MacBooks are complete devices, they come with all the functionality you will ever need from a laptop. And they do it so well too, for example, the screen is bright and vivid, the speakers sound great, the performance is top-notch, and the build quality is nothing short of magnificent.
So, Where is the Microphone on Macbook Pro & Macbook Air? Read on to find out.
Similarly, the microphones on MacBooks are some of the best on any laptop, but they are always overlooked by most. Apple uses up to three microphones on certain models to make sure you have the best experience.
But sometimes, these can be a little finicky as there are a lot of software controls for them. I have had my fair share of trouble with microphones on MacBooks as some settings might have been turned off or I didn’t know the location of these microphones.
There are very few guides on the microphones of MacBooks on the internet, so I am writing this article to help anyone faced with the problem of locating the microphone on your MacBook along with some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about them.
After having to take apart the latest Macbook Pro and Macbook Air; my team and I found that:
The microphones are located in the upper right portion of the keyboard and speakers section of the MacBook Pro and in the left speaker grille for the Macbook Air.
Where is the Microphone on Macbook Pro & Macbook Air
MacBook Pro Microphone
Locating your microphone on your MacBook Pro can be hard if you are looking at the wrong place. With the MacBook Pro having multiple microphones, it only makes it harder. Microphones on your MacBook Pro are built to blend with the design of the laptop and are tiny, making them hard to locate. So, Where is the Microphone on Macbook Pro & Macbook Air? Read on to find out.
The location of microphones on MacBook Pros has changed over time so the location varies depending on the version/year of MacBook Pro you have.
The recent generations of MacBook Pro have three microphones. You might be mistaken to think that there might be one near the camera, but it is not the case. Microphones on MacBook Pros have always been situated on the bottom casing, near the speakers, or on top of the keyboard area.
While it may seem to be counterproductive because of the sound from speakers or keyboards, Apple thinks these are the best locations for microphones on their most premium laptops, the MacBook Pro.
With the recent models having three microphones, you will need a diagram to locate them. MacBook Pros since 2018 have had the same design, so the microphones are located in the same areas for these models.
They are all located in the upper right portion of the keyboard and speakers section of the MacBook Pro. You can see it for yourself below.
The yellow circles indicate the position of microphones on the MacBook Pro and the red boxes are the speaker location.
Even older MacBook Pro 15” models have had their microphones under the left speaker casing, but as you travel back in time, the number of microphones reduces with older models having just one or two microphones. The number of microphones depends on the year of the MacBook Pro you have.
Older MacBook Pro 13” models, like the ones before 2017 haven’t had any speaker grilles, and these laptops are smaller than their counterparts too. On these models, you can find the microphones situated above the ESC key, inside the casing. You can identify a series of tiny holes under which the microphones are situated. The 13” MacBook Pros have had only one microphone before 2017, the newer ones have a similar setup to their larger 16” siblings.
Knowing the locations of these microphones can aid you in meetings, as you can direct your speech towards the microphone location and it will make it easier for the person on the receiving side.
MacBook Air Microphone
Apple’s MacBook Air features a microphone too. Since the MacBook Air is more about being as sleek as possible, Apple includes only one microphone in it. So, Where is the Microphone on Macbook Pro & Macbook Air? Read on to find out.
If you are someone with a newer MacBook Air, then you will find the microphone under the left speaker grille.
On the other hand, older MacBook Airs have had their microphones on the left side too. But they were located right in front of the 3.5 mm headphone jack since there was no speaker grille to hide them.
If you can’t still locate the microphone on your MacBook, or if I have missed the location for any model of MacBook, then you can find the microphone location using this trick.
Turn the microphone on, and turn down the sensitivity of the microphone in the settings. Tap on your MacBook gently, and when the volume meter spikes the most, then you are probably very close to the microphone location. Now you can look for any microphone holes near it.
Benefits of a Built-In Microphone
Microphones are synchronous with singing and the first thing that comes into my mind when I think of microphones are the ones that are used by singers on stage. The ones with a round head and long wires running from their backs.
A microphone is a device that can capture sound and reproduce it so that a computer or a piece of software can understand it. The on-stage microphones focus on performance above everything, hence they are large and can seem unwieldy. On the other hand, phones and laptops need microphones that are tiny yet perform decently.
Microphone technology has become quite a lot better over the recent years, making microphones tiny yet they reproduce sound a lot better. Microphones on MacBooks and smartphones are tiny enough to make them hard to find but can put some high-quality microphones from yesteryears to shame.
In-built microphones in MacBooks don’t mess with the aesthetics of the laptop and gather sound very well. MacBook Pros have 3 microphones to make sure they collect the sound as best as possible. You can use these microphones to record high-quality podcasts too, they are that good.
Apart from that, streaming games/videos, professional meetings, and video calls to loved ones all benefit from the high-quality inbuilt microphones in MacBooks.
In-built microphones like the ones in MacBooks are also lightweight, don’t add any bulk and you can’t lose them by mistake either. They are developed with your convenience in mind and are always available if you need them, making them a great addition to MacBooks.
Bar professional sound recording, you wouldn’t need anything more than your MacBook microphones, they are so good. And if you need professional-quality sound, you can always invest in a professional microphone and connect it to your MacBook.
How to Check the Microphone Settings on a Mac
Microphone settings can be extremely important if you’ve denied important app permission. So, if you don’t want the problem where the other party can’t hear you during an important meeting, then it’d be worth your time to read up and find out how to check the Microphone settings on a Mac.
The majority of the time when we access apps or websites, we might get prompts that require us to give the app microphone access. If you’ve denied it by mistake then follow these steps:
- Head to system preferences by accessing the Apple Menu. It’s usually found in the top left corner of the screen.
- Next up, click on Security & Privacy and then choose the Privacy tab.
- Click Microphone from the list of options on the left side.
- Now, click the checkbox near the app of your choice. This will enable the microphone for only that specific app. And similarly, if you want to deny app permission, then uncheck it.
- Of course, if the app is dependent on the microphone for its core functions then a pop-up box asking you to give it permission will pop up every time.
How to Test Your Mac’s Microphone
Testing your Mac’s microphone is extremely important these days. Especially since the majority of our work is online. Be it conferences, meeting,s or even class lectures, you’ll need to check if your Mic is functioning. Finding an issue and fixing it can save you embarrassment and extra stress during the online event.
The best part is that you don’t need to call somebody up for a test run nor do you have to buy expensive Third-party software to diagnose the problem. You can simply head to your Mac’s QuickTime Player to check if your mic is functioning. Just follow these steps:
- Start by opening the QuickTime Player from your Launchpad.
- Then click on File from the menu bar.
- Now, click on Bew Audio Recording. When a new window appears make sure you increase the volume.
- You can now test if the microphone is recording by clicking on the red record button. Speak into the device in a loud and clear voice for about 30 seconds. 1 minute would be ideal.
- Now, you should open the recording and check if you can hear yourself clearly. There shouldn’t be any other distortions. Of course, you need to turn up the volume and ensure that it’s not an issue.
- If you can hear your voice perfectly even when turning up the volume, then there are no issues with the Mic. If you can hear it then you’ll need to check if the App has Mic permissions. And if it’s still not working, then you’ll have to look for driver recovery solutions or Ideally, take it to a Genius Bar.
Adjusting the Microphone in a MacBook
There are times when adjusting the Microphone in a MacBook becomes extremely important. For example, when your environment is extremely noisy, you’ll want to enable ambient noise reduction to help the microphone pick up only your voice. Most importantly, it will prevent the microphone from picking up too much background noise.
Of course, you can just the input level based on your needs. You can either increase or lower the microphone’s sound. Of course, you can not only adjust the default input level but you can even just the microphone volume for each application as well.
To access the microphone settings all you have to do is follow these steps.
- Head to System Preferences. You can either use the terminal or click on the grey System preferences icon on the MacBook’s dock. Now, tap the sound option in the Hardware section.
- In the sound section, click the input tab. This will take you to the microphone settings. Here, you have access to pretty much everything microphone-related.
- If you want to adjust Mac’s internal microphone, then click on Internal Microphone in the devices list. This list also contains the list of all the external microphones as well.
- Now, you have to slide the Input volume to the right to increase it or towards the left to decrease it. Here you can also find the Ambient Noise Reduction check box to help you reduce the background noise.
- Once done, close the settings tab and test the volume using the steps provided above. This will help you easily zero in on the volume you require.
The microphone on MacBooks are almost impossible to spot yet they serve their function exceptionally well. Anything from phone calls, video calls, meetings, game streaming, and podcast recording can all be done on your MacBook, thanks to the inbuilt microphones.
I am sure by now you know where the microphone on your MacBooks are if you have had any trouble locating them before. You can direct your speech towards the microphone and improve the quality of the audio recorded.
Hope this guide on microphones of MacBook Pros and Airs helped you on locating the microphones on your MacBook and iron out any issues with it. So, Where is the Microphone on Macbook Pro & Macbook Air? Read on to find out.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why is the microphone on my MacBook not working?
Microphones on MacBooks are hard to damage or break as they are inside the chassis. Only liquid damage could possibly break a microphone in your MacBook. So most of the time, if the microphone on your MacBook is not working as intended, it is probably a setting or software problem.
Low input volume has been a problem for many users, thankfully it is just a setting and you can easily change it back to normal. To adjust input volume, open System Preferences and navigate to Sound. In the Input tab, you can set the input volume depending on your need, the higher the better.
How to fix a Macbook microphone
If you are running an Intel-powered Mac then resetting PRAM/NVRAM can fix problems with your Mac’s microphone or anything for that matter. To reset your PRAM/NVRAM follow these steps,
Step 1 Power off your Mac.
Step 2 Note down these keys: Option, Command, P, and R. Don’t press them right now.
Step 3 Turn on your Mac, and press and hold down all the four keys simultaneously.
Step 4 Hold the keys for 20 secs and release them when your Mac boots up for a second time.
Step 5 Release the keys and let your Mac boot normally. Check if your Wi-Fi works now.
How to allow mic access on Mac?
Sometimes microphone access may be turned off for certain apps and these apps won’t be able to use the microphone of your MacBook. To grant microphone access to an app, open System Preferences and navigate to Security & Privacy. Now, go to the Privacy tab and choose Microphone from the list on the left. Check the boxes of the apps that you want to allow microphone access, restart the app and the microphone of your MacBook will work on the app.
How to mute your microphone?
Muting your microphone, when not needed, is a great way to protect your privacy. You don’t want someone to hear everything from your side, be it at a meeting or while just chatting.
To mute the microphone on your MacBook, head to System Preferences. Now navigate to Sound and select the Input tab. Here, adjust Input Volume to the minimum to mute your Mic completely. Alternatively, you can use the buttons on apps like Zoom to mute your microphone.
How to turn off Microphone on Macbook
To turn off the Microphone on your MacBook, follow these steps,
Step 1 Open System Preferences on your MacBook
Step 2 Click on Sounds.
Step 3 Here, under Output, click on the Mute option.
This will mute your MacBook’s inbuilt microphone. It won’t work until you turn it on again.
Can I replace the microphone on my MacBook?
Yes, but it is not recommended to do it yourself as you can possibly damage something else as well. You can take it to a trained Apple service person or take it to an Apple Store to get your microphone replaced.
Alan Urban is the Editor-in-chief of Stupid Apple Rumours and often proclaims that he’s ” Apple’s number one fan.”
In addition to keeping up with the latest Apple news, he also reviews Apple products and creates user-friendly guides. When not subjecting Apple Devices to crazy stress tests, he’s usually playing games on Apple Arcade