13.3" Macbook Pro Headphone/Mic Adapter





Introduction: 13.3" Macbook Pro Headphone/Mic Adapter

- Well the reason for this experiment was that the new Macbook Pro 13.3 only has a single audio out/in jack. The Operating System allows you to change it to input or output. After using my nice headphones with a microphone built in I was saddened that I could not use these. I had to sacrifice one or the other.

- Now when I was browsing the apple support forums one user said the Macbook will allow you to use your iPhone headphones and be able to use the microphone as well!! AWESOME! Now I had to find a product that could do just that.

- After obtaining the DLO headphone splitter (because it says it supports mic input), it didnt work.
The problem is in the pin outs of my and most common 3.5mm mic jacks use the tip as the signal and the sleeve for the ground (pic will follow). Apple uses the sleeve for the mic and a common ground in the middle.
Time to change that!!!

Step 1: Tools and Parts

You will need:
- Soldering Iron
- Solder (resin core most popular)
- Pliers
- Diagonal Cutters
- Small Flat Head Screwdrivers
- Small guage wire
- Helping Hands (not needed but they do help!)
- X-Acto Knife
- Patience

You can get the D-LO adapter from e-bay (for about 15 bucks)
part number: DLZ70003 or DLZ70003/17
Product Link: http://dlo.com/Products/cable_headsplit_Prod.tpl

Pin out reference: http://pinouts.ru/PortableDevices/iphone_headphone_pinout.shtml

Step 2: Disassembly and Reason

- Pry open with a small flat head screwdriver at the seam between the two jacks. Dont be afraid to dig in there prying up and down to crack the glue seam. Work around all the sides to ensure a clean separation.

- Now the fun begins, note the pin outs before we start hacking the splitter up, what we are going to do is make this adapter so that it is an exclusive headphone / microphone adapter (YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO USE THIS FOR TWO PEOPLE TO LISTEN LIKE IT WAS ORIGIONALLY INTENDED). The reason that this does not work properly with the Macbook pro is that the microphone jack most headsets use is not the same pin out as these adapters. We have to swap the mic jack pins to make this work properly.

Step 3: Cutting the Traces

- Once we crack open the case and lift out the PCB we are going to have to cut some traces.
Cut all the traces where I have circled EXACTLY in red carefully, you dont have to remove it all just about 1mm of gap until the copper trace does not show (again, you do not have to cut all the way through):

What we are cutting is the mic, left, and right traces so that we can successfully re-wire our jack to be an exclusive mic jack!

Step 4: Soldering

- Using the same pic again, grab a small amount of wire ( I used an old cd-rom audio cable), measure it out first (about 1 inch) and solder the wire where the green square is to the blue jack and then solder the wire to the black wire (it is actually a braided wire with a rubber sleeve not the black wire near the red wire).

Note that there is a solder pad there on the PCB to make it easy. If the braided wire comes off the PCB try and get it back on there. If all else fails just solder the wires together and tape them up so they do not touch any other exposed connection.

Step 5: Finish!

- Take a break for being such a steady hand! :D

- Test out the adapter before you snap and tape it up. Go into the System Preferences, click sound settings, and plug in your headset and mic to the adapter, then plug into the Mac. You should see the audio jack say Headphones with External Microphone. Try it out!

- Now the black jack will always be your headphone input and the blue will only be the mic input!

This was my first Instructable please let me know how I did!



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    19 Discussions

    Nice guide with a fine quick explainment. A "question", when you say headphone input, i take that you mean output =)?

    2 replies

    I think so, as headphones usually take music and deliver that to your ears (In theory)

    The instructable is good but I found it cheaper to slice the connector off a iPod head phone and wire up the wires to two ports.

    1 reply

    have i to use the 1.6k resistance on mic connection as given in pin out site or i have to connect it directly

    have i to use the 1.6k resistance on mic connection as given in pin out site or i have to connect it directly

    It's hard to believe that an adapter such as what you have built isn't commercially available, given the obvious need. Apple could sell them for $39.99. Nice job.

    2 replies

    Actually, there are some out there, marketed for the iPhone instead of the MacBook, since they have the same pinout.  The ones I've found are about $5 more.

    However, this design is really good "outside the box" (or is it see what's inside the box :-) thinking!

    Hi RetroTechno,

    Any chance you have a link to the ones marketed for the iphone? Are they basically the same thing?

     The pin-out research was all thanks to pinouts.ru

     Thanks a lot guys for all the comments for this being my first instructable!


    do you know if the DLO splitter has a chip in that tells the macbook it is both and input and output ?

    I have tried with just a 4 cable jack and croc clips but it didnt give me anything in system preferences


    3 replies

     After taking it all apart and breaking the solder joints there was no 'chip' or any other properitary device that made it work...  I would double check the pinouts.  Heres the thing, when i have just the adapter connected to my macbook it doesn't do anything.  When i plug in my headphone it goes to the headphone only, when I plug in the mic, it then goes to both modes.  Interesting....

    ahhhh, i think i was using the band closest too the base as ground when checking your pin-out it is the second one in , stupid mistake i will try again tonight

    Nope, No luck using a standard 4 connection jack, I get the audio out coming from pins 1+2 using 3 as a ground but I cant get the mac to recognise there is a MIC channel too...

    i will try and borrow a friends iphone headphones to test if they kick it into thinking it has mic in as well as audio out

    Thanks anywho, i now know that it is possible some way.

    So the fact that iPhone earphones are compatible with MacBook means that it can be used vice versa right?
    Using this adpater, I will be able to plug in my own set of headphone and mic for my iPhone right?

    2 replies

     You are absoluletly correct.  I just tried it out on my iphone 3g and it works like a champ.  The only thing that the iphone headphones has is that little clicker which is actually shorting the mic to ground.  you can easily add that OR probably pickup a iphone headphone adapter that gives you both headphone and mic hookup.... well thats what i thought i bought for this but didnt work so watch out!

    Well, thank you! I was looking for a way to hook up mic and headphone to my SIP enabled iPod touch as this paid SIP service is much clearer than the Skype but I couldn't find any commercial adapter that allows me to plug in my own mic in. This will definitely help, I should look for some way to hook up the remote too, that'd be cool.