How to Change the Camera or Microphone for FaceTime on a Mac

Don’t limit yourself to your Mac’s built-in webcam and microphone if you have better external devices for FaceTime use.

FaceTime is an extremely easy-to-use video calling app in the Apple ecosystem. When it comes to FaceTime on macOS, you have a lot more customizability than the average Apple device — instead of being tied to the built-in webcam, microphone, and speakers, you can easily use other accessories connected to your Mac.


How to change the FaceTime camera, microphone or speakers

By default, when you open FaceTime, it uses your Mac’s built-in webcam, microphone, and speakers (or AirPods). But if you have external devices, like USB microphones, webcams, audio mixers, it’s an easy process to use those instead.

Just follow these steps:

  1. Connect your devices to your Mac.
  2. Open FaceTime.
  3. Select in the menu bar Video to see your devices.
  4. Select your preferred device for from the drop-down menu camera, microphoneand output.
  5. Conduct your FaceTime calls with improved video and audio quality via external devices.

It’s important to note that these steps are unnecessary if you’ve already selected your external microphone or output as your new default devices in your Mac’s preferences, and they’re already selected in FaceTime. If you don’t have external audio devices but still want to improve your audio quality, you should try macOS’ voice isolation feature in your calls.

Why you should use an external FaceTime accessory

Although MacBooks and iMacs have high-quality webcams, speakers, and microphones compared to other computers, they are by no means perfect. So if you have a better option, you should use it in your calls. Many of you probably already have a higher quality external device that could improve the quality of your calls, e.g. B. a USB microphone or a webcam.

To illustrate, you might have a mirrorless camera, either with built-in webcam connectivity or connectivity via a capture card. This can greatly improve the visual quality of your calls. Here’s a quick comparison to show how much of an upgrade this can be:

  • Standard webcam:
  • Mirrorless camera with capture card:

Note that the mirrorless camera can be placed at a completely different angle to the built-in webcam. If you have a complex audio setup with numerous devices and tracks to choose from, you should probably check your FaceTime device settings before making calls to avoid potential problems from using the wrong input or output.


While the quality of these devices is a great upgrade, you probably want one of the best USB hubs for a Mac to take advantage of them all.

Dedicated devices offer higher quality

FaceTime is an easy-to-use application, but the device settings aren’t in the most obvious places. Why are the audio settings in the Video Menu? However, these settings are incredibly easy to access and change, allowing you to use higher-quality dedicated devices for audio and video during calls.

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