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MikeFromMesa
01-15-2016, 08:23 PM
I am not sure this is the right forum for this question as it has nothing to do with music, but it does have to do with audio. If this is the incorrect forum please let me know and I will move it to the correct one. I refer to Skype in this post, but it is not about Skype, but about the audio connection.

I have a relatively new Mini that I use for general "stuff". One of those things is Skype so I have Skype installed, although I had not used it until today. I also have a pair of earbuds attached to an audio cable which is attached to an audio Y cable and plugged into the Earphone and Microphone plugs on the back of the Mini. The earbuds have an inline mic and I know the cable and earbud connections work because I tested them on my wife's Windows machine and made a Skype call without an issue. Skype could hear me and repeated my test message back to me.

However when the Skype call came in no one could hear me, even though I could hear them. I have tested a series of settings on Skype, but no settings allowed Skype to hear me in spite of repeated test calls using different settings. I suspect that there may be an issue with the Line-in connection on the Mini, but before I made the long trip to the "local" Apple Store and the Genius Bar I thought it might be best to also test the audio input using some application other than Skype, but the problem is that I don't know of any other application that takes audio input. Hence this post.

Is there some OS X application that I could use to further test the audio input before I take it to the Apple Store? I am running El Capitan on the Mini, if that is important.

Thank you for any help you can provide.

lclev
01-15-2016, 08:41 PM
Do you have iMovie? It has a record feature for voice overs. Also Quicktime Player will record audio.

Lisa

chas_m
01-15-2016, 08:58 PM
If you could provide information on the exact year and model of Mac mini, we can probably answer this question quickly.

As you can see on tis page, you should probably be plugging your Apple headset earbuds (if that is what they are) into the speaker output alone:

https://www.apple.com/mac-mini/specs/

If they are not Apple earbuds, the splitting you mentioned won't work: the device is not "smart" and does not know how to determine which of the functions you want, and can't perform both at the same time using that method.

If your earbuds have a "three ring" 3.5mm plug, try the speaker output alone as suggested above, it may work that way.

MikeFromMesa
01-16-2016, 07:54 AM
If you could provide information on the exact year and model of Mac mini, we can probably answer this question quickly.

2015 Mini, i7 chip, 16GB RAM, 256GB ssd. There is, to the best of my knowledge, only one model for the 2015 year.


As you can see on tis page, you should probably be plugging your Apple headset earbuds (if that is what they are) into the speaker output alone:

https://www.apple.com/mac-mini/specs/

Actually that is the first way I tried doing this. The earbuds are NOT Apple earbuds, but I have tried several different manufacturers models of earbuds, all of them with mic inputs and all of them with 4 section connectors. These work properly with all of my other devices, but not with the Mini. I can hear, but my voice does not reach the software.

I have also tried using extension cords, but I have no information about whether I should be using 3 or 4 connector extension cords. I assume 4 but, if the headset does not work when plugged directly into the Mini, I can not see why it would work through an extension. I have also tried bluetooth, but that does not seem to work either as the Mini does not recognize any of my bluetooth earbuds.

One of the problems seems to be that I don't really know what the audio plugins expect. Is the headphone 3 ring? Or 4 ring? I don't know. Should I be using a Y connector to separate the output and inputs? I don't know. Should I be using only the single headphone input? I don't know. I have tried to use all combinations, but nothing has worked. Added to all of those possible ways to connect I also have to think about what the OS and app settings should be. This should all be easy, but nothing has worked (so far).

In particular I never see the audio input signal "lights" in the Sound Preferences actually display anything that looks like it hears my voice, so the sound is not getting to the Mini at all.



If your earbuds have a "three ring" 3.5mm plug, try the speaker output alone as suggested above, it may work that way.

The earbuds are 4 ring and that worked only to allow me to hear. The extension cord is 3 ring and, when connected, that also worked only to allow me to hear. As I said,my earbuds are not Apple but I did not see anything on the webpage that said that it supported only Apple. Perhaps that is the case and I need to try using that.

I called Apple Care and they only took me through the software and OS settings, which I had already checked out before the call. They suggested bringing the Mini into the Apple Store for repair but, to be honest, I really don't think the problem is mechanical. He said there are no known problems with the audio input so I would have to believe that it is my Mini alone and I just don't. Perhaps my next step needs to be to order Apple earbuds. Since I listen to a lot of audio books on my phone I already have quite a few sets of earbuds. Since I use them for phone calls almost all of them have mic inputs. None of the ones I have tried work. I am sure that I have some Apple earbuds that came with my wife's iPhone and I will have to check to see if they work for input with the Mini.

Thanks for your suggestions.

UPDATE:

That was enlightening. I hunted up a pair of Apple earbuds and plugged them into the single headphone jack. They worked. I then plugged my regular earbuds back into the same jack. They did NOT work. Both are 4 segment, both work on my phone and on my wife's Windows computer, but only the Apple earbuds work on the Mini.

I have a lot of other earbuds since I use them all the time and I will try them to see which, if any, of the other ones work, but you were right about the Apple earbud support.

Thank you again.

chas_m
01-16-2016, 09:54 PM
Glad you found the result. I'm not sure what magic pixie dust Apple sprinkles on its own earbuds that the machine can distinguish them from others -- and possibly some other models would work the same way provided they use the apple-certified mic/volume/etc controller -- but evidently that's the solution.