How to Boost Microphone Volume on iPhone or iPad

This wikiHow teaches you what to do when one of your iPhone or iPad’s microphones isn’t working properly. Though there’s no way to directly raise the microphone’s volume, issues of quiet or muffled phones calls and recordings can usually be resolved with a few quick troubleshooting steps. If you’re having trouble hearing audio, phone calls, or alert tones, see How to Increase the Volume on your iPhone.

EditSteps
EditTroubleshooting a Quiet or Muffled Microphone
Make sure the microphone is not covered by a case (or your fingers).
Some protective cases may cover up one or more of your microphones. If removing the case fixes your issue, get a different case.

When talking on the phone, try to avoid resting your iPhone on your shoulder, make sure your fingers (or other body parts) are not covering the bottom or back microphones. If either of these microphones are covered, your voice will not come across clearly on phone calls.

Try using the microphone without headphones or other accessories attached. If your voice sounds clear without accessories, one of those accessories was the culprit.[1]

Remove dust and debris from the microphone. If crud has collected inside your microphone, your recordings or phone calls will sound quiet or muffled. Here’s how to clean the problematic microphone:
Turn off your phone or tablet and remove any cases or accessories.

Using a soft, dry, and unused toothbrush or makeup brush, gently sweep the microphone hole back and forth.

Use a can of compressed air to spray short bursts (in one or two-second intervals) into the microphone. Hold the can several inches away from the microphone to avoid overdoing it.

Update your iPhone or iPad to the latest software version. If you haven’t already done so, make sure you’re using the latest version of iOS on your phone or tablet.
If you’re only experiencing microphone issues in one app, update that app as well.

Contact Apple Support if the issue persists. If these troubleshooting tips did not solve your issue, you may be experiencing a hardware problem. See Apple’s support site to learn how to get in touch with Apple in your region.

EditFinding the Problem Microphone
Locate the microphone(s). If your phone or tablet has multiple microphones, each should be tested separately.
iPhone: Your iPhone has 3 microphones.[2] The set of small circles on the bottom-left edge is the main microphone (used when you’re talking on the phone).

The wide oval-shaped hole at the top-center part of the screen is used when you record video with the front (selfie) camera and when you use Siri.

The small circle next to the flash camera on the back of the iPhone is used for regular (non-selfie) video recording, as well as a secondary microphone during phone calls.

iPad: Your iPad has one or two microphones, depending on the model. If it has two, they are right next to each other and are used together. Look for an oval-shaped hole (or two) on the top left or ride side of the tablet.[3]

Test the main microphone. If you’re using an iPhone, it’s the microphone at the bottom-left edge of the phone. Here’s how to test it:
Open Voice Memos. It’s the app with a black icon with a waveform image inside. You’ll usually find it on the home screen.

Tap the red circle to start recording, and then speak clearly into the microphone for a few seconds.

Tap the red square to stop recording. Your recording now appears of the memos list.

Tap the black triangle to listen. If your voice sounds muffled, try cleaning it.

If your iPhone’s main microphone sounds okay but people have complained you sound quiet or muffled on the phone, you’re likely covering either the bottom or back microphones while speaking.[4]

Test the front and rear microphones (iPhone only). These are the microphones next to the front and back cameras. To test:
Open the Camera app and swipe left to access video mode.

Tap the camera icon with two curved arrows to switch to the front (selfie) camera.

Tap the red circle to start recording, and then speak clearly into the microphone for a few seconds.

Tap the red square to stop recording.

Play back the video. If your voice sounds muffled, try these troubleshooting tips.

Tap the back button to return to the camera, and then tap the camera icon with two curved arrows to switch to the back (primary) camera.

Record yourself speaking again, just as you did with the front camera, and then play back the recording. If your voice sounds muffled, try these troubleshooting tips.

EditSources and Citations
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Today in History for 26th December 2018

Historical Events

1568 – Uprising of Morisco’s against suppression in Granada
1945 – CFP franc and CFA franc created
1948 – Hungarian cardinal József Mindszenty arrested
1967 – BBC broadcasts “Magical Mystery Tour”
1977 – USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
1997 – The Soufriere Hills volcano on the island of Montserrat explodes, creating a small tsunami offshore.

More Historical Events »

Famous Birthdays

1633 – Charles E Biset, Flemish painter, baptised
1853 – René Bazin, French novelist (d. 1932)
1859 – Johan F van Bemmelen, Dutch zoologist
1942 – Vinicio Cerezo, President of Guatemala (1986-91), born in Guatemala City
1968 – Mideon [Dennis Knight], American professional wrestler, born in Clearwater, Florida
1978 – Kaoru Sugayama, Japanese volleyball player, born in Iwanuma, Japan

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Famous Deaths

1530 – Zahir-ud-din Muhammad Babur, Timurid founder and 1st Emperor of the Mughal dynasty in the Indian Subcontinent (1526-30), dies at 47
1827 – Jan David Holland, composer, dies at 81
1950 – James Stephens, Irish poet (Crock of Gold), dies at 68
1960 – Eduard Ludwig, German architect (Hansa quarter, Berlin), dies at 54
1974 – Jack Benny [Benjamin Kubelski], American comedian (Jack Benny Show), dies of pancreatic cancer at 80
1980 – Tony Smith, American sculptor (b. 1912)

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How to Set Up a Guitar

Sometimes a new guitar needs to be set up to achieve a smooth sound. If you notice that your strings are difficult to hold down or buzz while you play, you’ll need to change the action and intonation of the guitar. To do this, you can adjust different parts of the guitar like the truss rod, bridge, and pickups to alter string height, length, and how much the neck bows. This should eliminate any unwanted buzzing or feedback and make the guitar easier to play.

EditSteps
EditSetting the Truss Rod
Hold down the fret closest to the body on the top string. The frets are the square or rectangular spaces on the neck. Hold down the fret that’s closest to where the neck and body of your guitar meet on the top string, otherwise known as the 6th string.[1]
This fret is usually the 12th fret on your guitar.

Hold down the first fret on the 6th string. Hold down the first fret with your other hand while continuing to hold down the fret closest to the body of the guitar. Doing this will allow you to see whether there is a gap between the strings and the neck of the guitar.[2]
You can also hold down the first fret with a capo, which is a guitar tool used to hold down strings on the neck.

Using a capo will make it easier to examine your guitar while holding down the strings.

Look and feel for a gap between the string and neck. Look at the string and the neck of the guitar. There should be a gap about the width of a business card between the frets on the string that you’re holding down. Use a free finger to push down one of the frets on the top string. If the strings move a lot and there is a large gap, your neck has too much relief and you should tighten the truss rod. If the string doesn’t move at all and is tight against the neck with no gap, you’ll need to loosen the truss rod.[3]
The traditional setup is to have a very slight amount of curve in the neck, which is known as a concave bow.

Remove the screws in the truss rod cover on the neck of the guitar. The truss rod cover is typically on the top of the neck of your guitar, near the tuning knobs, and looks almond shaped. You must remove this plastic or wood covering before you can make adjustments to the truss rod itself. Insert a Phillip’s head screwdriver into the top of the cover and turn it counterclockwise to remove it. This will reveal the tip of the truss rod.[4]
Once you remove the truss rod cover, you should see a hole with your truss rod in it.

Tighten the truss rod nut if there is a large gap. Use the truss rod wrench that came with your guitar or purchase one at a guitar store or online. Fit the wrench around the end of the truss rod and turn it clockwise a quarter turn to tighten it. This will reduce the bend in the neck and bring the strings closer to the neck in between the frets you’re holding down.[5]
If the gap between the strings and neck is too high, it will make it harder to play the guitar.

Loosen the truss rod nut if there is no gap in the neck. Fit the truss rod wrench around the end of the truss rod and turn it counterclockwise a quarter of a turn to loosen the tension in the neck. This should bring your strings off the neck of the guitar and will give them some space. Keep in mind that there should be just a small amount of space between the strings and neck.[6]
If your truss rod is too tight, it will cause the neck of your guitar to bow. This may cause buzzing noises as you play.

Screw the truss rod cover back on and wait a day. It may take some time for the neck to adjust to the new truss rod settings. Don’t play the guitar for a day. Re-examine the guitar by holding down the fret closest to the body of the guitar and the first fret on the same string. The neck of the guitar should be slightly concave.[7]
The strings should slightly come off the neck of the guitar.

EditRaising and Lowering the Bridge
Measure the strings to the neck on the 12th fret. The distance between the strings and the neck at the 12th fret should be about , or the width of a dime. Hold the flat end of a ruler against the neck and measure how high the strings are.[8]
If the strings are further than , you need to lower the bridge.

If the string has a high action, or the strings are more than from the neck at the 12th fret, you’ll need to raise the bridge.

Use an Allen wrench to raise or lower each string on the bridge. There should be small holes that can fit an Allen wrench on your bridge. Insert the wrench into the corresponding hole of the string you want to adjust and turn it 2-3 rotations to raise or lower the bridge. If the string is too high, turn the Allen wrench clockwise to lower the bridge. If the string is too low, turn the Allen wrench counterclockwise.[9]

Adjust each string until there is a gap on the 12th fret. Continue raising or lowering the bridge on each string until they are around . Play each string while holding down the 12th fret. If the string buzzes when you strum it, it means that the string is too close to the frets. In this case, lower the bridge by turning the Allen wrench in the corresponding hole clockwise. If it’s hard to push down the strings onto the neck, your strings may be too far from the frets.[10]
The “action” or distance between the strings and the neck differs among guitar players, but is standard for most guitar players.

EditChanging String Length by Adjusting the Bridge
Tune your guitar with an electric tuner. The bridge elongates or shortens the length of your strings. If it’s not adjusted correctly, notes down the neck of the guitar will be flat or sharp. Strum the top string next to the tuner and adjust the tuning knobs until it’s an E. Put the rest of the guitar in standard E, A, D, G, B, E tuning.[11]

Strum the 6th string while holding down the 12th fret with a tuner. Holding down the 12th fret of the guitar should play the same note when you play the string without holding down any frets, otherwise known as the open position. Press down on the 12th fret on the top, or 6th string, and strum it. The note should be an E. If it isn’t an E, you have to adjust the bridge.[12]

Turn the screw on the bridge clockwise if the note is sharp. If your note on the 12th fret is sharp, the string is too short and you need to lengthen it. Look at the bridge and find the screws on the bottom of the bridge. Locate the screw that corresponds with the string that you need to adjust. Use a Phillip’s head screwdriver to turn the screw one full rotation clockwise.[13]

Turn the screw on the bridge counterclockwise to shorten the string. If the note is flat, or lower than an E, you’ll need to elongate the string. Rotate the screws on the back of the bridge counterclockwise one full rotation to shorten the string.[14]

Check the note on the string when holding down the 12th fret. Turn on the tuner and hold down the 12th fret on the string that you just adjusted. Look at the note that is displayed on the tuner. If the note is still off when you hold down the 12th fret, you’ll need to make additional adjustments to the bridge until the note is the same note as the string when played in the open position.[15]

Repeat the process on the 5 remaining strings. Continue the same process on the rest of the strings, making sure that the 12th fret note and the open note are the same. Adjust all of the strings on the bridge so that the notes are the same.
The second string from the top of the neck should be an A, the third string from the top should D, and so on.

EditSetting up the Pickups
Hold down the fret closest to the pickups on the top string. The frets are the square spaces on your neck and the pickups are the rectangular studded pieces where you strum. Hold down the fret that’s closest to the pickups on the top string, or 6th string, so that you can determine whether your strings are the correct distance from your pickups.[16]
If your strings are too close to your pickups, it could create feedback or unwanted gain.

If the strings are too far from the pickups, you may not get the full sound from your guitar.

Measure the distance between the pickup and the string. Hold the end of a ruler flat against the top of the pickups while continuing to hold down the fret. Measure the gap between the pickups and the strings.[17]
This distance should be around .

If the distance is already , you don’t have to adjust the height of your pickups.

Turn the top screw in the pickup so there’s a gap. The screws that adjust the height are typically on the sides of the pickups. Turn the top screw clockwise with a Phillip’s head screwdriver to raise the pickup near the top string. Turn the screw counterclockwise to lower it. Adjust the pickup height until it’s from the string.[18]

Repeat the process on the bottom string. Hold down the bottom string on the fret closest to the pickup and measure the distance. This time, adjust the bottom screw to raise or lower the lower portion of the fret. Adjust it until this string is also away from the pickups.[19]

EditThings You’ll Need
Phillip’s head screwdriver

Truss rod wrench

Allen wrench

Ruler

Phillip’s head screwdriver

Electric guitar tuner

EditSources and Citations
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