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iPad USB Camera Adapter Supports Audio Headsets, Too

The iPad Camera Connection Kit has a trick up its sleeve: it handles audio, too, via the USB adapter. Plug in a set of USB headphones or a headset that requires no drivers on a Mac - most use a standard audio profile - and the iPad handles the audio output and/or input properly.

The iPad lacks any visual indicator that audio has been moved over to the USB connector, nor does it offer any controls I can find to choose whether the internal mic and speakers or a USB device will be used.

I tested a Skype call with a USB headset, and the quality was just terrific. This make the iPad even more viable for phone calls, eliminating the need for a Bluetooth headset that requires separate charging and pairing.

The combination of headset, USB connector, and iPad is a little ungainly, but completely workable.

Some readers have also tested using USB microphones and powered USB speakers, and they work, too.

Of course, you can always use the actual audio jack at the top of an iPad with headphones, earphones, and headsets. The compact $29 iPhone Stereo Headset includes a decent mic and earphones. Bluetooth earpieces, headphones, and headsets also work with the iPad. And the built-in mic and speakers on the iPad when used with Skype or other audio chat programs make it into something better than most speakerphones I've used.

But I sometimes prefer a full ear headset and a positionable mic for the best sound quality without worrying about charging a Bluetooth device's batteries.

For a review of the connection kit's primary picture-related features, see "iPad Camera Connection Kit Works Simply and Well" (22 April 2010).


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Comments about iPad USB Camera Adapter Supports Audio Headsets, Too
(Comments are closed.)

M. Perry  2010-04-23 16:22
It'll be interesting to see if OS 4.0 adds this capability (and camera files) to the more recent iPhone and iPod touch models.
Vincent  2010-04-24 01:09
did you try a USB webcam with mic? The lack of it is my biggest problem with the iPad.
the iPad has a mic

EDIT: sorry! I've not read "webcam" !!
spencer  2010-04-24 06:44
just hold the iPad upside down so the USB connector is at the top. the iPad will rotate fine, it makes more sense then having it at the bottom for this use.
Please confirm if the iPad Camera Connection Kit's USB adapter work with iPhone 3GS? (iPhone + iPad USB adapter + USB headset)
Glenn Fleishman  2010-04-24 08:32
It does not. When you plug the adapter into the iPhone, it says it is not a supported device.
Sometimes even it says "not a supported device", it would still work, so I'll appreciate if someone try it out, thanks!
Bertil Holmberg  2010-04-24 09:31
So it may even deliver sound to my old USB SoundSticks system?
yischon  2010-04-25 20:56
Yes! I tried it on my USB SoundSticks and it works. The iPad volume buttons control the volume too.  2010-04-24 10:52
i am guessing a usb hub or webcam is a no go.
Jochen  2010-04-24 11:42
the iPad fully supports the iPhone headset (speaker and Mic). VOIP calls via Skype or iSIP work great.
Glenn Fleishman  2010-04-24 13:00
Yes, that's through the audio port. The USB adapter is more flexible as the audio requires a special extra long plug on a headset to support both audio in and out.
Greg G  2010-04-24 11:51
Wonder if it works with any of the pro-sumer usb audio mics for musicians and podcasters. Anybody have one they can try?
So anybody tried with a webcam?
MachoeDotCom  2010-04-24 15:40
Id love to see if a webcam works and game controller such as joysticks could work with the Camera Connection Kit
Loweded Wookie  2010-04-24 17:09
Yesterday I was at a conference where they transmitted over FM frequency.

I recorded the stream using my MacBook Pro and realised that having an iPad would be better (I was also taking notes) but the lack of an audio in port would limit my ability to do this.

I have a Logitech USB headset that basically is actually just an interface for stereo in/out plugs.

So my question is can someone who has a similar set from Logitech (I believe even their latest gaming headsets can do this) can test plugging an FM radio into the Audio In port of the USB adapter and record the stream.

If it works I will be so happy because it would solidify my choice of upgrading my Mac Mini and just using my iPad (when I get it) for portable use instead.
That is my plan as well. love my mini but I want a laptop for around the house. iPad makes this reasonable to use as a companion device, especially as Air-Video has now been ported, and this will stream audio AND video from the small server it installs on the desktop, eyeTV will give me live tv and recorded shows, so iPad may be replacing one of my aging hacked X-Boxes as a media console. especially if I get the AV out cable, This will probably look fine on a 32" HD panel.

It's been reported that a USB keyboard works as well.
Stripes  2010-04-25 11:03
Isn't skype perfectly usable with iPhone headsets on an iPad?
Andrew Laurence  2010-04-25 11:36
If the Bluetooth interface is on the USB bus, then it'd make sense that it supports the same USB device classes as it does via Bluetooth. Then the BT interface is "just" a bridge to USB, and the USB classes take over from there.
The iPad manual says that the kit is only for connecting cameras. So this unsupported feature might not be perfect, or even long-lived.
Michael Smart  2010-04-25 17:25
Can you confirm whether you _can_ use a Bluetooth headset with 3rd Party apps like Skype though?
This is not currently possible on an iPhone (to my knowledge - unless I'm missing something), and I was really hoping to have this ability on the iPad and also the iPhone w/ OS4.
You can use a bluetooth headset on your iPhone if you use Line2 to place/receive VoIP calls.
discobob  2010-04-27 04:46
can someone test a webcam? that would be a major selling point
I plan to try the Samson USB prosumer condenser microphone with the iPad Camera Connection USB adapter. I will try to post my results.
Rmarkob  2010-05-02 12:22
I tried making a Skype call with my iPhone headphones. While the call connected twice, neither one of us at either end could hear the other. This was while using us airways wifi at 30,000 feet, BTW. I just assumed the iPhone headset's mike was unsupported. I'll have to try it again while on the ground I guess. Maybe it's a us airways thing for in-flight connections.
Stan Sieler  2010-05-04 13:32
I just tried plugging in a recent Apple USB keyboard (model A1243)
to the iPad Camera Connection USB adapter (into a non-3G iPad).
The OS responded with a popup saying "The attached USB device is not supported [Dismiss]".
I clicked on "dismiss", and then the keyboard worked fine in the Notes app.

I also tried an SDHC/USB card reader (the only single-slot memory card
reader I had available ... and, of course, not necessary since the
kit comes with an SD card reader, but I wanted to see what would happen :)
Note: the card had no photos and did not have a DCIM directory.
... same result ("not supported").

I then removed the reader, plugged it into a Mac, created a new directory
called DCIM, moved some photos (.jpg files) into the directory,
and plugged the reader back into the iPad.
... it worked! (The Photos app was started, and I could see
thumbnails of my pictures.) I removed the device, renamed the
DCIM dir, and plugged it in ... device not supported again.
claudio  2010-06-02 03:51
Hi, does this method work also with the usb pendrive?
John Pavlakos  2010-06-16 12:37
My interest is mainly in importing produced video via SD card. By adding a folder called DCIM the ipad recognized the SD and imported the video. The interesting thing is that it ended up in "Photos" under Albums. Its better than nothing, but does anyone know how to get it into "Videos" or the "ipod" ?

Should the folder be named anything different?

One last thing, The ipad asks if you want to delete the contents of the card after the import. I chose Yes, and now my Mac Computer does not recognize the SD card at all...

Any ideas?
MacGizmoGuy  2010-06-06 05:51
The iPad Camera Connection kit seems to be more versatile for USB devices than initially thought: The real crux is *lack of sufficient USB power* for some devices and/or *explicit device support in the OS*. Future OS updates should help some of these issues, others are finding chaining through a POWERED USB HUB to be helpful recognizing keyboards, external hard drives, etc.