I have a microphone using a male 3.5mm jack and I want to use it on a laptop, but of course my laptop has only one combo jack. if I plug in speakers or headphones that are a playing device only, it works fine, but of course, if I plug in this mic (recording device only), it doesn't even get recognized. what do you suggest? is a splitter mic/headphone 3.5mm adapter enough (with only the mic plugged in of course) or is there anything else? I tried searching for some 3.5mm female to usb male adapters to have my mic as a usb mic, but I don't think that would work. would it get recognized as a mic with this method?
You should visit any computer accesory store and get a 3.5mm Audio Stereo "Y" Splitter Cable 3.5mm Male to 2 Port 3.5mm Female for Earphone and Headset Splitter Adapter, compatible with your laptop. The male plug on that adapter should have a 4 contacts--tip, ring, ring and sleeve. Those will connect properly to the microphone socket and headphones socket of a laptop.
To be sure, you should TEST it on site or at least be assured by salesman that it should work for your laptop bacause there are similar splitters for cellphones which won't work for laptop. Using these non-compatible splitters, the result will be the same you get currently: when you insert your mic, it won't register sound.
The other way around is using a USB external sound card with two jacks. You can use it with conventional Multimedia headphones with two 3.5 mm plugs which currently won't work with your laptop. They are actually quite cheap, can get one for about 5 US$ It has the driver incorporated to the device and it gets installed the moment you insert it. When you are using this USB device, it replaces functionally the soundcard in your laptiop.
You also may explore AMAZON using the given information as search reference.