end, rather than calling someone else and finding out when it’s too late. You can either conduct a test call or an echo / sound test. Either way, you should be able to then hear the audio that you’re inputting into the headphones.
As you can see, it’s very simple to connect your Apple headphones to your PC and to use them as a mic, either for your video conferencing needs or for Skype calls. All you really need to do is to check whether or not your headphones are compatible with your PC. Once you’ve checked that, just follow the instructions above to configure it to your PC or to Skype.
As an additional step, if you find that your headphones aren’t functioning the way you want them to even after following the steps listed above, you can try out the troubleshooting options within the Windows operating system. Simply type Troubleshooting into your search bar at the lower left hand side of the screen and check the Update and Security option. You’ll be able to take a look and choose from a variety of issues to then test your connectivity and hard configuration. Follow the instructions that pop up and you should be able to resolve any issues that you’re having. We find that restarting your laptop is usually a good, quick fix as well.