Improvised Amplified Microphone

I tried using a regular headset microphone with my Mac mini and wondered why my voice wasn't being picked up. Then I realized, after reading the Mac mini manual, that the audio input is line-level only. Since I don't have an amplified microphone, I decided to improvise one from an old cassette recorder. It should tide me over until I can get a USB headset.

Improvised Amplified Microphone
click above for photo details

This is what I used:
  • cassette recorder - should have built-in microphone or input jack for external microphone
  • cassette tape - make sure the write-protect tabs are intact or cover the holes with adhesive tape
  • audio cable - 3.5mm (1/8") mini plugs on both ends; plug one end into the earphone jack on the recorder and the other end into the audio input of the Mac

After everything's hooked up, just press the record button on the cassette recorder and start talking into the ghetto amplified microphone.

Note: I actually didn't need the cassette tape. I just wedged a Q-tip into the cassette recorder to depress the write-protect lever.


At 3/10/2010 1:03 PM, Blogger Kenneth Udut (free.naplesplus.us - Naples News, Info, Jobs) said...

You saved the day for me. I've been trying to simply amplify a microphone and have the output fed to a pair of headphones, for some easy, ultra cheap hearing aid. Holy mackeral - I forgot just how much the tape recorders amplified sounds! And using a cheap, high impedence pair of in ear headphones (which take almost no power to run) paired up with a cassette recorder made before the days of these supersmall headphones, and you have super-duper real time amplification, the likes of which I've never heard before.

Ken, Naples, FL http://free.naplesplus.us


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