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iPhone headphones: how does the mic work?

1560 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Aug 6, 2007 4:23 PM by SFC @rcher RSS
badtz Level 2 Level 2 (235 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Aug 1, 2007 10:13 PM
I guess this could apply to all headset/mic combos but ....

How is the iPhone headset picking up the microphone information and sending it to the iPhone?

How is the audio information [technically] transmitted to the iPhone? Does that mean that iPhone has some sort of chip to process information in the reverse? Does that mean the headphone port could hypothetically be used as a microphone port also [like the iPods]?

Thanks for any help
G5 + MBP, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • shh524 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 2, 2007 9:09 AM (in response to badtz)
    well it's really simpler than you're implying. the headphone jack on the headset is a little different from a standard headset jack one in that there is an extra band which i assume is for the microphone signal.

    the microphone is embedded in the cord of the headset so it sits near the mouth. simple but it works. i'm sure someone in china will create a new accessory so that the iphone can record jam sessions for us mandolin pickers!


    <edited by host>

    Message was edited by: shh524
    macbook, Mac OS X (10.4.10), iphone
  • Joe Zobkiw Level 1 Level 1 (95 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 2, 2007 6:32 AM (in response to badtz)
    Also, has anyone found another WIRED earbud/mic combo that works? I have all these 2.5mm headsets - I guess I need an adapter. Any suggestions to convert the iPhone jack to one that will work with standard 2.5mm or 3.5mm headset jacks?
    AiBook G4 17 1.5GHz
  • markdr Level 1 Level 1 (90 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 2, 2007 6:36 AM (in response to Joe Zobkiw)
    there's quite a few adapters on the market for this now specifically designed for the iPhone. I purchased the Belkin version which was available at the Mac store just because it was the first I saw. AT&T as well as Apple's site lists them under 'Accessories' for the iPhone.
    Hope that helps!

    ps - I am not certain which, if any, will work with another headphone / mic combo, but Ive had no problem using other standard headsets with the iPhone to listen to music and watch videos
  • RonAnnArbor Level 4 Level 4 (2,695 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 2, 2007 6:39 AM (in response to markdr)
    There is nothing with a "click control" at this time, although SHURE is releasing an adapter later this summer.

    V-Moda vibe-duos have a microphone on the headcord. No manual control.

    For 2.5 to 3.5 adapter, go to Radio Shack or purchase an adapter on eBay for a couple bucks.

    Make sure you bring your iPhone with you to Radio Shack, because not all adapters fit into the recessed phone opening. If that is the case, you will need something like the Belkin adapter at Apple 8.95
    Mac OS X (10.4.10), Macbook Pro -- iPhone
  • SWL Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 2, 2007 6:59 AM (in response to shh524)
    The technical explanation of the extra band is a 'tip-ring-sleeve' jack or TRS connector.
    G5 Quad 2.0: 4GB Ram - MacBook Pro  2ghz: 2GB RAM - MacMini 1.66 - iPhone, Mac OS X (10.4.10), Final Cut Studio : Logic Pro : Adobe CS3
  • Joe Zobkiw Level 1 Level 1 (95 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 2, 2007 7:06 AM (in response to RonAnnArbor)
    I was under the impression that the Belkin adapter would only work for headPHONES and not a single-ear/mic headSET...maybe I'll have to check it the Belkin "dongle" then a 3.5 to 2.5 adapter...I might as well get a few oxygen tanks to hang off this thing!

    Thanks for the info!

    Message was edited by: Joe Zobkiw
    AiBook G4 17 1.5GHz
  • N.Ker Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 2, 2007 7:25 AM (in response to Joe Zobkiw)
    A company called Rivet makes an earbud/mic combo that I have been using for about a week now. I am pretty happy with it. Found them on Amazon for about $20. They are the in the ear canal style which fit me much better than the stock buds. The switch is much larger, but seems to work the same as Apple's.
    Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • SFC @rcher Level 2 Level 2 (400 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 6, 2007 4:23 PM (in response to badtz)
    I also have purchased the Rivet headset found at: and am very happy with the $30.00 purchase.

    These headphones work EXACTLY the same as the iPhone headset. Double click sends to next song, pause with single click, fades with incoming call and when I tested with my wife the sound was crystal clear.

    The cord is cloth so is tangle free, forms loop to go around neck so that you can remove and they don't fall to ground. Plugs into the iPhone without modification and BEST of ALL has in the ear buds to stay put!!! Comes with three different size silicone buds.

    Sounds better then the iPhone headphones in the Bass department. Full volume, had to turn mine down cause it was killin my ears. Sounds like a $70 set of headphones for half the cost. They are not Bose but something I would carry with me and WILL use everyday.

    For those that cant stand the apple headphones and like in the canal buds for a great price...I highly recommend!

    Good Luck!
    Sony VAIO VGN-A790, Choose, 8G iPhone, 30G Video iPod


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