Is your iPhone speaker muffled on calls? Here’s the real fix

By Dave Johnson - Executive Editor
2 Min Read

In this tutorial, we’ll share some troubleshooting tips to follow if the iPhone speaker sounds muffled on calls.

There are myriad reasons why your iPhone sounds muffled during phone calls. We’ll try to cover a few main aspects of why this happens, and then we’ll give you some tips on how to troubleshoot.

Why does my iPhone speaker sound muffled during calls?

Here are some reasons your iPhone speaker sound muffled when you call someone:

  • Dust may be obstructing the earpiece.
  • Your case may be obstructing the earpiece.
  • Your iPhone’s earpiece is damaged.
  • Poor cell reception

What to do if your iPhone speaker sounds muffled on calls

Clean iPhone earpiece

If you use your iPhone in a dirty environment, check the earpiece for obstructions like dirt and grime. These things can easily get into the speaker grille of your iPhone and muffle sounds on calls. One of the key indicators of a problem like this is when the caller’s voice is distorted or muffled rather than clear, and you don’t have a case on.

If necessary, carefully use a small, dry soft-bristled brush to clear away any lint, dirt, or grime around the earpiece.

Take off iPhone case

Some protective cases that you use with your iPhone may obstruct the sound and give it the effect of playing sound underwater since the sound waves have nowhere to go. Some highly protective cases are known for causing muffling during calls because you trade off your user experience for protection but never rule out that your case could be the problem.

To see if your case is causing the problem, remove it and then make a phone call again. If it still sounds muffled or distorted, then the dust idea above may be your culprit rather than the case itself. If this is the case, you either need to find a new brand or go caseless.

Move to an area with better cell reception

If the sound is muffled or crackles when you’re on a phone call, it could be because of poor cell reception. You can try calling later or move to an open area with a better cell signal. If you’re in an open area and still can’t get good reception, try moving away from tall buildings, trees, and anything else that could cause interference. If you’re in a rural area, try moving to a higher elevation.

Turn your iPhone off and on again

Restarting your device is a simple and effective way to fix common issues without much trouble. If your speaker sounds muffled on calls even after trying the above solutions, turn off your iPhone and turn it back on after a minute to restart it.

Update to the latest version of iOS

By this point, one or more of the above solutions should have fixed your iPhone sound muffled on calls. But in case you’re still having problems, make sure your iPhone is running on the latest iOS. To do that, go to Settings > General > Software Update.

Use headsets

If iPhone sounds muffled on calls with the built-in speaker after trying all of the above steps, try using the headsets. If you are able to hear the caller clearly via the headset when a headset is connected, there could be a problem with your earpiece.

If you believe an issue is tied to the earpiece, then you will most likely have to visit an Apple Store to have your speaker serviced. If your iPhone is under warranty, it should be replaced for free. Otherwise, you may be facing a bench and labor charge.

Reset Network Settings

The last method you can try is to reset the network settings on your iPhone. This deletes network-related data and returns the settings to its default state. Go to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone > Reset > Reset Network Settings.

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By Dave Johnson Executive Editor
Dave Johnson is the editor-in-chief at GeeksChalk where he oversees all of site’s evergreen content to ensure it’s up to date with the latest information. Hailing from New Jersey in the US, he has over seven years of experience in the tech journalism space and holds a degree in English Literature. In his spare time, Dave can found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, and petting every dog he comes across in the outside world.
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