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#25252 - 03/05/13 01:44 PM sound output aaaaand what else?
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
looking at a macbook pro here I just happened to notice an option in Sounds I wasn't expecting to see. "Use audio port for: (Sound Output)"

and I am thinking "what ELSE would I use it for? (Make me a Sandwich) ?"

But no, it has "Sound Input" there as the other option. I looked and this model doesn't have a mic jack. How thoughtful of them to combine the two! Please tell me I'm not the only one that missed this new feature?
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#25253 - 03/05/13 01:51 PM Re: sound output aaaaand what else? [Re: Virtual1]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
I believe that has been a "feature" on at least some MBPs since at least early 2009.
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#25254 - 03/05/13 01:58 PM Re: sound output aaaaand what else? [Re: artie505]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
I just mentioned it to two others here, and their replies were identical to mine, "what other option could there be?"

Also we discussed headphones with mics on them. I assume those won't work with a macintosh, don't those have a fourth contact on the plug that only works with iDevices?
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#25255 - 03/05/13 02:12 PM Re: sound output aaaaand what else? [Re: Virtual1]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
I'm not certain when Apple began using the "dual" port, but I first noticed it while comparing specs when I was shopping for my Early 2009 MacBook.
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#25256 - 03/05/13 02:15 PM Re: sound output aaaaand what else? [Re: Virtual1]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: Virtual1
IAlso we discussed headphones with mics on them. I assume those won't work with a macintosh, don't those have a fourth contact on the plug that only works with iDevices?

Then what does one use with Skype? Doesn't that require a headphone/mic combo?
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#25257 - 03/05/13 02:20 PM Re: sound output aaaaand what else? [Re: artie505]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
I assume for skype you'd be using the built in camera and mic wink

but other than that, maybe a usb headset that has mic and speaker(s) as usb devices
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#25258 - 03/05/13 02:45 PM Re: sound output aaaaand what else? [Re: Virtual1]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
I thought Skype used a VOiP headset. (I remember my friend who's a Skype user telling me that, but maybe it's not a universal requirement?)

Edit: Or is a VOiP headset a USB device?

Edit 2: Looks like it is a USB device.


Edited by artie505 (03/05/13 02:58 PM)
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#25259 - 03/05/13 02:59 PM Re: sound output aaaaand what else? [Re: artie505]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
VOIP is Voice Over IP. It can mean any voice chat over ethernet, but often is applied specifically to dedicated hardware like those ip house phones. (vodaphone?)

skype, ichat, aim, etc can all use any attached mic, speakers, and camera. doesn't matter what port it's plugged into. USB attached devices allow for power, as well as several devices (camera and mic, or mic and speakers) in one connection, but aren't required. Mix and match as you please. you can have more than one of each type and just pick what you want to use too.

apps like soundflower allow for additional redirection also.
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#25260 - 03/05/13 09:20 PM Re: sound output aaaaand what else? [Re: artie505]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
I Skype with a standard headset/mic, the headset has two plugs (one for the speakers and one for the microphone).
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#25262 - 03/05/13 10:51 PM Re: sound output aaaaand what else? [Re: tacit]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: tacit
I Skype with a standard headset/mic, the headset has two plugs (one for the speakers and one for the microphone).

So you couldn't use it with the configuration V1 first questioned, i.e. only one port for both audio in and out? (Or is it a USB headset?)
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#25265 - 03/06/13 05:21 AM Re: sound output aaaaand what else? [Re: artie505]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
I think people are missing one of my previous points... skype works fine with the mac's built-in speakers and mic. unless you have a mac without a built-in mic anyway. (mini, pro, or xserve) Tho yes, it appears you cannot use both an external mic and headphones on a mac with only the one jack
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#25267 - 03/06/13 08:07 AM Re: sound output aaaaand what else? [Re: tacit]
roger Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Vermont
Originally Posted By: tacit
I Skype with a standard headset/mic, the headset has two plugs (one for the speakers and one for the microphone).


huh. I have never known those to work on a mac.
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#25269 - 03/06/13 08:34 AM Re: sound output aaaaand what else? [Re: roger]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: roger
Originally Posted By: tacit
I Skype with a standard headset/mic, the headset has two plugs (one for the speakers and one for the microphone).


huh. I have never known those to work on a mac.


The usb ones should work immediately. the ones with the discrete mic not so often. Macs require condenser mics or digital (toslink) audio input. most PCs use electret. electret is much cheaper, smaller, and lower sound quality. a perfect fit for PCs. wink

Most of the really small mic elements you see (6mm or so wide) are electret, that's what they tend to put in the boom mics on headsets. The mac internal mics are also usually electret. You have to go way back to the performas with their mic jacks with the plugs that were almost an inch long, those were electret inputs and weren't common on mac.
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#25270 - 03/06/13 10:39 AM Re: sound output aaaaand what else? [Re: Virtual1]
roger Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Vermont
Originally Posted By: Virtual1
Originally Posted By: roger
Originally Posted By: tacit
I Skype with a standard headset/mic, the headset has two plugs (one for the speakers and one for the microphone).


huh. I have never known those to work on a mac.


The usb ones should work immediately. the ones with the discrete mic not so often. Macs require condenser mics or digital (toslink) audio input. most PCs use electret. electret is much cheaper, smaller, and lower sound quality. a perfect fit for PCs. wink

Most of the really small mic elements you see (6mm or so wide) are electret, that's what they tend to put in the boom mics on headsets. The mac internal mics are also usually electret. You have to go way back to the performas with their mic jacks with the plugs that were almost an inch long, those were electret inputs and weren't common on mac.


Yeah, I have used several different usb mics without any trouble, it is those "two-plug PC mic headsets" that I've never seen work on a mac. That's why I'm curious about tacit's use of them.

good info about the electret mics. thanks.

I'm actually dealing with this in my music lab of 20 mac minis. I didn't know they didn't have built-in mics, and so I'm shopping around for inexpensive solutions to use with Garageband. the old eMacs were easy! wink
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#25271 - 03/06/13 11:17 AM Re: sound output aaaaand what else? [Re: roger]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Originally Posted By: roger
Originally Posted By: tacit
I Skype with a standard headset/mic, the headset has two plugs (one for the speakers and one for the microphone).


huh. I have never known those to work on a mac.


Weird. Mine, a cheap headset with a microphone on a boom, works great, in both Skype and Ventrilo (a Skype-like system often used by online gamers).

I don't like using the built-in mic so much because it can sometimes pick up sound from the speakers, resulting in feedback or echo. (I Skype often with one of my sweeties who lives in Canada.)
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#25275 - 03/06/13 02:46 PM Re: sound output aaaaand what else? [Re: tacit]
roger Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Vermont
Originally Posted By: tacit
Originally Posted By: roger
Originally Posted By: tacit
I Skype with a standard headset/mic, the headset has two plugs (one for the speakers and one for the microphone).


huh. I have never known those to work on a mac.


Weird. Mine, a cheap headset with a microphone on a boom, works great, in both Skype and Ventrilo (a Skype-like system often used by online gamers).

I don't like using the built-in mic so much because it can sometimes pick up sound from the speakers, resulting in feedback or echo. (I Skype often with one of my sweeties who lives in Canada.)


Can I trouble you for the brand?
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