My Great Microphone Fiasco

It’s a common occurance that the microphone will go bad on a cell phone after being subjected to liquid damage. The Samsung Galaxy S3 is no exception so I try to keep some on hand for when they’re needed. I’ve been buying them on ebay usually in lots of 5. Recently, I purchased a 10 lot at a good price but upon arrival I noticed the hole for audio input was different. The mic on the left in the picture above is an OEM Galaxy S3 and the right is the replacement I received. “No biggie, probably just a pin compatible, drop in replacement,” I thought.

Finally after a few weeks passed, I needed to use one on a water damaged phone. It’s quick replacement, then when I go to test all I hear is digital static. Tapping on the mic would produce a thump, but very quiet compared to the static. I replaced the mic again, test, same, and again until 5 were swapped. At this point I give up and decide to order from another seller I’ve ordered from in the past.

Three days later the mics arrive and they’re not the OEM style but this new one. I figure what the hell and give it a whirl… same damn thing. Maybe the water damage killed something else in the circuit so I check out the Samsung troubleshooting guide and test all the components they recommend. Everythings fine. What to do. I sift through my bin of scrap boards and find a Galaxy S2 board that uses the same mic, swap it over and Voila, it works.

I assume these sellers get their parts from the same distributor, probably in China. It’s hard to say if the mics are just from a bad lot or maybe they are not the right kind for the Galaxy series. Anyways, I found the actual manufacturers part number (SPU0410HR5H) for the mic and turns out that Digikey sells them at a good price. I’ve ordered, received and successfully tested them from Digikey.

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