Why is my microphone not working when I call someone?

Check Your Microphone Settings

The most common issue when a microphone is not working during a call is that it is muted or access is not allowed. Start by confirming the microphone is not muted in your device’s settings menu. On Windows, go to Start > Settings > Privacy > Microphone and check the toggle next to your calling app is enabled [1]. On an iPhone, go to Settings > Privacy > Microphone and make sure microphone access is enabled for your calling app. On Android, go to Settings > Apps and make sure microphone permission is enabled for your calling app.

You can also try adjusting the microphone volume in your settings. Make sure it is set high enough to pick up your voice during a call. Run a test call and check that input levels respond when you speak into the microphone.

Update Your Apps

Older versions of apps like Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, and others may contain bugs that cause microphone issues. Updating to the latest version of these apps frequently resolves problems with the microphone not working properly during calls. As bug fixes, compatibility improvements, and performance enhancements are released in app updates, updating apps can help resolve issues like the microphone not functioning.

To update your apps on Android, open the Play Store app and tap the menu icon in the upper left. Then tap “My apps & games” and you’ll see any updates that are available for installed apps. On an iPhone or iPad, open the App Store app and tap your profile icon in the top right. Then scroll down to see any app updates available and tap “Update” next to the apps you want to update.

Be sure you have the latest versions of your communication and video calling apps like Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp, Messenger, Zoom, and others. This can frequently resolve microphone problems during calls when the microphone is not working.

Check Permissions

Many apps and services need your permission to access the microphone on your device. If you’re having issues using your mic in calls, the app likely doesn’t have access to record audio.

To fix this, open your device’s privacy settings and make sure microphone access is enabled for the app. For example, on an iPhone you can grant access in Settings > Privacy > Microphone. Android devices have similar screens under Settings.

Once microphone permissions are properly enabled, restart the app and test your mic again. In many cases this resolves issues by allowing apps to access the hardware as needed during calls and recordings.

Restart Your Device

Restarting your smartphone or computer device can often reset any microphone issues caused by software glitches or updates. According to [1], a simple device restart will refresh all the audio systems and connections, which may resolve the microphone problem.

The first troubleshooting step is to close the app or VoIP program that is having problems with the microphone input. Reopen and test if the microphone is now working. If not, do a full restart of your desktop, laptop or mobile device. Make sure to save any open documents first before restarting.

After restarting, check if the microphone is working properly in your VoIP or recording app. A full reboot often resets many software problems, reconnects drivers and is an easy first step before investigating more complicated hardware or settings issues.

Inspect Your Hardware

Your microphone itself may be broken or disconnected. First, check that the microphone hardware is properly connected to your device. Make sure all cables are fully plugged in. If your microphone uses a detachable cable, try replacing the cable or using a different microphone to rule out a faulty cable.

You can also test your microphone in other applications to determine if the issue is isolated to the calling application. Open the Voice Recorder app in Windows 10 or a digital audio workstation like Audacity, and try to record audio. If your microphone is not functioning properly in multiple applications, it likely indicates a hardware problem.

According to Microsoft Support, you may need to uninstall then reconnect your microphone in the Sound settings to reset the hardware connection if Windows is having trouble detecting the mic.

Use a Headset Instead

One possible solution is to try using a headset for your calls instead of the built-in microphone on your device. Wired headsets often have higher audio quality and ensure consistent performance compared to Bluetooth headsets which can sometimes cause interference.

Using a headset bypasses many of the issues that can occur with built-in microphones, such as:

  • Faulty wiring
  • Damaged microphone components
  • Interference from other components in the device
  • Proximity issues between you and the mic

Headsets designed specifically for making calls will provide consistent audio pickup that stays next to your mouth at the proper distance. The microphone is tuned for voice audio rather than ambient sounds. This results in clearer call quality for both you and the other participants.

Try a wired headset first if possible, as wireless Bluetooth headsets require battery power and can sometimes have interference or connectivity issues which may negatively impact call quality. With a stable wired connection, the headset guarantees reliability without disruptions.

Adjust Your Settings

One of the most common solutions for fixing a microphone not working when calling someone is to adjust your audio settings. You can access the audio settings by going to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Sound. Here you can find and select the microphone device in the Recording tab

Once you’ve selected your microphone, right click it and choose Properties. Here you’ll find tabs for Levels, Listen, Enhancements, Advanced and more. Try adjusting the input volume level to increase the sensitivity. You may also want to enable the “Listen to this device” option to hear if any audio is coming through.

Additionally, check that you have the proper input device selected as the Default Device and change this if needed. For example, if you’re trying to use headphones with a built-in microphone, ensure this device is selected rather than your computer’s mic. This guide has more details on adjusting mic settings in Windows 10.

After adjusting levels and devices, test your microphone again in a call to see if the issue is resolved before trying other troubleshooting methods.

Check Network Connectivity

If your mic is not working properly when making a call, it may be due to a poor network connection. Networks can become congested or have issues that lead to lag, poor call quality, or dropped calls. A weak or inconsistent cellular or Wi-Fi signal could be preventing your mic from transmitting audio clearly and reliably during calls.

Try moving to a location with better network reception. You may also toggle Airplane mode on and off to force your device to reconnect to the network which could resolve temporary connection problems. Running a speed test can confirm if your network has sufficient bandwidth for calling. As a last resort, you can try making a call using a different network like switching from Wi-Fi to cellular data.

Troubleshoot Background Noise

One of the most common issues with microphones not working properly during calls is background noise interference. Things like fans, music, and other ambient sounds in your environment can get picked up by your microphone and make it difficult for the person on the other end of the call to hear you clearly.

The best way to troubleshoot background noise issues is to eliminate any potential sources of noise interference in your surroundings. Turn off fans, music, televisions, and other electronics that could be picked up by your mic. Also try moving to a quieter area if possible.

You can also use tools like noise cancellation to help reduce background noise being transmitted through your microphone. Adjusting your microphone settings to be more sensitive to only your voice versus ambient sounds can help as well.

With some small adjustments to your environment and microphone settings, you can troubleshoot background noise interference and help ensure your microphone works properly during calls.

Contact Support

If you have tried all the troubleshooting steps to no avail and the microphone issue still persists, the next step is to contact support. You can reach out to the support teams for your device or apps, as the issue may lie with the software itself:

Phone device support:

If you are using a dedicated external microphone like a Rode mic, you can contact the manufacturer’s support team directly:

Additionally, reach out to the app developers themselves if the microphone issues only arise in their apps. Most apps have in-app support or help documentation you can consult.

By providing specific details about when the microphone issues occur to the right support team, you have the best chance of resolving the problem. Let them know of any troubleshooting steps you have already tried as well.

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