Wired Headset Microphone Inaudible on Nexus 5

Nexus 5 Owners Users Screaming for Refunds

Today we’ve got some interesting information for you concerning the Nexus 5 and its microphone volume.

If you have a wired headset you are probably already aware of this info, but we thought we’d mention it anyway.

It’s a big deal, since there are obviously a lot of people who make phone calls using wired headsets, though we can’t imagine why what with all the wireless available.

Recipients of Nexus 5 Calls Can’t Hear Caller 

According to Information Week, a number of Nexus 5 users have been having problems hearing people while talking on the phone. According to the report, Nexus 5 owners have flooded Google’s product forums “with complaints about the microphone output being extremely low when using most wired headsets.”

The report goes on to say the complaints specify that it’s not just a case of the volume being too low. The problem is that when the Nexus 5 owner speaks into the phone on a call, the person on the other end cannot hear them talking at all.

The person’s voice is not just low, but it is completely inaudible, the Google Product Forums reports are saying.

Wired Headsets Not Working Right

Nexus 5 official imageThere are at minimum 130 complaints, and most  state that the wired headsets have the problems, not wireless or Bluetooth headsets.

In fact, the author of the Information Week Report stated that he too attempted to call someone with a Nexus 5, and having tried a number of different headsets, he found that the only two that worked right including, “An old set of Samsung ear buds and a Turtle Beach over-the-ear headset with boom mic.”

He then went on to test whether the bug was “system wide and not unique to the Android Kit Kat OS’s phone app.” He states that he found that the bug apparently affects Android’s auto calibration because when he used the Smart Voice Recorder application for Android, the app allowed him to calibrate the sound levels, which allowed him to hear well using the other devices.

He added that, “Headsets that fail on the Nexus 5 work fine recording audio on a Nexus 10 tablet running Android 4.3.”

Potential Work Around

Some Google Product Forum users suggested a work around until Google can fix the issue. Hold down the middle button on the headset while you plug the jack in and it should connect to the proper jack connection. See more about it here.

A support representative from Google noted in the forum that they were able to successfully replicate the issue, and acknowledged that it does exist.

To that end, that means Google is working on a fix, which should be released with an upcoming software update. However, some people are wondering whether they should return their Nexus 5 devices, or wait. While some have successfully returned them, if you can hold out for a patch, then it will definitely be worth the wait since the Nexus 5 is so much better than the Nexus 4.

Does anyone use wired headsets anymore?

Are you using a wireless or wired headset? Are you having the problem described? Let us know in the comments!


  1. Naresh Arya

    November 27, 2013 at 8:24 am

    The WiFi in the 32GB Google Nexus 5 phone that I just bought from the Google Play Store in India is NOT able to detect & or establish protocol with my WiFi network. Initially it did discover the WiFi Network and worked but after a few hours it stopped recognizing. Any number of resets to factory condition have also NOT helped. I have no problems using my HTC Dual SIM or my Lenovo ThinkPad laptops on the same WiFi network here at Pune. I stay at Mumbai, INDIA.

    Details of my handset are given below:

    Google Nexus 5
    Model: LGD 821 Black 32GB (IN)
    IMEI: 358240-05-347121-5
    Serial No: 310KPTM347121
    Month & Year of Manufacture: Oct 2013
    Product: 3G HSPA – Mobile Phone
    Google Play Order No: 15731260465432498277.1545141347153924
    Google Play Order Date: 20 Nov, 2013
    Order Time: 07:29:15 am IST
    Order Date: Nov 19 2013
    Google Play Order No: MORSCeRfHrflwQ
    Reference ID No: 3PL155163403
    Order Date: Nov 20 2013
    Order Delivery Date: Sun., Nov 24 2013
    Blue Dart AWB No: 69010273931

    • Rod

      November 28, 2013 at 2:02 am

      Hi, try specifying the channel that your Wi-Fi network transmits on.

      I had exactly that problem on my nexus 5 yet all other devices commented fine.
      I set the channel on my netcomm Wi-Fi modem to 11 (instead of auto) and now all is OK.

      Good luck, hope that helps.

  2. ThomasPC

    November 28, 2013 at 2:48 am

    I just tested this on my Nexus 5 and sure enough, no mic volume. Then I was going to test Google Voice via GrooVeIP. First, I went into that app and turned the mic volume all the way up (it was down a few notches). When I called my GV number the mic worked fine. I then when back to calling my phone directly and still, the volume of the mic was fine. I unplugged and replugged the headset and the mic volume was still fine. Sorry, I didn’t test GV before changing the volume in the app. However, I did set the volume in GrooVeIP back to where I had it originally and called the phone directly. Mic volume was unchanged – still working. Since I had used GrooveIP before, I can’t say that the app fixed it but that was the first time I used the app or got a call via GV with the headset plugged in.

  3. Daniel

    December 4, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Tried headsets from Samsung Galaxy S2 and S3, both are transfering microphone audio, but VERY low volume.

    Holding the button while plugging in the headset did just deactivate the cable microphone and the nexus 5 used the normal build-in microphone. Which actually is not bad, but of course this works only if you have the phone some range around yuor head, like on the desk in front of you. Putting it into the pocket obviously won’t work, or just your pocket will talk to the caller.

    So that’s the same as if you just use some decent headphones without microphone at all.

  4. Daniel

    December 4, 2013 at 10:07 am

    additionally I just called Google (Germany) to ask for a list fof compatible headset. They answered 1) That they do not offer a headset for Nexus 5 (well I knew that and I did not ask for that, but anyway, the answer is correct) and most important 2) that they don’t have a list of headsets that are compatible with nexus 5.

    The callcenter agent did ask her colleagues around her to be sure she did not just miss an info, and verified that there is no such list. She opened a ticket to the next level support and she promised to get back to me as soon as she has any answer, weather there is any headset recommendation or the lack of any.

  5. Heleen

    December 14, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    I use a wired headset as wel as bluetooth. I had a problemen using both: my bluetooth headset did not work with my radio app (Dutch radio) and my wired headset would not work with handsfree calling. I bought a new headset, wired, and it works fine! It is a Jabra Active headset. Also the low volume of the Nexus 5 can be turned up via the headset!

  6. dhiraj kothari

    December 28, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Theres lot of problems with my nexus 5 32 gb it just drops my calls frequently i cant talk with anybody
    How can thisproblem be solved

  7. Prabhat

    May 10, 2015 at 11:31 am

    I am also having same problem, wired earphone, the other party can’t hear. I also brought four more earphones with mic but none worked.
    Other party gets irritated and keeps on saying- I can’t hear on other end.
    It is very inconvenient and unhealthy to talk on phone while touching with body.

  8. Amulya

    June 4, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    Hi I am unsing Nexus 5 since last year. But from last more month, i have been clearly noticing that the caller’s voice gets completely inaudible for about 30 seconds and then résumé back. I faced a tough time with this attending telephonic interviews. Also since three days, wired headsets stopped working with my phone. Well they are working fine when tested with other fones. Clearly experiencing a big bug day by day.

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