We have recently been able to match measurable data to our incoming phone calls from possible leads. This means I have listened to quite a few calls and one apparent issue always comes up in more than half of the calls. I know all of you have had some experience with this, it’s when the other party sounds like they just dove off a boat and are heading down to the bottom of the ocean. Unless you are a relative of King Poseidon you might find yourself saying “could you repeat that?”.

So what causes this phenomenon to occur?

We have 328 million people in the U.S. (2019) and of that population 260 million (September 2019) use a smartphone. We often forget that these devices of plastic and metal work hard to keep us connected to the other party. When we use our smartphones we are often more interested in what the other party is saying than what we are doing.

That underwater sound that we hear frequently is the other party covering the microphone part of their phone. Whether it be the way we hold it and our finger is covering the microphone, or it is our cheek because we are holding the phone on our shoulder freeing up both hands. You may not realize you are doing it but this is what causes that muffled, underwater, in a box sound on a phone call.

But where is the microphone?

There are so many devices out there on the market now, it would be hard to list them all by Name, version, and where the microphone is located. So I will only run through a couple here to give you an idea. When you see where the microphone is located you will understand how it happens and be more aware of not covering it up.



Pixel – Later versions after 3 moved the microphone to the bottom.

#5 is the location of the Microphone on Pixel 3 and 3XL, later models it was moved to bottom



As you can see, most companies have moved the microphones to the very bottom of the phone. Our palms, fingers, neck or cheeks can cover these tiny holes and make you sound like you just jumped into the pool. Be aware of where your microphone is so that the other person doesn’t have to ask “can you repeat that?”.