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Audio input on laptops with "combo" audio jacks

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I'm currently using an 8-year-old Windows 7 computer which has separate microphone and headphone jacks.  But I need to get a new Windows 10 computer, and am looking at a Lenovo Thinkpad, which has a single "combo" audio jack.  Apparently that's done so it will work with single-plug headsets.

I understand the connector is TRRS, CTIA standard, which has stereo headphone output on T and R1, Ground on R2, and Microphone on S.  So presumably, one of these adapters would allow the use of a separate microphone, although only a monaural one:

Not having a combo port to test, I wonder if the mic input in the combo port provides bias voltage that allows the use of electret microphones.  My guess is that the mics in headsets are electret, and that the bias voltage is provided (2.5V or so), but would appreciate it if someone who has actually used one of these adapters for electret mic input could confirm that.  It would also be helpful to confirm that the Windows 10 (or Lenovo) driver for the combo port has the same microphone "boost" setting that I have on Windows 7, which gives me a choice of 0, 10, 20 or 30db additional gain, and which therefore allows the mic input to be used for either mic or line input.

Just to see if it would work, I got one of these cheap USB generic audio adapters:

It works for electret mic input, including providing bias voltage, but is very noisy.  In addition, the Windows 7 generic driver for these devices doesn't provide any mic boost gain options, so even with regular gain set at 100%, it's barely audible, and certainly not useable.

So I wonder what kind of USB sound card or interface I would need for Windows 10 for stereo audio input - both line and electret mic.   If anyone has used an inexpensive device for that purpose, I'd like to know about it.

Thanks for any wisdom on this whole subject.

I have used a usb Sound blaster Live 5.1 (SB0490) that I got on Ebay and there was still driver support for Windows 10 (when I last checked last year) on their website but that maybe be too big for you to carry around.

I am sorry I cannot be of help to the OP but I just thought I'd mention that not one of my laptops has had decent audio and most had more or less noise and hum. I wonder if an external USB audio "card" would be an improvement over the internal one.

There are USB soundcards which are much better than those cheap adapters (often using reference design from datasheets and skimping on capacitors and filtering)

Creative Sound Blaster PLAY! 3 24-bit 48KHz USB Interface Sound Card

Creative Go! 70SB129000000 24-bit 44.10 kHz USB Interface X-Fi Go! Pro Sound Board

You could check out some cheap mixers with built in usb audio interface.
There are also a huge range of Audio interfaces used with music production software.



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