Headphones are an extremely common device. With iPods and smartphones, there’s practically no one who doesn’t own at least one pair. Microphones — at least ones that aren’t built into something — are significantly rarer. Or are they? Turns out they aren’t; headphones are microphones. Both devices trade in vibrations, it’s just that headphones and speakers vibrate to create sound while microphones monitor vibrations from sound in order to record it. So how do you use your headphones as microphones? Easy. Plug them into a microphone jack and start talking.
This isn’t exactly secret knowledge, but if you weren’t aware, I’ll bet it just blew your mind. If you don’t believe me, try it. I’ll wait.
Crazy, right? There are, however, some caveats; you’re probably not going to run around using your headphones as microphones for much other than a party trick. While headphones and microphones do operate on the same basic principle, they also tend to be optimized to do their job well. So your headphones can be used as microphones, but not good ones, and your microphone won’t make a good speaker.
That aside, it’s still awesome and a fun surprise the first time you figure it out. So go ahead, takes some time to feel like a kid again and babble into your headphones a little. And if anyone asks you what you’re doing, just tell them “magic.”
(h/t redditor qyll, thanks Eileen)
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