Most of us have used headphones with microphones or a headset that also has a microphone. These types of headsets typically come with a 3.5mm jack that can support both the audio signal and the microphone input. The 3.5mm headphone jack is the standard for most mobile phones, laptops and portable audio devices. This type of jack can also be found on older headphones and some headsets that support both an audio and a mic. This article will discuss if can you plug a microphone into a headphone jack and some additional information on the different types of headset jacks.
Can You Plug a Microphone into a Headphone Jack
The answer to this question depends on whether or not your device has a TRRS microphone jack, or a TRS/TS headphone jack. The TRRS jack is more common in mobile devices and is designed to handle both an audio and a microphone signal. This type of jack has a third conductor in the socket that is usually assigned to the microphone signal. TRRS headphones typically have a built-in microphone that can record audio and voice, but the same cable can also be used to connect an external microphone to your mobile device.
Currently, most smartphones and mobile devices that support a microphone jack use the TRRS connector. The 3.5mm TRRS connector has two conductors in the socket, the tip and sleeve. The tip usually handles the audio signal and the sleeve typically is used as a ground. This type of headphone jack can also be found on some mobile headsets, but it is not as common as the TRS connector.
On older mobile devices like the iPhone, there is a separate 3.5mm headphone jack for headphones and a microphone. However, for newer iPhone models like the iPhone 7 and later, there is only a Lightning port for audio and microphone input. Some manufacturers have released adapters that can be used with a TRRS microphone to connect it to the Lightning port on an iPhone.
How to Connect an iPhone(r) External Microphone to a TRRS/TS Headphone Jack
If you are using an iPhone(r) external microphone for filmmaking, it’s important to know that you need to use a TRRS to Lightning adapter in order to connect the mic to your phone. This allows you to record high quality video and audio on your iPhone(r).
You can find TRRS to Lightning adapters at most electronics stores or online. Various mic manufactures have also created their own adapters that can be purchased directly from their website.
Once you have the proper adapter, it is very simple to connect your iPhone(r) external microphone to the headphone jack on your device. To do so, simply place the end of your TRRS microphone into the adapter and then plug the adapter into the headphone jack on your iPhone(r). Then go to your iPhone(r) Settings and select the AssistiveTouch menu. Once you have the AssistiveTouch menu open, select the microphone icon and then set your external microphone as the default input source.