USB mic and headphones not detected

I’m really new to audio recording in general, so you’ll have to forgive anything that seems basic or silly.

I’m running MacOS Catalina 10.14.7 on a 2017 Macbook Air. My mic is a Blue Snowball Ice (USB mic), and I have a couple alright pairs of headphones for listening to myself while recording (a free pair of Beats that will do in a pinch, and Sony WH-1000MX3 which are a little too muffling but okay).

I followed all the instructions for installation and I’m not launching the DMG, I’m going directly to my applications folder or opening it from Launchpad. Everything is plugged in before launch, I’ve tried restarting my computer about 4 times, and it did briefly recognize my mic for one test session. I’ve tried connecting my headphones using both the cables they came with and Bluetooth. I can hear the recordings just fine when I play them back, but I was hoping to be able to hear myself during recording. Audacity may not be able to do this, or I may just have to tweak it to do so, but I haven’t been able to find any information for that yet (might be searching incorrectly).

So the biggest issue is that Audacity isn’t recognizing my USB mic anymore and never recognized my headphones. My second biggest issue is not being able to hear myself through the headphones while recording. Again, I’m new to this, so nothing is too simple to be overlooked. Any help is appreciated!

Go to System Preferences > Sound > Input. Do you see your microphone listed there? If you speak into the microphone does the input level meter bounce?

– Bill

No to both, unfortunately. It only picks up from my built-in mic on the laptop.

Does the LED above the logo glow red when you plug the mic into your Mac?

– Bill

I assume you mean the light above the mic’s logo? Yes, that lights up red consistently. I’ve been recording just using Voice Memos, but it seems to be picking up from my laptop’s mic. So I guess this is an issue with my Blue mic?

Hi, if I may contribute?

Can you give a screen shot of your Sound → Input display.
You may need to give it permission in Security in Settings.?

and for listening to what you are recording you need some special software for that. Audacity won’t do it because it’s a System level thing.

Thank you for answering my other question!

Here’s the screenshot.
Screen Shot 2021-01-08 at 10.32.09 AM.png
I poked around in my Security and Sound settings, but nothing about my mic came up. My laptop doesn’t seem to recognize that it’s been plugged in. i believe Blue has had some compatibility issues with Mac in the past, but I didn’t know about that when I got this mic. I’ve also emailed their support to see if they have anything I can try.

Did you see this on yeti?

Also in Security you’ll be looking for maybe Yeti.

I actually have the Snowball Ice! When it does actually recognize the mic, it shows up as “Blue Snowball” or something similar.

There were Catalina problems with Audacity prior to version 2.4.0. See this post:

To update to 2.4.2 see here:

I hope this helps. :smiley:


Just wanted to close this one out. I spent the last few days emailing back and forth with Blue, and just went out and bought a used Ice off someone nearby. That mic works perfectly, and I have no trouble with Audacity. Guess I just had a dud! Thank y’all for your help!