Mac Mini Microphone Hack

The Mac Mini requires line level mic input. It needs to be powered. A mic that works on PC may not work on the mini.

If you just want to have a mic for the mini and it’s easier to buy than to improvise, go ahead and shop around for mics, there isn’t a shortage for third party products for the mini. On the other hand, if you have an old voice recorder equipped with a stereo mini jack (3.5mm) and don’t mind shopping around for a stereo mini jack connector (3.5mm also, obviously), then hack away.

  1. Find an old voice recorder. There could be one (or two) gathering dust in that sealed box of yesteryear-gadgets. I found an old Sony TCM-150. Any recorder with a built-in microphone should do it. I think even the more modern voice recorders with a 3.5mm socket should do the trick, but I don’t have a modern voice recorder.
  2. A 3.5mm stereo jack (mini jack) with both ends as male connectors. This can be easily procured at any audio supplies store or hardware supply store. I got mine from ACE hardware.
  3. Once you have procured the 2 items above. Connect the Mac Mini and the voice recorder using the stereo mini jack. You might want to check the batteries on that old voice recorder, I hope you did not forget to remove the batteries when you locked it away for keeping. If the dry cell batteries have leaked, the voice recorded may not be usable anymore.
  4. Power the voice recorder. Put in record mode (you can press the pause button so that it actually doesn’t record, we just need the mic)
  5. Test it. I tested mine by using it in a skype call. In fact, that was the only reason I needed a microphone for the Mac Mini
Doc created on 20 Oct 14

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