Yesterday, all of a sudden, the microphones on both left and right AirPods stopped working. While the AirPods were connected to my iPhone, people complained that they couldn’t hear me during voice calls. I wasn’t sure what was the issue as the AirPods speakers were working perfectly.
I searched online to learn more about the issue and also referred to the official Apple community for relevant discussion threads. Most folks suggested resetting the Apple AirPods to fix the issue. I spent some more time on research to find an effective solution.
Here’s how I got my AirPods microphone working and also found a setting to prevent the issue from happening again:
If your AirPods microphone is not working, change the microphone settings on your Apple device. Go to Settings > Bluetooth and tap on the more info icon next to your AirPods name. Select “Automatically Switch AirPods” in the microphone settings.
Change The Microphone Settings
If your microphone issue is limited to a single AirPod (left or right), try changing the microphone settings on your iPhone. Note that the AirPods must be connected to your iPhone or iPad before trying this method.
Here’s how to change the microphone settings on your iPhone:
- Tap on the Settings icon and select Bluetooth.
- Under the My Devices section, search for your AirPods.
- Tap on the More info button right next to the AirPods name and then choose Microphone.
- Make sure that the Automatically Switch AirPods option is selected.
- You may also try selecting the Always Left or Always Right AirPod option to test if the microphone works properly on a single AirPod or not.
Restart Your iPhone
Your AirPods microphone may not work properly due to some temporary glitch or minor bug while establishing the connection to your Apple device. The best way to fix the microphone in this situation is to simply restart your iPhone.
- Press and hold either the volume button and the side button until the power-off slider appears.
- Drag the slider and wait for 30 seconds for your device to turn off.
- To turn your device back on, press and hold the side button (on the right-hand side) till you notice the Apple logo.
Clean Your AirPods
With regular usage, dust, and dirt may start building up on your AirPods, especially in the areas where the speakers and microphones are located. If your AirPods microphone is blocked due to dirt or debris, your voice may sound muffled or unclear during calls or recordings.
Follow these instructions:
- Each AirPod has a microphone located at the end of the stem.
- Use a dry cotton swab to clean the microphone and speaker on each AirPod.
- Make sure that you don’t put extra pressure or use any sharp objects or abrasive materials while cleaning your AirPods
- If your AirPods are exposed to anything that may lead to stain or cause damage including shampoo, lotions, perfume, or solvents, you can wipe them using a slightly dampened cloth and then use a soft dry cloth to dry them out.
- Ensure that you don’t put the AirPods in the case until they’re completely dry.
After you’re done cleaning the microphone, connect the AirPods to your iPhone or iPad and verify if they’re working properly.
Ensure that the AirPods Are Fully Charged
Before going for any other troubleshooting method, make sure that your AirPods are fully charged. The microphone may not work properly if the AirPods are discharged or the battery is too low. Try using the microphone again after the AirPods are fully charged to check if the issue persists.
Reset Your AirPods
Resetting your AirPods may solve any issues related to the microphone in case people can’t hear you at all or the sound is unclear to them during voice calls.
- Put your AirPods in their charging case, close the lid, and wait for at least 30 seconds
- Open the lid of your charging case, and take the AirPods out of the case
- On your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > Bluetooth and select your AirPods from the device list
- If your AirPods appear there as connected, tap the More Info button next to your AirPods, tap on Forget This Device, then tap again to confirm.
- If your AirPods don’t appear there, continue to the next step.
- Put your AirPods in their charging case, and keep the lid open.
- Press and hold the setup button on the back of the case for about 15 seconds, until the status light on the front of the case flashes amber, then white.
- With your AirPods in their charging case and the lid open, place your AirPods close to your iPhone or iPad. Follow the steps on your device’s screen to reconnect them.
- Once the connection is successful, check if the microphone is working properly.
Update AirPods Firmware
Outdated or incompatible software versions may cause issues with the AirPods microphone. As firmware updates are delivered automatically, you don’t need to update the AirPods. However, you need to make sure that your AirPods are running on the latest firmware version for the best functionality.
To check if your AirPods are up to date:
- With your AirPods connected to the iPhone or iPad, go to Settings and navigate to the Bluetooth menu.
- Tap on the info button located next to your AirPods name in the device list.
- Scroll down to the About section in the AirPods settings to get the firmware version details.
Get in Touch With Apple Support
If none of the above solutions have helped fix the microphone issues with your AirPods, you may need to contact Apple Support. If your AirPods are under warranty, you can claim for the replacement or repair service based on your problem description and further diagnosis.
Bonus Tip: Change Siri Settings on iPhone
A lot of AirPods users have reported having issues related to the microphone while the listen feature is enabled in the Siri Settings on iPhone. If you’re facing frequent issues such as microphones not working or delay in voice during calls, you may need to disable the Listen for “Hey Siri” option.
To do this:
- Go to Settings and navigate to Siri & Search option
- Find the Listen for “Hey Siri” option and turn it off
This will prevent Siri from responding to any voice request even while your AirPods are connected. The AirPods microphone should start working perfectly now.
Get Your Microphones Working Again
The AirPods microphone may not work properly if the microphone settings on your Apple device are configured incorrectly. If the microphone is set to Always Left AirPod, the microphone on the right AirPod will not work at all. Thus, you need to ensure that the microphone settings are set to Automatically Switch AirPods.
Except for the incorrect settings, there may be some technical glitch or minor bug while connecting to a device that may cause your AirPods microphone to not work properly. In that case, you need to restart your iPhone or iPad and try using the microphone again.
After ensuring that your AirPods are fully charged, check if they’re running on the latest firmware version as well. As the last resort, you may also try resetting the AirPods and reconnecting them to the Apple device to fix the microphone issues.
If the listen feature for “Hey Siri” is enabled, it can sometimes cause your microphone to not work at all or even lead to delays during voice calls. Try disabling the feature from the Siri Settings menu and use the AirPods microphone again.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is my AirPods microphone not working?
There could be several reasons why your AirPods microphone is not working. It could be due to a software issue, a hardware problem, or an issue with the settings. Make sure that your AirPods are properly connected and that the microphone is not blocked or covered. Prefer changing the microphone settings to Automatically Switch to AirPods. You can also try resetting your AirPods or updating the firmware to see if that fixes the issue.
How do I clean my AirPods microphone?
To clean your AirPods microphone, you can use a soft-bristled brush or a microfiber cloth to gently wipe away any debris or dirt that may have accumulated on the microphone. Be sure not to use any harsh chemicals or liquids that could damage the AirPods. Make sure that you do not apply extra pressure or use any sharp objects or abrasives while cleaning the AirPods as it may cause damage. The microphone is located at the end of the stem of each AirPod (left & right).
How do I reset my AirPods microphone?
To reset your AirPods microphone, unpair your AirPods by going to the Bluetooth section in the Settings of your Apple device while the AirPods are connected to it. After the AirPods are unpaired, put them back in the case. Now press and hold down the button on the back of the case until the status light flashes white to reset the AirPods. Connect them again and test out the microphone to confirm if it is working perfectly.
How do I update my AirPods firmware?
As updates are delivered automatically, you don’t need to update them manually. However, it is important to confirm that your AirPods are running on the latest firmware version to avoid any issues with the microphone or connectivity. You can check this by connecting your AirPods to the Apple device and then going to the Settings app. Select the Bluetooth option and tap on the more info button next to the AirPods name. Finally, go to the About section to find the firmware version of the AirPods.