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My Headset Isn’t Working. Is My iPhone Headphone Jack Broken?

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Question: My Headset Isn’t Working. Is My iPhone Headphone Jack Broken?
When I use my iPhone headphones, people can’t hear me and I can’t control the phone. Is my iPhone broken?
Answer:

Maybe, but not necessarily, so don’t schedule a trip to the Apple Store quite yet.

The white earphones that come with the iPhone 3GS include a microphone and a remote control (the little square button on the right cord). The microphone lets you use the headphones as a headset for phone calls and to activate Voice Control, while the remote lets you control music and some related features.

If you can’t activate Voice Control, change your phone’s volume, or people you’re calling can’t hear you, there may be a problem. But it might not be with your headphones.

Many people keep their iPhones in their pockets. Pockets are full of lint and, if your iPhone spends enough time in your pocket, lint may find its way into the headphone jack. If there’s enough lint, it can block the connection between the headphone and the headphone, which will cause the trouble.

If you suspect lint is your problem, try these tips:

  • Try looking into the headphone jack to see if you can detect any lint. You may need to shine a light into the jack in order to get a good look.
  • If you see lint, blow into the headphone jack or shoot some compressed air into it. This could blow the lint out.
  • If the lint is packed tightly, try digging it out (gently!) with something that will fit. A paper clip, pipe cleaner, or similar implement should do. Be careful not to gouge the jack, though, as that could cause you other problems.

If, after all this, you’re still experience problems with your headphone jack, now may be the time to schedule an appointment with the Genius Bar at your nearest Apple Store.



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