Microphone doesn't work in some apps (FP3)

I have had a long running problem with my microphone which support appears to be unable to solve. Using the diagnostic tool I find both microphones work OK. And I can make calls OK using the primary microphone. But when I make a call with the phone no sound is picked up on Speaker mode; no sound is recorded in Whatsapp video calls; and my banking app records no sound when I’m making an ID verification video. However there IS sound when I make a video using camera. Anybody know what is happening?

Welcome to the Fairphone community.

What software are you running on your FP3?

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You might want to clarify (perhaps you can still edit your wording for a few more minutes): When you speak of “sound”, you mean “sound recording”, right?

On a first thought, maybe this is an issue with permissions for the affected apps?

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Thanks. I’ve got Android v10 and the latest FP build. Is that what you are asking about?

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Hi and welcome to the forum

You say you have had this issue for a ‘long’ time. That seems as though it was working fine initially, so how long after receiving the phone did this happen? Was it after an update or app installation if you can recall?

What advice did you get from support? The usual are

  • Ensure you have the latest update (@Incanus)
  • Try starting in safe mode
  • Try a factory reset.

As @urs_lesse has mentioned, you maybe able to clarify

  • By no sound in each of the cases you mention do you mean you cannot hear the other caller or
  • the recipient can not hear you
  • or something else
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Thanks. Yes I mean recording. In that the person I am calling can’t hear me on WhatsApp video calls and phone calls in speaker mode. (but non-speaker phone calls and Whatsapp voice calls work OK).
The apps have permission to access the microphone. And as I say they do work when in non-speaker mode.

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I purchased the phone November 2020 and I first raised the problem with Support in October 2021, so it worked OK for a year. Been having a back and forth with Support and completing all the diagnostics, build number etc since October. Also I sent it back for a repair but it was not successful. I mean the diagnostics say the microphone works and the microphone does in some apps (e.g. camera) but only partially in others (no speaker mode in Phone, WhatsApp and Starling Bank).

OK again, apologies.

So for a year it was working?
Then on return from repair it was immediately faulty before you installed any apps. I.e. did you check it before installing WhatsApp and can confirm that it did or did not work using speaker mode immediately upon receiving the ‘repaired’ phone. If that was the case then the repair was a mess and it could have been returned immediately.

It’s hard to imagine the repairer didn’t check hands free worked before returning it.

Still not sure what you mean by ‘sound’ a) you don’t hear or b) the person you are calling doesn’t hear.

If you don’t hear sound it could well be a speaker issue
If you and the person you are calling can’t hear then it is likely to be the microphone issue, though as you have poiunted out the mics work so it’s a software issue.

Are you prepared to do a factory reset and what OS are you using version as well.

Your posts are still short on background setup. :slight_smile:

It worked for a year then it stopped working.
The issue is to do with the microphone on my phone. The consequence is that the other person - the person I am calling - can’t hear me.
I sent it for repair and the repair was unsuccessful. I have told Support this but they are extremely slow to respond. I just wonder if the Community has any experience to share.

I’m wonder where you are and if a #fairphoneangel may help.

I wonder if it’s a setting, as you said the test shows the microphones are working.

By the way you have been asked a number of times what OS and version you are currently using.

You say the repair was unsuccessful but did you try it immediately on return doing a hands free call before adding an SD card?

Do you have an SD card and how is it formatted?

Is it the same via your network and via wifi?

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I’m in Glasgow, UK.
I have replied to say that it is Android 10 and the latest build of the phone.
No I put the SD card back in before starting the phone after the repair. Do you think the SD card could be interfering? Sorry I don’t know how it is formatted - what should I look out for and what is the best way?
Network vs wifi; Well the phone is only via network. I have not tested Whatsapp on and off wifi. Could this be important?

Well that does present a problem in that you didn’t test the phone first :thinking:

If you have the SD card as portable, the preferred option, then you will see an eject icon. There are numerous problems frequently when formatting as internal.

See also

Sorry about the A10 etc. have just scrolled up and seen that :blush:

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You may also want to check Settings > Privacy > Permission manger > Microphone to see which apps are allowed to use it/them

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I really appreciate the time you’ve given to try and help me.
I did check the permissions and they all say ‘allow’ for the apps concerned. There is no permission setting ‘allow for voice call but not video call’.

I just don’t understand why this is so hard. I didn’t have to think about all these things when I had a Samsung. I shouldn’t have to somehow automatically know that I’m supposed to test the phone (how?) before I put the SD card in. I shouldn’t have to be an expert in the implications of different Android versions on the function of the SD card. I didn’t buy the Fairphone knowing that getting it to work was going to be a kind of RaspberryPi hobby project. It just seems the Fairphone is fundamentally flawed either in its design/function or in its marketing.

Fairphone have to do over 500,000 checks to get the Google Android license, for Samsung that is a small percentage of thier finances and they can also create their own version skipping some of the Google ‘quirks’

So what did you find checking the SD card?

When an SD card is inserted there is a prompt to a) use it as Internal b) use it as portable. Sadly a) is at the top any many people just click on that

If the mic is enabled for WhatsApp is it defunct in both just voice and video calls?

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Hi Chris, I feel your pain. I have the same issue, at some point, not sure when, maybe a year ago the microphone stopped working when doing video calls with WhatsApp. My understanding, from the little research I have currently carried out is that the FP3 has two microphones, one used for hands free use such as video calls and one used for normal calls. If this is the case, the fault may be with the second mic, or with software configuration. When I have a bit more time I will dig deeper.

The mic at the top is used for hands free and video calls so make sure it is not covered and if out walking talk to the top of the phone. :slight_smile:

Where is the other mic?

Amended my previous post. The bottom mic is used for video and hands free, the hole by the charging port. The top mic is the hole by the jack socket.

Have you tested them by dialling *#*#66#*#* > Service tests > Test single > Microphone

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Thanks for your help on this. I removed the SD card and did a factory reset and all seems to be working now.