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Do AirPods Have A Mic Built-In? (Answer Inside!)

Within two years of their launch, AirPods became the most popular accessory sold by Apple. However, many people have wondered whether Apple’s revolutionary wireless earbuds have built-in microphones – this is what you should know! 

Do AirPods Have Built-In Mics? 

Apple’s wireless AirPods use Bluetooth technology to connect to your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, MacBook, or another Bluetooth-enabled device. With AirPods, people can listen to their music without the fuss of cables. They can even play, pause, and skip songs by tapping on the AirPods themselves. 

However, you can do more than just listen to music with AirPods: you can make phone calls and interact with Siri. To allow for this functionality, Apple built microphones into AirPods. Of course, this means that AirPods have their own built-in mics, which are used when you’re on the phone or asking Siri a question. 

While microphones are built into AirPods, many people have wondered whether the mic needs to be activated. Once AirPods have been paired with a device, the microphone will always be on. The default AirPod settings allow the microphone to switch between both AirPods – which brings us to our following point. 

Not only do AirPods have a microphone, but each AirPod has its own microphone. Apple’s technology allows for seamless switching between each AirPods microphone when you’re on a call or using Siri. This design also allows users to use just one AirPod without losing any functionality. 

Whether you use one AirPod or both, the microphone can even be used on applications like FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, and other video calling apps where microphones are crucial for clear conversations. By considering where the microphones on AirPods are located, you’ll understand why the microphones offer such crisp quality! 

Where Are AirPod Microphones Located? 

Above, we discussed the fact that each AirPod has its own microphone built-in. This design allows the AirPods to be used seamlessly together or independently. Due to the compact design of these wireless earbuds, many people have wondered where the microphones are located on each AirPod. 

It might surprise some, but each pair of AirPods has a total of four microphones built-in, two in each AirPod. In total, there are two primary microphones and two secondary microphones. The primary microphones are located at the bottom of AirPod stems. 

The primary microphone in each AirPod is used for making calls or talking to Siri. The position of this AirPod means it’s pointed towards your mouth, which allows it to record your voice. The primary and secondary microphones function as one, perfecting the quality of your mic. 

The secondary microphone on an AirPod is located inside the earpiece and has a very important function. Essentially, this secondary mic reduces background noise, greatly improving the quality of your voice on calls. Due to the position of this mic, it’s not visible to users. 

How To Change Your AirPods Microphone Settings 

By default, your AirPods’ microphones are set to automatic, which allows each AirPod to function as the mic. When just one AirPod is used, it will function as the microphone. However, it’s possible to adjust your AirPods settings to use only a certain AirPod as the microphone. 

Step One: Open Device Settings  

On your iPhone – or an iOS device your AirPods are connected to – and open the Settings app. 

Step Two: Navigate To Bluetooth Tab 

In the Settings app, navigate to the Bluetooth tab. 

Step Three: Open Your AirPods Case 

Once you’ve opened the Bluetooth settings, you’ll see a list of your devices. Before selecting your AirPods from the list, open your AirPods case. Your phone will now register that the AirPods are nearby, which will allow you to adjust their settings. 

Step Four: Find Your AirPods On The Device List 

Now, find your AirPods in the device list and select the More Info symbol beside it. 

Step Five: Select ‘Microphone’ Option 

From the list of settings, select the ‘Microphone’ option. By default, this will be set to Automatically Switch AirPods. From this panel, you’ll be able to select Always Left AirPod or Always Right AirPod. 

Testing Your AirPod Microphones 

If you want to test your AirPod microphones, you can follow these simple steps. In the following section, we’ll look at the steps to follow if one or both of your AirPod mics aren’t working properly! 

Step One: Connect One AirPod To Your iPhone 

To test your AirPod microphones and identify whether one of them is faulty, you should test them individually. Firstly, connect one of your AirPods to your iPhone. 

Step Two: Open Your Voice Memos App 

With your first AirPod connected, open the Voice Memos app on your iPhone. 

Step Three: Record Test Audio 

In the Voice Memos app, make an audio recording of your voice. The mic from the connected AirPod will be used to record this. 

Step Four: Listen To Voice Recording 

Once you’ve created your test recording, you should play this back. If the audio quality is clear and you can hear what you’re saying, the AirPod’s microphone is working correctly. However, if you cannot hear your recording clearly, it means your AirPod’s mic is faulty. 

Step Five: Repeat Steps For Other AirPod 

Once you’ve tested your first AirPod, you should repeat the previous steps to test the other AirPod. If you find either of your AirPod mics is faulty, you can find the reason and how to fix it in the following section of this article! 

What To Do When Your AirPods Mic Isn’t Working 

From the previous section, it’s clear that Apple has built fantastic microphones into their AirPods and AirPods Pro. However, when your microphone isn’t working, using your AirPods can be frustrating – especially on calls and while using Siri. Let’s look at the most common reasons your AirPods microphones aren’t working and how to fix them! 

Charge Your AirPods 

If your AirPods have a low battery, the microphone will not be able to function properly. Due to this, if you find that one of your AirPod’s mics isn’t working, you should first try charging your AirPods to resolve the issue. You should ensure that your AirPods Charging Case is also sufficiently charged when doing this. 

Reconnect Your AirPods 

Another trick to try when your AirPods microphone isn’t working is reconnecting them to your device. For many people, establishing a new connection between their AirPods and device resolves microphone-related issues. You can simply pop both AirPods back into the charging case to do this. You can then reconnect your AirPods and see if the issue has been resolved! 

Restart Your Apple Device 

Like reconnecting your AirPods to your device, restarting your device itself may resolve issues with your microphone. Simply restart whichever device your AirPods are connected to, whether it’s your iPhone, MacBook, or iPad. Once the device has restarted, connect your AirPods and test your microphone using the steps we outlined in the previous section! 

Clean Your AirPods 

Earlier in this article, we discussed where the microphones in each AirPod are located. Of course, the secondary mic is located within the earpiece and is not accessible. However, the primary microphone is in the stem of the AirPod. Due to this, the buildup of dirt and grime can cause the microphone’s audio to sound muffled. 

By looking at the stem of your AirPods, you’ll be able to assess whether dirt has collected in this area. If this area is dirty, you should carefully clean it to restore the functionality of your microphone. These steps are outlined in this YouTube video! 

Check Your AirPods Microphone Settings 

If you find the microphone in one of your AirPods is not working, you should check your AirPods’ microphone settings. Of course, as we discussed earlier, it’s possible to adjust these settings so that only the right or left AirPod mic is used. 

By setting this back to Switch Between AirPods, you may resolve the issue you’ve been experiencing. The same steps we outlined earlier can be followed to check these settings! These settings can be accessed via the Bluetooth settings on your device. 

Update Your iPhone Firmware 

If you’re running outdated firmware on your device, you may have found the reason for your microphone issues! From the Settings app of your iPhone, you can scan for and install any firmware updates. 

Update Your AirPods Firmware 

Like your iPhone, your AirPods also run on a certain firmware. Generally, this is automatically updated. However, there’s a way to manually check and update your AirPods firmware. To do this, you can follow the simple steps outlined in this handy YouTube tutorial! 

Reset Your AirPods 

If the previous steps haven’t solved your mic-related issues, you should try resetting your AirPods. To do this, you need to forget the AirPods from your Bluetooth settings and then pair the AirPods with your device again. For a quick overview of the steps to reset your AirPods, you can check out the following YouTube video! 

Reset Your iPhone Network Settings 

When the network settings on an iPhone are corrupted, it often results in microphone-related problems with AirPods. Luckily, resetting your network settings is simple and may fix your mic issues! 

Step One: Open The Settings App

On your iPhone or iOS device, navigate to the Settings app. 

Step Two: Go To General Tab 

In the Settings app, select the General tab. 

Step Three: Select ‘Transfer or Reset’ 

In this tab, select the option to Transfer or Reset your iPhone. 

Step Five: Reset Network Settings 

You’ll now have the option to prepare for a new iPhone or reset certain settings. By clicking Reset, you’ll be able to Reset Network Settings. Once you’ve done this, you should test your AirPods microphones to see if the issue has been resolved. 

Replace Your AirPods 

If you’ve tried the various fixes on this list to no avail, it might be time to repair or replace your AirPods. Depending on your AirPods warranty status, you may be eligible for a free replacement from Apple. 

From your AirPods settings in the Bluetooth tap, you can check the coverage of your AirPods. You can also check your coverage by entering your AirPods serial number on Apple’s Service and Support Coverage webpage


AirPods allow users to do more than just listen to music; it allows them to make calls and interact with Siri. To allow for this functionality, each AirPod has two microphones installed within it. This design allows both AirPods to be used together or independently. 

The primary and secondary mic in each AirPod works together to perfect the quality of your mic. The primary AirPod microphone, which is used for calls and Siri, is in the stem and is directed towards your mouth. The secondary AirPod is located within the earpiece and is used for noise reduction.