Problems with iPhone microphones aren’t as common as screen issues, but they can be just as annoying. Not having your voice detected by Siri or sounding unclear during phone calls or voice chats are some of the major microphone issues you may experience. Other issues may include not being able to record audio, not hearing anything on recorded tracks, or not being able to talk to people during FaceTime calls.
However unpleasant these issues may be, they can be solved. Follow the simple step-by-step guide below to diagnose and fix your iPhone microphone problems.
1. Finding The Right Microphone
Your iPhone has three microphones, so that first you have to figure out which one of them isn’t working properly.
- Test the microphone at the bottom of your device by recording a voice memo and playing it back. Does your voice sound okay? Are there any distortions or silent gaps?
- Test the receiver or front microphone by turning on the speakerphone. Does your voice sound faint?
- Test the microphone near the iSight camera (at the back of your iPhone) by recording a video of someone talking. Does the audio sound okay?
If you answer “No” to one or more of the questions above, move on to the next step.
2. Clean the Microphone
The first thing you should do is make sure the case or screen protector you’re using aren’t blocking the microphone. If they are not, then make sure the microphone opening is clean. A clean cloth may only make matters worse.
Try instead to use a dust blower or a toothpick (but handle it gently) to remove any bits of skin or flecks of dust that may be stuck in it. If the problems persist after you’ve cleaned the microphone, move to the next step.
3. Toggle Off Noise Cancellation
The iPhone’s Noise Cancellation may interfere with the quality of your voice recording. You may want to turn this feature off by going to Settings > General > Accessibility > Phone Noise Cancellation. If this doesn’t fix the issue, move to the next step.
4. Restart Your Phone
Sometimes the microphone issue isn’t a hardware problem but rather a software glitch. Try restarting your device to see if this fixes it. Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button and then slide it to the right to turn it off. Press the button again to power up your phone. After iOS loads, test the microphone again.
5. Reset All Settings
Resetting all settings is known to fix certain iPhone microphone issues, especially those caused by overheating. To reset your settings, go to Settings > General and find and tap on reset. Even though you’ll have some configuring to do, this is worth trying. If the problem persists, and you run the latest version of iOS (update if you don’t!) it’s likely a hardware problem and you have three options:
Replace the faulty microphone yourself using a replacement you can buy online
- Send your iPhone to Apple to fix the microphone for you (best option if you’re still covered by warranty and haven’t damaged the microphone yourself)
- Have a local repair store replace the microphone
Replacement microphones aren’t that expensive, but you’ll have to take apart your iPhone and void any warranty in the process (if you still have any). It’s good to think about it before actually doing it, as you may damage other components in the process.