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Where Is The Microphone on a Macbook Air?

Macbooks are some of the most popular laptops in the world for a few very simple reasons. They are well-designed, made from high-quality materials, easy to use, and offer fantastic performance and quality.

However, one of the most used components on any laptop is the microphone. In an age of audio-visual content and Zoom conferencing, you need to know how to use your laptop microphone if you’re going to get the most out of your Macbook.

So, I’ve decided to take a look at the microphones on different Apple MacBook Air models as well as what types of microphones as I answer, “Where is the microphone on a MacBook Air?“. So, let’s dive in.

Are there Microphones on All Macbook Air models?

Where Is The Microphone on a Macbook Air

Apple has been installing integrated microphones in all their MacBooks since they started making them in 2006. This means that no matter which model of Macbook Air you have, there is a microphone built into it. You just have to know where to look. 

How many microphones are there?

The MacBook Pro features a multi-microphone system. But, on the MacBook Air, it has always been one and only one microphone. 

Is the Microphone Always in the same place?

Apple is a company that prides itself on constantly developing and upgrading its products. This means that things are likely to change with each iteration of the product. Luckily, with the Macbook Air, there has only been one change in the microphone position. 

So, depending on whether your model is from before or after 2018, the microphone will be in one of two places. Let’s take a look at where to find the microphone on a MacBook Air.

Where is the Microphone on a Newer Macbook Air (2018 onward)

The initial reaction to the redesigned MacBook Air was somewhat mixed when it first came around. Despite the sleek design and tons of functionality added, there was no proper cooling system. That meant the wonderful Intel chip was getting quite hot. 

Heat is never a good thing when it comes to computers in any form. And the new sleek design and the shiny screen did very little to cool the laptop. As a result, hardcore Apple fans were very disappointed at this under-performing and overpriced laptop. 

Six months after the initial release… 

Apple came forward with the new M1 chip MacBook Air. This new processor was designed in-house by Apple and was heralded as the next level for the Macbook Air. Indeed, it proved to be quite a popular product thereafter. 

The newer model was faster and more powerful. But, the most important feature was that it offered more efficient power consumption and was able to work for hours on end. All thanks to a more efficiently cooled machine. 

Aside from these changes…

Major aesthetic alternations were also introduced in the 2018 Macbook Air revamp. One of the major changes was in the speaker and microphone location and design. 

Instead of the microphone grill that used to be located on the left side of the keyboard, there are now two grills for the speakers. 

So, where did the microphones go?

where did the microphones go

Nowhere is the real answer. According to Apple, the microphone, or “Microphone Array” as they label it, is still located on the left-hand side of the keyboard. It simply isn’t as visible anymore. 

The new, updated microphone offers not only hardware improvements but is paired with some software updates as well. The result is better sound quality during video calls and voice recordings, streaming, and when using Siri.

A tiny downside…

There have been some reports of users saying that when the Macbook Air is inside its carry case, the microphone gets blocked. I have tested this, and it makes a difference with some. Unfortunately, this is down to poor design. 

Your only hope in this situation is to get another carrying case for your MacBook or to take the MacBook out of the cover when you’re planning on using the microphone. 

Where is the Microphone on an older MacBook Air (2017 and older)

If you’ve got an older MacBook Air, your quest to find the microphone won’t be much different from a newer Macbook Air owner. The design was first introduced in 2009 and didn’t change much until the major revamp in 2018. Only small upgrades in hardware were done from 2009 to 2017. 

The microphone on a MacBook Air from 2017 or earlier is also located on the left-hand side of the keyboard. You can see it marked right next to the 3.5mmm audio jack.  

Want To Do More With Your Apple Gadgets?

We can help with that. Take a look at our detailed articles on How to Connect an External Microphone to an iPhoneCan You Use Apple Headphones as a Mic on PCHow To Use Apple Headphones On Xbox One To Talk, and Where is the Microphone on iPhone 8 for more information.

Also, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Apple AirPlay Speakers, the Best AirPods Alternative, the Best Apple AirPods Pro Alternatives, the Best iPhone Earbuds, the Best Lightning Headphones for iPhone & iPad, and the Best External Microphones For iPhone you can buy in 2023.

Where Is The Microphone on a Macbook Air – Conclusion

The Macbook Air has been one of the most popular laptops for both recreational and professional users since its introduction. It’s gone through many changes both under the hood and on the outside, especially the 2018 revamp. 

But, it still has the same basic shape and features that we love. And one of these features is the microphone. So, whether you’ve got an older or newer model, now you know that to find the microphone, all you have to do is look to the left of the keyboard. 

It might be marked if you’re still old school. But, if you’ve got a newer model, don’t worry; it’s still there, just hidden a bit better. 

Until next time, make yourself heard.

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About Joseph L. Hollen

Joseph is a session musician, writer, and filmmaker from south Florida. He has recorded a number of albums and made numerous short films, as well as contributing music to shorts and commercials. 

He doesn't get as much time to practice and play as he used to, but still manages (just about!) to fulfill all his session requests. According to Joseph, it just gets harder as you get older; you rely on what you learned decades ago and can play without thinking. Thankfully that's what most producers still want from him.

He is a devout gear heat and has been collecting musical instruments all his life. As his wife, Jill, keeps on saying, "You're very good at buying nice instruments, but terrible at selling them!".

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