External audio input to new macbook pro

Just downloaded Audacity after years away. I have a new macbook pro. There is, irritatingly, one audio jack that defaults to headphones/audio out as far as I can tell, although I understand by adjusting preferences I can change this to audio in (how I can’t tell). I own a reasonable quality passive mic and want to use one, and ideally get audio monitor out So, in simple terms, how do I do this or is it possible ? How do I change the audio out to audio in (with no monitor) ? Would a jack to USB converter work, and how would it be selected in Audacity ? Or do I need to buy a usb mic or . . . help

Did you buy a 13 inch? Many of those have switchable connections. I bought my last 15" because it had both connections.

I understand by adjusting preferences I can change this to audio in

Apple (upper left) > System Preferences > Hardware > Sound > Input. Somewhere on this panel it might give you options to switch directions – if there are options.

The latest machines feature Headphone or Headset connections. The headset connection supports stereo headphone and a single microphone on the same socket at the same time.

I can only assume Apple saw the upswing in communications and gaming and configured the laptops for that – similar to the way Microsoft Windows machines work. Very few people connected their stereo entertainment machines or mixers to their Macs.

You can connect a simple Behringer UCA202 to your Mac and get Stereo In, Stereo Out and a headphone connection all at once.

For microphones, the choices are limitless depending on what you want to do.


I’m on OS X 10.8.5 and audacity 2.0.5 downloaded from .dmg installer, btw.

What is your microphone? What are you doing? What’s the show and which Mac have you got. Koz

Many tThanks, Koz, there seems to be no option in system preferences/sound for audio input other than internal mic. I bought the macbook pro new this year. 13" screen, 2.5GHz Intel Core i5, 4 GB of 1600MHz DDR3. Main mic is an old Shure PG48. Want to record multitrack with vocals, guitars, bass etc, write songs etc.

The Peavey/Behringer box looks useful

You have fragments of a much larger recording system. That illustration shows one corner of a sound mixer (Peavey PV-6), the Behringer UCA202 and a PC. Any computer will work, doesn’t have to be a PC, and any mixer should plug into the Behringer.

However, that may be overkill and way too complicated for what you want to do. If you want to change microphones and maybe record two instruments at once in your garage, then yes, you will need all that.

But one of the guys at work likes this USB microphone a lot and he does vocal and guitar.


I liked it, too and it is the microphone I certified for Perfect Overdubbing.



Thanks again Koz. I don’t need to multitrack simultaneously yet, so it looks like the Behringer box is a cost effective way of doing decent audio input into my irritating, but new, macbook, and reasonable quality audio in/out on anything. Just hope yet another mac oddity doesn’t intervene to mess me about.

I’m going to give the new (for me) version of Audacity a spin on my old pc now. Looking forward to it. Thanks again, excellent support


I said you had pieces of a recording system. The microphone will not plug into the Behringer UCA202. You still need a mixer or microphone amplifier. Koz