Using external webcam and mic instead of MacBook for video calls [Setups] | Cult of Mac

Using external webcam and mic instead of MacBook for video calls [Setups]


This MacBook Pro user would rather leave the laptop in clamshell mode and use something else for his video calls.
This MacBook Pro user would rather leave the laptop in clamshell mode and use something else for his video calls.

Today’s M2 MacBook Pro user sports a great-looking setup and poses a question. They prefer to use their laptop in clamshell mode, or closed, so what do they do to ensure decent sound and video for work calls?

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Using webcam with mic instead of MacBook for video calls

Redditor goinHAMilton (“Ham”) showcased the setup in a post entitled, “Temporary 6mo Setup before moving overseas. I do have a webcam/sound question …”

It looks pretty good for a temporary setup. Must be that ultra-wide display on an ergonomic mount, plus the Mac-PC mix and good input devices.

Ham uses an M2 MacBook Pro in clamshell mode (closed) driving a 35-inch LG UltraWide 4K display. He’s keeps an iPad Air with keyboard and an Asus ROG Ally Gaming Handheld PC in the middle of the setup. Input devices are an LG MX Mechanical wireless keyboard and MX Master 3S wireless mouse.

Here’s how Ham posed his question:

I prefer to keep the MacBook closed so for sound it sounds weird lid closed, as well as I now lose out on the front facing camera.

How should I go about sound and video cam for work? The Monitor has speakers on it, but I do a lot of Zoom/Slack meetings and huddles. And frankly hate having to connect AirPods every time can be cumbersome when dealing with audio input/output depending on the software or program I’m using.

Anyone know of a good $~100ish or less webcam than has a microphone on it I can use instead of having to connect headsets/airpods?

So it can be tempting to keep the MacBook closed, but it doesn’t do anything good for the six speakers’ audio quality. And of course the webcam can’t function. Also, Ham doesn’t like wearing headphones or earbuds. So what are the other options?

Advice trickles in

Ham asked, and Redditors responded.

“Use the front camera on your iPad for webcam,” one said.

“I was considering that as I’ll have two on my desk (work and personal iPad),” Ham replied. “Just want to make sure sound out/in is crisp as I don’t want to wear headphones.”

“I am using Brio 500 with my Mac, another commenter offered.” He pointed out it has a microphone for input, though no speakers.

“Great,” Ham said. “I found some Creative Pebble speakers for cheap on Amazon, so I assume I can use those for output and the Logitech for input?” That should work, yes.

Asus ROG Ally gaming handheld PC

Other commenters noticed the Asus ROG Ally gaming handheld PC on the desk and inquired about it. In the discussion, Ham highly recommended the ROG Ally for Mac folks who want some PC gaming fun but don’t want to buy or build a full PC.

Here’s what Ham said:

I fucking love it. I’m a Xbox guy through and through but I love it as it allows me to play some PlayStation only exclusives through Steam or even PC-only games. When buying a new game or playing Gamepass I can always ask myself, is this something I wanna be able to play on the go for like flights and stuff (smaller or side mission type games with cloud save) and I’ll purchase either on Xbox store or Steam. Added bonus is I’ll use it for PC-centric programs if needed (both my personal and work is Mac based).

Shop these items now:



Input devices:

If you would like to see your setup featured on Cult of Mac, send some high-res pictures to Please provide a detailed list of your equipment. Tell us what you like or dislike about your setup, and fill us in on any special touches, challenges and plans for new additions.

Logitech Brio 500 Full HD Webcam

This webcam features auto light correction, show mode, dual noise reduction mics and a webcam privacy cover. Works with Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Zoom. Comes with USB-C cable.

12/03/2023 12:57 am GMT


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