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macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 14, 2008
From day 1, I was having problems with the mic when using the speakerphone. I've had the last 4 iPhones so I know how the speakerphone should work. But, every time I was on a call using speakerphone, the person on the other end said they couldn't hear me. Using the phone held up to my ear, over a Bluetooth headset and through the earplugs all worked fine - just a problem with the speakerphone. It didn't happen every single time but pretty much 9 out of 10 times. And sometimes it would work for the first minute of a call and then the person would complain they couldn't hear me. I even called my work voicemail to hear what it sounded like and it was waves of sound with my voice going in and out - completely inaudible.

So I took my phone back to Apple over the weekend for them to check it out. They tried to test it with me calling the store phone using my speakerphone but that was nuts because the store was so loud they would never be able to hear anything. They took my phone in the back for a while and then came out to tell me it might be the design of the new mics. Since there was now a mic on the back, they said I should try to use the speakerphone without laying it on its back during a call. I said that was insane because how else would you use the speakerphone function. Eventually, the person helping me out was really nice and said she would just give me a new phone. After restoring from a backup, the speakerphone works perfectly. So it was obviously a hardware problem. In fact, the Apple person said when a mic is failing, it will sometimes have that effect of going in and out.

While I was having this problem, I searched Google and a bunch of forums but only found a few people mention it. So it's obviously not a serious design flaw or anything but figured I would post this in the event anyone else is having the same problem. If you are, your phone is broken and you need to get it replaced.


macrumors newbie
Mar 3, 2009
Undetected / un-admitted bug or not-foreseen issue?

Your issue seems to be my (our millions) issues, but added that your "speaker" function didn't kick in when selected.
When not in speaker mode, the most insignificant tilting of the phone would make your voice to be "removed" as noise.
When NOT in speaker mode (as your phone seemed to always be) It's not the spacial position of the phone in the world, but the speaker away from your face (and even not so)

The problem is your voice entering through more than one microphone.
(iPhone 5 has 3 of them)

I posted a long thread about this issue.

Not-foreseen when designed?

The last Apple customer service person I spoke with didn't seem concerned he couldn't hear my iPhone's serial number when I read it out-loud, although he says this is the first time anyone calls with this problem.


macrumors 6502a
Jun 21, 2003
St. Petersburg, FL, Northern KY
cheap solution? blow on it!!

The first post here accurately describes my problem: In speaker mode, the mic barely functioned, permitting only one-way "conversations". I fixed it by blowing hard into the mic perforations in the case.

Methodology: To test, I went into another room and called my landline phone and left a continuous message: I spoke first into the mic with the phone on speaker, resting on a sofa maybe 18" away; then with speaker off and the phone picked up and held to my head; then with the speaker on again and the phone on a tabletop in front of me, again about 18" away. I tried to speak in the same volume throughout the test, always directing my voice toward the speaker mic. On the recorded message, volume went from barely (and uselessly) audible to distinct and then back to barely audible, as i switched from speaker-to-normal phone use-to speaker.

Solution: I blew hard into the mic (that's the 10 small holes to the left of the lightning connector on the bottom of the phone) and into the adjacent headphone jack. I did this several times.

Confirmation: I then repeated my test. This time the volume when i was on speaker was maybe 90 percent as loud as when the phone was held to my head. It was discernibly lower, but insignificantly so. Routine two-way conversation is again practical.

Diagnosing the cause: I store my phone "top" down into my pocket. Lint, dirt, debris that falls into my pocket also falls into those mic holes and into the adjacent headphone jack and the speaker holes on the other side of the lightning connector. It's inevitable a lot of gunk is going to connect in there. A can of compressed air might do a better job than blowing on it, but i think for many people this will solve their problems.


macrumors newbie
Nov 18, 2015
You must change the proximity sensor on the phone. I had a lady come in the other day with the same issue.
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