How do I use an external microphone on my Galaxy Nexus, and what kind do I need?

I know if it should use a jack plug (3.5 mm), but not all jack connectors are the same, and I don't know if the lower or middle or upper part is for the microphone.

I want to use my phone for a video conference, but there is going to be a lot of noise around me, so I need an external microphone without all the background noise which the microphone in the phone gives.

I don't think the Gnex can handle a USB mic through the micro USB port, correct me if I'm wrong.

  • Some people over at the XDA developers are also looking for a solution to this quistion. And after another google search, i only found something about iPhone, but i don't think they are using the same jack stick... Hmmm, would be really happy if someone has tried this before :)
    – dev0
    Commented Feb 11, 2012 at 6:46
  • Looks like you're not alone: android.stackexchange.com/questions/19339/…
    – P.T.
    Commented Feb 11, 2012 at 7:06
  • Yeah, he is also talking about a external mic, but via USB on a tablet, i don't think micro usb on Gnex can support that, so i'm talking about using my jack stick with the mic, but i need to know which of the areas on the jack stick which belongs to the mic :) But thanks anyway, now i at least know im not alone :)
    – dev0
    Commented Feb 11, 2012 at 10:20
  • There's this, for the Nexus One: dsynflo.blogspot.com.au/2011/01/… - not sure if it's the same wiring as the Galaxy Nexus, and this says that the Galaxy S has ground and mic swapped: kvconnection.com/Articles.asp?ID=165. Either way, a Mic will work if if wired to the sleeve and last ring.
    – naught101
    Commented Sep 24, 2012 at 6:53

9 Answers 9


Today i have made some progress in this question. On iPhone you can buy a iRig Mic which can do the job (and it should work on android too). But since i want to use another external microphone i have decided to make the adapter myself from some different adapters (which does the same thing as iRig Mic, but with a female 3.5 mm jack output, so i can use my wireless microphone with it)

I have ordered the parts from an online store in denmark, but you can get it all over the internet, you just need to know what you need :)

The first thing you need is a 3.5 mm male 4 pole conductor jack (TRRS) to RCA adapter. Like this one jack to RCA Then you need a RCA to either female jack or XLR adapter (either if your mic has a jack or XLR output) Like this one Female jack to female RCA And thats all.

Then you can plug everything together and use the mic of your choice on your Android phone.

(BTW some stock camcorder apps can't use external microphones, then just use this camcorder app: https://market.android.com/details?id=rubberbigpepper.lgCamera&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsInJ1YmJlcmJpZ3BlcHBlci5sZ0NhbWVyYSJd )

I'm using this app ^^ with this set of wireless microphones My microphones

And i'm just waiting for the last adapter in the mail tomorrow..

So from tomorrow i can record with my galaxy nexus and record the sound via the wireless microphone on a distance up too 30 meters :D

And if i need to go around with the phone and the microphone, i will just plug in a wired microphone to the female jack and go around with the phone and microphone in my hand :)

I hope someone in the future can use this information which was very hard to find on the internet :) When i have some time later today or tomorrow, i will upload a couple pictures to illustrate my setup :)

  • Do you know what the wiring is on those connectors? cause then you could also post which poles of the jack correspond to which component (speakers, mic)...
    – naught101
    Commented Sep 24, 2012 at 5:42

You'll need a TS connector for mic-only or TRRS for a headset with a mic, see this Wikipedia article.

For example, this TRS to TRRS adapter is supposed to work with the Galaxy Nexus and includes a mic. I'm not sure if you would need to plug in headphones for it to work, but you could certainly plug them in and not use them.

You didn't mention Bluetooth; you could also potentially use a Bluetooth headset or mic.

Of course, it may be the case that the stock camera app won't record audio from the external mic, in which case you may need to run a separate audio recording app or simply use a different video recording app. This app looks like it can record audio from a headset; I'm sure there are others.

  • Hi Matthew.. Maybe i was not precise enough. It is a microphone like this one: podconsult.dk/wp-content/uploads/audio_technica-2-1024x1024.jpg I like use, and then i need a connector from it (3.5 mm jack 2 pole) to the Galaxy Nexus 4 pole jack connection. I have found one for the iPhone 4 podconsult.dk/wp-content/uploads/KM-IPHONE-MIC-2.jpg but im not sure the iPhone 4 is build in the same way as the Galaxy Nexus (they both have 4 connection areas on the 3.5 mm jack but i'm not sure they are made so the mic is at the buttom on both of them)...
    – dev0
    Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 9:23
  • Even though it was'nt what i was looking for, you were the only one to answer me, and game me some ideas for searches. I had proberly not found the solution myself without the ideas i got from you. So you get the bounty :)
    – dev0
    Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 17:52
  • @dev0 Ah, I didn't realize you had a specific mic in mind already. Glad I was able to help somewhat :) Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 18:16
  • Yeah, i was properly not precise enough in my question, but you definitely helped me.. I would not have come up with my idea without your reply. So thanks again :) Have a great day :)
    – dev0
    Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 18:28

I am unable to answer your question fully, but the part "and I don't know if the lower or middle or upper part is for the microphone", you can verify it quite easily.

What you need to have is a head phone that came with your device or the one that works (both mic and headphone speaker should work), a 1.5V battery cell and a pair of small wire.

Just wear the headphone and hold the battery in your hand with one wire connecting the battery's negative terminal to your head phone's lowest terminal (ground). Connect another wire to the positive terminal of the battery and touch the other end of the wire on any other terminal of the headphone connector. You can hear a pop or hiss on one of your ear. If you do not hear anything, then it could be the mic or you haven't completed the circuit. By this way you can identify the parts of the head phone connector (Right, Mic, Left, Ground, generally in this order, but varies from device to device). If you are ready with believing what you is see, then the following image will explain.

  • Are you sure about this? Every other reference I've found puts left out on the tip, right out on the first ring, and the mic input either on the second ring or the sleeve (usually the sleeve). The remaining sleeve or ring is ground. Commented Aug 3, 2015 at 23:28
  • No I am not. That's why I start with asking the viewer by testing their pin connection themselves and ended with the sentence as in the answer.
    – Narayanan
    Commented Aug 4, 2015 at 3:18

I originally wrote this article for iPhone microphones and audio inputs, but it applies almost equally as well to any Android device that has a headset jack (TRRS, as mentioned in other answers).

The two primary things you need to do are:

  1. Make sure the physical connection works—thus the need for a TRRS to TRS adapter like those made by KVConnection.
  2. Make sure the input signal has the correct impedance. For the iphone, this is about 600Ω. Not sure what each model Android phone uses, but this makes the level of the microphone or audio device match up correctly to the input on your phone. Some phones will cut off the audio completely if the impedance is way off, as a safeguard against blowing out the audio circuit.

Once you can make the physical connection and have the right impedance, you just need a good audio recording app that will use the headset audio input. See my article for some ideas.

  • Some phones will cut off the audio completely if the impedance is way off, as a safeguard against blowing out the audio circuit - this helped me !! thnx!
    – T.Todua
    Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 20:48

There are professional Bluetooth-to-XLR adapters availabe (Google search) that work just like any Bluetooth headset with HFP or A2DP profile. Quality (especially the HFP mode may be subpar) and latency may vary from wired solutions, though.

JKAudio has such a product: Daptor 3


I use the Irig Pre XLR input adapter and headphone output with Phantom power on my HTC Wildfire. It works fine in flight mode. I use the Tapemachine PRO app.


I was Googling for the same product that works for my Galaxy Tab 2 tablet. I found the iRig microphone too, but it was somewhat of an overkill for my purpose since I already have a microphone.

So I searched for this "3.5mm 4-Pole Mic Headset adapter" on eBay and found this item. It costs only $4, and it will allow you to use a standard microphone.



I think this is what you are looking for.

  • Thanks, but i have already made the adapter...
    – dev0
    Commented Feb 27, 2012 at 20:56

Or this...


  • 1
    Could you at least give the name of the product plus a short description, and state why this would be a good solution? eBay links tend to be short-lived.
    – Izzy
    Commented Oct 10, 2012 at 18:04

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