How to Use Headphones as a Mic [The Full Guide]

Using the built-in microphone in a headset is a natural thing. However, there are headphones with built-in mics, and there are standalone mics. What to do if the built-in microphone of your headphones is damaged? In the following lines we will learn how to use headphones as a mic.

You need to learn how microphones work first before discussing how to turn your headphones into a mic.

How do mics receive sound?

  • Microphones contain diaphragms that receive sounds.
  • After receiving them, the diaphragms vibrate next to other parts (a magnet and a coil).
  • These diaphragms turn sounds into electric waves that move in a current.
  • Condenser mics contain capacitors.
  • Capacitors have plates aligned parallelly to keep and smoothen signals.
  • When sounds are received, capacitance happens. It’s when a plate vibrates in a capacitor.
  • Capacitance is turned into electric signals.

 So, now that we know how mics work, we can discuss how to turn headphones into an improvised microphone.

How to turn headphones into a mic:

Headphones are not that different from microphones. Both of them depend on vibrating diaphragms.

Headphones turn these vibrations into audible sound waves. Mics store these vibrations to be recorded or sent to receivers.

Using headphones as a mic for computers

  • Connect the headphones to the mic jack in pc.
  • Choose your audio controls from the control panel by choosing “manage audio devices”.
  • Click recording and try blowing or talking into your headphones and see if the sound is received.
  • If it does, start using your headphones as a mic for your computer.
  • Since headphones weren’t manufactured to be microphones in the first place, you may need to tamper with the EQ and sound settings a bit.
  • To modify the volume of your new impromptu mic, choose the sound settings from your control panel.
  • Again, headphones are not mics, so things like interference in the background, humming, and sound leakage may happen.

We have just said in the steps above to put the mic jack in the computer, but what if the headset had only one jack?

     Is there even that much of a difference between one jack headphones and those with two jacks for listening and talking?

Let us delve a little into the jack issue.

Single jack headphones or dual jack headphones?

One jack headphones have a 3.5 mm TRRS jack.

Headsets with one jack are most suitable for smartphones, modern laptops, tablets, and iPads.

Two jack headphones are used with PCs. Evidently, one is for the mic and the other for the speakers.

More people are favoring one jack headphones because plugging in and out seems like too much of a hassle. Even wired headphones are getting outdated by the day.

Gamers, social media influencers, YouTubers, and anyone who fusses about sound quality and microphone efficiency while switching back and forth from pc to smartphone were found to prefer one jack headphones.

One jack headphones are considered by most to have much better sound quality than two jack headphones.

One jack headphones have a mic that provides good audio quality when talking and delivers sound to the other party unaffected by background sounds.

So what about earphones? Can they be converted to a mic too?

Yes. Since the functioning method is the same (diaphragms and vibrations), then earphones can be turned into a microphone.

How to use earphones and earbuds as a mic? 

  • Same as using headphones as a mic; plug the earphones connector on the computer.
  • Open the sound settings from your computer control panel by clicking “manage audio devices”.
  • Try your improvised mic by talking to the earphones.
  • If your computer has two jacks for headphones, use a mic adapter. It will convert the earphones’ connector into a TRS connector.
  • Hard-pressed, this will turn your earphones into a mic. It’s not a fully functional mic though.
  • You may have to talk loudly into the earphones to make your voice audible and clear. Earphones do not pick sounds as good as a working mic.

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