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Audio combo jack vs headphone/earphone with mic and speaker connector




I see the audio combo jack in my T510 (identified as number 6 in the image above), but I've used a regular headphone in it without plugging in the mic connector.


 How do I hook up a regular microphone - does the port "know" the difference between 2- or 3-conductor microphone plug and a stereo headphone plug?


How do I use a headset with separate mic and speaker connections?  Is there an adapter I need?



This integrated headphone / microphone port uses a 4 section plug (identified with 3 black / colored rings).

You can plug a standard headphone in, and it should work by itself as noted.  A spliter cable may be required to support a stand alone microphone properly.


There are 2 solutions to make full use of the port:


  1. Obtain a  headset / microphone with combo jack or
  2. Purchase a "Y"  adapter that can connect your current headphone with separate mic and speaker back to the system audio combo jack.

Here is an example of the adapter / splitter listed on Amazon.   There are a number of companies that make competitive versions of this priced between $10 and $15 .


The good thing about the combo jack is that it works with the hundreds of 3.5mm phone headsets which a lot of people already carry. There is a wide range of these splitters available on the market, spanning a range of price and quality points. (newer Blackberry, iPhone, etc. headsets).


 See comments below this article for additional customer tried / recommended splitters, or check the "Related Links" to the article to view the related forum discussions on this topic.

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mis-dept On 2011-10-19, 18:54 PM

I found the following compatible headsets, today. The GE VoIP All-in-One Foldable Headset (Model: 95432) and the GE VoIP All-in-One Headset (Model: 98974). I just ordered the foldable one. Hopefully, they're of good quality.

dickcombo On 2012-01-26, 15:21 PM
combo jack its the most stupid idea what was discover very hard found headphones with combo jack and i dont like small headphones from phone :/
conlapuertaroja On 2012-02-02, 6:27 AM

i bought this splitter for the combo jack, and while it'll output sound via the headphone side (from iTunes, e.g.), my thinkpad (t420) won't recognize any input from the microphone side (from an actual microphone). it defaults to the built-in mic and won't give me any other options. any ideas on how i can activate the microphone part of the combo jack? thanks!

Ernie_Samuels On 2012-03-23, 20:13 PM

conlapuertaroja, you could get the 'wiretap' from www.esdevices.com, it  preserves the combo jack on one side, so you can just use your phone headset or lapel mic

wwendt On 2012-09-13, 15:28 PM


Adapter PC-Headset 2-mal 3,5-mm an iPhone + Galaxy SII

I use it with/ ich benutze ihn mit  Lenovo Thinkpad Edge 530 - cheap and works both ways/Preiswert und funktioniert in beiden Richtungen.

Steckerbelegung/Pin assignment:  L / R / GND / MIC

andyP On 2014-01-21, 10:36 AM
LuigiBlack On 2014-05-23, 16:35 PM


I have the same problem as other people above.

I BOUGHT a converter and it isn't work. The microphone of my headset is silent, just the laptop's inner mic works and it's annoying. Why? Because i did what this site TOLD ME and it didn't help.

So...if this is a problem with a setting (for example i just have to activate my headset mic) than please help.

And please don't tell me that my Y cable is bad and buy an another one 'cause it's fine.


schicht On 2014-07-27, 11:38 AM

In order to get an external microphone working with my G510 I use a splitter cable with two inputs, headset and mic. When powering up the splitter cable must be disconnected. After powering up the notebook I plug in the splitter cable first, then the headset and finally the external microphone into the splitter cable.

Using this three step sequence is the only way having the external microphone recognized by the notebook. After hours of searching on the web, without result, I discovered this by trial and error.

Turning on the notebook with the mic in place will result in not having recognized the external microphone. Maybe this is because of the low impendance of the microphone or low power output, I have no idea, But my three step sequence will always result in recognizing my external mic on my G510 with combo audio jack.

grouse On 2014-07-31, 21:14 PM
As previously stated, the Lenovo “Combo” jack is not well suited for microphone input. In fact the users’ guide for my E545 expressly states it “does not support a conventional microphone”. Chances are, you may want to feed your laptop line-level audio, and you may have a need for stereo if you’re getting your audio from a music related source. A better way of getting that audio into your machine is to use a USB audio input device which converts audio to a digital format and inputs it using the USB connector. A recommended input device is the Behringer UCA202 which is available on Amazon and elsewhere. There are also a number of other USB converters available on-line.

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