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Fairphone 3: physically disabling the microphones?

Hello,

I have very similar questions as in this thread: Is it possible to solder the internal microphones away?

However I would like to physically remove / deactivate both microphones from the Fairphone 3, not 2. I also wanted to know, whether I would really need a heat gun / soldering iron.

This teardown seems to have the most detailed pictures regarding the inside of the phone: Fairphone 3 Teardown - iFixit

The top and bottom modules contain each one microphone. From the pictures alone, I cannot tell which components exactly are the microphones and how they are fixated. But I really am no expert, hence why I would prefer a solution without soldering iron etc. I do not care, whether the microphones survive the procedure :wink:

I am aware that there are the Pinephone and the Librephone with dedicated hardware switches, but from what I have read those are aimed at early adopters.

Best regards

I wonder why you want to remove them? If you don’t care about damage maybe you could just damage them so they don’t work?

You may just be able to push a small piece of wood in the mic holes ??

You can disable the mic by software via Settings > Apps and Notifications > Permission manager > Microphone

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How much are you not an expert? I think I won’t teach you this can be really dangerous.
I believe in any case you will need heat. I can’t tell you how to solder them away, I never managed (I tried once on my FP2).

What I can tell you from the picture of the top module is that the microphone is located here:
image

I don’t know for the bottom module. It should have a similar shape though.

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Since the integrity of the mic is unimportant.
Perhaps a sharp wire cutter/nipper might do the job as well?
Something like this (also available in an ESD version).
Don’t be irritated; the page the link leads to is an english version. :wink: :

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Thank you all very much for the fast responses.

As probably for the creator of the linked old thread the reason for me is a more “guaranteed” privacy. For phone calls I would simply connect an external microphone.

Well, I am no handyman and normally do not do any stuff like this. If the only solution is via soldering iron or something similar, I probably won’t do it, despite the availability of videos of how to do this for other smartphones.

Actually yes, I would prefer an easy method like snipping the microphone off. Do any of you have an educated guess whether this would completely break the smartphone or work as intended?

Not a problem, I also speak German :wink:

An option may be to get another top module with the older camera and test out disabaling.

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Before cutting off the microphone, make sure to check, that the external microphone is working with your FP. Otherwise you will have a non-phone, until you find a working microphone.

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I think Alex has correctly marked the position of the primary microphone. However, it is not clear if the microphone has already been removed from its position in the photo (looks a bit too flat for a microphone). iFixit’s teardown (step 8) photo might provide more clues (also on the bottom module).

I have marked all spots RED that seem relevant to me here (double-click for detail view):


Just my guess: The primary microphone might be sitting in the little square-sized black housing in my biggest red circle. The secondary microphone (on the bottom module) might be the little “silver box” in my most right-hand red circle – looks harder to remove without damage.

Before no one mentions it: To open the top and bottom module, you will need a Torx T5 screwdriver and probably something (“opening pick”) to pry open the module once the Torx screws are out. Opening the modules themselves is not covered by Fairphone’s warranty.

@amoun’s suggestion is very good – a free spare part that you can disassemble without worry is the best option :slight_smile:

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Secondary :wink: It was the microphone if the top module I was indicating.

I don’t think they would have removed the microphone, iFixit teardowns rarely solder away components.
Also, it doesn’t seem too flat, the microphones on the FP2 are about the same size.

No, I doesn’t seem to me. I would tend to say the primary microphone is the silver flat little box on the right and the secondary the golden box, as indicated on this image:

I also looked at the position of the little holes outside of the modules and the little black protective cases located here in the top module:
image

and here in the bottom module:

If you check the shape of each module casing, this is how it fits the best.

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Right, I confused primary and secondary microphone. :+1:
I’m keeping that mistake in my text though to avoid too much need of change in your (Alex) reply etc.

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Again thanks for the input.

Luckily ifixit lists the tools they used for the teardown and from what I gather the Mako driver kit is not even necessary.

I guess the best starting point is then to try to find the two modules in the giveaway section and order an appriopriate ESD nipper / pincers.

Sadly don’t have time for it right now, maybe late in the evening.

Off topic question: So this thread will stay open for 6 months correct?

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Yes open for six months unless you ask to close it. Have fun :slight_smile:

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Yes, but they don’t solder away the microphones, so…

Yes, but it can be reopened on demand, you just have to ask :slight_smile:

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You can always use a Bluetooth headset to provide this functionality.

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