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The microphone is always on but since its acting up and not working, try blowing inside it or use something very thin to see if theres any dirt inside.
If you find dirty or any other debris in there then that could cause it not to pick up sounds. I would suggest to gently get the debris out of there and then see if that gets the microphone to get working. The last thing to try is to replace the wire that goes from the microphone. Its cheap and could solve the problem.
If after that you still can't get the microphone to work then its a problem with the main board inside of the DS Lite.
Hi - we had the same problem on ours - caused by overenthusiastic blowing (with spit!!!!) microphone shorts out. If shorted at mic it is easily fixable - do as we have done and buy a Game earpiece and mic combined for about a fiver. If it has shorted at motherboard, you need a new one.... sorry...
The microphone level can only be adjusted in certain games. Have you tried using the mic in any other games? Most likely, the mic is simply defective; I have heard of more than one case of manufacturing defects with Nintendo DS microphones. How long have you had the system? If it is still under warranty, Nintendo should fix the system for free.
My Nintendo ds lite also would not respond to voices. I have brain age 2 and Zelda. In the Zelda options there is a mic test. This will show a graph bar that measures your voice. Well the mic was not working at all for either game. I simply took out the battery and held the power slide for a couple seconds. Amazingly the mic works now for both games. I do not know if moving the power slide is significant, but on computers to de-static them you remove all power sources(battery and ac adapter) and hold the power button for 10 seconds.
I fixed the MIC on my DS LITE very easily, after first replacing the MIC with a new one and finding that it still did not work (not an easy thing to replace either)! The internal MIC signal is routed to a contact at the front edge of the DS, which allows the internal MIC to be disconnected when an external MIC is connected. If this contact (which is normally held closed by the springy nature of the contact) gets dirty, then it effectively goes open circuit, disconnecting the internal MIC signal. You can use a cotton bud and a little WD-40 (contact cleaner) to clean the contact (clean the two pins next to the 3.5mm jack connector) to restore the electrical contact. Takes 5 minutes and is a LOT easier and cheaper than replacing the MIC or paying someone to repair it!