AirPods have become a ubiquitous accessory, known for their seamless integration with Apple devices and impressive sound quality. But did you know that you can harness their power as a reliable and portable microphone?
This can be particularly useful when on the go or working in a makeshift recording studio. Whether you’re a content creator, a podcaster, or a musician, leveraging the convenience and quality of your AirPods as a microphone can significantly enhance your recording experience.
In this article, we’ll explore the steps to set up your AirPods as a microphone on various devices, discuss related questions and issues, and provide tips for optimizing your audio recordings.
How to Use AirPods as Microphone When Recording
While Apple’s Voice Memos app makes it a breeze to record audio using AirPods, your smartphone’s default video recording apps may not automatically detect the AirPods as the default microphone. The good news is that dedicated video recording apps allow you to use AirPods for video recording.
Unfortunately, no free software enables the ‘Bluetooth mic’ feature or supports AirPods without lag for video recording. Some users may have figured out a native method of using AirPods as a microphone when video recording via smartphones. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to make it happen:
- Open Settings: Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Navigate to Accessibility: Scroll down to the “Accessibility” option and tap on it.
- Access Audio/Visual Settings: On the Accessibility page, scroll further and select “Audio/Visual.”
- Enable Live Listen: Ensure the “Enable Live Listen” switch is turned on. This feature is primarily designed to assist those with hearing aids, but we’ll use it to connect your AirPods.
- Launch the Camera App: Exit the Settings app and open the Camera on your iPhone.
- Choose Your Audio Source: With the camera pointed at your subject, tap on the white circle with the black microphone icon. This will bring up a menu of different audio options.
- Select AirPods: Look for the “AirPods” option and tap on it. Now, put your AirPods in your ears and wait a few seconds for them to connect to your iPhone.
- Start Recording: Once your AirPods are connected, you can hear their audio in real time through the Camera app. With everything set up, hit the record button and start capturing fantastic videos with great-sounding audio.
Using AirPods Mic for Video Recording on a Mac
- To use the AirPods mic for video recording on your Mac, you need to pair them first.
- In your Mac’s “System Preferences,” access the “Bluetooth” settings to initiate pairing.
- Once connected, set up the AirPods mic as your default recording device and adjust the sound pick-up and microphone boost settings according to your preferences.
Using AirPods Mic for Video Recording on PC
- You must pair your AirPods on a Windows PC through “Bluetooth and other devices” settings.
- Once connected, configure the AirPods mic as your default recording device in the “Sound” settings, and adjust the sound pick-up and microphone boost settings to optimize audio quality.
- If your Windows PC doesn’t recognize the AirPods as an input device by default, try accessing “Sound settings” and selecting your Apple AirPods under “Choose your input device.”
- If your AirPods are listed as “High Definition Audio Device” under the “Recording” tab, select it, click
- “Properties,” find the “Driver” tab, and tap “Update Driver.” This usually resolves any recognition issues.
Recording Audio Via AirPods Using Third-Party Apps
You can harness your AirPods’ advanced microphone capabilities by pairing them with specific video recording apps and elevate your video content to new heights. Let’s dive into the step-by-step process of making it happen:
- Choose the Right App
To use AirPods as your microphone, you’ll need a video recording app that supports Bluetooth audio input. At present, two popular options are the Filmic Pro and MoviePro apps.
- Filmic Pro – The Versatile Choice
Filmic Pro is compatible with Apple and Android devices. Though premium-priced, it offers robust audio and video recording features, ideal for content creators seeking professional-grade results.
- MoviePro – Apple Devices Exclusive
MoviePro is relatively reasonably priced and specifically designed for Apple devices. It provides seamless audio recording with AirPods, ensuring crisp and clear video sound.
Recording with MoviePro: A Step-by-Step Guide
- Download MoviePro: Head to the Apple Store and search for “MoviePro.” Install the app on your iPhone.
- Set Up Your Account: Open MoviePro and complete the necessary sign-up and payment details.
- Enable Bluetooth Mic: Access your iPhone’s Settings, find “Recorder Settings,” and enable “Bluetooth Mic.”
- Get Creative: With MoviePro set up, you can now start capturing videos with your AirPods as the microphone. MoviePro makes it easy to get professional-level audio with your AirPods, whether for video recording or voice memos.
Recording with Filmic Pro: A User-Friendly Experience
- Install Filmic Pro: Visit the Apple Store or Google Store to install Filmic Pro on your device.
- Adjust Audio Settings: Within the app, locate the audio settings and set the input to “Bluetooth Microphone.”
- Complete Setup: Finalize your account setup and payment plan.
- Unleash Your Creativity: With Filmic Pro and your AirPods paired, you can record stunning videos with pristine audio quality.
Are There Multiple Microphones on My AirPods?
Yes, AirPods typically come equipped with multiple microphones to provide a great audio experience in various situations. Most AirPods have two microphones: one on the stem and one on the inside of each earbud. This dual-microphone system optimizes functions and ensures clear audio in different scenarios.
The microphone on the stem of the AirPods is primarily used for phone calls. It is strategically positioned to pick up your voice clearly, ensuring smooth communication during phone conversations.
On the other hand, the microphones inside each earbud serve another vital function. These internal microphones are utilized when you interact with Siri or give voice commands to your AirPods.
The dual-microphone system on AirPods also contributes to noise reduction and audio enhancement. These microphones help minimize background noise by working in tandem, ensuring your voice remains distinct and easily distinguishable, even in noisy environments.
In some of the more recent models of AirPods, an additional third microphone is integrated into the charging case. This extra microphone further enhances sound quality during phone calls.
Positioned strategically after the second microphone, the third microphone focuses on picking up sound from you while reducing surrounding background noise. As a result, you experience improved call clarity, even in challenging and noisy surroundings.
Can I Set the AirPods Mic to One AirPod?
You can set one AirPod as the active microphone for your calls and interactions with Siri. By default, the active microphone switches automatically between the two AirPods for optimal performance. However, you can customize this setting using only one AirPod as the microphone.
Before changing the microphone setting, remember that the AirPod you select as the microphone will remain set that way, even if you remove it or place it back in its case. So, this setting will remain consistent if you often use just one AirPod.
- To set one AirPod as the active microphone, ensure your AirPods are connected to your iOS device.
- Launch Settings on your iOS device, then tap the name of your connected AirPods, which appears just under your Apple ID banner.
- Alternatively, you can go to Bluetooth settings and tap the “i” icon next to your connected AirPods.
- In the AirPods settings, you’ll find the “Microphone” option.
- Tap it, and you’ll see the choice to set the active microphone to “Always Left AirPod” or “Always Right AirPod.”
Can I Adjust My AirPods Mic Sensitivity?
Yes, you can adjust your AirPods microphone’s sensitivity to improve the quality of your voice calls, recordings, and interactions with voice assistants like Siri. Microphone sensitivity is crucial in capturing your voice accurately without unwanted background noise or distortion.
Making the right adjustments can make your sound clearer and prevent issues like clipping or muffled audio. Microphone sensitivity refers to how the microphone amplifies the audio it captures. If the sensitivity is too high, it may pick up background noise, such as your breath or laptop fan, and add it to your recording, causing distractions.
On the other hand, if the sensitivity is too low, the microphone may have difficulty capturing your voice properly, resulting in low volume or unclear audio.
Adjusting Mic Settings on Android
On Android devices, native microphone sensitivity adjustment is not available. However, you can download third-party apps like “Microphone Amplifier” to tweak the recording settings and adjust the microphone gain.
These apps allow you to reduce noise through the equalizer and improve sound quality when recording audio.
Adjusting Mic Settings on iPhone
While the iPhone doesn’t have a native microphone sensitivity adjustment, you can change the microphone mode during calls. In the Control Center, you can switch between Standard, Voice Isolation, or Wide Spectrum mode, depending on your preference for noise filtering and capturing different sounds in your environment.
Moreover, if you have Apple AirPods, you can choose which earbud is the active microphone.
Adjusting Mic Settings in Windows
Windows computers allow you to adjust microphone sensitivity manually.
- Go to System > Sound > Input to select the correct microphone in the System Settings.
- You can adjust the volume slider and additional settings in the microphone properties to optimize the microphone sensitivity.
Adjusting Mic Settings on macOS
macOS provides an easy way to edit microphone sensitivity.
- Go to Sound > Input in the System Settings and choose the microphone you want to adjust.
- You can see the Input level and adjust it using the volume slider.
- Typically, setting the Input level between 20% to 30% is sufficient for most purposes.
How Can I Use My AirPods as a Live Microphone?
To do this, enable the Live Listen feature on your device. Ensure your AirPods are connected, go to the Control Center, and select your AirPods. Tap “Live Listen,” and your AirPods will function as a microphone with adjustable audio input levels for clear and enhanced live audio.
Here’s a more detailed step-by-step guide for your convenience:
- First and foremost, ensure that your AirPods are properly connected to your device. You can proceed once your AirPods are successfully paired with your device.
- Now, accessing the Live Listen feature is a breeze. If you have an iPhone or iPad, head to the Control Center or Lock Screen.
- Locate your AirPods in the audio output options, and there you’ll find the magic button for “Live Listen.” With a single tap on this button, your AirPods will transform into a high-quality live microphone.
- For convenience, you can also add Live Listen to the Control Center for quick and easy access.
Now that Live Listen is activated, you can adjust the audio input levels and other settings to suit your needs. This customizable feature allows you to fine-tune the microphone sensitivity, ensuring optimal audio quality in any environment.
Is the AirPods 2nd Gen Mic Better Than AirPods Pro?
The AirPods Pro has a better mic than the AirPods 2nd Gen. The AirPods Pro’s improved design provides a secure fit, enhanced passive noise isolation, and better call clarity. While the AirPods 2nd Gen has a decent mic, it may struggle in windy or noisy environments, making AirPods Pro a better choice.
When comparing the microphone performance of the AirPods 2nd generation and the AirPods Pro, notable differences can influence your decision depending on your specific needs. The AirPods 2nd generation features a decent microphone unit that surpasses many of its competitors, thanks to advanced sensors and accelerometers in the earbuds.
The microphone delivers clear and reliable sound quality during phone calls and voice recordings in optimal conditions. However, in some environments, the AirPods 2nd generation may encounter challenges in filtering out excessive background noise, resulting in compromised call clarity.
On the other hand, Apple has taken significant steps to address listeners’ complaints about the lack of a secure seal in the previous AirPods generations with the introduction of the AirPods Pro. The AirPods Pro features an improved design that creates a snug fit in the ear canal, enhancing passive noise isolation and overall call quality.
Additionally, Apple has further refined the technology and frequency response of the microphones in the AirPods Pro, resulting in enhanced call clarity and reduced background noise in most situations. While the AirPods Pro has improved microphone performance, it can still exhibit some weaknesses seen in the AirPods 2nd generation.
In certain scenarios, the AirPods Pro may unintentionally filter out too much sound, including your voice, leading to a less-than-optimal call experience. Conversely, there are instances where the microphones may not filter out enough background noise, potentially affecting call quality in noisy environments.
Troubleshooting AirPods Microphone
Sometimes, dirt or incorrectly configured settings can cause the microphones to malfunction, resulting in muffled or crackling sounds during calls. Here are some troubleshooting tips to get your wireless earbuds back on track.
- Reconnect the AirPods with Your iPhone
Establishing a fresh connection can often resolve most AirPods problems. Put both earbuds in their charging case (or Smart Case for AirPods Max) and take them out again. Also, check the battery level, as a low charge can affect audio performance. Charging them for at least 30 minutes before use is a good idea.
- Clean the Microphone Mesh
Over time, grime may accumulate in the microphone holes, affecting voice clarity. Safely clean the mesh using a cotton swab lightly sprayed with rubbing alcohol. Gently dab away any gunk, careful not to damage the microphone grill.
- Turn Off Noise Cancellation
Noise cancellation can interfere with microphone audio. Try turning it off to improve sound quality. Open the Control Center while wearing the AirPods, long-press the Volume slider, and tap the Noise Control icon to set it to Off.
- Check for Water Damage
AirPods are water and sweat-resistant but not waterproof. Avoid exposing them to liquids, as it can lead to audio issues. If they get wet, wipe them gently with a soft, dry cloth—never use heat or compressed air to dry them.
- Check Your Active Microphone Settings
Ensure both microphones are being used by checking the active microphone setting. Go to Settings > AirPods > Microphone and choose “Automatically Switch AirPods” to optimize audio reception.
- Update the AirPods Firmware
Outdated firmware can affect microphone performance. Check the firmware details in Settings > AirPods > Version. Your AirPods should automatically update while resting in the charging case near the paired iPhone.
- Restart or Update Your iPhone
Random connectivity issues can disrupt microphone function. Restart your iPhone and any connected devices to fix such problems. Furthermore, ensure your iPhone has the latest iOS version installed, as software bugs could affect AirPods’ microphones. Go to Settings > General > Software Update to install any available updates.
- Reset and Pair Your AirPods Again
Resetting your AirPods can resolve microphone issues. Press and hold the Status button on the back (or both on AirPods Max) until the LED turns amber. Then, reconnect them to your iPhone.
- Reset Your iPhone’s Network Settings
Corrupt network settings can impact microphone performance. Reset them in Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone > Reset > Reset Network Settings.
- Repair Your AirPods or Get a Replacement
If none of the fixes work, your AirPods might be defective. Reach out to Apple Support or visit an Apple store for assistance.
Remember, while AirPods serve as fantastic microphones, optimizing your recording environment for the best results is essential. Find a quiet space, minimize background noise, and think about investing in a pop filter to reduce plosives.
Additionally, be mindful of battery life; extended recording sessions can drain your AirPods’ power. Remember that practice makes perfect as you embark on your recording journey with AirPods. Take the time to experiment with microphone positioning, volume levels, and other recording settings to fine-tune your setup.
Embrace the learning process, and soon, you’ll master the art of capturing exceptional audio with your AirPods.
I quit my full-time job and started my journey as a freelance copywriter and content writer, and I believe it was one of the best decisions I’ve made so far because I absolutely love it. I’ve been writing tech-related guides, how-to’s, articles, and informational pieces for a long time, and I especially love testing and reporting on various types of headphones.