Apple AirPods microphone not working? Top 10 ways to fix it

Are you having trouble using your AirPods to make calls or record audio on your phone or computer? Is your left AirPod working properly, but the right AirPod won’t pick up audio input — or vice versa? This guide also includes ten possible troubleshooting for AirPods microphone problems on mobile devices and computers.

Before trying the troubleshooting suggestions below, make sure your AirPods (not the charging case) hold at least 50% battery. Also, we should mention that the solutions in this guide apply to all Apple AirPods generations/models.

1. Check your device’s microphone volume

Windows and Mac computers have independent voice input (read: microphone) settings for AirPods and other audio devices. If your computer doesn’t recognize the voice input from the AirPods, verify that the volume is not muted.

In Windows 11, go to Setting > System > Soundselect your AirPods in the “Input” section and increase the input volume.

In Windows 10, go to Setting > System > Sound and select your AirPods as the active input device. Next, choose Device properties and use the slider to increase the volume of your AirPods microphone input.

Go System Preferences > Sound on your Mac and go to the “Input” tab. Select your AirPods on the device list and increase Input volume level/slider.

2. Disconnect other Bluetooth devices

Many Bluetooth devices (mainly audio devices) connected to your phone or computer can affect your AirPods microphone. Make sure your AirPods are the only wireless device connected to your device. Unplug or disconnect other wired or wireless audio input or output devices — headphones, headsets, microphones, headphones, or speakers.

3. Check app microphone access

Your computer won’t register voice input from AirPods if system-wide or application-specific microphone access is disabled. Check your computer’s privacy settings and make sure the app you’re using has microphone access.

Change microphone permissions in Windows

In Windows 11, go to Setting > Privacy & Security > The checkered microphone and toggle both Microphone access and Allow apps to choose your microphone.

Scroll to the bottom of the page and turn on Allow desktop apps to access your microphone.

Then, expand the “Allow desktop apps to access your microphone” drop-down menu. Make sure apps that require voice input have access to your AirPods microphone.

If you have a Windows 10 PC, visit Setting > Privacy > The checkered microphone and turn on Allow apps to access your microphone.

Change microphone permissions in macOS

Open System Preferencesoption Security & Privacyopen Privacy tab and select The checkered microphone on the sidebar. Make sure microphone access is enabled for required apps.

If an app is unchecked, click lock icon in the bottom left corner and unlock the Security & Privacy preferences page with your password or Touch ID.

Change microphone permissions in iOS

Open Setting app on your iPhone or iPad, select Privacyclap The checkered microphoneand enable microphone access for your apps.

4. Enable automatic microphone switching

Your iPhone or iPad can automatically use the microphone on each AirPod for voice input. If your phone doesn’t register voice input on an AirPod, be sure to enable automatic microphone switching. Connect your AirPods to your iPhone or iPad and follow the steps below.

  1. Open Setting application and select Bluetooth.
  2. In the “My devices” section, tap information icon next to your AirPods.
  3. Scroll through the AirPods menu and tap The checkered microphone.
  4. Option Automatically switch AirPods.

5. Check the microphone settings in the app

If your AirPods don’t work in voice and video conferencing apps, make sure your microphone is not muted. Check the call interface or the app’s settings and uncheck the mute button.

It is also possible that the operator/call server has muted you. If you can’t find the mute/unmute button during the call, text the organizer to confirm that your microphone is enabled for voice input.

6. Clean your AirPods

Cleaning your AirPods can make them louder and fix audio or performance issues. The AirPods microphones are located below the metal rings at the bottom of the body.

Use a dry cotton swab to remove dirt or debris stuck at the bottom of the AirPods body. A lint-free cloth or soft-bristled brush can also remove dirt and other foreign objects from your AirPods.

All AirPods models are not waterproof or sweatproof. So, avoid using sharp objects or liquids (soap, water, cleaning solutions, etc.) to clean your AirPods.

7. Turn Bluetooth Off and On

Turn off your device’s Bluetooth and turn it back on after 5-10 seconds. If your device doesn’t automatically connect to your AirPods, go to your device’s Bluetooth settings and connect them manually.

In Android and iOS or iPadOS, go to Setting > Bluetooth and tap your AirPods.

For Windows, go to Setting > Bluetooth & Devicesand choose Link below your AirPods.

Go System Preferences > Bluetooth on a Mac computer, right-click your AirPods and select Link.

8. Reconnect or reset your AirPods

Removing and reconnecting AirPods to your device will reset its settings and resolve connectivity or audio issues.

Reset AirPods (1st Generation – 3rd Generation) and AirPods Pro

  1. Place both AirPods back in the charging case and close the lid. Wait 30 seconds, reopen the cover of the charging case and open it again.
  2. Open your iPhone or iPad Setting app and press Bluetooth.
  3. Touch Info icon next to your AirPods and select Forget this device at the bottom of the page.
  4. Option Forget device on the confirmation pop-up.
  1. Move the AirPods near your device and hold the setup button on the back of the AirPods case. Release the setting button when the status light flashes white.

Restart or reset AirPods Max

Apple recommends charging your AirPods Max for a few minutes before restarting or resetting it to factory defaults. Alternatively, restart your AirPods Max before resetting. Just 10-15 minutes of charging is enough.

To restart your AirPods Max, press and hold Digital crown and Noise control in 5-10 seconds. Continue holding both buttons until the LED status light near the charging port flashes amber. After restarting the headset, reset your AirPods Max if its microphone is still not working.

Press and hold Digital crown and Noise control for 15 seconds until the status light flashes amber, then white.

Pair your AirPods with your device from scratch and check if the microphone now works for voice input.

9. Update your AirPods firmware

Apple occasionally rolls out firmware updates to fix bugs and resolve performance issues. If your AirPods start acting strange, updating the headset’s firmware may fix the problem.

AirPods automatically install firmware updates in the charging case and near your iPhone. However, low battery and other factors can block the automatic installation of firmware updates. In that case, you need to update your AirPods manually. Refer to our guide on how to manually check and update the AirPods firmware version.

10. Update your phone or computer

iOS and iPadOS updates also provide feature improvements and bug fixes for different AirPods models. If you’re using an iPhone or iPad, visit Setting > Shared > Software updates and install the update for your device.

Updating your computer’s operating system can also fix Bluetooth connectivity issues and install the latest drivers. If your AirPods microphone isn’t working on your PC or Mac, update its operating system and check again.

Get technical support

Contact Apple Support or visit a nearby Apple Store if you still can’t get your AirPods microphone to work. Your AirPods microphone may be faulty or damaged. Perhaps it was dropped on a hard surface or liquid got into the microphone hole.

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