Apple has released several highly popular products as of late, though few have received the level of attention that the Airpod has. This product also came at a fairly high price due to the innovative features and the iconic Apple logo slapped on the wireless earbuds.
While we consumers expect this premium pricing from one of the most successful companies in the tech sector, it can become infuriating when our expensive earbuds suddenly have faulty features.
If you are one of the disgruntled minority trying to understand why your Airpods microphone isn’t working, you are not alone. Thankfully, there are a number of simple and convenient methods to ensure that you don’t have to go unheard when using your Airpods.
By the end of this article, your Airpods microphone should be working and you will have several useful and practical ways to alleviate this problem in the future.
How to Fix your Airpods Microphone – 7 Different Solutions
There are a number of reasons why you are not getting a satisfying response (or any response at all) from your earbud’s microphone.
This can range from something as simple as an inefficient charge or obstructions blocking your microphone, to the product itself being obsolete in terms of its current update.
We will be taking a look at each reason in easy-to-follow, concise instructions to eliminate any chance of this problem occurring again in the future. It goes without saying that your Airpods should be sufficiently charged before addressing this issue, as this can and will typically fix the problem if you haven’t tried it yet.
1. Check for Obstructions or Dust Near the Microphone
Have you ever made the mistake of lending a particularly pungent friend your earbuds only to wince as you look at the results of your decision? Well if you have seen the aftermath of earbuds being subject to unkept ear canals, you know all too well how dirty these tiny pieces of tech can get over long periods of time.
Earbuds get dirty for a number of different reasons however — dust buildup, hair, dirt, unfortunate lobe residue, etc. This can result in lowered audio quality and a non-responsive or poorly functioning microphone, so it is essential to clean your earbuds every month or so.
If you do plan to clean your earbuds, it is imperative that you avoid the following methods! Failure to do so can irrevocably damage your Airpods and we both know how pretty the penny was that purchased them.
Avoid using anything that is metallic that can damage the product, don’t introduce liquid or moisture into the cleaning process (Airpods are far from waterproof), avoid using chemical cleaners, soaps, rough materials or clothes, etc. When you do begin cleaning the Airpods, be very careful that you don’t disassemble any part of the miniature device, nor should you be forceful during the cleaning process or you risk damaging the pricey Apple earbuds.
The items you will need are the following: Q-tips or small cotton products (pads, balls, wipes, etc.), Toothpicks or something equally sharp that won’t damage the internal components, Electronic cleaning liquids or electronic wipes, and a bowl or edged plate filled with water to clean off the excess sediment and grime that piles up on the cleaning tools.
- Use the Q-tips or cotton device to clean off the exterior. Be diligent to make sure all unwanted residue is removed including transparent substances like oil.
- Grab another Q-tip and begin gently wiping on the openings of the earbud where music is output and your voice is received through the microphone. Do this a few times until you are confident the openings are clean of any protruding grime.
- Be very careful that you are gentle with the product when cleaning it at every step. These are delicate earbuds and a good cleaning isn’t worth a defective earbud.
- Using the toothpick, gently pick any residue from the openings in the earbud. Do Not push against the mesh filter, as this could damage the earbud. Try to come in from the side to minimize the risk of pushing against the filter.
- If you notice anything particularly resistant to your efforts, you can use a very minimal amount of electrical cleaner or electronic wipes to remove it.
This is a tedious and gentle process that can take some amount of time, so remember to be patient when doing it as rushing can cause damage to your Airpods.
2. Place Airpods Back Into Their Charging Case
The case of your earbuds has evolved from the previous decades and now works as a portable charger. Additionally, this compact tech container can also fix your microphone woes very quickly and succinctly by simply placing your Airpods back into the case.
The process is as simple as it sounds, with a few key steps. Like the title says, place your earbuds into the charging case and then go find something to do for half a minute or so. After this brief delay, you can take out your Airpods and see if this fixes your microphone problem. After a specific period of time spent in the charging case (30 seconds), the pairing between your earbuds and your smart device resets, which could solve the broken link between your Airpods and iPhone.
3. Check Your Apple Device For Updates
While it may feel like your shiny new Airpods are the most culpable suspects when dealing with this annoying issue, sometimes you have to point the blame in the direction of your Apple device. If you find that you have an out-of-date device or a smartphone that has been out of range of usable WiFi for some time, you might need to update the product to fix your faulty microphone.
To check if your device needs to be updated all you have to do is go into Settings and then look for the General tab. Once you have selected the general tab, you will need to click on the Software Update option. Once this process has been completed and your device has been updated, try to see if your microphone is working now.
4. Check Your Airpods For Updates
If you have checked your smart device and found it to be up to date, then you should switch over to your earbuds and check if they too could use an update. This process is almost identical to your iPhone, there are just a few slight variations in the steps.
To start, you will need to connect your Airpods to a compatible iOS device, preferably an iPhone with a WiFi connection. Once they are successfully connected, you will need to navigate the Apple device they are connected to and go to Settings. From there, you need to locate the General tab, then go to the About tab. While in the about menu, there will be an Airpods option which will allow you to update the earbuds.
5. Restart The Device Your Earbuds are Connected to
In the modern technological world, the familiar method of unplugging and plugging something back in still holds quite a bit of merit. The equivalent of this for iOS devices is to restart the product and allow it to re-establish a connection with its paired Bluetooth device.
We won’t insult your intelligence by giving you a step-by-step instructional guide on how to restart your device — hold the power button until you get a popup menu with restart then do so. Do not shut it off and turn it back on, you need to restart the device to get the desired results. Strangely enough, this method of problem-solving can solve a lot of technical issues when it comes to smart devices like iPhones, iPads, and other Apple products.
6. Reconfigure Your Airpods Microphone Settings
Never exclude the idea that your microphone configuration can be bungling up your product’s ability to recognize audio. To get to the microphone settings on your Airpods you will need to connect them to an iOS device that is compatible, so you can access the settings menu.
Once your earbuds are connected to your iOS device, you will need to go to the Settings menu. From there, we are going to click on the Bluetooth settings and look for our Airpods in the dropdown menu of paired devices. Next to your Airpods will be a lowercase i, click on it. Once in the menu, select Microphone > Automatically Switch Airpods to rectify this somewhat convoluted problem.
7. Remove and Pair Airpods With Device
If all else fails and you are still left scratching your head (or pulling your hair out) then this final solution may still offer you solace. To do this you will need to make sure that the device you paired your Apple earbuds with has forgotten the Airpods completely. To do this we will need to go into Settings again.
The complete list of steps is Settings > Bluetooth then select the lowercase i next to your AirPods in the dropdown menu of paired devices. Select Forget This Device and make sure the earbuds are removed fully from your device. To be extra safe, restart your iOS device and turn your headphones off and on (do not connect the two). Once your phone has restarted, pair the earbuds like you originally did and your microphone should be successfully taking in your voice.
The most annoying problem with technical issues when it comes to newer technology is that there is no one size fits all solution. Fortunately, the varied solutions that do exist should all comfortably address whatever static your device and AirPods could be having.
So the next time you find yourself with a faulty microphone, look back at this page for all the solutions you could ever need!