The best way to Use the Microphone on Your Mac

Learn everything you need to know about the microphone on your MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or any other Mac.

It doesn't happen that often that you need to use the microphone on your Mac. But with the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have had to work and study from home. So, knowing how to adjust some microphone settings on your Mac has been a handy ability to make online calls and join video conferencing.

This guide will tell you where your Mac's microphone is, how to change its settings, and how to control an application's access to your microphone.

Where is the microphone on MacBook Pro and MacBook Air?

Over the years, microphones have become smaller and smaller, but at the same time they are becoming more powerful and capable of high quality performance. The same goes for the MacBook Pro microphone and all other Mac microphones. In fact, it's so small that the only way to make out is if you actually know where to look.

The Mac microphones are built into the computer and perfectly integrated into the surface, making them even more difficult to find. In addition, the exact location of the microphone depends on the year your Mac was released.

Where is the microphone located?

Some people mistakenly think that it is somewhere near the camera, but the truth is that every Mac microphone is on the lower case. The microphones are hidden under the speakers so they cannot be detected without knowing their exact location.

The above image shows where the microphones are located on the 2019 and 2020 MacBook Air models. If you have a 2018 or newer MacBook Pro model, the microphone should also be in the left part of the keyboard, but in the upper part instead of the lower.

How to check microphone settings on a Mac

If you're having trouble with your Mac's microphone, it's a good idea to check the settings. Quit any applications on your Mac that may be using your microphone before continuing with the main steps. Then do the following:

  1. Open that Apple Menu in the upper left corner of the Mac screen.

  2. Go to System settings.

  3. Press the sound Possibility.

  4. Open that Entrance Tab to find the full microphone list.

  5. Click the microphone that is marked as Built-in to access its settings.

  6. Adjust the Input volume according to the sound source. To do this, speak in your normal voice and carefully observe the input level. If the level is higher, it's best to turn the input volume down so you don't sound too loud when you speak on your Mac. If the level is low, increase the input volume.

You can use the noise canceling function when there is a lot of background noise that makes it difficult for people to hear you. Click to capture less background noise Use ambient noise cancellation.

However, not all Macs have this option. This is not possible on Mac models with the Apple T2 chip or when a four-channel microphone format is selected.

Related topics: How to Adjust Microphone Sensitivity on Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows

If you're having microphone issues after making changes to the settings, restarting your Mac should help.

Here's how to let apps use your Mac's microphone

You may have come across an app or website that asks you to allow access to your computer's microphone. If you accidentally allowed or denied such an action and later changed your mind about this decision, here's what you should do:

  1. Open that Apple Menu in the top left corner of your screen and go to System settings.

  2. click security and then choose the privacy Tab.

  3. In the list on the left, click microphone.

  4. Check the box near an app to allow it to use your Mac's microphone. If you want to disable access, click the check mark to deselect it.

If you prohibit an app from using your Mac's microphone, you will be prompted to allow such an action again the next time you start that app and try to access your microphone.

Related: Best Ways to Block Your Camera and Microphone on Mac

How to test your Mac's microphone

Before an important online event such as a conference or class, be on the safe side and test your Mac's built-in microphone. This is a great way to troubleshoot microphone issues before the online event if you encounter microphone issues.

There is no need to look for a third-party tool for this job. Using your Mac's native QuickTime Player app, you can easily check that your microphone is working properly. Here's what you should do:

  1. Go to Launchpad and open QuickTime Player.

  2. Click on in the menu bar File> New Audio Recording.

  3. A new window will appear. Turn up the volume here and click red record button To make an audio recording, speak for a few seconds.

  4. Listen to your audio recording. If you can hear yourself clearly with no background noise, then your Mac's microphone is working fine.

If you have problems with your microphone, the first thing to do is to check the input volume and adjust it to the correct level. Also, make sure the app you're using has permission to use your Mac's microphone.

If you're not sure how to do all of these things, just scroll up this article to find out.

Related: Sound Not Working on Your Mac? Easy fixes for audio problems

Get more out of your MacBook's microphone

It might be a revelation to you, but your Mac also has a dictation feature that allows you to enter any text without touching your keyboard. All you need for this feature is a working microphone on your MacBook. And to make sure your Mac hears every word clearly, you can easily adjust the input level of your microphone.

Now that you know how to use your Mac's microphone, you can easily use dictation as well as voice control.

Here's what you can do with Mac Voice Control:

So you want to send commands to your computer and have it obey you, or you want your computer to read to you. Fortunately, both are possible.

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About the author

Romana Levko
(56 articles published)

Romana is a freelance writer with a keen interest in anything technology related. She specializes in creating instructions, tips and detailed explanations for everything to do with iOS. Her main focus is on the iPhone, but she also knows a thing or two about the MacBook, Apple Watch, and AirPods.

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By Romana Levko

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