/nexus/?hl=en
1/6/14
Original Poster
Google user

Nexus 5 has Low Input Volume (gain) using Headsets w/ Inline Mics!

Notice:  If you're rooted, you can manually adjust the Mic volume, or download this patch:  https://productforums.google.com/d/msg/nexus/dOaR3XxCmxo/Jn5DHkzjAAgJ (Please up-vote this answer in hopes that google with patch this into the next release.  I feel safe in saying it's not fixed because of the remaining N4/N5 users having this issue.  Try the patch and let us know what happens.

Hello!

Just got my N5 and noticed the input gain on my headset is awfully low, if not inaudible.  Nobody could hear me clearly, some could barely hear me and yet others heard nothing.  The same headset-mic works fine (calls and audio recordings are loud and clear) on my Galaxy S2 and S4.  Otherwise, the N5 is fine.  Do I need to RMA?  Is anybody else having the same issue with their headset-mics?

Reference my other post here.  I've made multiple posts in hopes of getting this issue more attention.  I've tried other headsets; the nexus 5 has low input gain on all of them.

*UPDATE:*  I've (reluctantly) returned my Nexus 5.  This is only the first week (actually a bit less than that) of the N5 being out in the public and reports of this issue are starting to accumulate.  Please, Google, acknowledge the issue and offer a real solution.  The prevalence of the issue on multiple devices (even after some have exchanged them) is proof we need a more effective solution.

Google+ posting to help with search.

IF you are having this issue, please reply and up-vote this ticket.  It would also help if you included a response in my XDA Thread Here.

*UPDATE:*  I spoke with another GP support person (Hi, Brandi!) and she escalated my issue to a specialist.  I sent her a link to this post hoping the specialist will pop in here or work with me over email.  I'll keep updating.
**UPDATE** Haven't heard from the specialist yet, but google said the issue qualifies for warranty return and exchange.  For now, getting a decent bluetooth headset may be the only way "around"  the low input gain issue. Sigh nuggets.  I'll update if I hear from the specialist and report the status of my new N5.
***UPDATE***  Received the new N5 today.  It has the same issue.  I can confirm that holding the center button down on my pair of earbuds seems to correct the gain to appropriate levels.  On my other set, I had to toggle the mute switch to achieve the same effect.  In call volume seems to be normal on skype, grooveIP, and the native android calling app.  Note:  I cannot just plug in any old headset and expect it to work as intended.  For now, I have to hold in the play/pause button on my main earbuds and toggle the mute switch on my home headphones for skype and such.  I'm going to give the phone a fair chance over the next week and will update.

****FINAL UPDATE****  WTF, google, seriously.  Holding the play/pause button on my headset (and connecting my other set with the mic muted) seems to correct the low input volume issue -- it doesn't.  It merely enables a sort of "speaker phone mode" that where the audio is being inputted from the phone's mic, not the inline mic.  Test it yourself.  When you connected an inline mic as you normally would (not pressing the buttons), the nexus 5 switches to the inline mic input and it sounds too low to be functional.  Disconnect the same headset and connect it while holding the button and you'll find it sounds much better.  Tap on the phone, put your mouth right next to the phones mic, then listen to your recording.  You'll see what I mean.   The better sounding audio isn't coming from the inline mic, it's coming from the mic built into the nexus 5 because it thinks you've connected earbuds with no inline mic. The nexus 5 (much like the N4) has a glitch with most inline mics.  I'm done testing.  Sending it back this week and requesting a full refund.  I talk on skype and GrooveIP far too much to tolerate.  such a pity.  Perhaps I'll try again next year when there has been a patch or two out.  Maybe a developer can find a fix.  Good job LG and Google, you've created a phone that is perfect for folks who don't use earbuds or headphones with inline mics.  I guess we'll just have to stick with samsung phones or get a moto X.  Geeez.
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Recommended Answers (2)
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All Replies (265)
Google user
11/5/13
Google user
Hi, I'm having the same issue on my new Nexus 5.  The headset mic (from a YurBuds headset mic) is very low in its output.  The same headset works well with my Samsung Galaxy S3.  Maybe a software issue?
paulw
11/5/13
paulw
Can you go to Settings > Sound > Volume and make sure everything's turned up there?

If it is, try starting your device in safe mode (instructions and info here) to test if any app you've installed is causing the problem. If you don't experience the problem while in safe mode that's a good indication that an app you've installed is the source of your issue.
Google user
11/5/13
Google user
Thanks for the suggestion Paul.  I checked the volume settings and they are maxed out.  The issue seems to be on input though (not output from the phone).

I recorded some audio into the Keep app with the following test:

Safe Mode
- Headset mic (volume was low)
- phone mic (volume seems fine)

Non-Safe Mode
- Headset mic (volume was low)
- phone mic (volume seems fine)

So, it seems like the issue is able to be replicated in Safe Mode as well as not.  Any other suggestions?  Thanks!
Matt
paulw
11/6/13
paulw
Do you have another headset/mic you can experiment with? I know you said your current one works on other phones, I'm just trying to eliminate the possibility that it's the specific combination of your phone with that headset.
11/6/13
Original Poster
Google user
Paul,

Thanks for taking the time to help, much appreciated!  I did more testing as well.  Similar tests but with multiple inline mics and various apps.  Results are all the same.  The N5 handset mic is just fine (albeit a lower quality than the S3) and all audio recorded with inline mics is significantly quieter.  Based on my testing with a couple of audio level apps, I would say the inline mic gain is at least -3.  I have to jack the gain on ASR to 2-3x gain just to be heard reasonably.  Callers can't hear me very well, if at all, unless I use the handset.  No ear buds, head phones nor any other inline recording device is producing functionally sufficient positive gain.  I don't know if this is a software or hardware issue.

I do know that it doesn't matter if I'm in safe mode, or using grooveIP, or the native dialer on a cell call, nor any other app.  I think this is an issue Google needs verify (which they could easily do) and recognize as a hardware or software fault.  People need to know what they are buying and have confidence that Google will own up to the issue if they can verify it.
259 MORE
Aslam Rasheed
7/20/14
Aslam Rasheed
I have nexus 5 with all the updates... No resoultion yet
 

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