iphone 4S microphone weirdness
February 27, 2013 9:00 AM   Subscribe

I can suddenly no longer be heard on calls using my iPhone 4S.

People can hear me using the speakerphone or attached headphones, but not through the normal mic. But Siri can still hear me, which I assume uses the same mic as making regular calls. I think the speakerphone mic is a separate mic at the top of the phone.

Complicating factors. Yesterday I upgraded to the latest iOS version, but I also had the dock connector replaced at a shop because it wasn't charging properly. So this could be a software bug or I'm wondering if maybe the repair shop could have damaged the mic during the repair? The latter seems unlikely to me if Siri uses the main mic too.

Any ideas? Is this a known bug? It's out of Applecare coverage. I've tried hard rebooting but to no avail.
posted by modernnomad to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's stuck on mute. Possible answers.
posted by beagle at 9:11 AM on February 27, 2013

I don't the issue is that it's stuck on mute - the mute switch prevents the phone from ringing; it doesn't disable the microphone. And in any event, my phone rings normally - the problem is that the other party cannot hear me unless i use the speakerphone or headphones.
posted by modernnomad at 9:13 AM on February 27, 2013

You're right, that link's not helpful. But it does seem to be stuck on the microphone mute mode in the phone app. Not in other apps or Siri, not the button mute.
posted by beagle at 9:23 AM on February 27, 2013

Beagle, besides the little mute button on the side of the phone (that keeps it from ringing), there's a mute button on your screen when you're on a call. Have you checked that?
posted by HuronBob at 9:44 AM on February 27, 2013

Did your mic work when you brought it back from the repair shop (i.e., was there a time where it worked between the fix and the software update)?

If so, two things to look at, especially if mute is disabled. One is an app that may not have released the mic - tap Home two times to reveal the apps menu, long press on one of the icons until a minus sign appears. Tap the minus sign for each (especially audio apps!).

What I would put more money on, though, is a weird issue where, after update, phones that use docks are set into a weird audio mode (every person I've talked to with this has been an iPhone 4 user updating to 6.x for the first time).

In this case, can you try plugging your phone into either a dock or earphones and playing music for a few minutes? This should "kick" your phone into the correct audio mode - seems to have worked for many iPhone 4 users with the problem, but not all that I've talked to - but is worth a try.

Also, on edit - one other option that's been reported to work for others with this issue is to restart the phone while pressing Home and Power until it reboots. This does a full restart (but not a reset!).
posted by jenh at 9:49 AM on February 27, 2013

A quick restore would rule out software issues, but I would bet the mic was either damaged or not reconnected properly after the dock replacement.

Both mics are used for both types of calls, for noise-canceling purposes, even if one is used as the "primary" in some cases. And Siri definitely uses both mics, because it understands you pretty much the same when used at a distance vs close-distance. So I'd say that Siri and speakerphone are working (with no noise-cancellation), and your main mic is broken.
posted by helios at 10:45 AM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

This is a known hardware thing. I had the exact problem with my 4s and when I googled, I got a lot of hits. I took mine to the local Apple store and they tried a software fix. It seemed like it worked, but later in the day I took a call and it wasn't working. Went back to Apple and they replaced the phone. I'd had it less than a year, though.
posted by looli at 12:10 PM on February 27, 2013

Took it back to the repair shop, turns out they forgot reconnect the main mic. Problem solved.
posted by modernnomad at 11:53 AM on February 28, 2013

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