Dear Aunt TUAW,
Help! I have my iPhone 4S on silent, and if I'm texting and accidentally hit the microphone button, it still plays the beep. That can be very bad if you're texting in class or somewhere quiet, and it still plays that beep. Is there any way to turn that off when my phone is on silent?
Your loving nephew,
Auntie is going to ignore the Big Elephant in the Room, because she knows that there are reasons to use iPhones when at business meetings, school events, and other places where inadvertent sounds can distract.
For the sake of family peace, Auntie won't go into details of Uncle Chris's full rant that started with, "Stop farting around on your phone and pay attention in class."
Unfortunately, muting your iPhone and lowering the volume to zero will not affect Siri's chimes, both for dictation and voice assistance. Auntie was just as surprised as you to discover this fact.
The only solution Auntie could find for you is to use headphones or stick a short extension cord into your iPhone's headphone port. Auntie tested this idea with a headphone adapter from the original iPhone and it worked a treat.
If you want to ensure that a stray touch won't cause an embarrassing beep, you can pick one up for a dollar or two from an online vendor or auction site.
Update: Thank you to all the nieces and nephews who have pointed out a perfect solution! Apparently Siri has its own volume control, which you access only when the assistant is shown on-screen. Summon Siri and then adjust the volume control down once the purple microphone is on-screen. Siri will be silenced without need for any hardware assist.