Incipio Atlas Sound and Screen Fix!

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by ashenfang, May 8, 2013.

  1. ashenfang macrumors regular

    Oct 1, 2012
    Like many, I was excited for the release of the Incipio Atlas, but after receiving it, was disappointed. The sound quality through the ear piece was terrible and I had issues with the screen not being sensitive in the corners. But I really loved the case and wanted it work.

    I believe I found a fix for the "Kazoo" in the ear piece as well as a fix for those having screen sensitivity issues. The Kazooing seems to be a resonance and back feed from sound waves impacting the membrane and then bouncing back off again causing a "buzzing effect". With some experimentation I found that these two small pieces of material drastically reduced or eliminated the issue. Your results may vary but please give it a try and post your results. I also found turning on "hearing aid" in the Iphone settings helped with volume as well.

    The addition of the microfiber cloth to the back of the phone helps to even pressure placed on front of screen thereby making the sensitivity what it should be.

    List of items for fix,

    Old microfiber cloth
    razor knife
    masking tape


    1. Use razor knife to cut out a piece of microfiber cloth approx. 1/10" x 1/2" (pretty small)

    2. Use Razor to also cut a piece of masking tape approx. 1/8" x 1/2"

    3. Place front of Atlas Case face down (glass down) and find the earphone port. (elongated slot with meshy stuff in it)

    4. Using a fine pointed object (like the tip of a knife), place the small piece of microfiber cloth onto the earphone slot. Using the tip of the knife, gently push and tuck the microfiber into the earphone slot making it flush with the case.

    5. Place the small piece of masking tape over the earpiece hole covering the microfiber cloth. The tape should cover the ear piece only and none of the other cut outs.

    6. Insert phone into case. Make sure to pull out right side of case (where mute switch is) until the case clicks and the arm on the switch "grabs" the mute switch on the phone.

    7. Cut a piece of microfiber cloth approx 3.5" x 2" and place on the back of phone before putting Atlas back on. Make sure camera and flash not covered.

    8. Place back of Atlas case on and snap into place.
  2. splatmatt, May 8, 2013
    Last edited: May 8, 2013

    splatmatt macrumors newbie

    May 8, 2013

    Would you upload some pics? Although, it is kind of upsetting that you have to hack an $90 phone case just so it use the phone.
  3. 6thDAY macrumors 6502a

    Apr 14, 2010
    the sensitivity on my case works great

    I barely tap the bottom of the screen and it registers.

    What I did was during the installation, I pressed very firmly on the back of the case to make sure its as pressed against the tempered glass as possible

    I'm curious to know if this will work to diminish/eliminate the kazooing sound for others before I attempt this.

    I dont like constantly taking my case on and off. For one, its hella hard to take off and I'm worried it may warp the case eventually and not provide a tight seal.

    But good suggestion, and please provide an installation video or pictures as mentioned :)
  4. ashenfang thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 1, 2012
    Sorry guys I have pics but can't upload. However, I just simplified this whole thing.

    One small strip of electrical tape across the inside, over the ear piece (just don't cover proximity and camera holes) has the same effect. That's it. I just spent an hour on the phone and the kazooing was gone and the volume less muffled.

    Worth a shot!
  5. Munkypoo7 macrumors 6502


    Oct 24, 2011
    Miami, FL
    I highly doubt many people will truly deface their product without proof that it actually works, ie pictures / video even.

    If you already have pictures, just upload them to imageshack, imgur, flickr etc. Easy as that.
  6. ashenfang thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 1, 2012
    No one is suggesting that they deface their product. Simply placing a small piece of tape over the ear piece on the inside of the case does not harm it one bit.

    I have added a picture with an arrow pointing to the location of where the small piece of electrical tape will go. (Just big enough to cover the entire ear piece port. )

    This pic does have the small piece of micro-fiber cloth still installed, but it has since been removed after discovering it was not needed with the use of electrical tape.
  7. 6thDAY macrumors 6502a

    Apr 14, 2010
    So the electrical tape does not reduce the amplitude of the sound?

    Does the sound appear lower with the tape around the earpiece?
  8. ashenfang thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 1, 2012
    Nope. I was unable to hear any change or deepening in the sound. Just the loss of kazoo effect.
  9. Wildwillis macrumors member

    Dec 14, 2012
    The microfiber between the phone and the back of the case should indeed help with the screen sensitivity. Before I returned my Atlas due to the terrible sound quality through the 'earpiece' and very low speaker volume, I pit some business cards in there and it helped a lot with the sensitivity around the lower edges of the screen. If Incipio decides to try and improve this case ill be happy to give it another try.
  10. malochico1 macrumors 6502

    Oct 4, 2012
    I think I spoke too soon about using this as my gym/pool case. Used it today at gym, loved it. But now I can't take it off!!!

    How do you take this case off. Holy ****
  11. maliu macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2010
  12. ashenfang thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 1, 2012
    the easiest way is with a dime. Hold case face down. Use a dime in the slot on corner of the case. Push the dime in fairly hard and twist up. Case will pop open. The rest of the tabs will free up as you peel the back of the case.
  13. Ransz macrumors member

    May 7, 2013
    Did anyone else experience sound problems when using the speaker for phone calls. I could hear people, but they couldnt hear me...
  14. maliu macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2010
  15. Ransz macrumors member

    May 7, 2013
    A 90$ case cant do what a 1$ does...
  16. firefighterk macrumors member

    Sep 23, 2011

    anyway to fix the speaker problem its amazing how low the speaker is.
  17. Ransz macrumors member

    May 7, 2013
    I heard people say it gets better with time the more u play music through the speaker
  18. maliu macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2010
  19. Syltkorv macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2013

    Hi! I tried your tip, but instead of tape i used a pice of a balloon, and it worked great.:D You just have to cut a small piece of the balloon so it won't affect the sensitivity of the screen.

    I'm from sweden, and I hope my english isn't to bad for you guys. :)
  20. hAwKeM macrumors newbie

    Apr 24, 2011
    Dealing with ATLAS sound

    First off...thank you ashenfang, yours is the only Thread/Info to any kind of help concerning this issue...

    If you could please provide more pictures or videos on how this should look with the microfiber and the tape...that would be a lot of help.

    Has anyone else tried this fix, has it worked for anyone else?

    The Atlas is great except for that minor detail that could drive you insane if you need to talk on your cellphone a lot.

  21. johnny0912 macrumors newbie

    Jul 15, 2013
    Hay guys I have been doing some Experimenting with the screen sensitivity issue and have found the perfect fix. All you have to do is place a business card on your phone then place the back of the case back on and your done. Works great!!! And causes 0 damage.
  22. jdrewrd macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2013
    Business card trick works great for screen sensitivity issue. I wonder though if Incipio avoided placing too much pressure between the phone and back cover for fear of losing the seal. Would be interested to know if anyone who's been doing this long enough has had any issue with losing water tightness.

    I did not have any issues with the earpiece.
  23. rwilliamspop macrumors newbie

    Apr 22, 2014
    Fixed kazoo sound with piece of balloon

    I followed the last post about using a piece of balloon. What I did was cover the oval area around the sound port (no bigger than the recessed area)..I just layed this small piece of balloon in the oval slot - and dropped in my phone until it contacted the case glass. I also used a business card which stuck to the back case amazingly. I used a full card and cut a piece for the area it didn't cover at the top by the camera and speaker port (don't block em).

    Works great... No kazoo and the no sensitivity issues.

    anyway - worked for me. Hope it helps other.
  24. imacthere4im macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2014
    Here is the real fix to these two problems. Absolutely!

    I got this case about a week ago because I was looking for something different compared to my Lifeproof Fre. Once I got my phone in, I found all the same problems you guys had.
    My first thought was what a waste so I did a search and found this forum. I tried everything except the balloon thing but nothing worked so I almost gave up. I was in the middle of removing my phone again and I noticed 2 very thin strips of what looked like black vinyl tape material on the inside of the case on the actual glass. If you rub your finger on the glass you can feel the edges of this material but it can obviously be seen.


    It's very thin but thick enough to cause a very small gap between the case's glass and the iPhone's screen. A gap that causes corner presses to not register. I don't know what the purpose of this material is but it's what causes the screen to be unresponsive in the corners. I think it may be there to absorb a small amount of jolt or shock so that the phone's screen won't crack if the case's screen gets impacted and cracks. Just speculation. I have a Skinomi on my phone so I 'm not concerned. After I removed this, the corners, notification, and control center screens are accessible with ease.

    The sound issue can be fixed by taking one of those screen protectors that just sit on your screen without any adhesive (but with plenty of bubbles) and cut off a very small piece just big enough to cover the earpiece speaker. I placed mine in the case and not on the phone. If you place it in the case, you will be able to see where the other sensors are and not cover them. I know it's clear material but I just didn't want to take the chance of interference. I got this idea from how the Lifeproof case seems to create a seal around the earpiece hole.

    I love my new case now. Everything functions as it should.

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