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A1418 / EMC 3069 / 2017 / 3.0 GHz quad-core i5, 3.4 GHz quad-core i5 or 3.6 GHz quad-core i7 Processor. Released June 8, 2017.

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Muffled Microphone - iMac 21.5" (mid 2017) - Following Adhesive Strips

This is actually an answer rather than a question; a solution to a problem that is not yet in any guides. Since I couldn't find a resolution online, I figured I'd share my own.

The mid 2017 21.5" model of the iMac is new and this issue isn't major, so it's not surprising that the few people who have sewn up their computers after an upgrade or fix either haven't encountered it yet, or found the true cause.

The problem is that after reassembly, the microphone input is faint and muffled. It functions, but barely, and is essentially unusable. The culprit turns out to be the adhesive strips used for reassembly. The frame of this iMac model seems identical to its 2012-2015 predecessors, so ostensibly the same strips made for these earlier models would work here too. However, the microphone has been moved from the top of the computer (near the webcam) to behind the frame at the bottom of the screen.

Note the location of the "4R" strip in the following picture:

https://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/ig...

Now look at the location of where the microphone has been moved to:

https://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/ig...

One can clearly see that the "4R" strip completely covers the microphone and the holes in front of it, deadening any sound picked up.

Knowing this, the solution is simple. Make sure the microphone works properly before using any adhesive. Then, apply the adhesive strips, but when laying down the "4R" strip, cut away the portion covering the microphone (and a little bit more from each side to be safe).

Hopefully, this post will save others from hours of exasperation! :)

Cheers!

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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2 weeks at AppleCare, still not resolved. Have to take back. Losing money on freelance every day!

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I had the exact same issue with the 2017 27" iMac. This post gave me a clue of what was going on. Thank you!

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Thank you very much! your post saved my time too :-)

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Not received this type of iMac yet, but a big thank you for the heads up as this is easily overseen!

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Thank you very much!!! This post saved me a lot of time.

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@iofile Better go here and create a technique tutorial about this it will be more efficient than a answer in a question. If you dont want to do it just tell me and I will enjoy doing it in your place.

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Yes, I would love to write a guide on this. The only complication is that I'm out of town atm, so it would probably be a couple weeks before I could write and post it. Is this an acceptable time frame?

If you think people could benefit from having this information sooner, then perhaps you should tackle it. Thank you for the interest!

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Can you tell why strip is covering the mic? Can it be while producing computer? Or it is 100% physical modification by users? I ask that because suspect that the person who sold me a "new" iMac might fool me. BTW I have iMac 2017 5k Z0TR/5 model

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@bora89 this happens when you open your Imac and you gonna use another adhesive tape to reseal the machine. What seem to be the problem with yours?

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Yes, it is muffled. But I did not open my iMac, I bought "a brand new iMac" that I was told, all the one way unsealing tapes were on box. I just do not understand.

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If is brand new you can check you warantie coverage for it , if is still in warranty just get it changed by Apple https://checkcoverage.apple.com/

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Eve Ann Wallis - This series has a unique issue! Apple moved the microphone hole! And in doing so have messed up a few people. You need to modify the bottom tape with a small cut out so the hole is not covered. Here’s the location of the microphone hole:

Block Image

At this point you should get another adhesive tape kit and after fully cleaning the old tapes off, modify the new set as needed but cutting a small area at the bottom edge of the strip where the mic is and give that a go!

But, before you put the display back on check your mic cable is connected properly as outlined in step 57 in this guide and the ribbon cable is not damaged iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Logic Board Replacement

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Thanks for this, it's most helpful. I've already ordered new adhesive strips. Funny thing is that today the external drive is recognised in disk utility but not in Finder, whereas yesterday it wasn't recognised anywhere.

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Confirmed. Re-did the adhesive cutting the whole for the mic. I got the opposite piece (4L) too because I wasn’t sure if that was also a mic hole. Sounds is great now.

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Hi! For anyone who ends up here in / after 2019, our iMac Intel 21.5" Retina 4K Display (2017) Adhesive Strips Replacement guide accounts for this issue, and all corresponding procedures link to that guide. Happy fixing!

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I just use a single hole paper punch to cut out the needed area in the tapes. It doesn't take that much of a cut.

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In the iMac 27" guide I did not find any hint for this.

I upgraded Blade SSD and CPU on my iMac 2017 with the corresponding guides and now I have to remove the screen again and buy new tapes.

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So I did not realize Apple moved the mic from the top of the iMac frame to the bottom of the aluminum frame. The lcd actually covers the mic location and the double sided adhesive tape holds the lcd in place. The tape will cover the mic if you don’t cut the tape to allow for the mic. So I removed the lcd and discovered that my tape job covered the mic. I removed the tape around the mic going a 1/2 inch out on both sides.

I closed it completely up but didn't apply new tape yet, tested the mic and it still sounds odd, better than the first time I closed it (there were echos and screeching) but still not right.

Has anyone replaced the mic yet?

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macisgr8 Exactly my problem. The mic picks up after tape removal, but not as good as it was And sounds like I’m in the bathroom.! What could have happened?

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for future fixers, here’s some verification of the above info. The first photo is how I found the adhesive as soon as I peeled it off, clearly a clean cutout of the adhesive from the factory for the microphone. And then the second photo after I uncovered the other two holes.

Block Image

Block Image

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Warren Wilson will be eternally grateful.
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