Bad call quality on the iPhone, returned 2 of them.

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by MacnMuzyk, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. MacnMuzyk macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    #1
    I am crushed. I just had to return my 2nd 16g iPhone since Feb 11th. I had been on a Sanyo for 6 years with SPRINT, no voice quality issues, just an old phone, and a terrible company to deal with. So you can imagine how stoked I was to get an iPhone. I use Macs at work and home exclusively and have been an avid APPLE Kool-aid drinker since playing Castle Wolfenstein on an Apple IIe in 1983, so I'm not down on Apple what so ever.

    In this case though, I returned the phones because the background noise was so amplified. EVERYONE that I normally talk to on my cell complained about it immediately upon talking to me. I couldn't believe it at first, because they sounded fine to me. So I started calling my office and home phones, as well as to my own iPhone voice mail and leaving messages with my Jawbone headset and the handset, while traveling at various speeds and in different locations in the city, walking through the office, a mall, two different airports, as well as from the recording studio. I did this for a week, with very little difference no matter where I was, even from Michigan when I flew there for a day on business. When I'd push the mute button using either the handset or headset, the line was totally quiet, but as soon as the iPhone was transmitting audio, there was a very audible hissing sound that varied in frequency with no discernible pattern, and unless I was in a dead quiet room, any background noise seemed to be amplified to the point that people on the other end could clearly hear things going on around me, and it was always mixed in with a warbling hissy sound . I was irritated by the sound just listening to my own messages back. I can't imagine how irritated people were trying to talk to me.

    So I took it to the genius bar at the Apple store in Nashville yesterday, after waiting since Tuesday for a Saturday appointment, played the guy back the messages I saved on my phone. He said that wasn't normal, he could hear exactly what I was talking about and said it must be my antenna and gave me a new phone. He called me from a store phone and proclaimed in front of everyone else that my new 16g iPhone sounded fine to him. As I was about to leave, he quietly said to me, "If that didn't solve it, take it back to the AT&T store tomorrow, because your 14 days are almost up", and gave me the, "If you know what I'm saying" look....

    I pulled out of the parking lot, called my own number, left a message using both the handset and headset, listened back, and there was no perceivable difference what so ever from the previous phone. The noise floor and road noise was distracting and at an unacceptable level for a phone this new and at that price. With my old Sanyo, it was very quiet no matter if I was driving or sitting in the house. And in 6 years I never had a complaint from anyone that they couldn't hear me clearly or that it was noisy.

    As of an hour ago, I have a Motorola Q9 Global through AT&T. Calling to the same phones and my own voice mail, it sounds like I'm on a land line. My wife says it crystal clear now.

    I truly loved everything about the iPhone... except the Phone part. I'm patiently waiting for the next generation of iPhone and hoping that they put some more effort into the "phone" part and not just the "i" part. I find it hard to believe that I received 2 broken iPhones out of the box, but even if that were the case, if I didn't return the newest one today, I'd be stuck with it because of the 14 day strict return policy. After seeing others raise that concern on here, it has me concerned that it's a design flaw and I'd just being going back and forth with Apple through my warranty period trying to fix something that really isn't fixable. I sadly have to concur with all of the people on here that raised the issue of poor call quality and background noise.

    I'm in the grieving stage at the moment, because I really wanted it to be a great phone that I could be proud of, because it was from Apple, but more importantly because every feature of it fit into my life perfectly... except the most important part of it... the PHONE. I felt like I was giving up a child as I handed the iPhone back to the salesman.

    Apple, please get the phone part right next time, and I'll be first in line...
     
  2. rablat macrumors 6502a

    rablat

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    Location:
    Classified NSA intel
    #2
    its not a design flaw its the nature of gsm
    some phones are of course better at masking it.
    Same goes for a landline if you are in a noisy environent
    it gets heard on the other end.
    Sprint uses CDMA which blocks this kind of noises for the most part.
    When the 3G iPhone comes it will be WCDMA and will have the same result.
    3G is not just data it also affects voice quality among other things network related.
     
  3. Hummer macrumors 65816

    Hummer

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2006
    Location:
    Queens, New York NY-5
    #3
    I was outside on a quite block and my mother heard the steps of a man walking 3 blocks in front of me... Enough said.
     
  4. rablat macrumors 6502a

    rablat

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    Location:
    Classified NSA intel
    #4
    Now that I call BS on.
     
  5. MacCurry macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    #5
    Its probably ATT's lousy service. If you have the ability, unlock the iPhone and use some other GSM carrier.
     
  6. hexonxonx macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Denver Colorado
    #6
    Just like any other service provider, there will be bad spots depending upon where you live. It happens no matter what provider you go with in certain areas. You are in one of those areas and swapping iPhones won't help.

    I had bad areas where I live and work when I was with Sprint that would drop a call no matter what. With AT&T, I never have dropped calls in those areas, in fact, I have maybe had 10 dropped calls since July 6.
     
  7. daneoni macrumors G4

    daneoni

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    #7
    Erm....i think its HIGHLY UNLIKELY for Apple to use CDMA in the iPhone after Steve himself said they were going with GSM on launch. Otherwise how would they sell the phone in other countries?....and no they won't make two versions of the phone.

    There is a world outside America you know

    As for the OP i personally think you were either in a bad AT&T coverage area or the batch of phones shipped to your local store were defective.
     
  8. Hummer macrumors 65816

    Hummer

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2006
    Location:
    Queens, New York NY-5
    #8
    Well I could hear the footsteps as well, because it was a quiet stretch and he had heels on whatever he was wearing. But the phone just amplified the steps so to my mother it sounded like the guy was right behind me.
     
  9. rablat macrumors 6502a

    rablat

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    Location:
    Classified NSA intel
    #9
    I like the way you left out the "W" in my WCDMA.
    No where in post did i say apple to use CDMA... I said WCDMA
    which is GSM 3G do some research, then re-read the post please.

    Yes I am quite aware of the world outside of America. They won't let us forget they exsist. but thats a different thread all together.
     
  10. bubba316 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    #10
    I'm having the same background noise problem. Even in areas of full signal people complain that it sounds like I'm in a wind tunnel while driving. I'm not sure it's a GSM issue, a friend of mine using T-Mobile with a Krzr doesn't have road noise issues and my phone works perfectly with a Jawbone. This is an issue with the iPhone and Apple. It's a shame that I have to get a Jawbone just to be able to use the phone.

    Any idea if the background noise can somehow be fixed through a software update or do we think this is something that will need to be fixed using a hardware solution in the next generation iPhone?
     
  11. jdee2wheels macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    #11
    Yeah, I've had the iphone for about a month after switching from verizon and using a number of the free phones they offer over the years. I really love the iphone as a complete device and I'm willing to compromise a bit more because I don't use my cell phone for more than quick calls here and there. That being said, it's a pretty bad phone and it's not because of At&t either (my wife has another phone on at&t). The call quality is terrible because of all the background noise and I also get some echoing sometimes too. The earpiece volume and ringer are way too low if you are in a noisy evirnoment. I mean I can't even hear my phone ring if it's in my pocket sometimes when it's noisy.

    I really hope they fix it for the next version because there is no way I could use it if I had to be on the phone a lot.
     
  12. MacnMuzyk thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    #12
    Bad phones, bad signal, bad luck, or all of thee above???


    I appreciate the input regarding the coverage area, but I don't think that was the case due to the wide range of areas that I used it in. As a side note, and not that it necessarily means anything to the coverage area, but the tallest building in Nashville, referred to as the BATMAN building (look at a pic of Nashville and you'll see why), has a huge AT&T logo on it. So they have a very visible presence in the city, and their coverage strength throughout the city is very, very solid. And with all of the music industry execs mostly on AT&T "Crackberry's", bad signal in Nashville would not be tolerated. That said, during my time with the iPhone"s", I was using the iPhone all around Nashville out to a radius of about 30 miles, as well as in the greater metro Detroit area, all with the same result.

    I also did a random test with some co-workers phones while standing in one spot in the front of the studios. I called my digital voicemail at work with a Verizon Razr, an 8310 Blackberry, Tilt, and my iPhone, all on AT&T, and a Sprint HTC Touch. I left the same message with each phone, and when I played them back in a random order on the expensive conference room speakerphone, hands down, the iPhone had the poorest quality. Not just slightly, but so much so that everyone around me that had no vested interest in the outcome chose the message that was from the iPhone as being the worst sounding.

    It is possible that I just had lightning strike the same "iPhones" twice, but I gather from the myriad of comments I've found on here, that the audio quality of the iPhone is a mixed bag at best. It could be a number of factors that are beyond my understanding, but the very fact that those factors seem to be found in many iPhones in numerous places throughout the country concerns me. And as a customer, I don't care what those factors are or what reasons a guy at a genius bar or AT&T store gives me, I just want a phone that sounds good. I've had phones that sound good before, I have friends that have phones that sound good now, and I have a Moto Q Global that sounds great now running on AT&T, on the same highways and in the same buildings where I was having problems with my iPhone before. Unfortunately, the Q will have to do until SJ and the boys get the iPhone right and I give them another shot.

    I have come to expect more from Apple products, as we all have, which is why I use them so extensively. And if that level of variance in quality was acceptable to the Apple engineers, then the only way I can have my say is to simply not buy the product. Apple has always lead the way, but I just hope as they continue to make in roads into both the mainstream and "hip" culture, that they don't get the attitude that everyone will just buy it because it has an Apple logo on it..... resulting in a downturn in quality. There have been certain guitar manufacturers in this town that have adopted that philosophy in the past, but that's another forum.

    As I make my living with my ears, maybe I'm slightly more critical than many, but I follow the rule... It it sounds right, it is right... And again, to me I could not get the iPhone to sound right. And believe me, I was trying to convince myself that it was okay for 2 weeks.... But nobody on the other end of the line would let me deceive myself.

    So, I'm waiting for round two, giving Apple the benefit of the doubt, but not compromising on my expectations for anything coming out of Cupertino..
     
  13. cdd543 macrumors 6502

    cdd543

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Location:
    Denver
    #13
    Keep in mind that your moto Q global is a 3G device using WCDMA so it is going to sound better than most EDGE devices. As mentioned previously 3G provides improved voice quality, capacity and much better data speeds.
    My iphone experience has been up and down with my first one having good, but not great voice quality and my second one having poor voice quality.
    I am also on ATT in Nashville and have had much better luck using 3g phones than EDGE devices. EDGE network here seems to be somewhat taxed at times. Round two should be interesting:)
     
  14. wchong macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Location:
    Miami, Fl
    #14
    just get a jawbone. it blocks almost everything except ur voice.
     
  15. tothelimit macrumors regular

    tothelimit

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    South Florida
    #15
    did you read his original post at all? :confused: it says he tried calling using the "JAWBONE" and just handset itself.
     

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