- If your AirPods' microphone is not working, there are many possible causes, but you can try a variety of fixes quickly.
- Put the non-working AirPods back in the case, wait, and then try to use them again.
- You can also force your iPhone to "forget" the AirPods and then pair them again.
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Having trouble with your AirPods? While they're generally reliable earbuds that rarely cause any trouble, Airpods can and do stop working from time to time. One kind of problem that's not unusual is when the microphones seem to stop working, keeping you from making calls or speaking commands to Siri. Thankfully, most of the problems you will typically encounter with AirPods microphones are mundane and have simple fixes.
What to do if your AirPods' microphone isn't working
Unfortunately, even if the solution isn't difficult, it isn't always obvious what the solution actually is — any number of issues can make your AirPods microphone stop working. Anything from a low battery to a blocked microphone port could be the culprit, so try each of the tips below until you find the solution that fixes your problem.
Put the Airpods in the case and try again
Believe it or not, this simple trick can solve a million problems with your AirPods, not the least of which is running into a situation where the mic doesn't appear to work. If the AirPods aren't behaving properly, place them back in the charging case (or, in the case of AirPods Max, the Smart Case) for about 30 seconds, then remove them and try again. This resets the Bluetooth connection with your iPhone and can return everything to normal.
Make sure your AirPods are sufficiently charged
If your AirPods batteries are almost dead, they can start to behave weirdly. In particular, if the AirPods are trying to use the microphone in a single earbud but that bud is already dead, it can seem like there's a serious problem. The fix? Just what you'd expect — return them to the charging case and charge your AirPods for a while until they have enough battery power to work normally. If possible, charge them for at least 30 minutes before trying again.
Check the microphone settings
There's a microphone in both AirPods, and by default they're designed to automatically use the one in the optimal earbud. But there's a little-known setting that lets you specify which earbud the AirPods should always use. You might have changed this off the default at one time and forgotten, or it might have been changed by accident. For best results, let the AirPods switch microphones automatically, which can prevent problems, for example, if the battery in one of the AirPods is nearly or already dead.
1. Put the AirPods in your ears so they are connected to your iPhone. This won't work if your AirPods aren't currently connected to the iPhone.
2. On your iPhone start the Settings app.
3. Tap Bluetooth.
4. Find your AirPods in the list of Bluetooth devices and tap the i to the right.
5. Tap Microphone.
6. On the Microphone page, tap Automatically Switch AirPods.
Restart your iPhone
There's an old adage that you can fix a lot of computer problems simply by turning it off and back on again. If the problem with your AirPods is somewhere in your iPhone, such as a software driver that enables the microphone to work with a particular app, restarting the iPhone can be the fastest way to get back up and running. If you need a refresher, here's how to restart your iPhone, no matter which model you own.
Forget and then re-pair your AirPods
If nothing has worked so far, it might be time for a more drastic — though still fairly simple — measure. If your AirPods have a corrupted connection to your phone, it might be possible to fix that problem by removing the AirPods from your iPhone entirely and then re-pairing it as if they were brand new. It sounds like an extreme measure, but only takes a few moments.
1. On your iPhone start the Settings app.
2. Tap Bluetooth.
3. Find your AirPods in the list of Bluetooth devices and tap the i to the right.
4. Tap Forget This Device. And then confirm you want to do this in the pop-up that appears at the bottom of the screen.
5. Connect the AirPods to your iPhone as if they were new.
Make sure the microphone is clean
At this point, we've exhausted every reasonable software glitch that could be causing your AirPods to not work properly. That means there are only two likely issues left: the microphones need to be cleaned or they are no longer working at all.
Look for the microphone ports — on the AirPods or AirPods Pro, you'll find them at the end of the stem, close to your mouth. If they look dirty, clogged, or blocked by dirt, grime, lint or some other foreign matter, carefully clean your AirPods and remove the dirt.
The AirPods might be damaged, so contact Apple support
If you've gotten this far and your AirPods microphones still stubbornly refuse to work, the news is not promising — the AirPods may be damaged, defective, or otherwise in need of repair or replacement. Contact Apple's customer support and see if they are eligible for repair or replacement.
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