Can I plug a microphone into my Android phone?

Android phones offer lots of functionality, including the ability to record audio through the built-in microphone or an external microphone plugged into the phone. Most Android phones come with a standard 3.5mm audio jack, similar to what you find on laptops and desktop computers. This allows you to connect external microphones and other audio equipment to dramatically enhance the audio quality for voice recordings, music, podcasts, and more. But can you simply plug in any microphone? This article will explore the ins and outs of connecting wired microphones to Android phones.

Android Microphone Jack

Most Android phones today come with a standard 3.5mm audio jack, usually located on the bottom or top edge of the phone. This 3.5mm audio port is specifically a TRRS (tip, ring, ring, sleeve) jack, which allows headphones with an integrated microphone to be plugged in.

TRRS jacks have four metal sections – the tip, two rings, and a sleeve. The tip carries audio for the left earbud, the first ring carries audio for the right earbud. The second ring carries microphone audio, while the sleeve is ground/common. This wiring scheme allows headphones with an inbuilt mic to carry stereo audio output as well as a mono mic input through the single 3.5mm TRRS jack.

Some common wired microphone accessories that work through the TRRS jack on Android phones include:

– Headsets with boom mics like gaming or aviation headsets

– Lavalier mics

– Handheld mics

– Clip-on mics

As long as the microphone accessory uses a TRRS plug designed for Android, it can be directly plugged into the phone’s 3.5mm jack to provide input.


Wired Microphone Options

When it comes to wired microphones for Android phones, there are a few main options to consider:

Lavalier Microphones

Lavalier or lapel microphones are small, clip-on mics that attach to clothing near the mouth. They provide hands-free use and excellent voice pickup while remaining discreet. Popular lavalier models like the Rode Lavalier plug directly into the headphone jack and require no batteries.

Handheld Microphones

Handheld mics are versatile for singing, interviews, speeches, and other applications. Many handheld stage mics with an XLR cable can connect to Android phones using a simple XLR to 3.5mm adapter. The Shure SM58 is a popular professional vocal microphone that works well with Androids.

Headset Microphones

For gaming, phone calls, and podcasting, a wired headset with an integrated mic allows for convenient handheld use. Models like the Blue Yeti offer studio-quality recording while leaving the hands free. The 3.5mm plug connects seamlessly with most Androids.

Microphone Adapters

Most Android phones and tablets come with a headset jack that supports headphones but not an external microphone. This is because they use a TRRS (tip, ring, ring, sleeve) headset jack instead of the standard TRS (tip, ring, sleeve) jack found on devices like DSLR cameras. The extra ring in a TRRS jack allows it to support both headphones and a microphone, like those found on smartphone headphones.

To connect a regular external microphone to your Android device, you need a small adapter cable that converts from TRS to TRRS [1]. These are inexpensive and let you use high-quality microphones designed for video cameras and recording equipment with your smartphone.

Some Android phones and tablets support USB-C audio, allowing you to plug in USB microphones directly. You can also find USB-C to 3.5mm headphone jack adapters for models that dropped the headphone jack. High-end Android phones may have multiple microphone inputs, like a dedicated 3.5mm microphone jack.

The right adapter cable is essential to get an external mic working properly with your Android device. Make sure to get one designed specifically for connecting mics to Android/TRRS jacks. With the proper adapter, you can transform your phone into a portable field recorder.

Microphone Apps

There are many microphone and voice recording apps available for Android that allow you to control the recording experience. Some popular options include Voice Recorder, Easy Voice Recorder, and Dolby On.

These apps provide features like trimming recordings, adding tags, changing audio formats, and sharing to various platforms. Some also offer noise cancellation to improve audio quality. With a microphone app, you can customize settings like sample rate, bit rate, channels, and encoding to capture audio suited to your needs.

Using a dedicated mic app rather than just the basic recorder gives you more control and options for recording, editing, organizing, and sharing audio on an Android device. However, the built-in voice recorder may be sufficient for quick, basic recordings.

Audio Quality Considerations

When using an external microphone with your Android phone, there are a few factors that affect audio quality to be aware of:

Mic sensitivity – More sensitive mics pick up more sound, but can also pick up more background noise. Less sensitive mics may sound quieter but have cleaner audio. Finding the right balance is key.

Audio formats – Android supports common formats like WAV and MP3. Higher quality uncompressed formats like FLAC may not be supported on all devices. The format impacts audio quality.

Stereo vs mono – Stereo sound can provide a more immersive listening experience, but also captures more ambient noise. Mono only records one channel, but focuses directly on the sound source.

Testing different mics and settings is the best way to optimize audio quality. Also use a recording app that allows you to monitor levels and make adjustments. Getting clean, quality audio from your Android’s mic jack takes some experimentation.

According to a MicTest app review, “You will know how others hear you” when evaluating your setup (source).

Recording Apps

The Android Police recommends several top audio recording apps for Android phones including Otter, Dolby On, Easy Voice Recorder, and Voice Recorder & Audio Editor.

Otter is an intelligent voice recorder app that can transcribe your recordings. Dolby On enhances the audio quality of your recordings. Easy Voice Recorder is a simple free recorder app with advertisement support. The paid pro version removes ads. Voice Recorder & Audio Editor by Smart Mobile Tools offers advanced recording and editing features.

For a basic free audio recording app, check out Voice Recorder on Google Play. It allows recording in high quality with no ads.

Consider the recording quality needed, transcription features, and editing tools required when selecting a recording app for your Android device.

Playback and Sharing

Once you have recorded audio with your Android device and an external microphone, you’ll want to play it back to review the recording quality. There are many high quality music and audio playback apps available for Android that support common audio formats like MP3, WAV, FLAC, etc. Some top options include Music Player & MP3 Player, Amazon Music, and the native Google Play Music app.

These apps allow you to play your recordings, organize them into playlists, and adjust audio settings like equalization and volume. When reviewing your recordings, listen closely for any distortion, clipping, or background noise issues. Make sure playback quality meets your expectations.

Once you are satisfied with your recordings, most audio playback apps make it easy to share them with others. You can upload them to cloud storage services, share via messaging apps, post to social media, and more. High quality external microphones for Android can capture great recordings worthy of sharing.

Troubleshooting Android Microphone Issues

If you are experiencing issues with your Android phone’s microphone, here are some tips that may help resolve the problem:

First, check to make sure your phone case or screen protector is not blocking the microphone. Some cases can obstruct the mic, so try removing the case and see if that fixes the issue (source).

Also try restarting your phone and opening the microphone-enabled app again to see if the mic starts working. A simple reboot can often clear up glitches (source).

Go into your phone’s settings and check that microphone permissions are enabled for your desired apps. You may need to manually allow mic access in the app permissions settings.

Check if your phone has a microphone hole that could be blocked by debris. Try cleaning out the hole with compressed air to dislodge any dust or dirt.

As a last resort, you can try updating your Android OS and audio drivers in case it is a software-related issue. Also check for app updates as the developer may have fixed mic bugs in newer versions.

If you’ve tried these troubleshooting tips and the microphone still does not work, you may need to take your phone to a repair shop for service.


In summary, most Android phones feature a 3.5mm headphone jack, allowing you to directly plug in an external microphone for mobile audio recording. For phones without a dedicated microphone port, USB-C and Lightning adapters can add this functionality. A wide variety of wired microphones are compatible with Androids, from low-cost lavalier mics to high-end professional models. With a suitable recording app, you can capture audio for videos, podcasts, interviews and more. While built-in mics work for casual use, an external microphone provides more control over audio quality and environment noise reduction. Troubleshooting steps like adjusting input levels, granting microphone permissions, using airplane mode and cleaning ports can resolve issues. Overall, Androids offer flexible options to connect both consumer and pro-level microphones.

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