How to Fix Your Earbuds’ Mic

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Updated September 29, 2022

If you are new to the world of portable headphones, you may wonder how to fix your earbuds’ mic. Some of the best headphones, after all, are earbuds, and, unfortunately, these devices are prone to maintenance and repair issues that could impact the built-in microphone. So what causes the microphone to go kaput on the best wireless earbuds, and what are the preferred troubleshooting steps? Keep reading to find out.


  • Many earbuds include a dedicated microphone for talking to friends, using the phone, or playing video games.
  • These microphones can run into issues, however, and most of them are related to audio software or the default recording device.
  • Start troubleshooting by checking on app permissions, downloading audio driver software, looking at sound settings, inspecting the speaker icon, and restoring the earbuds to factory settings.

What Causes Earbud Microphones to Fail?

If you are struggling to hear your mic through headphones, it might not be you, as the microphone itself could be struggling. Many factors contribute to microphone failure with earbuds, similar to when learning how to fix earbuds that work on one side. Both hardware and software issues could be to blame here, so you will have to learn how to get water out of earbuds along with updating any driver software. As a note, this issue occurs with any pair of earbuds with a dedicated microphone, even if you are wondering about the definition of ANC earbuds.

Insider Tip

Microphones are fairly hearty, and this is rarely an electrical issue, though it does happen.

How to Fix Microphone on Earbuds

There is no universal fix here, as it largely depends on the underlying issue. Here are some troubleshooting steps worth considering to get your microphone working again.

App Permissions

Often, the microphone is working just fine, but the apps you are using are not set up to recognize it. This is an issue of app permissions and comes up quite frequently on Windows devices, Macs, smartphones, and tablets. The process to switch up these permissions varies depending on the app and the operating system, but you should be able to get it done by heading to app settings or microphone settings.

Check Volume and Mute

This is another “user error” case, but it happens more often than one would think. If you find that others cannot hear you when you are using the earbuds’ dedicated microphone, check on the mute button and volume controls. Remember, the earbuds themselves likely include a mute button, but so does the software you are using.

STAT: There are often times when a set of in-ear headphones will suddenly lose sound in one of the earphones. Most times, this issue is found at the 3.5mm jack. (source)

Drivers and Factory Settings

When all else fails, look for any software updates, otherwise known as drivers. Download and install this software as indicated by the instructions. Beyond that, restore the earbuds to their default factory settings to see if that allows the microphone to function once again.

Microphone Earbuds FAQs

How do I fix my Apple earphone mic?

Follow the steps above for an Apple device or any default device, including downloading a new audio driver, checking on sound settings on your audio devices, and privacy settings/app permissions.

How do I test your headset mic?

Test your headset mic by turning on your default device and checking the levels of this default recording device. You won’t have to plug anything in, such as a female jack unless you have a wired headset. The levels will indicate proper audio signals.

How do I remove the crackle from a headset speaker and mic?

Crackle that interrupts phone calls and other services can come from many sources, including a faulty audio jack, the input device or default communication device, or the microphone device itself.
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