Distorted sound using a laptop combo jack


Thank you for releasing such a great piece of software. It’s real easy to use.

I have been using my Lenovo V100 laptop (Win7 pro, 32 bit), which has separate mic and headphone jacks, to record my old vinyl records. I simply plugged in a cable from the amplifier output to the 3.5mm microphone jack using an RCA conversion cable. Slick and sweet.

I use an Optonica SM-1515B amplifier and a PS-25 Sony turntable.

I decided to try out my wife’s new Lenovo E520 (Win7 pro, 64 bit), which has a combination mic/phone jack. I purchased a “headphone buddy” lookalike that has 2 female 3.5mm receptacles, one for each: mic/phone; this is converted to a 3.5mm four conductor male plug for the laptop receptacle. I connected the amplifier output to the mic input side (just like before), ran the output to my headphones, and plugged the 4-pole 3.5mm male connector into the laptop combo jack.

The incoming sound is quite dim and distorted; it’s scratchy. Outgoing sound is fine, if I choose a source from the laptop that is not the incoming sound from the combo jack.

If I change from using the phono input and just record the radio station, the sound distortions are the same.

If I record my voice using a headset with two separate 3.5mm plugs (phone/mic) the sound recording is absolutely clean.

It occurs to me that the microphone input is NOT stereo. While my old laptop, with the separate mic jack is stereo, it appears that the microphone may be mono.

Has anybody else had experience using the combo jack on a laptop?

Hopefully, I’ve posted this into the appropriate section. If not, please let me know so I can move it (or just move it for me).


p.s. I installed Audacity using the .exe installer on both laptops.

The way big majority of Windows laptops have a Mic-In that’s mono, not stereo and produces distortion if you try to plug anything other than a microphone into it. For those people, we recommend the Behringer UCA202 stereo audio adapter or equivalent.


There is a version of this that has a phonograph amplifier built-in so if you’re transferring vinyl, there are no extra steps in the process. UFO-202.

Older Windows computers used to pretend they were universal machines for everybody, but they stopped doing that. The newer machines are business computers and the Mic-In is for a headset and corporate conferencing.


You may also notice that the sound isn’t “flat” any more, either. It can sound honky and distorted. That’s Windows doing, too.



It appears that the Behringer UFO-202 may not be compatible with Windows 7 (some guy on eBay has one, says it’s not).

Are there any alternatives, if this one is not compatible? The pricing is great.


A genuine Behringer UFO 202 should be fully compatible with Windows 7.
A cheap Chinese copy may not be.

Now we’re in doo-doo because I don’t have a Win7 machine. We need to wait for an elf that does. I can look at work. There’s no reason the UCA and the UFO should mount differently. They’re the same chipset except one has a phono amplifier built-in.

Can you point to that posting? We may be able to track it back that way.


Dang, I hate doo-doo…I think we all do!

Here’s the ebay listing…assuming that’s allowed. Here’s the ebay item id in case links are not allowed: 290821144651


I think they are wrong, but if in doubt, ask on the main Behringer website.

Thanks Steve,

I hadn’t noticed there was a community & forum. Little bit of research shows this:


Looks like somebody is using it with Win7!

They’ll be closed right now in Germany - but I always found the Tech Suupport at Behringer excellent - and they speak excellent English too if your German is not up to scratch.


A thought now occurs to me: are all the recordings I have done, using the dedicated mic jack on the old Lenovo V100, in mono? There are two waveforms, shown by Audacity, and I always assumed I had a stereo signal input to the software.

Some “mic inputs” support stereo and some don’t.
The easiest way to tell if you have true stereo recordings or just “2 channel mono” is to listen to the recordings on headphones. Mono recordings will sound like it is playing in the middle of your head, whereas stereo recordings will sound more “spacious”.

Well, double dang.

I put on an album, started Audacity on the V100 and, while watching the waveforms, turned the balance output from the Optonica from equal to full left, to full right, then back to equally-balanced. Both waveforms remained active (i.e. right should have gone flat, then left); they were identical to each other during the entire test. Looks like all my recordings are mono!!!

Well, the UFO202 is on my Christmas wish list! I’ll just delay any more recordings until the New Year, and redo what I’ve done so far. Thankfully, this Audacity software is a real pleasure to use.


I received the UFO-202 for Xmas. It doesn’t work properly. I tried to join their forum, but can’t post. So I’ll start the post here, describe the initial conditions and quote it later there, if I can. No phone numbers to call.

Left channel is the only channel that accepts audio input. Right input is completely dead. This is irrespective of Phono or Line inputs. Output via USB cord is two identical waveforms, recorded by Audacity on Win7 machine. Don’t worry, it’s probably the latest and requires some tweak. I’m a good user.

I don’t know about what rca jack outputs look like, but I gotta have the USB. Maybe I should get one that doesn’t have the phono input. It is made in china

Serial no. S1111457A12; date code 1105. says Made in China, plastic is stamped N11999.
maybe it is a knockoff.