How to Choose Your Microphone on a Mac

Apple microphone icon

Whether they’re built into your computer or webcam (or not), you probably have multiple microphones on your Mac. If you’re not sure which one is capturing audio, it’s time to review the audio input settings. From here you can choose the microphone you want to use.

First, click on the Apple menu in the upper left corner, then select “System Preferences”.

Here, click on “Sound”.

In the “Sound” preferences window, click “Input”.

You will then see a list of connected and recognized audio input devices, including microphones from webcams or Bluetooth devices. Click on the microphone you want to use. Your Mac will now receive input from this device.

After you’ve selected the microphone (or audio input device) you want to use, you should see an input level meter just below the selection list. When speaking into this mic, most of the input indicator bars should flash and change. This means that the microphone is now active and recognized by your Mac.

How to quickly change microphone from the menu bar

If the “Show volume in menu bar” option is enabled in “Sound” preferences, there is another way to switch between audio input devices. Just press and hold Option, click the speaker icon in the menu bar, and then select the microphone you want to use.

Select the microphone you want to use.

This is the fastest way to change microphones, but you won’t be able to adjust the input volume like you can in “System Preferences”.

Mac audio input troubleshooting

If you are not getting sound from a microphone or audio device that connects via Bluetooth, open “System Preferences” and then click “Bluetooth”. Try to reconnect the device from there.

If your microphone is connected via USB, check the manufacturer’s website for new Mac drivers. USB cables can also become faulty, so try using a different one.

You can also try restarting your Mac or updating macOS. Each option can potentially solve a large number of audio issues, especially temporary software bugs.

RELATED: How to fix cracked audio and other Mac sound issues

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