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 what a high quality computer microphone may look like.
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?
Below is a short list of all the different uses a microphone could be used for on a computer.
- Voice recognition
- Computer gaming
- Online chatting
- Recording voice for dictation, singing, and podcasts
- Recording musical instruments