How to Connect a Microphone to a Mac Mini [Step by Step]

Wondering how you can connect a microphone to your Mac Mini? I got you covered!

In this article, I’m going to show you the simplest way to use an external microphone on your Mac Mini.

Let’s start!

1. Identifying Microphone Type

When connecting an external microphone to your Mac Mini, it’s important to know the type of connector your mic uses. There are two common types: USB and XLR. 

USB microphones are much simpler to use. Just plug them in and you’re good to go. They are hassle free and recommended for beginners or those who don’t want additional setup. 

However, XLR microphones may require additional steps to connect since Mac Mini’s don’t have dedicated XLR ports. 

2. Connecting the Microphone

For USB Microphones

Plug and Play:

  1. For USB microphones, it’s as simple as plugging in the USB cable directly into your Mac Mini’s USB port. 
  2. No additional steps or adapters are needed.

Here you can try Razer Seiren Mini USB microphone. It’s compact, easy to set up, and reliable—perfect for streamers and podcasters seeking quality audio performance.

For XLR Microphones with Audio Interface

Connect to Audio Interface:

  1. If you have an XLR microphone and an audio interface, plug the XLR connector of your microphone into the audio interface.
  2. Take the USB cable from the audio interface and connect it to an available USB port on your Mac Mini.
  3. If the audio interface requires extra power, ensure it’s connected to an outlet or another available USB port.

For XLR Microphones without Audio Interface

Use an Adapter Cable:

  1. If you don’t have an audio interface, you’ll need an XLR to USB or XLR to 3.5mm adapter cable.
  2. Plug the XLR cable into the adapter cable.
  3. Connect the adapter to your Mac Mini’s USB port or 3.5mm port.

3. Configuring Audio Settings

Once you’ve connected the microphone to your Mac Mini, you’ll need to select it as the default input device. 

This way, all your apps will automatically use your external microphone. 

If you’re using macOS 12 (Monterey) or older:

  1. Click the Apple logo in the upper left corner of your screen. 
  2. Select System Preferences
  3. Click on Sound
  4. Next, go to the Input tab
  5. Choose your external microphone from the list. 

For macOS 13 (Ventura) or newer: 

  1. Click the Apple logo in the upper left corner of your screen. 
  2. Select System Settings
  3. Click on Sound in the left-hand menu. 
  4. Go to Input.
  5. Select your external microphone from the list. 

4. Testing the Microphone

Once you’ve set up your microphone, it’s time to give it a test. Open any recording app on your Mac Mini and hit the record button. 

During the test, check for unwanted noises like interference, stutters, pops, or distortion. If you notice any of these issues make the adjustments to your microphone settings to improve sound quality. 

This might involve tweaking microphone gain or adjusting the microphone’s placement. 

What you need is for your microphone to deliver clear and crisp audio without any distracting sounds. 


In summary, connecting a microphone to your Mac Mini is a straightforward task. Whether it’s a USB or XLR microphone, the important thing is to know which connector your mic is using and you’re good to go. 

The plug-and-play nature of USB makes it more ideal for beginners, while XLR mics may need an adapter or audio interface that needs tweaking and initial setup. 

Through our guide, you should now be able to enjoy crystal-clear audio recording on your Mac Mini. 


What types of microphones can I connect to a Mac Mini?

There are different microphones that you can connect to your Mac Mini. It can be a USB microphone, an XLR mic, or even a wireless Bluetooth microphone. 

How do I connect a USB microphone to a Mac Mini?

To connect a USB microphone to your Mac Mini, simply plug in the USB cable that comes with the mic to your Mac Mini’s USB port. 

Can I connect a wireless microphone to my Mac Mini, and how?

Yes, you can connect a wireless microphone to your Mac Mini via Bluetooth. 

  1. Open System Settings on your Mac. 
  2. Click on Bluetooth on the left-hand menu. 
  3. Find the wireless microphone and pair it. 

What settings do I need to adjust on my Mac Mini to use an external microphone?

You need to make sure that your microphone is selected as the default input device on your Mac Mini’s audio settings. 

  1. Go to System Settings > Sound > Input
  2. Choose your microphone as the default device. 

Why isn’t my microphone working after connecting it to my Mac Mini?

Your microphone might not be working because of improper connection. Check the USB or XLR connectors and ensure they are connected properly to their respective ports. For Bluetooth connection, try reconnecting the Bluetooth microphone.

How can I troubleshoot microphone connectivity issues on a Mac Mini?

If you can’t connect your microphone to your Mac Mini, check the cable, restart your devices, and ensure that the microphone is compatible with your Mac.

How do I ensure my connected microphone is the default input device on my Mac Mini?

You can check the default sound input device on your Mac Mini by going to System Settings > Sound > Input

Can I connect multiple microphones to a Mac Mini, and how?

Yes. However, only one microphone can be used at a time if you connect it directly to your Mac. You can use a USB hub or audio interface to connect multiple microphones to your Mac Mini.

What are the best practices for recording audio with an external microphone on a Mac Mini?

Make sure your microphone is placed in an ideal spot with no interference and minimal background noise. For best results, adjust your microphone’s input levels to match your voice and environment.

How do I adjust microphone sensitivity and levels on my Mac Mini?

Go to System Settings > Sound > Input. Drag the slider next to “input levels” to the right to increase the volume and to the left to decrease. 

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