Everything is working good on your iPad except that microphone which doesn't hear anything that you say. You try Siri, dictation, Skype, Voice memo and even third-party apps that record sound. Nothing works. All you get is a static. Annoying? You bet.
When your iPad's microphone isn't working, it's usually one of two things: software issue that a reset/restore fixes or a hardware issue where the microphone is blocked or gone kaput. It's really that simple although the latter can be a costly thing to fix. Read on:
IT'S A SOFTWARE THING
You're lucky if it's a software issue. The microphone stops working usually after a firmware upgrade or after you installed an app that changed a few settings. It's not possible for an app to change the microphone settings without your explicit permission but there are stray chances that trigger such an event.
- The easiest way to test and fix this is by doing a simple reset. First, press the power button till the slide (to power off) appears. Once the slider shows up, press and hold the home button till the slider disappears. The iPad display should do a blink and then things will be normal. Test the microphone.
- A hard reset can also work. Press home and power buttons simultaneously and hold them till the iPad goes blank. Then, press the power button till Apple logo comes up and the iPad powers. Test the microphone.
- If these didn't work, go to Settings → General → Reset and reset all settings. A “settings reset” reverts back all values to default. This might work to fix the microphone issue.
- As a last resort, you can try restore too but before this, follow the ‘cleaning' step from the hardware section.
WHAT IF IT'S A HARDWARE ISSUE?
Obviously, if steps 1, 2 and 3 did not fix your iPad's microphone, it can be an indication of a hardware issue. Did you drop your iPad sometime? Or did it bump into something? Or was the iPad exposed to a lot of dust and pollution?
These are just some of the things that could lead to a hardware issue that renders the microphone useless. One of the first things you are going to try sounds crazy enough to make Apple void the warranty but it seems to have worked for a lot of people. So we're recommending it but with enough dosage of caution.
Here's what you do:
- Use a small vacuum cleaner and run it over the microphone hole on the iPad. Test the microphone after this crazy attempt to restore it. If it works, it was just the dust in the hole.
- That didn't work? It's probably a connectivity issue. Blow into the hole and tap over the microphone port. Again, this is crazy enough even to talk about but no harm trying.
- Last resort: take the device to the Apple Store. If you've got AppleCare, chances are they'll fix the thing for free or for a small fee. If not, Apple's standard aloof response is to get a new device.
You might also be interested in speaker issues. Check out these posts:
- Fixing Sound issues in iPhone 4/4s
- Sound Issues in iOS 6 – Some of these are applicable to iOS 7 too.