How annoying it feels when you are yelling at the top of your voice but still the person at the other end can’t hear you clearly !! I had faced these issues with a basic android phone that I owned years back and hoping for a world of change, I bought an iPhone, anticipating that all such weird issues would be long done with. But Alas, the last few days have been so annoying !
Between us, Michelle goes grocery shopping. Yesterday, she rang me up to ask whether I would like the Butter Pecan or the Mint Chocolate Ice Cream tub and I had just two milliseconds to decide that otherwise, I knew she would happily ditch my share from the grocery list. God is my witness, I asked her to get anything and as expected, she gladly brought nothing, except a scary long Credit Card bill.
I usually censure her for hanging up in the middle of a conversation but when my boss also accused me for not being able to hear me over a call, I knew it wasn’t a joke anymore! At least, I had realised that there is something seriously wrong with either my AirPods or the iPhone.
Never before have I faced an odd situation when people can’t hear me on my AirPods. I tried speaking to my mum over the call without using my AirPods and we conversed pretty clearly. So, little by little, it became explicit that something had messed up with my AirPods and that’s the reason why people can’t hear me on my AirPods.
At first, genuinely , it struck me that one of my one AirPod is louder than the other , so I switched AirPods but it made no difference during the call.
I kept toggling my AirPods and its Settings on my iPhone and surprisingly inferred that I had the microphone on my Airpods not working and hence, whatever I spoke over a call, the audio turned out to be muffled and would just pause in between.
To have my AirPod mic not working on calls was indeed a painful discovery and this had to be fixed exigently because more than for listening to music, I attend calls on my AirPods, given there’s no hassle of picking up the phone for doing so.
It took me my whole Sunday afternoon but I breathed a sigh of relief only when I had gotten over this mean issue of AirPods microphone not working. There are many-a-different factors involved that I came across while fixing this one and I would absolutely love to share them with you, knowing that we, the Millennials, desperately yearn for AirPods and they better stay sane!
So, without any delay, stay tight here to learn how to fix AirPod microphone and everything related to it so that you never mourn about my Airpods mic is not working.
Why Is Microphone On AirPods Not Working ?
If I begin to elaborate, there can be more than one reason for having the microphone on AirPods not working. The AirPods can be dirty, maybe the Settings on the device are incompatible, there are some damages on the AirPods and many more from the same breed. Such issues straightway affect the Audio-functionality of the AirPods and disturb it one way or the other, for sure.
Based on an extensive research on the kinds of problems users had to deal with in the past, on their AirPods’ mic, I have listed down a few, precise and most relatable reasons for having your Apple AirPods Microphone not working.
Take a look at them, to learn that most of them are very easy to fix and will certainly settle the Microphone Issues on your AirPods, in no time. Let me get you started.
1. Low Battery on AirPods
If your AirPods are running on low battery, they’re going to be creating not one but a series of problems. They won’t connect to the iOS as smoothly as before, would lose volume and drop control over the microphone’s powers.
The battery health of the AirPods begins to deteriorate if they are used regularly in low battery mode and in general, they begin to die very fast.
So, if your AirPods are nearly ‘dead’ , then presumably, this is the reason why you have the Microphone on AirPods not working. Infact, they might still be working , albeit, at an extremely low capacity and that’s why, the caller cannot clearly understand what you say.
2. Dirty AirPods
Using dirty AirPods is as catastrophic as using them on a low battery, as explained above. Dirty and unclean AirPods are detrimental not only to the AirPods’ functional capacity but also to your delicate ears.
AirPods are very delicate and can grab dust particles faster if the earbuds’ speaker grilles are moistened. Anything that’s wet or soggy, holds on tightly on the dirt, longer than ever.
If you wore your AirPods to shower in a hurry or swam with them ‘on’, it will be very tough to get them dry and if they work afterwards, I hope they do, they’ll deliver either a muffled or a cracked sound.
Another reason for getting your AirPods dirty is obviously when you haven’t been cleaning them regularly. Dude, you need to take out precious 5 minutes almost every second day to wipe off earwax from the earbuds.
It’s very natural for the ears to be building up ear wax and each time you wear Airpods, traces of it stick onto the earbuds’ speakers. If you are into using Airpods excessively and wear them even while sleeping, then your ear ain’t ventilated enough and produce extra earwax which then, either can infect the ear seriously or would move deeper into the layers of the earbuds and block them entirely.
If it isn’t cleaned regularly, it gets accumulated on the earbuds’ crevices and Result ? Whenever you speak, the person on the other end won’t get you at all and that’s when it hits you that why, on earth, people can’t hear me on my AirPods.
3. A Software Issue
Another very common reason for the AirPods microphone not working is when there is a software update and hasn’t been launched on the device.
Apple keeps improving its iDevices regularly with new features and updates and it’s duly notified on the iDevices. There can be a bleak possibility that you missed the latest update since it has been launched and it couldn’t be installed for your iPhone.
This disrupts your iPhone’s communication with the connected device, i.e the AirPods and thus, potentially causes these microphone issues on the AirPods.
4. A Mechanical Issue ( Damage ) on the AirPods
I know, this is seriously the last thing ever that you would want to hear but YES, damages do happen! There can be a probability that the microphone of your AirPods is broken and that’s why you’re dealing with the AirPods mic not working for phone calls.
If you have the left AirPod mic not working over calls, try the right one. If that works, it means the issue lies only with the left AirPod’s microphone and the reason is because it’s damaged.
Similarly, if specifically you have the right AirPod mic not working, it can be because of some damage on it.
The AirPod is bound to get damaged if it has been dropped many times or has tasted water quite a few times, lately.
Such unfortunate accidents are too hard on the fragile AirPods and they end up crippling the feeble earbuds.
5. Bluetooth Connectivity Glitches
Almost every device uses Bluetooth technology and it’s incredibly popular and no doubt, useful too but nothing is perfect in this tech-world, around us. So are the Bluetooth devices!
Sometimes, just like any other wireless technology, it can sometimes wobble and become unstable. A weak bluetooth connection can be one of the reasons for your trouble with the microphone on AirPods not working.
If these microphone issues on the AirPods have occurred very recently and hadn’t surfaced ever earlier, the Bluetooth connection requires a re-fix, probably.
It’s essential for the device’s and the AirPods’ wireless signals to connect to each other very clearly, without any interference.
Any intervention between the signals of the two can trouble the AirPods sound operations and you’ll feel stuck with a bad microphone on your AirPod.
6. Incorrect Settings on Phone
How nonsensical would it feel when you discover that you literally ripped open the tame AirPods in the quest to kill the microphone bug but it’s your device that has been sheepheaded, not these AirPods !
I felt like kicking myself when I found that the microphone Settings on my iPhone had been disabled and all this while, I had almost stupidly emptied the bottle of Isopropyl Alcohol to clean my AirPods more than they could now even take.
I believed that my AirPods were quiet because they were dirty. Not once did it strike me that the Settings on my iPhone were not even congruent to the AirPods !!
So, to iron out the AirPod microphone not working, you better re-check the Settings on your iPhone, first !
And so forth, the above mentioned reasons can be truly held responsible for the microphone issues on your AirPods and most of them require an action only from our end.
Additionally, I would like to mention that such issues of AirPods Pro Microphone not working have begun to erupt lately and thus, it becomes mandatory for me to address this issue and provide my readers an effective remedy to help themselves out of this situation.
Check out the next section if you own the classy AirPod Pro but are cussing right now because the MicroPhone won’t work!
Why Is AirPods Pro Microphone Not Working ?
I faced these complications on my elite AirPods Pro and oh, it was maddening ! You feel like you own the world when you wear those pricey–premium AirPods Pro but dolefully, you might have to face a day when you hold the AirPods Pro Microphone not working and you have absolutely no ideas about what to do.
See, I totally understand that till some point, you can accept the unlikely occurrence of microphone issues on the standard 2nd or the 3rd Gen AirPods but no one expects it to occur on the premium AirPods Pro because it is considered and expected to be a better and more enhanced version of the Apple AirPods.
No doubt, it is but the difference between the basic AirPods and the AirPods Pro lies in the features, not in the basic anatomy of the two. The AirPods Pro offers active noise cancellation and better audio quality with improved bass. The Pros come with a Lightning to the USB-C Cable whereas the regular AirPods have a Lightning to USB-A Cable.
The AirPods Pro also offers three different ear tips which you can use to the comfort of your ears, based on their size. It is an exclusive feature on the AirPods Pro so that the ear tip fits as smooth as butter in your ears and won’t hurt your ears.
The issue at hand, right now is you have the AirPods Pro Microphone not working, not fixing any exclusive feature that’s available only on the AirPods Pro so the mechanism to fix the microphone issues on the AirPods Pro also will take reference from the one of the regular AirPods.
Therefore, for fixing the AirPods Pro MicroPhone issue, I recommend using the following techniques only, as you adopted for the regular AirPods.
8 Effective Ways To Learn How To Fix MicroPhone On AirPods
So, here onwards, you’ll discover simple and easy techniques to fix the microphone issue on your AirPods. Apply each method patiently and I’m most certain that most of the methods would work for you and people would surely be able to hear you over calls, from now on.
1. Clean the MicroPhone and the AirPods.
I’m sure, you must be using your AirPods not only for attending calls but also for listening to music, podcasts etc. Also, most of the users keep them plugged in like most of the time and like to stay ‘connected’, not missing out on any single call they receive.
Of Course, you bought the AirPods in the first place, to use them as much as you can but they need to be cleaned and taken care of regularly.
It is very human and natural for the ears to build up earwax everyday and bits of it stick onto the AirPods each time you wear them. Even small traces of earwax when gets coated over the AirPods’ speaker grilles, it ends up blocking your voice, thus creating a muffled and crackly sound. In the worst case, at hand right now, the person at the other end won’t be able to hear you at all.
Therefore, you must clean the AirPods of the amassed earwax and dust so that there are no chances of it penetrating into the inner part of the AirPods and blocking the sound.
- You must begin with wiping the AirPods with a clean, dry soft microfibre cloth which is lint-free.
- After a dry cleaning, it must be followed by a deep cleaning using a 70% Isopropyl Alcohol solution.
- It can either be sprayed on a Q-tip which you can then use, to gently wipe out the earbuds surface or you can use Blu-Tack. It is a soft adhesive which you need to push onto the earbuds’ surface and the entire dirt sticks onto it.
Practice extra caution while cleaning out the AirPods’ bottom area as it is mostly neglected and dirt in this area blocks out the microphone primarily.
After the AirPods have been cleaned, let them rest for a while, keeping their larger part facing downward so that no traces of the cleaning liquid are left behind.
Make it a habit to clean your AirPods like this at least every 2 days so that they stay germ-free and dirt-free, saving them microphone from any blockage and your ears miles away from any bacterial infection.
2. Disconnect and Connect the AirPods Again.
After you have thoroughly cleaned your AirPods, this is the first thing I recommend doing to fix the mic issue of your AirPod.
It can be done using the simple steps mentioned below :
- switch ‘off’ the Bluetooth on your iPhone.
- Turn it ‘on’ again, after a while.
- Your AirPods should connect automatically once you turn ‘on’ the Bluetooth.
- Now, tap on the info ‘i’ icon next to your AirPods and ‘disconnect’ your AirPods.
- Wait for about 10 seconds and keep the Charging Case closed.
- Now, open the Charging Case and keep it near your iPhone.
- The AirPods should connect automatically now to your phone and you should be able to hear clearly on your AirPods now.
If there have been any glitches due to a weak bluetooth connection which has been creating the mic issues on your AirPod, they should be fixed by doing this.
If your AirPods don’t connect automatically to your iPhone after you disconnect them ‘once’, you can connect them manually using the next step.
3. Reset the AirPods.
This ‘reset’ here means a ‘full reset’ on your AirPods. You will be performing a factory reset on the AirPods and connecting them to your iPhone like the first time you got them.
The word ‘factory reset’ should not make you skip a heartbeat here because there is no such data stored on the AirPod so there’s no risk in resetting the AirPods. Rather, they’ll establish a very fresh connection and most definitely, fix the mic issues on itself.
Use these steps to reset the AirPods :
- Keep your AirPods back in the Charging Case and let them stay for some 30 secs.
- Let the AirPods be in there and open the Case’s Lid.
- Then, tap onto Settings and click on Bluetooth.
- Next to your AirPods’ name, tap on the info ‘i’ icon.
- Tap on ‘Forget this Device’. Press on ‘Confirm’.
- Now, at the back of your AirPods’ Case, press the Set-Up button for about 15 seconds. The colour of the status light will begin to blink ‘red’( shade of amber) and will then settle on ‘white’.
- Now, your AirPods are ready for a brand new connection.
- Take the AirPods Case near to your iPhone.
- The new connection will be scanned and read by the iPhone and ‘Connect’ will pop-up on the screen.
- Tap on ‘Connect.’
Now, when you connect the AirPods, it’s a crisp connection, just hot off the press and most possibly, the connectivity glitches would have been fixed which were blocking the sound delivery from the microphone.
However, if this doesn’t turn out to be lucky, move on to the next step.
4. Ensure that the AirPods and the Charging Case are Charged.
The Charging Case of the Apple AirPods is outstanding in terms of its Charging capacity and can easily keep your AirPods charged up for days, if you don’t use AirPods excessively.
You can even keep using AirPods and let the Case charge up in the meantime so that you have an extra battery backup whenever you require it on your AirPods.
However, if the Charging Case is dead, the individual AirPods will die very quickly and the microphone will begin to be quiet, spotty and unresponsive.
You must keep your AirPods and the Charging Case sufficiently charged up at all times to avoid facing times when you can have the AirPods microphone not working.
The AirPods take only less than an hour to fully charge up which isn’t a very long time. Meanwhile, when you are using the AirPods, you must keep checking the battery status of each AirPod.
For checking the battery status on the AirPods, you simply need to open the Charging Case’s Lid and take it close to your iPhone. In a few seconds, the battery status will be displayed on the phone’s screen. On the phone’s Home screen, you can also tap on the Battery Widget and you’ll be able to see the status of the battery on each AirPod, while they are in use.
If your issue lies specifically with one AirPod, say, the left one when you have the left AirPod mic not working or the other one i.e the right AirPod ,it is essential to check whether that particular AirPod has run out of battery.
If there is no battery on the one of the AirPod, the microphone is bound to crack up and you won’t be able to hear a word on that AirPod.
So, it is important to keep both the AirPod amply charged up so that none of the AirPod face microphone issues.
5. Select AirPods as Primary Microphone.
At times, during calls, your iPhone may fail to detect AirPods and may be that’s why you have not been able to hear over them.
While attending a call over the AirPods, your AirPods must be set up as the Primary Microphone so that you can hear the voice on the AirPods so that you just don’t keep wondering about your AirPods show ‘connected’ but the sound isn’t coming through them but your phone.
When you attend a phone call;
- Tap on the Audio Circle.
- Select your AirPods as the primary Microphone you would want to use.
Such a case also might happen when your phone is also connected to the car’s Bluetooth system and the call gets automatically connected to the car’s Bluetooth connection, rather than your AirPods’.
So, if you have any other commonly used Bluetooth connection nearby your AirPods, take a minute to switch to your AirPods when you receive a call to be able to use the AirPods’ microphone for receiving the call over them.
6. Update iPhone’s and Calling Software’s Firmware.
One potential way to deal with an annoying situation when you have the AirPods mic not working for phone calls is to update the iPhone’s and the Calling Software.
Apple keeps updating its iDevices regularly to improve their performance and strengthen them to avoid any connectivity glitches they might face, in future. The latest version of iOS must be running on your iPhone and it can either be automatically or manually updated.
To update your iPhone with the latest software, follow the given steps :
- Go to Settings and click on General.
- Now, tap on Software Update.
- If there is any update that has been pending, you’ll see a prompt to ‘download’ and ‘install’ it.
- Tap on ‘download’ and install the latest version of iOS.
Once your iPhone is updated on its iOS, now check whether the third-party calling application is updated.
- On your iPhone, now open the App Store.
- Now, click on your Profile picture.
- Keep scrolling in the Menu till you find the Calling app.
- Tap on ‘Update’.
By incorporating the steps mentioned above, both your iPhone and the Calling app will be updated with the latest software launches and possibly fix the weird microphone issues which you have been facing on calls.
7. Reset Network Settings on iPhone.
If most of the above mentioned methods haven’t worked out for you, it means that it’s not a minor issue and needs to be tackled meticulously.
You must try resetting the Network Settings on your iPhone as it clears the saved Bluetooth and Wi-fi connections on your iPhone and refreshes the phone’s system. It is considered instrumental in fixing the microphone not working on AirPods.
If the settings on your iPhone are incompatible with the AirPods, such glitches are bound to occur.
Perform these steps to reset the Network Settings on your iPhone :
- Go to Settings on your phone and click on General.
- Scroll down to the Reset option.
- Click on ‘Reset Network Settings.’
After you have reset the Network Settings, you’ll need to reconnect your phone and AirPods again to the Wifi set up.
8. Disable Sound Check and Volume Limit.
The SoundCheck Settings limits the Volume Output on your device. When it is disbaled, you can increase the Volume limit on your iPhone. This step can be very efficient in improving the volume on AirPods when you’re facing microphone issues on your AirPods.
Use the given steps to increase the Volume Limit on your iPhone:
- Go to Settings and click on Music.
- You’ll see an option called ‘Sound Check.’ Disable it.
- In the Volume Limit option, check whether the Volume Slider is set up on the lower side. Drag it towards the Maximum.
By doing this, the volume you hear on the connected device i.e the AirPods should significantly improve.
9. Restart your iPhone.
It is entirely possible that all this while you are trying multiple settings on the AirPods to fix the microphone bug but the fault lies with your iPhone, not the AirPods.
A simple ‘restart’ should be good to begin with.
- All you need to do is to simply turn ‘off’ your iPhone.
- Press and hold either Volume button and the Side button till the Power Slider appears.
- Drag the slider and then, wait for some 20 seconds till your phone turns off.
- Now, wait for a while and press the same Volume and the Side button.
- The Apple Logo will appear and your iPhone will restart.
Now, your AirPods will connect automatically to your phone and then, try using the AirPods.
This is a soft reset on the phone and is capable enough to fix the AirPods’ microphone issue.
10. Disable Automatic Ear Detection.
This feature of Automatic Ear Detection on iPhone allows the users to use the AirPods the moment they are plugged in. The built-in sensors of the AirPods can ‘automatically detect’ that they are plugged in the ears and they are automatically set up as the primary mode of audio output source.
No doubt, it’s a very convenient feature but at times, this doesn’t function the way it should., especially when the AirPods’ sensors are facing an issue. This can make it difficult for the users to make calls and hear over them.
While trying to fix the microphone not working over AirPods, it’s a good idea to disable this feature of ‘Automatic ear detection’ as of now and see if it lets you hear and speak over calls.
Perform these steps to disable this feature :
- Go to Settings and tap on Bluetooth.
- Now, tap on the info ‘i’ icon, next to your AirPods.
- There, click on ‘Automatic Ear Detection’ and turn it ‘off’.
While disabling this feature has worked for many-a users, I recommend performing the next step as well if you still couldn’t win against this issue, i.e resetting the Settings of the Microphone on your iPhone.
11. Reset the Microphone Settings.
If you have been stuck with the microphone issue on one AirPod only i.e either the Left one or the Right one, then this one’s for you.
It occurs very commonly among users that they have their one AirPod louder than the other. Similarly, it is entirely possible that you are able to hear and speak over calls on one of the AirPod but it’s not a matter of any relief either. Both of the AirPods should be functioning appropriately for an acceptable audio experience.
If you have the left AirPod mic not working or only the right AirPod mic not working, it means that the calls or the music audio are automatically getting diverted to any one of the AirPod which is functional, leaving the second one almost dead and quiet.
To fix this kind of glitch, you must enable the option of ‘Automatically Switch AirPods’ on your iPhone so that both the AirPods are selected as the audio output source and one of the AirPod isn’t chosen as the primary output source.
Check out these steps to enable this feature:
- On your phone, open Settings and tap on Bluetooth.
- Under ‘My Devices’, tap on the info ‘i’ icon next to your AirPods name and click on MicroPhone.
- From the three options that you can see, tap on ‘Automatically Switch AirPods.’
12. If Nothing Works Out, Buy New AirPods.
I have tried my utmost best to help you with each possible troubleshooting technique but unfortunately, there are times when the microphone of AirPods just can’t be fixed by cleaning, charging and rebooting all the Settings.
The only option left then, is to purchase a new pair of AirPods. If you just cannot do without the AirPods and depend on them for your daily levels of audio activity, sorry to say, you’ll just have to bite the bullet and get a new pair of AirPods.
To that end, I have faithfully tried to assist you in fixing the Microphone not working on AirPods and I am confidently anticipating that at least some of the above mentioned troubleshooting techniques must have worked for you.
Just be mindful of the way you handle the AirPods in regular usage and I’m sure, you won’t have to face any such resilient issues on your AirPods in future.
Q1. Why can’t people hear me on my AirPods ?
Answer – If the caller isn’t able to hear you on your AirPods, then most probably, the AirPods’ microphone has dust accumulated over it and needs to be thoroughly cleaned. In such a case, you can clean the microphones using a Q-Tip, dipped in 70% Isopropyl alcohol and wipe out the dust gently from the bottom of each AirPod. This should fix the issue.
Q2. Why won’t my phone let me talk on my AirPods ?
Answer – If you are not able to talk on your phone while using the AirPods, please check the Microphone Settings on your device. Incorrect settings on the device can cause such an issue to occur. On your phone, go to Settings and tap on Bluetooth. Next to your AirPods name, tap on the info ‘i’ icon and tap on ‘Automatic Switch AirPods’. This should help you fix the issue and you’ll be able to talk using your Airpods.
Q3. Why can’t people hear me on my iPhone ?
Answer – If the caller isn’t able to hear what you say , go to Settings and tap on Privacy. There, you’ll find an option as Microphone. This app should be enabled. If this app isn’t there on your iPhone, contact the app developer or visit the Apple Store.
Q4. How can I test my iPhone’s Microphone ?
Answer – To test the microphone on your iPhone, use the iPhone’s standard Voice Memos application. Simply open the Voice Memos app or ask Siri to do it for you. The, speak something on the Microphone. Now, playback your voice’s recording. You should be able to hear it clearly, then.
Q5. Why is my AirPods’ microphone muffled ?
Answer – Blocked microphone is the root cause of a muffled sound on AirPods. Accumulated dust and dirt over the ear buds is the basic reason for having muffled and cracked sound on AirPods. To be able to hear clearly on the airpods, you will have to thoroughly clean the microphone which is located towards the bottom of the AirPods. I recommend using a 70% isopropyl alcohol solution, sprayed on a Q-tip, to wipe off the dust from the earbud’s surface. Once the microphone is cleaned, now try listening to the audio. You should not receive a muffled or cracked sound on clean AirPods now.
AirPods Mic Final Check 1,2,3…….
It can be totally aggravating when the Microphone just won’t work during calls, or Facetime or worse, during Zoom Calls.
See what I have been telling my readers regularly that the Apple AirPods are an indeed truly fantastic device but they do have some specific high-end maintenance standard, like an expensive girlfriend you manage!
They’ll frown and can be resentful if they are not cleaned properly, aren’t charged enough and the device on which you are connecting them isn’t compatible, otherwise just forget about enjoying crystal clear sounds on your AirPods.
Most of the issues on the Apple AirPods can be fixed and in the first place, can easily be prevented from occurring if they are sufficiently charged up and kept back in the Case whenever not in use. Also, you must keep a check on your iPhone’s settings in between so that if ever there is any interference with the connection, it should not alter or mess up with AirPods or the MicroPhone’s Settings on the iPhone.
Do let me know in the comments section what worked out for you ! Was it just a restart of your iPhone, a factory reset on the AirPods or did you just get another pair! In case you are getting a new one, don’t forget to get it engraved with your favourite emoji ! Take care and have fun.
As an engineering graduate (and a full-time layabout), I am always looking for smart technological innovations to make my life simpler and more automated so that I can be even lazier than usual.