iOS: Selecting audio inputs

Recently I learned how to select microphone inputs and switch between them. I think it is worth to share, so you might can find it useful. The case was to switch between built-in and external headset microphone.

Getting devices for media type

The system is returning just one audio device no matter whether headphones are connected or not.

import AVFoundation

private var session: AVAudioSession!
private var inputs = [AVAudioSessionPortDescription]()

/// configure audio session
session = AVAudioSession.sharedInstance()
try! session.setCategory(AVAudioSessionCategoryPlayAndRecord)

/// get devices
let devices = AVCaptureDevice.devicesWithMediaType(AVMediaTypeAudio)

// for phone with just built-in microphone
<__NSArrayM 0x15e6a3d0>(
<AVCaptureFigAudioDevice: 0x15e676f0 [iPhone Microphone][]>

// for phone with headset connected
<__NSArrayM 0x1665c3d0>(
<AVCaptureFigAudioDevice: 0x16663560 [Headphones][]>

Well, by asking for device with specific media type we’re not able to select proper audio input - system selects the source on its own.


Instead of asking for devices with specific media type we can ask AVAudioSession to return all input ports, iterate through them and select the ones we need.

if let availableInputs = session.availableInputs {
    for input in availableInputs {
        if input.portType == AVAudioSessionPortBuiltInMic ||
            input.portType == AVAudioSessionPortHeadsetMic {

To select an input, we need to set it as a preferred input.

private func selectInput(input: AVAudioSessionPortDescription) {
    do {
        try session.setPreferredInput(input)
    } catch let error {