How to Fix AirPods Mic (Delay, Water Damage and FaceTime Issue)

AirPods are the latest entry from Apple into the Bluetooth wearables section. It has arguably revolutionized the earbuds market by offering a truly wireless solution that can be used while traveling, desk work, or even in the gym.

Apple has offered a smart case that carries these earpods and keeps them charged and ready for use. They quickly pair up with your iPhone as soon as they are out of their case and become ready for action.

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The major part of the AirPods experience is the sound and mic quality. Paired with your Max device, it can use the device’s artificial intelligence to narrow down the noise and provide better input and output audio quality. 

Following is a guide on how to fix the mics on your AirPods in various situations.

Fix 1: AirPods mics when they sound muffled

If the mic on your AirPods sounds muffled, you can follow these simple steps to clean them which is often the major cause.

Using your AirPods for a long period of time may cause an accumulation of dirt inside the mic holes which are located at the bottom of your AirPods. These holes are located on both left and right AirPods and are responsible for providing clear and crisp audio outputs. 

Wispy or unclear audio may be caused by dirt particles that often block the mic holes. This problem can be easily solved by cleaning your AirPods. 

Image credit: Soundguys

To clean your AirPods, you can use any cleaning solution. All you have to do is dab a cotton swab with a little bit of the solution and clean the bottom holes of your AirPods. You can also use rubbing alcohol if no cleaning solution is available. 

You can even use toothpicks and tweezers to pull out dirt particles that are not removed by the cleaning solution directly. While cleaning your AirPods, be extra cautious not to use extra force or use a large amount of solution as it may cause more damage.

Fix 2: AirPods mic quality on Mac

Sometimes the mic quality on your AirPods drops rapidly when it is connected to MacOS systems. Resetting the AirPods solves this issue most of the time.

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  • To reset your AirPods, put them back in the case.
  • If you have the Max version, press the Noise Control and Digital Crown button simultaneously to perform a reset.
  • In case of normal AirPods, use the status buttons on the case to perform a reset. Wait for the status indicator to turn amber. 

After performing a reset, you can try to reconnect with the MacOS system and play some sound to ensure that it has properly connected. 

Fix 3: AirPods mic after water damage

If your AirPods have fallen or gotten in contact with water, you can try the following tips to first remove the water and then dry them out.

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Use Siri Shortcuts App to remove residual water

  1. Make sure your AirPods are connected to your iPhone.
  2. Download the Shortcuts Gallery App on your iPhone. 
  3. Look for the Water Reject option and press it.
  4. Water will then start ejecting out of your AirPods. Pat the water down.
  5. Repeat as many times as necessary.

Use sun-drying for evaporating the remaining water

  1. Turn off your AirPods completely.
  2. Make sure the charging case is not plugged in.
  3. Expose both the charging case and the AirPods to the sun preferably through a window.
  4. Do not expose them to direct sunlight.
  5. Leave them to dry for an afternoon.

After following both of these steps, try to reconnect with your iPhone. Your mic should start working normally. 

Fix 4: AirPods mic quality

Sometimes it is possible that your AirPods are configured to only use a single AirPod as a mic. This can cause the mic of both the AirPods not working simultaneously. You can check if this is an issue by visiting the AirPods setting page on your device and checking the configuration.

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On your Apple device, go to Settings>Bluetooth and click on the info icon next to the name of your AirPods. Then select the Microphone option and ensure that the Automatically Switch AirPods option is selected. If any of the other two options is selected, then the mic of either the left or the right AirPod will work as per the configuration.

Fix 5: AirPods mic when using FaceTime

The issue in the mic of your AirPods can also be a result of a corrupted network setting on your Apple device. To rectify this issue, you have to reset the network settings on your Apple device. 

To reset these settings, go to General Settings on your iPhone. Then select the Transfer or Reset iPhone option. Then select Reset and then Reset Network Settings option. 

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Fix 6: delay in AirPods mic

It can be an issue with the Bluetooth driver which has received a bug during the normal operation. Such an issue can be resolved by reconnecting your AirPods. 

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All you need to do is put your AirPods back in their smart case or charging case. This will break the connection with your device and reload the driver when you reconnect with your Apple device. 

You can also restart your iPhone if the problem persists. A restart will force your iPhone to reload the network connectivity configurations which may solve your problem. 

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To restart your iPhone hold the volume down button and side button simultaneously for two seconds. Then drag the power icon to shut your phone down. After waiting for 30 seconds, use the side key to turn your phone on again. 

General workaround for mic quality on AirPods

If you don’t have any of the above problems but the mics on your AirPods don’t work or sound good in general, you can follow the below steps to counter the problems.

Fix 7: Check and update firmware

Firmware is a software that your AirPods use to perform all the functions with the hardware. An outdated Firmware version may make your AirPods incompatible with your iOS device and hence cause problems with the audio output. 

Image source: lifewire

You can check the Firmware version by going to Settings>General>About>AirPods.

The displayed menu will show the Firmware version along with the hardware version and serial number. 

In order to update your Firmware version, put your AirPods in the charging case and leave them next to the iPhone( must be connected to the internet). You will be able to see the updated version within 30 Mins. 

Fix 8: Update your iPhone

Sometimes audio issues occur due to bugs encountered within host devices such as the iPhone. To solve such issues you can update your iOS to the latest version. 

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To update your iPhone, head over to Settings>General>Software Update. Perform a pending update if any and check your AirPods for audio output. 

Fix 9: Repair or Replace

If none of the above options work, your AirPods must have some hardware or software defect that can only be fixed at an authorized Apple service center. Please take your AirPods to the apple store and try to get them repaired or replaced. 

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