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iPhone Mic Sounds Muffled (Causes and How to Fix)

As an iPhone owner, I was recently frustrated when I realized that my microphone was sounding muffled. I decided to do some research to try and find out what was causing the issue and how I could fix it. After looking around, I was able to find a few different tips and tricks that helped me get the job done. In this post, I will be sharing what I learned and detailing some of the other solutions I discovered that could help you too. So if you’re having issues with your iPhone mic sounding muffled, be sure to keep reading to find out what you can do about it.

IssuePossible CausesSolution(s)
1. Muffled iPhone Mic SoundsDirty microphone, moisture build-upClean the microphone using a soft-bristle toothbrush and isopropyl alcohol
Damaged phoneConsult Apple support for repair options
Thick iPhone caseRemove the case and test the mic; consider changing the case
Outdated iOS softwareUpdate the iOS to the latest version
Overlapped settings or app issuesPerform a factory reset; back up data before resetting

Possible Causes of Muffled Mic Sounds

There are various causes that might stand behind the muted sounds of your iPhone. Take a look.

The Microphone Needs to Be Cleaned

iPhone mics are incredibly sensitive and can become muffled due to something as simple as accumulated dust. 

Further, if your hands are wet from sweat or if you’ve just washed them, that moisture can find its way into the mics. This build-up of moisture can also make your mic sound muffled.

Another thing, when you’re in a call, a part of your breaths go toward the mic throwing moisture on it, which could lead to the same issue.

Your Phone Gets Damaged

iPhones are one of the most durable smartphones out there. However, if your phone drops from an extreme height or crashes into a solid surface, this might result in permanent hardware damage. If the damage is severe enough, it can affect the internal components, including the mics.

iPhone Case Is Too Thick

Your iPhone case, especially if it’s thick or padded, may block sounds. As a result, it can cause sounds coming from the mic to sound muffled.

How to Fix Muffled iPhone Mic?

You can solve the problem of a muffled mic using various ways, such as:

  1. Determine the Muffled Mic

If you have an iPhone 5 or a later version, you have three mics on your device. The first is on the left bottom of the phone, while the second is on the front. The third one, however, is on the back, right beside the camera.

So, before fixing the problem, you have to determine which one of the three iPhone mics is causing the problem.

To identify which one is making the muffled sound, check all three:

  • First, test the bottom mic by recording a voice memo.
  • Next, test the front mic by making a call using the speakerphone.
  • Finally, test the rear mic by recording a video using the rear camera.
  1. Clean the Mics

Cleaning a muffled microphone is the simplest way to fix the sound. However, avoid blowing into the mic. This will likely push the dirt deeper inside and make the problem worse.

Here’s what you should do instead. First, get a toothbrush with soft bristles, toothpicks, and isopropyl alcohol with a concentration of 90% or more.

Next, dip the brush in the alcohol and wipe the brush along the opening of the microphone. Try gently working the soft bristles into the mic hole opening to loosen any stubborn debris.

Then, very carefully, insert the tip of the toothpick and remove any dust particles. Be careful you don’t push the toothpick too far in, or you risk damaging the mic.

  1. Change the Case

As we mentioned above, the phone case may be what’s obstructing the sound. To make sure this isn’t the problem, remove the case and try to use the mic without it.

If it works, then it’s time to get a new case.

  1. Update Your System

Sometimes the microphone isn’t working as it should because of a software issue. If your IOS isn’t set to the latest version, it’s time to update your IOS.

Users report that updating IOS sometimes enhances multiple phone functions, including the mics.

  1. Do a Factory Reset

In some cases, the mic gets muffled or muted due to the overlapped settings of the phone or the apps. If you can’t discover which setting or software might be the culprit, you may need to reset the iPhone to the default settings.

It’s worth mentioning that you should back up all your phone data before resetting the settings to avoid losing any important data.

  1. Check the Phone Out at Apple

If you tried all the manual fixes above and the sound is still muffled, the problem might be hardware-related. In this case, Apple support might be your only resort.

Apple repair service could be a bit expensive. However, if your phone is in the warranty period, you can get it fixed for free.

Not only that, but some users reported that they were compensated when the company determined that the problem was, in fact, a defective device.

The Takeaway

If your iPhone mic sounds muffled, the reason may be internal, like a problem with the settings. It could also be something external, like dirt build-up in the opening of the mic or your phone case is too thick.

The good news is that there are several easy fixes you can apply instantly. Then, if all else fails, you’ll need to resort to the support service to help you fix the problem once and for all.