Where is the Microphone on a MacBook Pro?

A built-in microphone on a laptop like a MacBook Pro is a useful feature for almost anyone.

You might need a microphone to take a video call, handle important business, or to play video games. If you’re a musician, a microphone is an essential tool you need to have fun and develop your craft and create awesome music.

Developments in technology over the years has led to microphones becoming smaller and smaller while still capable of high-end audio quality and performance. On a MacBook Pro, the microphone can be so small that you might not be able to find it unless you really know where to look.

Do you know where to look? Not everyone does so it’s worth explaining where to find the microphone on your MacBook Pro.

Benefits of a Built-In Microphone

When you think of a microphone, you probably picture a singer on stage holding a traditional looking mic in their hand with the big round top on it and a long cord coming out of the back.

While these microphones still exist and are great and highly functional, the technology has progressed quite a bit over the years and now microphones can be really small. The microphone on a MacBook Pro is so small, it’s hard to find!

A smaller microphone means that it can be built right into a computer and even a laptop computer. This is really convenient for anyone who wants the ability to have a microphone but doesn’t want to deal with the added bulk and space a real microphone would take up.

You also can’t lose a microphone that is built into your computer (unless you lose your laptop!) and it is very rare that it would break.

Built-in microphones are really handy and convenient but they are also very functional. You can complete many tasks that you would use a handheld or studio microphone for with a built-in microphone and unless you are an audio expert, you would hardly notice a difference.

Whether you use the built-in microphone for simple tasks like video calls, phone calls, or games or use it to actually sing into or record music, the microphone on your MacBook can do a great job.

MacBook Pro Microphone Location

The location of the microphone on your MacBook Pro can be hard to find if you don’t know where to look.

These microphones were built to blend into the surface of the laptop and are really small so can be difficult to locate. They also have changed locations over the course of the MacBook Pro line updates, so it can vary depending on what year of computer you have.

Let’s take a look at where to find the MacBook Pro microphone on your model.

You might initially think that the microphone would be near the camera on top of the main computer screen as that would make sense for FaceTime and other instances where you need to talk and have video at the same time.

Actually this isn’t the case, and the microphone is always located on the bottom casing, usually near the speakers or top of the keyboard.

The newest models of the MacBook Pro actually have 3 microphones built in. You really wouldn’t notice where they are unless you had some sort of diagram, but they are all located in the upper left portion of the keyboard and speaker section of the computer.

See the picture below to get an idea of where these microphones are located. This would be for a 2018 and newer model MacBook Pro.

(Image courtesy of iFixit)

The yellow circles are the location of the microphones and the red squares are the speakers.

Most models of the MacBook Pro 15” have the microphones located under the left speaker casing, which is similar to the diagram above but there is only one or two microphones depending on what year computer you have.

The MacBook Pro 13” model from years 2017 or below doesn’t have any speaker grids and is smaller overall so the microphone is even harder to find. For these models the microphone can be found on the left bottom part of the casing above the ESC key.

If you look closely, you’ll see a series of a couple of small holes and this is the built-in microphone. Look at the diagram below if your computer is from these years.

(Image courtesy of Apple)

Those are the main locations for the built-in microphones from different versions of the MacBook Pro.

See how small and difficult to find they are? The ones located directly under the speakers are actually not visible, so unless you knew where to find them, you never would know exactly.


How To Turn Off Microphone On My MacBook Pro

You may head over to System Preference, click Security & Privacy, select Microphone on the side panel, and then uncheck the Apps you don’t want your MacBooks to have access. Uncheck all if you want to be totally secured and safe, and the manually check them back as you need it.

Final Thoughts

Even though the built-in microphones on your MacBook Pro are small and hard to find, they are fully functional microphones that can be used in a variety of ways. They might not be as good as really high-end mics, but they have come a long way over the last decade or so to offer really quality audio.

These mics were more intended for talking and speech than for loud noises or professional audio recording. Some music professionals would say that it’s not worth your time to try and record audio with the built-in microphones on a MacBook Pro but I’ve heard some cool music come from trying.

What do you use your MacBook Pro microphone for mostly? Do you like the audio quality it produces?

13 thoughts on “Where is the Microphone on a MacBook Pro?”

  1. My MacBook Pro microphone does not work when I try to use Zoom or when I attempt to record a video in PhotoBooth and play it back.

  2. The diagram does not look like my 2019 MacBook Pro 16 inch. My trackpad is closer to the front with keyboard above. Apple manuals and even Web searches don’t show exact location the microphones. Strange

  3. My sons brand new macbook pro does not have the internal microphone listed as an option under sound input – where is it

  4. RE: Where is the Microphone on a MacBook Pro? latest 13″ model
    January 5, 2020

    You state that the speakers are located in the upper left section of the keyboard, but your illustration is upside down! so the three yellow dots are shown in the lower left.
    turning the picture aroundd into the proper position, woud place the3 mikes in the upper right.
    Please advise the real location.

  5. In the image for 15″ mac, the yellow circles in the speaker blocks appear on the RIGHT speaker casing not the left as claimed in the write up. Doesn’t help that the image depicted upside down.

    • At least from what I found by creating a recording of me tapping on both sides of my MacBook it only picks up the tapping if it’s on the left side. So at least in the 2018 MacBook Pro 15″ the microphone seems to be located on the left side…

  6. Can you turn off the microphone? The systems preference does not and picks up the slightest breath.

    Is there any security design against hackers picking voices ?

  7. @Ed yes there is security, at least in the newer models. In Preferences/Security/Microphone you have to explicitly permit apps for microphone access.


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