How to Use Headset Mic on PC with One Jack

Use both a headphone speaker and a mic in one port

In the quest to drive down the size of laptops, smartphones, and tablets, many modern devices—even PCs—now come with just one headphone jack. That's not much of a problem if you plan to use a microphone and headset with one jack, but if you have a headset with the more typical separate microphone and headphone connectors, that can present somewhat of a problem.

Fortunately, there are ways around it. Here's how to use a headset mic on PC with one jack.

How to Use Single Jack Headset Mic on PC

If your laptop or desktop PC only has one audio jack and your headset or headphones have two, the easiest solution is to use an adapter. These are small cables, or boxes that let you convert your dual cable solution into one that fits into just a single 3.5mm headset jack.

A Kingtop audio adapter that connects a dual jack headset to a single port.

Kingtop

Sometimes known as Y-Splitters, these adapters will work with smartphones, tablets, and PCs, as well as any other devices with a single audio jack on them. That way you can use your headphone mic on PC as it was intended, without needing to buy an additional headset just for that PC.

There are a variety of options available, including some that convert your twin connectors into USB-C, and various 3.5mm options depending on the type of connection you want.

A dual jack to USB-C adapter for headsets.

APETOO

Some manufacturers use a different layout for the connectors on 3.5mm audio jacks. If possible, find out whether your device uses OMTP or CTIA specifications before buying, and purchase one that is compatible.

Dual Vs. Single Jack Headsets

The main difference between dual and single jack headsets is their ease of use. A single jack headset is designed for use with devices that only have a single port, making them easier to use with such devices. They also have less cabling, making them more compact and portable—a perfect solution for modern smartphones, tablets, and slimline laptops.

Dual jack headsets offer a little more versatility, in that you could leverage an external microphone on the same device instead of the built-in one, or even connect your microphone from a different device to the headphones, like an external sound card or recorder.

Why One Jack Headphones Are Popular

One jack headphones are popular because they are designed to work with new generations of ever-slimmer electronics. Smartphones, tablets, and laptops are becoming slimmer all the time and a single 3.5mm audio jack can save a lot of space over dual jacks. Single jack headphones make the process of connecting to these single ports even easier and many come included with modern smartphones, so for many users it's the headphones that they are most used to and most likely to have in their house.

That said, even single 3.5mm ports are becoming less common in the latest generations of many devices, with companies like Apple dropping them entirely in favor of just a USB-C connection instead.