Can an Android phone be used as a microphone?

Android phones can be used as microphones in a variety of ways to record audio or provide microphone input to other devices. The built-in microphone(s) on Android phones allow users to record audio memos, voice messages, phone calls, and more. With the right apps and accessories, the microphone capabilities of Android phones can be expanded even further.

In this article, we will explore the different methods and applications for using an Android phone as a microphone. We will cover everything from basic voice recording to using your Android as a microphone for external programs, devices, and platforms.

Enabling Microphone Access

In order for an Android phone to be used as a microphone, the user needs to enable microphone access for the desired apps. This allows apps like voice recorder apps, phone and video calling apps to access the phone’s microphone when needed. Here’s how to enable microphone access on Android phones:

Go to Settings > Apps & notifications > Advanced > App permissions. Here you will see a list of permission categories including Microphone. Tap on Microphone to see which apps currently have access. Toggle the switch next to an app to grant or revoke microphone access.

You can also go to Settings > Privacy > Permission manager and tap on Microphone to manage app permissions. For Chrome browser, go to Settings > Site settings > Microphone and toggle access for specific sites.

On Samsung devices, go to Settings > Apps > Choose app > Permissions > Allow microphone access. For each app, the microphone access needs to be enabled for the Android phone microphone to work.

Users should be careful only to enable microphone access for trusted apps to maintain privacy. But granting microphone permission is required for apps like voice recorders, phone calls, video chats etc to leverage the phone’s microphone capabilities.

Voice Recorder Apps

There are many voice recorder apps available on the Google Play Store that allow you to use your Android phone as a microphone. Some popular options include:

Voice Recorder by Media Apps (

Easy Voice Recorder by Coffee Bean Ventures (

These apps allow you to record audio through your phone’s microphone. They provide features like trimming recordings, adding tags and timestamps, changing audio formats, and sharing to various platforms.

Many voice recorder apps are free to download but offer in-app purchases to unlock additional features. When selecting an app, look for one with an intuitive interface, good audio quality, and the features you need.

Phone Calls

One of the most basic ways to use an Android phone as a microphone is for making phone calls. When you place a call on your Android device, the microphone is used to transmit your voice to the person on the other end of the call. The microphone picks up your voice and converts it into an audio signal that can be transmitted over the cellular network.

The quality of the audio transmission depends on several factors like the model of your Android phone, cellular network connectivity, environmental noise, and more. Many modern Android phones use noise cancellation algorithms to reduce background noise on calls. Some models may also have multiple microphones to capture higher quality audio [1].

Using your Android microphone for phone calls is one of the simplest and most commonly used audio applications. Any Android device can transform into a microphone for transmitting your conversations to others during phone calls.

Video Calls and Live Streaming

Most Android phones come with built-in apps for video calls and live streaming that utilize the phone’s microphone. Popular video calling apps like Google Duo, Facebook Messenger, Skype, WhatsApp, and FaceTime for Android allow users to make video calls where both parties can see and hear each other.

The microphone quality when using these apps can vary depending on the phone model. High-end flagship phones generally have better microphone quality compared to budget models. Factors like noise cancellation and wind reduction can improve call quality in noisy environments.

For live streaming apps like Facebook Live, Instagram Live, YouTube Live, and Twitch, the phone’s microphone picks up your voice which is broadcasted to your viewers in real-time. A strong wifi or mobile data connection is needed for smooth streaming.

To achieve better audio when streaming, you can use a external microphone connected to the headphone jack or USB-C port if your phone supports it. Popular external mics like the Shure MV88+ can provide higher quality sound input when live streaming from your phone.

Overall, Android phones are very capable of providing good microphone input for video calls and live broadcasts. But quality can vary across devices, so checking microphone performance should be part of your research when choosing a streaming phone.

Smart Assistants

Most smart assistants like Google Assistant and Siri can utilize the built-in microphone on an Android phone for voice commands. This allows you to activate the assistant and issue voice commands without needing external microphones or headsets.

With Google Assistant, the phone’s microphone is used by default whenever the “Hey Google” hotword is detected. However, if you have a Bluetooth headset connected, Assistant may switch to using the headset mic instead. You can disable this in your Assistant settings by tapping your profile image > Assistant settings > Devices > [Your headset] > Phone calls.

For iPhones using Siri, the phone’s built-in mic is always used by default. Siri does not switch to a Bluetooth mic even when a headset is connected. There is no setting to change this behavior on iOS.

In general, using your phone’s high quality built-in microphone provides the most accurate speech recognition for smart assistants. External mics may pick up more background noise or be positioned further from your mouth. Disabling headset mics for assistants ensures access to the optimal mic and voice input.


External Mics

Connecting an external microphone to your Android phone is one of the best ways to improve audio quality for recordings. There are a variety of mics available including wired and wireless options from brands like Shure and Rode. Many of the top external microphones designed for smartphones feature a male USB-C or 3.5mm connector to plug directly into your Android device (Rode).

Some popular external mic options include lavalier clip-on mics for interviews and voiceovers as well as shotgun mics for capturing better audio at a distance in videos. Models like the Shure MV88+ allow you to plug the mic directly into the charging port on your Android phone and provide excellent quality audio recordings (

Using an external microphone bypass your Android’s built-in mic allows you to get high-quality audio recordings, even in noisy environments. Just make sure the microphone is compatible with your particular Android model before purchasing.

Audio Quality

The microphone quality on Android phones has improved dramatically over the years. Many flagship Android models now have multiple microphones to help capture audio clearly. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra has 4 microphones, while the Google Pixel 6 Pro has 3 mics. Reviews typically find that these mics can record voices very cleanly without much background noise.

However, the mics on Android phones still don’t quite match up to dedicated external mics used for professional recording. While phone mics may sound great for casual voice memos, phone calls, or live streaming, they lack the sensitivity and frequency response of pro-grade condenser microphones. Dedicated mics also have better directionality and noise isolation. An external USB mic or XLR mic hooked up to an audio interface would provide superior audio quality for music recording, podcasting, or other productions.

So in summary, Android phone mics today are very capable for everyday use and have improved to the point where audio quality is quite good. But professional musicians, podcasters, and other serious audio producers will still want to use a dedicated external microphone for the best possible sound.

Use Cases

Android phones can serve as versatile microphones in a variety of use cases. Here are some examples:

Podcasting – By using an external condenser microphone like the RØDE smartLav+, you can record high-quality audio for podcast episodes directly on your Android device.

Vlogging – The front or rear camera on an Android phone works well for vlogging. Adding an external mic like the RØDE VideoMic Me improves audio capture.

Interviews – Android phones with external mics can record in-person or phone call interviews. The Shure MV88 provides excellent sound quality.

Voice memos – Android’s built-in voice recorder app lets you capture audio memos, notes, and more using just your phone’s mic.

Live streaming – Live stream apps utilize an Android phone’s mic and camera for real-time broadcasting. An external mic further enhances streaming audio.

Conference calls – For conference calls, an Android phone’s mic picks up your voice clearly. Noise cancellation further optimizes call audio.

ASMR – Android mics can record the sounds needed for ASMR audio. Binaural microphones are specially designed to capture ASMR’s 3D audio effects.

With the right apps and accessories, Android phones unleash professional-grade recording capabilities, capturing quality audio for diverse use cases.


In conclusion, most Android phones can absolutely be used as microphones in a variety of ways. The built-in microphone enables voice calls and recordings, while apps expand the functionality for various use cases. With microphone access enabled, Android phones work well for voice assistants, video chats, live streams, external mics, and more. While quality varies across devices, Android microphones provide solid performance for casual and even professional use. With the right apps and accessories, you can unlock the full potential of your Android phone’s mic. Overall, Android phones serve as capable, convenient, and versatile microphones for everyday users.

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