Sounding muffled on the iPhone 5

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by treycopeland86, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2006
    Since getting my iPhone 5 I've talked to maybe 3 people. Two people have said I sound muffled. It only happens on my left ear. I can switch to the other ear and they say I sound a little bit better but still muffled. I've taken the Otterbox case off and still get the same results. Anyone else experiencing a muffled sound?
  2. macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2011
    wait, so you're saying that if you hold your phone against your right ear, you sound OK but if you hold it against your left ear you sound muffled?

    It seems like maybe you talk out of the right-side of your mouth so when you have the phone against your right ear, you're speaking into it directly and when it's against your left, the sound is still going out of the right side of your mouth and therefore it sounds muffled.

    Try this:
    -- Go into your bathroom
    -- Turn the light on
    -- Look into the mirror
    -- Repeat "I love pink bunnys" 3x

    Now when you do this, are you seeing that you speak out of one side of your mouth a bit more than the other?

    This could very well be your issue.
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2006
  4. macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2012
  5. macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2011
    In all seriousness (my humor stinks), I would check reception. If it's THEM hearing YOU and you suspect a hardware issue, we can try to break the process down into what it uses and then try to test the variables. We know it uses a microphone. In fact, I think it uses 3 of them. You should be able to easily test this by doing something else that requires a microphone (like creating a voice memo) and see if, when you play it back, it's muffled.

    If you suspect some other piece of hardware that is supposed to control either the compression or decompression of the sound (voice), maybe you can try something like facetime with a different phone. I really don't know though... I would guess that utilizes different hardware/protocols to transmit voice and picture... but hey, it's worth a shot in troubleshooting just as another bullet point on your "tried" list.

    You can kinda see where I'm going... I would recommend taking this approach for troubleshooting hardware. It's really, really tough though cause there are so many variables that are out of your (our) control that you won't be able to test. I'd hate for you to go get a new phone just to find out that your carrier was having a problem in your area or something
  6. macrumors 6502

    Dec 29, 2005
    What carrier? I'm on Verizon and I'm experiencing a similar issue.
  7. macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2011
    I'm on verizon and my wife sounded that way to me the other day. She has my 4s. We hung up but I forgot to tell her something and called back. Sounded fine.
  8. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2006
    I do appear to talk more with the right side of my mouth. I've always done this. But it was never a problem with my iPhone 4.
  9. macrumors 68030


    Dec 14, 2009
    Obviously you're a side-mouth talker. There are lot of you around the mid-west.


    I'd Google mouth exercises.
    (seriously though, mine sounds muffled sometimes too)

    Ironically, this thread just popped up. Might help?
  10. macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2012
    Muffled iPhone 5 issue

    My husband said his iPhone 5 had been sounding muffled, and I didn't believe him until mine sounded muffled tonight. :p

    Our issue is that we can't understand the person we are talking to, not that they can't understand us. So definitely not a microphone issue.

    What are the odds of just the 2 of us getting two brand new iPhone 5's and having the same weird and apparently uncommon problem?? Very strange indeed. I'll be watching for others to have this issue. :(
  11. macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2012
    My Verizon iPhone 5 is sounding muffled to me too! Way more than my iphone 4 ever was. People on the other end sound muffled. Trying to decide if this is a defect and I should take it down to the apple store, or if its just something with the verizon iPhone 5. Talked to a guy who has the AT&T iPhone 5 and he didn't seem to have the same issue.
  12. macrumors newbie

    Sep 28, 2012
    People I call can barely hear me

    I'm also having issues with people I call telling me I sound muffled/they can barely hear me on my AT&T iPhone 5. The calls are clear when I use the Apple earpods or speakerphone, and the voice memos that I've recorded sound perfect, so I don't think it's an issue with the microphones. I have also done a restore on my phone, but that did not solve the problem.

    After some googling, I read that some people had this issues with the iPhone 4/4S and closing all open apps solved the problem. It actually has helped with my calls, but it would be tedious to close all my apps every time I make/receive a call.

    I'm scheduled for a genius bar appointment this weekend, but does anyone have suggestions other than have it replaced?
  13. macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2008
    Columbus, OH
    My wife said I've been sounding muffled as well. I thought I was covering the microphone with my pinky, so I changed the way I held the phone. It worked...until she said I sounded muffled again. After some testing, I realized the phone mic was too far from my mouth.

    If the phone isn't pressed right up against your cheek, you are probably going to sound muffled.
  14. macrumors newbie

    Oct 2, 2012
    Same issue

    I have problems with people hearing me. I have been told that I sound like the "teacher from charlie brown" each time they talk to me. There is no problem on the speaker option or while using the headset. Its only when I hold the phone up to my ear. I have only had my phone for about a week now.
  15. macrumors newbie

    Dec 2, 2008
    I actually had the same exact issue. There was a static sound through the earpiece and my sound was being muffled when talking to people. I went to my Genius appointment and they just did a full restore. This fixed the problem entirely. Funny thing is that I did a restore that last night before going and still had the problem, but the Genius did it and fixed it. I hope everyone's phone works out.
  16. macrumors 6502

    Mar 13, 2007
    I have the same issue as well, holding it in my left hand sounds muffled, holding it in my right sounds great to the people on the other line. And no, I'm not holding it wrong
  17. macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2012
    Same exact thing is happening to me. I am going crazy.

    When I talk on my left ear, people say I sound far away or muffled. When I talk on my right hear they say they can hear me better but still not great.

    I can't even use bluetooth in my car because they came the sound is so bad. I tried turning bluetooth off to see if that make a difference but it doesn't.

    I have an otter box and I tried removing it to see if the sound was better but it wasn't.

    I tried going to the apple store and trading my phone out and on the way home I was testing the phone with my Mother and SAME problem.

    What the heck is going on!! What could I possibly be doing wrong for this to happen with two phone. I have had an iphone for YEARS and NEVER had a single problem like this?
  18. macrumors 6502

    Aug 23, 2006
    i would take it back to whereever u got it from and ask for a new one
  19. macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2012
    Thought I or others were not right

    I've also had the same problem, the left side muffle. Several people have told me this... I thought it sounded crazy till I googled it and got this site...
  20. macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2012
    Update - Possible fix

    I thought I would update everyone. Yesterday I updated the OS to the latest release. Then I called AT&T and they reset my sim card. Or something like that. They did some sort of reset.

    I then got in my car and drove around to test the phone. (Because that is when the problem is worse). FINALLY they claim to be able to hear me clearly. Wow, could it be true. I sure hope so!

    Now, it has only been 1 day so I'll continue to test and update you if things change.

    Hopefully with the last apple update they fixed the issue? We'll see.
  21. macrumors newbie

    Nov 12, 2012
    I'm having the same issue - I can fix the problem temporarily by pulling the phone away from my face and putting it back. It has nothing to do with holding it too close or far or the side of the mouth I'm talking out of.
  22. macrumors regular


    Aug 6, 2010
    You can diagnose this in 2 ways:
    Software diagnosis: erase your iPhone and DO NOT restore from a backup. Just erase it and call a bunch o different people to see if you sound muffled again.

    Hardware diagnosis: take it to an Apple store and tell them what your problem is. In the best case scenario, they might exchange it to a new iPhone 5.

  23. macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2012
    I have had complaints from everyone I talk to that I sound muffled since getting my iphone5. It doesn't happen on speaker. I went to the geniuses at the store and they did diagnostics and found no problem. I then called my husband from the store and he said I still sounded muffled. When I gave the phone to the Genius so he could tell her, he could hear her just fine. I never had this problem with my old Motorola flip phone. I am left wondering if I am anatomically incompatible with the iphone5 or smart phones in general?
  24. macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2012
    Muffled Sound iphone 5

    My brand new Verizon iphone 5 is having issues too!
    The BIGGEST problem is how other people hear ME when I am talking on it. They complain that *I* sound muffled and like I am talking through a pillow.
    If I change ears or move my head position it often clears up. If I move it back to the other ear, it will often get muffled again. (I am very careful to make sure I am not moving my hands, covering the mic, or doing anything else that interferes with the sound... strictly moving the phone back and forth.) This would tell me it is an antennae issue, no???
    Because I bought THROUGH verizon (not apple), Apple won't support me. And neither apple nor verizon will help me if I can't get the phone to duplicate the problem with THEM. (Do they REALLY think I would LIE about a problem with my BRAND NEW phone??? This is not FUN for me! It is a pain in the neck to re-set everything up!!!) Anyhow, tonight FINALLY it did it while I was ON the phone with tech support at verizon!!!! So they will replace it and not charge the re-stocking fee. (Be sure to do this in the first 14 days, if you can! It makes it MUCH easier.)
    This new phone has a PROBLEM. It is all over the internet. It is not the case or the user or comething covering the microphone. It is the iphone 5! Apple needs to address it! I don't know if it is all the phones, but it is clearly MANY of them [and it is hard to diagnose because YOU (the user) can't hear it... only the people to whom you are speaking can hear it.] I don't *THINK* my son's and husband's iphone 5's are doing this... but I talked to a friend on HER iphone 5 today and HERS was doing it! So I will get my new phone tomorrow and PRAY that IT doesn't have the same problem. Wish me luck! :confused:
  25. macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2012
    I think my wife and I have figured this out. If it has already been mentioned, sorry. I didn't read the whole thread but wanted to let you know what we discovered. As you are aware the iPhone 5 has 3 mics. One on the bottom you talk into, one in the speaker grille where your ear goes, and one on the back near the camera. They all help in noise cancellation. The one by the camera I tend to cup my hand around when I talk using my left hand but not the way I hold it when I use my right hand. I think most right handers hold it the same way when using their left hand. If the speaker hole by the camera is covered completely it doesn't seem to be a problem but if I cup my hand around it causes an echo-cave-seashell effect on the mic and it complicates the noise canceling which results in your speech sounding muffled to the other person. Try it. Call someone who will help. Keep the back side mic completely clear or completely occluded and they have no complaints. Put your hand over it and they say you sound distant or muffled. Anyway, that's what we found. Remember "it's not the design of the phone, it's how you hold it" hahaha! Memories. Still love the phone and now that I realize that this mic must be completely open to the surroundings I have had no issues from anyone I talk to.

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