Having trouble using your AirPods for phone calls or audio recording on your phone or computer? Left AirPod working fine, but right AirPod not capturing audio input or vice versa? This tutorial also covers ten possible solutions for AirPods microphone troubleshooting on mobile devices and computers.
Before trying the troubleshooting tips below, make sure your AirPods (not the charging case) are holding at least 50% battery charge. Also, we should mention that the solutions in this guide apply to all generations / models of Apple AirPods.
1. Check the microphone volume of your device
Windows and Mac computers have standalone voice input settings (read: microphone) for AirPods and other audio devices. If your computer doesn’t recognize voice input from your AirPods, check that the volume isn’t muted.
In Windows 11, go to Settings > System > Soundselect your AirPods in the “Input” section and increase the input volume.
In Windows 10, go to Settings > System > Sound and select your AirPods as the active input device. Then, select Device properties and use the slider to increase the microphone input volume of the AirPods.
Go to System Preferences > Sound on Mac computer and go to the “Input” tab. Select your AirPods in the device list and increase the Input volume level / slider.
2. Disconnect other Bluetooth devices
Multiple Bluetooth devices (mainly audio devices) connected to your phone or computer can interfere with the AirPods microphone. Make sure your AirPods are the only wireless device connected to your device. Disconnect or disconnect other wired or wireless audio input or output devices: headphones, earphones, microphones, earphones, or speakers.
3. Check access to the app’s microphone
Your computer won’t record voice input from your AirPods if system-level or app-specific microphone access is disabled. Check your computer’s privacy settings and make sure the app you are using has access to the microphone.
Change microphone permissions in Windows
In Windows 11, go to Settings > Privacy and security > Microphone and activate both Microphone access And Let apps choose your microphone.
Scroll to the bottom of the page and activate Allow desktop apps to access your microphone.
Next, expand the “Allow desktop apps to access your microphone” drop-down menu. Make sure apps that require voice input have access to the AirPods microphone.
If you have a Windows 10 PC, go to Settings > Privacy > Microphone is active Allow apps to access your microphone.
Change microphone permissions in macOS
To open System PreferencesTo select Security and privacyopen the Privacy tab and select Microphone on the sidebar. Make sure microphone access is enabled for the necessary apps.
If an app is deselected, click padlock icon in the lower left corner and unlock the Security and Privacy preferences page using your password or Touch ID.
Change microphone permissions in iOS
Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad, select Privacyfaucet Microphoneand enable microphone access for your apps.
4. Enable automatic microphone change
Your iPhone or iPad can automatically use the microphone on each AirPod for voice input. If your phone isn’t recording voice input to an AirPod, make sure that automatic microphone switching is enabled. Connect the AirPods to your iPhone or iPad and follow the steps below.
- Open the Settings app and select Bluetooth.
- In the “My devices” section, tap the information icon next to your AirPods.
- Scroll through the AirPods menu and tap Microphone.
- To select Automatically change AirPods.
5. Check the in-app microphone settings
If your AirPods aren’t working in the video conferencing and voice apps, make sure the microphone isn’t muted. Check the call interface or app settings and uncheck the mute button.
It is also possible that the host / host of the call has deactivated you. If you don’t find a button to mute / unmute a call, send a message to the host to confirm that the microphone is enabled for voice input.
6. Clean your AirPods
Cleaning your AirPods can make them louder and fix sound or performance issues. The AirPods microphones are located under the metal rings at the bottom of the stem.
Use a dry cotton ball to remove any dirt or debris stuck to the bottom of the AirPods stem. A lint-free cloth or soft-bristled brush can also remove dirt and other foreign materials from your AirPods.
All AirPods models are not waterproof or sweat resistant. So, avoid using sharp objects or liquids (soap, water, cleaning solution, etc.) to clean your AirPods.
7. Turn Bluetooth off and on again
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 its Bluetooth settings and connect them manually.
On Android and iOS or iPadOS, go to Settings > Bluetooth and tap your AirPods.
For Windows, go to Settings > Bluetooth and devicesand select the Connect button under your AirPods.
Go to System Preferences > Bluetooth on Mac computers, right-click on the AirPods and select Connect.
8. Reconnect or reset your AirPods
Removing and reconnecting the AirPods to the device will reset its settings and fix connectivity or audio issues.
Reset AirPods (Gen 1 – Gen 3) and AirPods Pro
- Put both AirPods back into the charging case and close the lid. Wait 30 seconds, reopen the lid of the charging case and keep it open.
- Open your iPhone or iPad Settings app and tap Bluetooth.
- Click the Information icon next to your AirPods and select Forget this device At the bottom of the page.
- To select Forget the device in the confirmation window.
- Hold the AirPods close to your device and press and hold the setup button on the back of the AirPods case. Release the configuration button when the status light flashes white.
Restart or reset AirPods Max
Apple recommends charging AirPods Max for a few minutes before restarting it or restoring it to factory settings. Also, restart AirPods Max before resetting it. A 10-15 minute charge should suffice.
To restart your AirPods Max, press and hold the key Digital crown And Noise control button for 5-10 seconds. Continue holding both buttons until the LED status light next to the charging port flashes amber. After restarting the headphones, reset AirPods Max if its microphones still don’t work.
Press and hold the 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 the firmware of the AirPods
Apple occasionally launches firmware updates that fix bugs and fix performance issues. If your AirPods start showing unusual behavior, updating the earbuds firmware may fix the issues.
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 manually update your AirPods. Please refer to our tutorial on checking and manually updating AirPods firmware version.
10. Update your phone or computer
The iOS and iPadOS updates also provide feature improvements and bug fixes for different models of AirPods. If you are using an iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > General > Software update and install the update for your device.
Updating your computer’s operating system may also fix Bluetooth connectivity issues and install the latest drivers. If your AirPods microphones aren’t working on your PC or Mac, update its operating system and double check.
Get technical support
Contact Apple Support or visit a nearby Apple Store if you still can’t get the AirPods microphone to work. The microphone on the AirPods may be faulty or damaged. Perhaps it has fallen against a hard surface or liquid has entered the microphone opening.