Connecting stereo to Mac

I have installed Audacity on my Mac. Can you please advise how I would connect my stereo to the Mac? I have tried the headphone jack on the stereo to the headphone socket on the Mac but nothing seems to record.

I had this set up on a HP laptop with good results. Sadly the laptop died on me but I am struggling to set this up on an alternative. Any help greatly appreciated.

If it’s a new MacBook with only one audio port that is meant for headsets with four-position connectors, you don’t - because even with an adaptor it’s only suitable for microphone input.

You’ll need to buy a USB interface that has a line-in, like one of these: .

Several people here use Behringer UCA 202 but it is not the only make. Are you recording vinyl?


If you intend to connect a raw, classic turntable, then the model number changes. Behringer makes a UFO202 which has a built-in phono-preamplifier, ground connection to help with hum and can switch to Stereo Line-In as well.

Older Macs had a Headphone-Out and a Stereo line-In like this. They were a snap to connect.

There was an interim series of Macs that had one connection which would do both IN and OUT by switching.

Apple (upper left) > System Preferences > Hardware > Sound
This panel would have clickers to switch. If you have no clickers, then you have a modern Mac with no Stereo Line-In.

If you ad-lib the USB connection, be careful you don’t get a USB sound adapter like the Startech ICUSBAUDIO. That one doesn’t have a Stereo Line-In, either. It’s designed for a mono microphone only.


I added the UFO202 to the Wiki page, which also lists the Art USB Phono Plus for direct connection of a turntable.


Thanks - yes my main projects is to record my collection of vinyl.

my main projects is to record my collection of vinyl.

Classic turntables produce an intentionally distorted signal. That’s normal. That’s how they work. They require a “Phono-In” somewhere to remove the distortion (RIAA Compensation, if anybody asks) before you record the show in Audacity. The UFO202 qualifies for this job as does the Phono-In on your home music system.

The UFO202 (for example) has all this built-in and pre-adjusted so you don’t have to worry about it at all. The home music system has it all built-in as well, but may also have tone controls, volume controls, loudness controls, switching, etc, and you have to make sure all that is working and balanced before you start to transfer music.

The home music system’s main job is to run the speakers, but many amplifiers also have a Tape-Out, a Line-Out, AUX-Out or something like that to connect the amplifier – classically – to a tape machine or, in this case, some device that connects to your computer. That can be a UFO202 switched to Line or the UCA202 not switched to anything. That’s just how it works.

All these USB sound adapters arrive at the computer and you have to find them and switch to them to make Audacity record from them.

This is what it looks like when I’m recording my sound mixer on my Windows machine. This would work on my Mac, too.



I now have the U202 and connected by to the headphone output socket from my amp. This is then connected to the input sockets on the u202 and then to the USB socket on my laptop. But still I get no sound to record on Audacity.

I have also disabled the microphone as all I seem to receive was the acoustic feedback from this.

Are there any settings in Audacity I need to consider?

I am using version 2.5 or the latest as I have just downloaded Audacity?

Thanks for any help!

There is no such thing. Tell us exactly what you bought. UCA202, UFO202 or something else.

This is likely to be lower quality than the AUX or line out if there is one. The headphones output will have an extra amplification stage.

Audacity has Device Toolbar where you need to tell it to play to and record from your intended devices. Set the output to built-in audio or the USB codec for the “U202” device as you wish. It is simpler to set output to your built-in audio as you should be able to hear that without headphones.

Set the input to your “U202” device.

Ensure Transport > Software Playthrough is on (ticked or checkmarked). This lets you listen in your built-in audio device while you are recording, assuming you chose built-in audio for output.

It is usually best to test the level before recording. You can do this by clicking in the Recording Meter, which turns on monitoring. If you have also turned on Software Playthrough, monitoring lets you hear the input without recording it, as well as see it in the Recording Meter.

You can read more in this page in the Manual: Recording with USB turntables or USB cassette decks which applies also to recording a standard turntable using a USB interface.

There is no such version. :wink: Please see the pink panel at the top of the page.

Sorry to clarify I am using 2.0.5 version of Audacity

The unit I am using is the UF0202

So are you all set up now?