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Ask Max: Do I need an external mic for my iMac?

Asked on 12/25/2009:

Hi Jacob,

I just bought my mother a used iMac desktop 20" Power Mac, with an iSight camera built in. When we tried using Skype, we could see each other, but I could not hear her. I've been reading on some forums and it looks like I may need an external USB mic. Do you know anything about this problem? And does the MacMice MicFlex USB Microphone System have drivers and such or is it basically plug and play?

Do you guys carry the Snowflake mic as well, better? Thanks.

- Jon


There should be a built in Mic in the iMac computer you bought. If you go to the Sound section of System Preferences, you should see an Input tab. Select "Internal microphone" from the input options list and check the levels. Skype should pick up from the Mac's internal sound system, but you may need to adjust the Skype sound preferences as well.

If after that you still need an external Mic, most USB options will be plug and play. The Cyber Acoustic Desktop Mic is a good choice.

- Jacob

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