Audacity keeps recording int. sound when using earbud-mic

Here’s what I would like to do:

record just my voice using earbuds with integrated mic, while listening to audio with the same earbuds.
No problems getting my voice recorded and listening to the audio, however Audacity records the sound I am listening too as well!
Oddly enough Quicktime for example will just record my voice.

Using Macbook Pro Retina, Yosemite 10.10.3, Audacity 2.1.0 (installed from DMG), Sony earbuds

Hope you can help me out.

How exactly does this headset connect to the Mac? Is it a USB headset, or does it have separate pink and green connectors, or is it a single plug connection into the headset port of the Mac?

Taking that connection into account, try choosing the correct recording device in Audacity’s Device Toolbar.


It’s a single plug into the earphone port.
Unfortunately Audacity won’t let me choose any other device apart from the internal one. Which is odd, since the OS X system settings show earphones and external mic are connected and working.

Could you capture a screenshot of the input tab of Mac Sound Preferences. Please see here for how to attach files:

Also post the content of Help > Audio Device Info… from Audacity.

Have you used any apps to retinize Audacity? This may make some controls inaccessible. You can also change the Audacity recording device at Audacity > Preferences… then “Devices”.


Haven’t used any app to retinize anything, ever.
Audacity > Preferences > Devices will only let me change recording channels from Stereo to Mono, that’s it.
I just noticed that Audacity, with the earbuds plugged in, seems to use both the internal and the external mic at the same time. The screen only shows “internal mic” however.

Here’re are the screenshots, in German though. Please let me know if there any words you want me to translate.
“Externes Mikrofon” = external mic
“Mikrofon-Anschluss” = headset port
"Ausgang (integriert) = line out (integrated/internal/built-in)
Bildschirmfoto 2015-05-24 um 15.29.53.png
Bildschirmfoto 2015-05-24 um 15.29.36.png
Bildschirmfoto 2015-05-24 um 15.18.51.png

Please try Transport > Rescan Audio Devices in the Audacity menu bar, or Audacity > Quit Audacity then restart Audacity.

If that does not help, please post Audacity’s Audio Device Info again after doing that. To avoid taking a screenshot of it, you can just COMMAND + A then COMMAND + C in the Info window, press the “Code” button above the window where you post your reply, then paste.


I’m not sure what’s happening here, but here we go:

Your MB Pro has probably only one 3,5 mm jack connection for headphones and mic input?

In that case, you can use the port as an input OR an output. Not both at the same time.

If you really want to listen to what your record with the mic, you need an audio interface. But are you sure you can record with your Sony mics while playing back? It seems to be a Very Bad Idea™. I see no way to isolate the mic from the speaker part of the earbuds.

I could be talking out of the wrong orifice, as I’ve never used that kind of mics. It would be interesting if you could tell us what model these are. Just out of curiosity, I’m afraid :sunglasses:

In that case, you can use the port as an input OR an output. Not both at the same time.

Or not. The early machines like mine have a dedicated stereo line in and stereo line out. The smaller machines had stereo connections which would switch directions from the System Preferences. Suck or Blow, so to speak.

Later machines had a full-on head set port, which would listen in mono and speak in stereo. So in that sense, they would go both directions at once.

I have zero idea how to record from a headset, however. I don’t have one and I’ve never met one.


You might try reading the info in Go > Utilities > Audio MIDI Setup.

That’s another place you can set connections other than System Preferences.


If you want to hear the mic without latency, yes.

If you don’t mind the latency you can use Audacity’s Software Playthrough or Rogue Amoeba’s Line In software.

Did you notice that Sound Preferences did not have Use audio port for:

That means the user has a TRRS bi-directional headset jack, doesn’t it? That’s OK for recording mono mic, but useless for line-level input even with an adaptor.


AFAIK no Mac has a 4 pole jack for audio. That’s strictly reserved for the iOS devices.

I’m not too sure about the Power PC era, because Apple made an Apple Mac TV in those days and these are rare. There certainly are some oddities, as the external DA and speakers for the Cube, that requires a USB port that can supply 2 Amps. So it only works with the Cube. But these days, these are standard.

My own Macs all have that kind of either/or connector, except for the oldies. These have 2 ports, faintly labelled as heaphone and mic. Most have line inputs instead of mic inputs. That happened when built-in mics became standard, I believe.

I’ve seen my part of Macs, as I repair and service them. And I’ve been doing that for almost 30 years. But just for friends, no longer for a living. There’s no money to be made there anymore.

I think you are behind the times, Cyrano. :wink:


Yep, you’re right!

I did forget about the change the Retina Mac came with. Sorry, will try to be less of a nuisance :astonished:

Must have been one of the things why I stay away from Retina Macbooks…