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Using an external mic for meetings


I stream a church worship service to a Zoom audience. To improve overall sound quality, we have a Sennheiser MKE 400 directional mic. We use a MacBook Pro to launch the meeting from our account, and we also use an external webcam that can pan and zoom in 4K. We have had connectivity issues with the MKE, so we use wireless RODE GO II lapel mics that work great, but we are limited to two, so we are hoping to get the MKE mic working. We have not been able to get audio, so I'm sure it is the manner in which we have it set up. Does anyone have success with using an external wired mic for meetings?



Hi paul4ut,

I haven't had too many issues with using an external mic. The main thing I do is go to settings and change the mic to default with what my device is using and then going to my sound setting on my computer and picking which mic to use.



Hi I have done this and it still doesnt work. Any other ideas? I think its zoom that has a problem. I had it working and then it stoped.

Hi Mofara,

I have the same problem...did you find a solution?

In my experience, incorporating an external microphone into my Zoom setup has been relatively hassle-free. What has consistently worked for me is a two-step process. First, I navigate to the settings within Zoom and select the external microphone as the default input, ensuring alignment with my device. Following this, I access my computer's sound settings to precisely designate the chosen microphone. This seamless procedure has consistently resulted in optimal audio quality during my Zoom sessions.


Absolutely, using an external wired microphone for Zoom meetings is a great way to enhance your audio quality, especially for streaming church worship services. Based on your setup, here are a few steps and suggestions that might help you troubleshoot the issues you're facing:

  1. Check Mic Connection: Ensure that your Sennheiser MKE 400 directional mic is properly connected to your MacBook Pro. Verify that the mic cable is securely plugged into the appropriate port.

  2. Select Correct Input: In the Zoom app, navigate to the settings and make sure the Sennheiser microphone is selected as the audio input device. You can choose it from the microphone options available in the audio settings.

  3. Test Mic in Other Apps: Before your worship service, test the Sennheiser mic in other audio or recording apps on your MacBook Pro to confirm if it's functioning properly. This will help you isolate whether the issue is specific to Zoom or a broader system problem.

  4. Update Drivers: Ensure that your MacBook Pro's audio drivers are up to date. Outdated drivers can sometimes cause compatibility issues with external devices.

  5. Exclusive Mic Access: Close any other apps that might be using the microphone concurrently with Zoom. Sometimes, multiple apps accessing the microphone simultaneously can cause conflicts.

  6. Adjust Zoom Audio Settings: In the Zoom app's audio settings, make sure the correct microphone is selected as the input device. Also, check the input volume levels to ensure they are appropriately set.

  7. Microphone Privacy Settings: Check your macOS privacy settings to make sure Zoom has access to your microphone. Go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Microphone.

  8. Use a USB Audio Interface: If the Sennheiser mic is not directly compatible with your MacBook Pro's audio input, consider using a USB audio interface that can bridge the connection between the mic and your computer.

  9. Contact Sennheiser Support: If the issue persists, consider reaching out to Sennheiser's customer support. They might provide specific troubleshooting steps tailored to your microphone model.

  10. Trial and Error: If all else fails, you might need to troubleshoot by trial and error. Try different cables, ports, and even testing the Sennheiser microphone on a different device if possible.

Remember that each setup can have unique nuances, so it might take some experimentation to find the exact solution. But with the right adjustments and troubleshooting steps, you should be able to successfully integrate your Sennheiser MKE 400 directional mic for improved audio quality during your church worship service streams.



  1. Check the Microphone Connection: Ensure that the Sennheiser MKE 400 microphone is correctly connected to your MacBook Pro. Make sure the cable is securely plugged into the correct input port.

  2. Select the Correct Audio Input Source in Zoom:

    • Open Zoom on your MacBook Pro.
    • Go to Zoom's settings by clicking on your profile picture and selecting "Settings."
    • In the settings window, navigate to the "Audio" section.
    • Under the "Microphone" section, select the Sennheiser MKE 400 as the input source.
  3. Mac System Preferences:

    • Go to your Mac's System Preferences.
    • Click on "Sound" or "Audio," depending on your macOS version.
    • In the "Input" tab, ensure that the Sennheiser MKE 400 is selected as the input device.
  4. Test the Microphone:

    • Within Zoom's audio settings or in the Zoom meeting itself, there should be an option to test your microphone. Use this to verify that the Sennheiser MKE 400 is working as expected.
  5. External Webcam Considerations:

    • Since you're using an external webcam, make sure that its microphone is disabled or not selected as the primary audio input. You want to ensure that Zoom is using the Sennheiser MKE 400 for audio and not the webcam's microphone.
  6. Audio Levels and Settings:

    • Check the audio levels on the Sennheiser MKE 400. If there's a physical volume control on the microphone, make sure it's set appropriately.
    • In Zoom, you can adjust your microphone's input volume within the audio settings.
  7. Zoom Updates and Compatibility:

    • Ensure that your Zoom software is current to prevent any potential compatibility issues.
    • Consider checking the Sennheiser MKE 400's compatibility with your MacBook Pro and Zoom. Sometimes, specific microphones may require additional drivers or settings adjustments.
  8. External Mic Priority:

    • Sometimes, when multiple audio devices are connected, your MacBook might default to a different microphone. Make sure the Sennheiser MKE 400 is set as the preferred microphone in your Mac's audio settings.
  9. Wired vs. Wireless:

    • Ensure that there are no conflicts or interference between the wired Sennheiser MKE 400 and the wireless RODE GO II lapel mics.

   - Check if the microphone is correctly positioned and aimed at the sound source (e.g., speaker, vocalist) for optimal audio capture.


  1. **MacBook Pro Settings**:

   - Go to your MacBook Pro's System Preferences > Sound. Could you make sure the input device is set to the Sennheiser MKE 400?

   - Check the input levels in the Sound settings to ensure the microphone picks up sound appropriately.


  1. **Zoom Settings**:

   - In Zoom, click on the arrow next to the microphone icon in the bottom left corner and select the Sennheiser MKE 400 as the microphone source.

   - Ensure that the microphone is not muted within the Zoom app.

   - Adjust the microphone volume levels within Zoom to ensure proper audio levels without distortion.


  1. **Zoom Meeting Setup**:

   - When setting up the Zoom meeting, consider turning off noise cancellation and other audio enhancements that might interfere with external microphone input.


  1. **Cables and Adapters**:

   - Check the quality of the cable and any adapters you are using to connect the microphone to your MacBook Pro. Sometimes, poor-quality cables or adapters can cause connectivity issues.


  1. **Microphone Compatibility**:

   - Confirm that the Sennheiser MKE 400 is compatible with your MacBook Pro and the operating system version you are using.


  1. **Software Updates**:

   - Ensure that your MacBook Pro's operating system and Zoom app are current. Sometimes, software updates can improve compatibility and fix bugs.


  1. **Testing and Troubleshooting**:

   - Test the Sennheiser MKE 400 on another device to ensure it's working correctly. This will help you determine whether the issue is with the microphone or setup.


Yesse Ordonez, MBA candidate
Communications Director