After updating my Nexus 5 to Marshmallow I started encountering a strange issue. When listening to music/podcasts the voice search activated frequently and prompted: “To do a Google Voice search, please unlock your phone“. If I would walk with my phone in the pocket this would sometimes happen every 2 seconds, which was extremely frustrating.
I spent several hours trying to find a software fix, but even though the problem seems to have been around for years there is still no official fix. My research revealed that the problem is that my phone thinks I’m using a headphone with a built in cable mic. I’m using regular headphones with a TRS plug though. I could have purchased different headphones to fix the problem, but I really like my current headphones and didn’t want to buy new ones.
The connector has 5 connections that connect to the PCB.
I figured if I would remove the one for the microphone the problem could potentially be fixed. The Nexus 5’s headphone jack has the AHJ pin layout.
So the microphone connector must be one of the top ones. It wasn’t entirely clear which one of the 5 connector pins this is, but a bit of trial and error revealed that it is the top one (labeled 1 in the connector image).
The process is actually fairly easy. I followed the steps in the video for removing the back cover and the PCB cover. I didn’t have that plastic pry tool and ended up using a sharp knife for the initial pop, and then used a credit card to pop open the remaining clips. It is actually not necessary to remove the PCB at all, or to remove any of the connector cables. Once the PCB cover is removed, the headphone connector comes off very easily. I used a 2mm strip of scotch tape to disable the connector connection (1) to the PCB. After reassembling the phone the problem is gone. I cannot even force it by vigorously wiggling the jack. Obviously this fix has the downside that you won’t be able to use headphones with an external mic anymore (the mic won’t work).
Another huge upside is that I can now speak to people on the phone using the internal phone mic, when having the headphone jack plugged in, which wasn’t working before either.