Have you had a phone call recently where the other person mentioned that your voice wasn’t clear? When this happens, you might chalk it up to a bad connection. However, you might instead be suffering from microphone issues on your device.
You may not even be aware of your mic’s problems; the worst-case scenario is having a broken mic. Let’s take a look at some of the issues your Android phone’s mic can encounter and methods to fix them.
What’s the Cause of Microphone Issues?
So why and how do microphone problems arise? Your mic can become distorted for a variety of reasons, with the most common being a dirty phone. If you aren’t someone who cleans their phone regularly, you might be surprised to see how much dirt gets built up.
Other common hardware issues on Android phones are related to software updates and third-party app installations. These tend to reconfigure or disable your mic without you realizing it. Your mic can also become damaged due to physical issues, such as internal malfunctioning or damaged hardware from mishandling your phone.
How Do You Know Your Android Mic Is Faulty?
If you suspect that your mic might be broken or malfunctioning, it’s best to test it to make sure. Here’s how to test your Android microphone.
Voice Record Yourself
The easiest way to make sure your mic works is to record your voice on your phone and listen to the recording. You can easily tell if your voice sounds distorted to can help you ascertain the problem.
Most Android phones come with a built-in voice recorder you can use. If you don’t have one installed already, you can use download a voice recorder app such as ASR Voice Recorder.
Perform a System Diagnostics Check
If you still aren’t sure about your mic, you can use a hardware and system diagnostic app such as Phone Doctor Plus to test your mic. The app will perform various tests and give you results on your mic’s condition.
Ways to Fix Your Android Mic Issues
If you’ve confirmed that your mic isn’t working properly, now you can set out to fix it. Since there are various reasons why your phone’s microphone may malfunction, let’s go through different ways to fix the problem.
1. Check if Your Case Is Blocking the Mic
If you use a case on your phone, you should first check whether it’s blocking the microphone port. It could be that the mic is working fine, but it’s not able to detect your voice well enough or at all because the case is covering the hole.
This likely won’t be the cause of the issue if you’ve bought your case directly from the phone manufacturer. But sometimes, third-party cases can have manufacturing defects and not place a hole exactly where it’s supposed to be, i.e., on top of the mic.
2. Restart and Check for Updates
Sometimes the easiest solution is the best solution. Restarting your smartphone refreshes your system by clearing all processes and closing apps. It can be a quick fix to your problem.
Hold the power button until the menu appears, then choose Power > Power off. Leave it off for 30-60 seconds before turning it back on, then check to see if the problem is resolved.
If a quick restart doesn’t work, check for software updates, located under Settings > System > Advanced > System update or similar. A new software update usually fixes any bugs/errors that the current version may have, which could affect your microphone.
3. Clean Your Phone’s Microphone
If you don’t clean your phone every once in a while, dirt can build up in the small openings like the microphone port, even if your device has an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance. Simply wiping your phone is not enough, as dust or other small debris can get packed in.
Your mic is a small hole or other port located beside the USB connector, usually at the bottom of your phone. Grab a small pin, thin needle, or similar and use it to gently clean your mic. The other alternative is to blow directly at it, to remove all the built-up debris. However, if you do this, be careful not to blow air further into the phone.
Another aspect to check for while cleaning is your screen protector. When you place a new protective item on your phone, there’s a chance that you’ll cover your mic with it. Make sure that no part of it is blocking your mic, and that there’s no dust buildup trapped inside the crevices of your case either.
You can adapt our guide to cleaning iPhones for your Android phone and apply most of the same steps to avoid facing this problem again in the future.
4. Configure Your Sound Settings
Some Android phones come with a feature called noise suppression or noise reduction. Noise suppression helps reduce the background noise when you are on a call or recording a video.
For those unaware of this, the result can sound a bit disorientating, so it’s easy to assume there is something wrong with your mic. Here’s how you can disable the setting to make sure your mic is fine:
- Go to the Settings app.
- Select Call Settings or Sound Settings.
- Look for the Noise Reduction option and disable it.
- Restart your phone and check if the problem is solved.
Please note that not all Android phones come with this feature, and it may appear in a different location for you.
Aside from this option, there’s also the chance that you left your phone connected to a Bluetooth headset or another device with a microphone. If that’s the case, your phone will use that as the primary microphone instead of the built-in one.
Make sure to check what’s currently connected under Settings > Connected devices. Disable any active Bluetooth devices and try using the mic again to fix your problem.
5. Check for Third-Party App Interference
Third-party apps are one of the biggest causes of phone malfunctioning. They can interfere with your phone’s settings; many people experience irregularities but think of them as nothing more than glitches. In this way, apps that can access your microphone might be the cause of your current issues.
To determine if your mic issues are due to a third-party app or not, you should run your phone in safe mode, which disables all third-party apps temporarily.
Here’s how to activate safe mode on your phone when it’s already on:
- Press and hold your phone’s Power button.
- On your screen, touch and hold the Power off option.
- Afterward, you should see Safe mode at the bottom of your screen. Select this to reboot into safe mode.
If your phone is off, do the following:
- Hold your phone’s Power button to boot as normal.
- When the animation starts, press and hold your phone’s volume down button. Keep holding it until the animation ends and your phone starts in safe mode.
- You will see Safe mode appear at the bottom of your screen to confirm.
Now that you’re in safe mode, perform a test call or use your recorder app to check the microphone. If your mic is working fine in safe mode, then the issue lies with an app. You can find a list of apps that use your mic in the Settings menu.
Go to Settings > Apps & notifications > Advanced > Permission manager > Microphone.
If you have installed sound amplifiers or enhancer apps, they are most likely the culprit. Otherwise, try checking the apps that you suspect are the cause, revoke their mic access, then test your mic to see if they were the cause.
6. Take It to a Technician
If all else fails, there is a good chance your phone is damaged. Mics are delicate parts and can easily break from falls or water damage. In this scenario, it is best to take your phone to a technician who can determine the fault within your device.
Getting Your Mic to Work Properly
There are various reasons your phone’s mic may not work properly. If you ever run into a problem, the methods above should help you identify and fix the issues with the mic.
The best way to avoid issues from popping up in the future is to take good care of your phone.