iPhone 7 Plus - Microphone cutting out (help)

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Travisimo, Oct 2, 2016.

  1. Travisimo macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    #1
    I got my iPhone 7 Plus (AT&T, jet black, 256 GB) almost two weeks ago on Monday, September 19th. I have not had any of the issues that have come up and I've been greatly enjoying my new phone. Until yesterday...

    I went with a friend to Chicago for a concert and I was eager to record some video of the concert. Everything seemed to go well until I came home later that day to view the recorded videos. To my dismay, the audio was almost inaudible, sounding very muffled (not distorted, just very very soft). Two things came to mind: either 1) I accidentally was covering up the microphone with my hand, or 2) the music was causing the iPhone's microphone to muffle somehow. It was not distortion, but sounded like the microphone was covered up.

    So I did a few tests... I recorded a few videos in my living room with just me talking while recording. When playing back the videos, every once in a while, the audio would just cut out and my voice would be barely audible. I could still hear it very faintly, but again very very soft. I tried this again while playing some music in the background from my Apple TV. Again, it cut out several different times. I purposefully made sure that I wasn't covering a microphone (I was holding the phone only from the side edges). Later on, my daughter was practicing her trumpet and I thought that would be another good opportunity to test it out. I shot about 6 consecutive videos of her playing and in every one, the audio cut out. Strangely, it seemed to cut out right when the sound got loud and would come back after she got done playing.

    So that's where I am. I'm not sure if the loud sounds are triggering in, if it's some kind of noise cancellation glitch or auto loudness reduction? I checked my videos prior to yesterday and don't hear any audio cutouts in those, but there's no loud sounds in them either.

    At this point, I'm thinking either 1) there's some kind of software glitch that is causing the microphone to mess up (I'm running 10.1 public beta), or 2) there's a hardware problem with the microphone that is causing it to short/cut out. Of course, I verified that it isn't the speakers during playback and that the cutting out is in the actual recording.

    Questions for you experts out there:

    1) I determined that there's a microphone in the earpiece on the front of the phone, and if I cover that up, the audio gets muffled during recording, but not to the same degree as this glitch (and I made sure I wasn't covering that when doing my tests). Is that the only microphone that is used for audio recording when shooting video? Seems like there should be a microphone on the back side of the phone facing the subject?

    2) Any suggestions aside from backing up and restoring the phone (which I'm in the process of doing right now)? I don't know whether I should try downgrading to the release version of iOS 10, but I like having the Portrait mode and I haven't seen anyone else with this particular problem.

    3) Also, I was talking to my wife on the phone earlier today and she said I was cutting out during the call as well, though we were inside a building and I figured it might have just been a service issue. But now it makes me think maybe the mic was cutting out then as well.

    Thanks in advance for the help.
     
  2. Ronnoco macrumors 68030

    Ronnoco

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Location:
    United States of America
    #2
    Interestingly, people have told me my voice was cutting in and out while on a call with them. I thought it might be signal related, but I had at least 3 dots of signal (AT&T). Maybe the mic is the issue. I have an appointment with the genius people on Tuesday about what I thought was a call dropping problem. I'll mention the mic issue to them if they don't already know about it. Thanks for the heads up.
     
  3. Travisimo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    #3
    Try recording about a minute of two of video with some loud music in the room. Play it back and see if the audio cuts out, that's how I was able to verify it. It could very well be a software glitch with the noise cancellation or something, I don't know. I'm hoping it's not an actual hardware issue with the mic because I doubt I'll get replacement for my 256gb jet black anytime soon. Does Apple do advanced replacements?
     
  4. macfacts macrumors 68020

    macfacts

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    Oct 7, 2012
    Location:
    Cybertron
    #4
    The low mic sound is normal. You can see how low it is in this comparison video ...
     
  5. Travisimo thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 22, 2009
    #5
    No, you didn't read my post carefully. It's not a low mic, it's cutting out. Like it is nice and loud for most of the video recording, but at certain places, it just cuts out and you can barely hear anything. This isn't just a low volume issue, but thanks for the reply.
     
  6. macfacts macrumors 68020

    macfacts

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    Oct 7, 2012
    Location:
    Cybertron
    #6
    Definitely show the video to the Apple genius to get an exchange.
     
  7. Travisimo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    #7
    Unfortunately, the nearest Apple store is over 2 1/2 hours away, so I'll probably just give them a call and ask them what to do. Ironically, I could have stopped in at the Apple Store in Chicago while we were there if I had known it was going to be a problem when I got back home. In looking back in my videos that I took walking around downtown Chicago, the mic cuts out in a few other places too but there's no loud sounds when it happens so I don't think there's any correlation between loud sounds and the mic cutting out.

    I'm restoring my phone now and we will see if that fixes it. If not, then I'm guessing it's a hardware problem with the mic. Maybe a loose connection or something. :-(
    --- Post Merged, Oct 2, 2016 ---
    Here's quick example of what's happening. This is a trimmed video of the concert I was recording. Notice that it's cut out at the beginning, then the audio comes back for a second, then goes out again, comes back, etc. When it's cut out, you can turn the volume up and still hear something so it's still picking up audio but it's very muffled. It's almost like the noise cancellation is cutting it out, but I've done tests here at home just talking and it has done it there as well. Sometimes it doesn't do it at all, and other times, it'll cut out for most of the video with no particular discernible pattern.

    I'm hoping the restore will fix the problem if it's just a software issue, but it's problem a loose connection or short of some sort.

     
  8. Travisimo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    #8
    Okay, hopefully someone can shed some light on how the microphones work for recording video. According to Apple's website, there are 3 microphones on the iPhone (perhaps variation between models, didn't see one specifically for iPhone 7). One is located on the front of the phone in the speaker grill (front-facing). Another is located at the bottom of the phone in the left grill (presumably for talking on the phone). And finally, there's a rear-facing microphone between the rear camera and the flash. I do not know how these are worked in tandem when recording video, but it's definitely using both the front and rear mics (but not the bottom one). So I'm assuming the bottom one is just for calls while the other two are used when recording video.

    When doing a test video, if I cover the front microphone, the audio gets muffled but still pretty audible. If I cover the rear microphone though, that's when I can initiate the cutting out that I'm experiencing. But it's not consistent. One time I covered up the rear mic and the audio did not change AT ALL. Another time, I covered up the rear mic and the audio cut out completely. Maybe there IS something going on with the noise cancellation or something, but I don't understand how Apple is dealing with audio recording. Is it supposed to use both the front and rear mics for video recording? Does it switch between them or combine audio from both of them? I don't know what's going on, but I'm definitely still getting the cutting out.
     
  9. Travisimo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    #10
    Hey, thanks for the reply. Saw your video, so your audio is cutting out even while the music you were recording is still playing? Are you having it happen when recording other videos?

    I've been trying to troubleshoot this issue all night. I'm not too worried about the white noise in a quiet room, I've heard that from previous phones, but this audio cutting out is a deal-breaker because it's happening frequently when recording videos. At first I thought maybe I was just putting my finger over one of the mics since I could still very faintly hear the audio and then it would come back. But in testing, it is just randomly cutting out even when I make sure not to touch any of the mics.

    Do you have a screen protector, skin, or case on your phone? I'm wondering if this has something to do with software where Apple switches between the mics or the noise cancellation? It's weird because if I cover up the front mic (the one in the earpiece speaker grill), the audio is muffled but still quite audible. If I cover up the rear mic (the one inbetween the rear camera and flash, sometimes it has no effect but sometimes it completely cuts out the audio like in my test videos). So I'm wondering if one mic gets covered, it tries to switch to the other mic?

    It's a very strange issue and it just started happening to me a couple of days ago. I'm going through some other troubleshooting tips before requesting a replacement. I'm going to try the following:

    - Clean the mics with air and make sure nothing is blocking the holes
    - Reset settings on phone and do a hard reboot
    - Backup and restore the phone
    - Downgrade from iOS 10.1 beta to regular version (what version are you running?)

    If none of that helps, then I'm going to call Apple for a replacement.
     
  10. Travisimo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    #11
    Just wanted to follow up and say that my issue was due to the Best Skins Ever skin. Even though I ensured that I punched out the camera hole opening for the back camera, it was still covering part of the back microphone. Removing the skin resolved the problem. Thanks to BSE for sending me a replacement skin, which I will be cutting a larger hole opening out of before applying to my phone.
     
  11. Chostetler15 macrumors newbie

    Chostetler15

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2016
    #12

    Ok I am guessing on some of this. But I think the phone is constantly switching between microphones to find the best mic for the video. Similar to google hangouts which switch the video feed to the person talking. I don't know how to disable the front facing microphone (yet) but it's my problem too.

    My work around... I have filmic pro app. It's like $1.99 but it allows me to choose my microphone. The back and the bottom work fine.

    Problem is Siri voice commands/texting often use the front microphone and she never understands me. I will need to look for a permenant solution.
     
  12. donhuntley macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2017
    #13
    I just bought an iPhone 7 plus. Similar complaints from people I'm calling that my voice is muffled. After reading the above I suspect the folio case I bought, which covers the rear microphone when opened back is the culprit. As I understand it, this interferes with and confuses the background noise cancellation, resulting in the muffled voice on the receiving end. I bought filmic pro, which BTW is $9.99, not $1.99. I love my folio case and would like to keep it. How can I use filmic pro to fix this problem? It's not obvious to me.
     
  13. Chostetler15 macrumors newbie

    Chostetler15

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2016
    #14
    When I bought filmic pro years ago it was cheap. And filmic pro is just for filming. It won't help your calls. It just makes it so you can choose your mic while recording something. I would take your phone back to apple and get a new one.

    If you still want to film with filmic pro and choose your mic then click the gear icon in the top right corner, choose audio settings from the options that appear. Then scroll through the different microphones available (front, back, bottom). It may be a good way to prove to an apple rep that your mic is not working.
     
  14. pvalenti macrumors newbie

    pvalenti

    Joined:
    May 14, 2017
    #15
    --- Post Merged, May 14, 2017 ---
    I have the iPhone 7 plus and everyone I talk to says my voice sounds muffled. Some people say it sounds like I am talking into a pillow. I had my sim card reset, then replaced with no improvement, so T-mobile gave me a new iPhone. I still had the same problem of the voice cutting in and out. I went to Apple and they gave me a new iPhone 7. This is my 3rd phone and the same problem of no one can hear me on voice calls. So I switched carriers to AT&T and there is absolutely no improvement. I am convinced something is wrong with the iPhone 7 plus. I will have to go back to my iPhone 6. The iPhone 7 plus has a superior camera, you just can't make a voice call.
     
  15. Chostetler15 macrumors newbie

    Chostetler15

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2016
    #16
    So I figured out my problem. The front microphone (near the front facing camera) had slightly shifted when the screen was replaced. So it wasn't getting a clear path out and was being muffled. If you know how to open your phone or know someone that can I highly suggest it. (It will void your warranty)

    Geniuses will not do this for you. They will only replace your phone (if it is within its warranty)
     
  16. Midlaj Midrockz macrumors newbie

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    Jun 12, 2017
    Location:
    United Arab Emirates
    #17
    --- Post Merged, Jun 12, 2017 ---
    i have the same problem. what can i do?
     
  17. Midlaj Midrockz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2017
    Location:
    United Arab Emirates
    #18
    thank you so much!
    your information helps me to resolve it
     
  18. kepperson macrumors newbie

    kepperson

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    #19
    I have an iphone 7+ and people are telling me they can't hear me or that my voice sounds muffled. I see there are hundreds of people with this same problem with the 7+. Should I bother taking it to the Apple store or just address it with my carrier? We recently switched to Credo. I do have an Otter case on it but have always had Otter cases and they never caused issues with covering a mic in the past. Thanks in advance for your help.
     
  19. Jedak_Tarkus macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    #20
    I am having the same problem. after doing factory restore static noise went a way but talking to people they can't hear me clearly. it sounds like I am talking from a distance. I used 2 phones and I mute microphone on first one that way you can check how it sounds. it sounds echo but can be checked. Apple genus bar in glendale galleria is very uneducated people. They do not understand anything. To check the microphone either the tester needs to produce a tone or speak in microphone to check the signal level coming from mic.
    there is no other way. apple checked internal hardware only and it passed. They said there is no problem with the phone. Apple genus bar in glendale galleria is worst place to go. Do not waist your time to go to genus bar. The manager didn't want me to show her the problem either. I took extra phone with me to show them the problem but they didn't want to see it. This is my 3rd replacement and I am still having the same problem. 4th replacement is on its way. I will replace until the mic problem is fixed. I do not see any other option.
     
  20. MrTk macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2013
    #21
    Everyone:

    I've had similar audio cut-out issues as well. Noticed them coming back from a family Halloween party where during a game everything got really quite for 2 or 3 seconds then sound came back. Did this several times and the video is just not usable.

    I've done testing to see if somehow I'm causing this with how I hold the phone or if I'm kicking in noise canceling. During my tests, I've confirmed it is more random than I first thought. I have a 7 plus 128 gig thats about 1 year old. I DID performed a reset--not full re-install, just reset without data loss--last night; I'm running iOS 11.0.3. Using Otterbox Symmetry case (not covering any mic areas).

    I have two short youtube videos of my testing. Video 1 is 3 tests of the mics and how they react to direct touching. Video two is me recording moderately soft music, handling the phone, setting down my phone (not softly) then picking it back up and then touching the camera-side facing mic. Video 2 is were I'm most concerned because a non-noise canceling kicks in and is really obvious. I'm submitting this to everyone so people can hopefully know if their issue is noise canceling--or even worse, the random canceling I got on video two.

    Video 1:
    - Test 1: (.12) I take a finger and run it across the bottom of the phone near the speakers.
    - Test 2: (.24) I take a finger and rub it across the front tip speaker area several times.
    - Test 3: (.33) I take on finger and rub it across the flash and small black dot near the cameras several times.

    Notice that on test 3, noise canceling kicks in and all goes silent for a few seconds. This did NOT happen with test 2 and 1. So I WAS thinking that perhaps when my phone audio recording in video cuts out it is because the camera-side facing mic is picking up too much noise and cancels out. This noise could be a loud party, event, concert, etc.

    Notice that on test 3 noise canceling kicks in and all goes silent for a few seconds. This did NOT happen with test 2 and 1. So I WAS thinking that perhaps when I have issues it is cause I somehow touch the front-side mic. I suppose such nosie extremes like rubbing a finger on a mic could also be loud party, events, concert, etc. Well, Vid 2 shows something else is going on.

    Video 2:
    - Test 1: (.16) Me handling the case in different positions to make hand noise on the phone. Case is an Otterbox Symmetry.
    - Test 2: (.33) Me setting down my phone rather forcefully (small drop) to the table. No noise cancel.
    - Test 3: (.44) Me rubbing the small front-facing mic next to the flash. Notice noise canceling kicked in for a few seconds. Also, notice when I set my phone down rather firmly at first, noise canceling did NOT kick in.

    Issues:
    1) Notice audio doesn't start recording till :05. It was playing at :03.
    2) May largest concern is what happens from :09 to :13. I have no idea why it cut out. Appears to be random cutoff. Not caused by external noise nor influence that I can tell. Very concerning.

    Links:
    Video 1:
    Video 2:
     
  21. Apple Plus macrumors newbie

    Apple Plus

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2017
    #22
    Problem Solved

    Same issue before . My iphone 7 plus is more than 8 months but they changed new unit they say its a factory defect. Thanks
    --- Post Merged, Nov 28, 2017 ---
    Problem Solved

    Same issue before . My iphone 7 plus is more than 8 months but they changed new unit they say its a factory defect. Thanks
     
  22. Nic2484 macrumors newbie

    Nic2484

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2017
    #23
    --- Post Merged, Dec 6, 2017 ---
    Your problem sounds a little different than mine I only have the muffled sound when I’m calling people but I went to the apple store they said my phone is fine it’s the At&t network that’s the problem. I’m sure you already have this resolved since it’s been a year since it was posted. I just thought I’ll say my story. I also have the iPhone 7 Plus.
     

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