apple earbuds

Using Apple Earbuds with Mic on a Windows PC Computer

This guide will show you how to use Apple earbuds on PC when you want to improve the voice quality going into your Windows computer. While not nearly as good as a podcast mic, using Apple EarPods (Earbuds) with a microphone will bring the microphone closer to you in a consistent way while providing some noise cancellation.

This article will show you how to use your wired earbuds with a 3.5 mm Jack. This is one of the simplest methods. If you have EarPods with a 3.5 mm headphone jack, you’re all set to go. 

However, simply plugging in your Apple earbuds to your Windows PC may not work without adjusting some settings. 

Keep in mind that these adjustments may not work depending on your PC, its hardware, and sound functionality. We’ve listed a few tips further ahead in this post, so be sure to test them out before you give up. 

We will explain how to make your Apple Earbuds work with your PC in four steps (plus the multiple ways to achieve each step):

Step One: Connecting Apple Headphones to PC

Step Two: Opening Control Panel or Settings App

Step Three: Sound Setting

Step Four: Recording Devices Settings

So, how to use Apple headphones as a mic on your PC? 

How to Use Wired Apple Headphones with Mic on PC

Now that we have all the required items, it’s time to connect your headphones to your PC or other devices.

IMPORTANT NOTE: We DO NOT suggest wireless anything for podcast recording, so we will not cover those in this article. AirPods are terrible for a podcast or video recording because they tend to amplify the wrong things and suppress your voice when you need it. Plus, battery and Bluetooth dropouts can be an issue. No AirPods.

For ease of understanding, we’ve simplified the process into four main steps.

Step One: Connecting Apple Headphones to PC 

The first step is pretty simple. You need to connect your headphones to your PC. You need first to identify which port is designed for audio input. 

These instructions are for modern PCs with a single port for incoming and outgoing audio. However, if you have an older model, you may see two ports. One for headphones and one for a mic. In this case, additional splitter hardware will be needed.

Once you’ve figured out the correct slots, plug in your Apple earphones. Depending on your device, you might get a notification that the headphones are connected to your PC. Part of the difficulty since Windows 11, is that by default there is no pop-up to ask if you want to use the newly plugged audio device.

Step Two: Opening Control Panel or Settings App

If you didn’t receive a notification and you still can’t hear any sound, then you’ll have to do a little more work than just plugging in the headphones. You will need to change a few settings to ensure your PC can read the new device you’ve connected. 

To start the configuration process, you need first to open the Control Panel or Settings. There are four ways you can go about this process:

Method #1 
  • Start by clicking on the Windows icon on your toolbar. Alternatively, you can also press the Windows key on your keyboard.
  • When the pop-up screen opens, type “Control Panel” in the search box. For Windows 10 users, you can also open and type “Settings.”
  • Once the Control Panel or Settings app shows up in the suggestions, click on it or Open.
Method #2

Another way to access the control panel is by using the Quick Access menu. Here’s how:

  • You can use a shortcut by pressing the Windows key + X or right-click on the windows icon. 
  • A drop-down menu will open up. 
  • Select the Control Panel or Settings to open it. 
Method #3

The third way to access Control Panel / Settings is by using the Run function. 

  • To open the Run search box, press the Windows key and the R key on your keyboard.
  • When the Run window pops open, type in “control panel.” For devices with Windows 10, type in “ms-settings:” and press enter.
  • The control panel or settings window should open up immediately.

Step Three: Sound Setting

Once the Control Panel / Settings is open, it’s time to adjust the Sound settings. Now there are two ways to change your sound settings. One way is through the Control Panel, while the other method is through Settings.

Let’s go over both methods.

Method #1
  • On the control panel window, you need to find and select Hardware and Sound.
  • Next, click on Sound or Manage audio devices. A small pop-up screen will open up. 
Method #2

If you’ve opened Settings instead of the Control Panel, then you need to follow these steps:

  • Find and select System.
  • From the menu on the left, select Sound.
  • Scroll down until you find the Sound Control Panel and click on it. A small pop-up window will appear. 

Step Four: Recording Devices Settings

Once the pop-up menu appears, you’ll need to adjust the recording settings.

  • In the Sound window, select the Recording tab on the top.
  • Locate your headphones in the list of devices. Usually, they’re named “High Definition Audio device.”
  • After locating your headphones, right-click on them.
  • From the drop-down menu, select Set Default.
  • If you see a green checkmark on your headphones, it means your laptop or PC reads or detects your headphones.  
  • Next, select your headphones and click on Properties. Alternatively, you can double-click on your headphones to open Microphone Properties.
  • When the Microphone Properties window opens, open the Levels tab.
  • Adjust the levels for Microphone and Microphone boost according to your preferences.
  • Click on Apply and then okay to save the settings.

This should do it.

PC is Not Recognizing Apple Headphones

If your PC is still not recognizing your Apple headphones, don’t lose hope just yet. There’s one more thing you can still do.

  • Start by going to Setting. You can do this by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard or clicking on the toolbar’s Windows icon.  
  • Type “settings” in the search box.
  • Open the Settings window and find System.
  • From the menu on the left side, select Sound.
  • Under Input settings, you’ll see the option to “Choose your input device.”
  • Click on the downward arrow and select your Apple device from the list. 

Both your earphones and mic should work once you’ve adjusted the settings.  

As a last resort (if you have the time), you can purchase a 3.5 mm to USB-C adaptor that your computer will immediately recognize as it would any other USB headset.