Your trusty iPhone 12 is your constant companion, capturing life’s moments through photos, videos, and crystal-clear voice calls. 

But, have you ever wondered where the magic happens, the unseen technology that transforms your voice into digital memories? 

This guide sheds light on the location and function of each microphone on the iPhone 12 series, including the 3rd generation iPhone SE.

Microphone Location & Function on iPhone 12 Series

Across all iPhone 12 models, three microphones work in concert to deliver excellent audio:

Camera Microphone

Located on the back, adjacent to the rear camera module. Ideal for capturing ambient sounds while recording videos with the rear camera. Its noise cancellation capabilities minimize background noise, ensuring your voice remains prominent.

Built-in Microphone on Top

Situated beside the front-facing camera, this microphone is your primary voice channel for phone calls. Handles the majority of voice input, including FaceTime, voice memos, and Siri interactions. Its proximity to your mouth ensures optimal voice clarity.

Bottom Microphone

Positioned near the Lightning connector, primarily works during phone calls to pick up your voice even when your hand covers the top microphone. It also contributes to noise cancellation for video recording with the front camera and FaceTime calls.

Slight Variations Exist Between Models

  • iPhone 12 Mini: Shares the same microphone placement as the standard iPhone 12.
  • iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max: Feature an additional microphone on the bottom, alongside the existing one, for enhanced stereo audio recording and noise cancellation.
  • 3rd Generation iPhone SE: Mirrors the microphone layout of the iPhone 12 and 12 Mini.

How to Clean and Troubleshoot Microphone Issues?

If your iPhone 12 microphone isn’t functioning optimally, try these steps:

Cleaning the Microphone Grill

Gently brush the microphone openings with a soft, dry toothbrush to remove any debris. Avoid using sharp objects or liquids, as they could damage the delicate microphone membranes.

Rebooting the iPhone

A simple restart can sometimes resolve temporary glitches affecting microphone functionality.

Giving App Access to Microphone

Ensure the app you’re using has microphone access enabled. Go to Settings > Privacy > Microphone and grant permission to the desired app. If microphone issues persist, contact Apple Support for further assistance.


Understanding the location and function of each microphone on your iPhone 12 empowers you to optimize audio capture for every situation. From crystal-clear phone calls to immersive video recordings, your iPhone 12 microphones are ready to transform your voice into lasting memories. So, the next time you reach for your iPhone to capture life’s moments, remember the hidden microphones working tirelessly behind the scenes to deliver exceptional audio quality.