The microphone is one of the essential elements of your iPhone or any smartphone for that matter. Calls, video recordings, audio notes, and various apps depend on it. However, if the iPhone mics do not work correctly, you will have a crippled experience as FaceTime calls will be unclear, certain apps will not work as expected, and so on. To address all these, here are some effective solutions to fix the iPhone microphone issue.
Start With Simple Test And Inspect iPhone Microphone
iPhones have multiple microphones to enhance the sound input. On modern models, they are located at the bottom (near the speaker grill), rear (near the back camera), and in the front (inside the earpiece grill). The list below tells you the exact number.
iPhone 8, X, and later – 3 microphones
iPhone 6s, 6s+, 7, and 7 plus – 4 microphones
iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6, 6 plus, and SE (1st generation) – 3 microphones
iPhone 4 and 4s – 2 microphones
Original iPhone, iPhone 3G, 3GS – 1 microphone
Image Courtesy: Verizon
Now let us perform some quick microphone tests.
A. Test Primary Bottom Microphone
Suppose the other side has difficulty hearing you over standard calls and FaceTime. To address this, let us take a moment to check whether the iPhone’s bottom microphone is working or not.
Open the inbuilt Voice Memos app and tap on the red record button. Now hold your iPhone horizontally to your mouth and speak in the bottom (near the microphone hole). After 10-15 seconds, press the same red button to stop recording. Now, play the voice note. If you clearly hear what you recorded, congratulations, your primary microphone is functioning correctly.
B. Test Front and Back Microphones
Open the Camera app and swipe to VIDEO. Press the shutter button to start recording. Now, speak at the top of the iPhone. After a few seconds, stop the recording.
Now, tap on the tiny camera chooser button and switch to the iPhone’s front camera. Record a new video while speaking normally on the top side of the device. Next, play both the videos. If you hear your sound, that means the front and rear microphones are working correctly.
Did your iPhone pass both the microphone tests above? If yes, please keep reading. We will most likely solve the issue. In case either test failed, you may have to contact Apple Support and get the device inspected (more on this later).
Solutions to Fix iPhone Microphone Not Working Issue
Clean the Microphones
Restart the iPhone
Give the App Microphone Access
Disconnect Bluetooth Headset and Wired Headphones
Disable Noise Cancellation
Update to the Latest Version of iOS
Reset All Settings
Contact Apple Support
1. Clean the Microphones
The microphone holes are tiny, and thus it takes special care to clean them. You must use a soft brush of any kind (it can be a toothbrush) to scrub the grills carefully. When you do so, make sure to hold the iPhone in such a way that gravity gets to do its job. For example, if you are cleaning the bottom microphone, try to hold the phone vertically so that the dirt easily falls down.
After this, take a few minutes to carefully clean the 3.5 mm headphone jack or the Lightning port.
Besides, it is vital to ensure that you are not using a case or screen protector that is blocking the microphone holes partially or wholly. In case you do, please get rid of these.
2. Restart the iPhone
In the above solutions, we talked about the hardware side of things. Now, what if the microphones aren’t functioning due to a temporary software glitch!
The first fix is to restart your iPhone. Yes! An action as simple as turning off your device and switching it back on can take care of several small problems!
3. Give the App Microphone Access
Applications need your consent before they can access the iPhone microphones. Usually, when you open the app for the first time or perform an in-app activity that requires the mic, you see a popup asking for your permission. In case you choose ‘Don’t Allow,’ here is how to reverse that decision.
Open the Settings app and tap on Privacy.
Tap on Microphone.
Turn on the toggle for the desired app to allow it to access the microphones.
Additional Method: You may scroll down the Settings app, tap on the app name, and perform the above action.
Next, force close the app and re-launch it.
4. Disconnect Bluetooth Headset and Wired Headphones
We are humans and often forget things. Sometimes you may try to play music, watch a video, make calls, or send a voice note only to find that things aren’t working. This may be because a Bluetooth headset is connected to the iPhone and routing the voice to it plus using the on-headset microphone. To tackle this, here’s how to disconnect wireless earphones.
Open the Settings app and tap on Bluetooth.
Turn off its toggle. This will disconnect all Bluetooth devices.
If you do not want to turn off Bluetooth, tap on (i) next to the specific wireless headphone. On the next screen, tap on Disconnect.
Tip: If you use AirPods, tap on (i) and make sure the toggle for Automatic Ear Detection is on. This will ensure that whenever the buds are connected but not in your ear, they won’t output sound to it or use its microphone. Additionally, you may also tap on ‘Microphone‘ and customize the settings, if needed.
For wired headphones, unplug it. After this, the iPhone microphones will be used for calls and other related functions.
5. Disable Noise Cancellation
In some situations, like when on phone calls, it may help if you go against the norm and turn off noise cancellation. Let me show you how.
Inside the Settings app, tap on Accessibility.
Tap on Audio/Visual.
Disable Phone Noise Cancellation.
6. Update to the Latest Version of iOS
We remind you to update your iPhone in almost all guides. It fixes bugs, introduces new features, and enhances the experience. Since you are facing microphone troubles, it would be a good idea to check for pending software updates and install it, if any.
7. Reset All Settings
Several glitches can be eliminated successfully by restoring the default iPhone settings. Performing this action won’t delete personal data like music, photos, videos, or apps.
However, all settings that you have changed will be removed. This includes Wi-Fi passwords, saved Bluetooth devices, Home screen layout, notifications, privacy settings, and more.
Launch the Settings app and tap on General.
Tap on Reset.
Tap on Reset All Settings.
Enter your iPhone passcode and confirm the action.
8. Contact Apple Support
Finally, if none of the above solutions work for you, it is time to contact the big folks! The crux is, if your iPhone microphones do not work due to software, the above steps (and restore) can take care of it.
But if there is a physical fault with the circuit board, connectors, or microphones, your options boil down to visiting an Apple Store or an authorized service center.
I believe the above solutions were helpful and fixed the problem for you. In case you have related queries, feel free to put it in the comments down below.
Microphones are interesting! We can not perform basic tasks like calls, video chats, video recording without these. And at the same time, we may be uncomfortable thinking the HomePod, Alexa, Google Home, or other such smart devices might continuously be listening to my private conversations!
I have been an Apple user for over seven years now. At iGeeksBlog, I love creating how-tos and troubleshooting guides that help people do more with their iPhone, iPad, Mac, AirPods, and Apple Watch. In my free time, I like to watch stand up comedy videos, tech documentaries, news debates, and political speeches.