Sometimes abbreviated as mic, a microphone is a hardware peripheral originally invented by Emile Berliner in 1877 that allows computer users to input audio into their computers. The picture is an example of Blue Microphones Yeti USB Microphone - Silver Edition and an example of a high-quality computer microphone.
Most microphones connect to the computer using the "mic" port on the computer sound card. See our sound card definition for further information about these ports and an example of what they look like on your computer. Higher quality microphones or microphones with additional features such as the one shown on this page will connect to the USB port.
What is a microphone used for on a computer?
Below is a short list of all the different uses a microphone could be used for on a computer.
- Voice recorder
- Voice recognition
- Computer gaming
- Online chatting
- Recording voice for dictation, singing, and podcasts
- Recording musical instruments
How does a microphone input data into a computer?
Because the microphone sends information to the computer, it is considered an input device. For example, when a microphone is used to record a voice or music the information it records can be stored on the computer and played back later. Another great example of how a microphone is an input device is with voice recognition which uses your voice to command the computer at what task to perform.
- How to tell if my computer has a microphone.
- Computer microphone help and support.
- Computer sound card help and support.