Verizon iPhone 5: repeatedly being told I sound "distant" or "under water"

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by exi, May 8, 2013.

  1. exi macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2012
    Months ago, I switched from AT&T to Verizon for a variety of reasons. Was great for awhile -- then I was made aware of an issue where portions of my multi-part texts to AT&T recipients would disappear into the ether.

    And then, as recently as tonight, I was told yet again that I sound far away. This has been an on/off problem across two different iPhone 5s of mine, both on Verizon, over the past few months. For some people -- always on a GSM network, best I can tell -- I sound "distant" or "under water."

    This never, ever happened on AT&T with the same people, as tested with my former AT&T iPhone 5 during a brief switch back.

    Hard resets don't help. Neither does an iTunes restore -> "set up as a new phone." Seriously considering a return to AT&T, even as much as I dislike some of their practices in the past.

    Anyone have any suggestions on things I could try to help fix this?
  2. ross1998 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 10, 2013
    This isn't a Verizon problem but does it happen when you call everyone or just curtain people, if everyone I would go to apple store and get it replaced again as you will be able to reproduce the problem in front of them
  3. coolio93 macrumors 6502

    Apr 15, 2013
    Houston, TX
    I dunno what is going on but I had a similar problem with sprint. It only happened 3 or 4 times in the few months I was with sprint. Makes me think it may just be something with the way CDMA works. I've switched to T-Mobile since and haven't had any problems. Nor did I have this problem when I was with ATT in 2012.

    Just curious....Have you considered T-Mobile? They have HD voice and call quality is incredible.
  4. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Dec 18, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    This used to happen to me when I was on Verizon. Some people I would talk to sounded robotic or underwater. I assume it's the network since it never happened when I had iPhones on AT&T or T-Mobile.
  5. sillywabbit macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2012

    It is not Verizon, it is an apple issue. Apple has some new updates,

    Update your phone.

    Be aware, after you update, you will have other issues,
  6. exi thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2012
    The problem has been unchanged over the last several revisions of 6.0 / 6.1, including the most recent.
  7. Diseal3 macrumors 65816

    Jun 29, 2008
    Could be the tower. Does this happen in all locations?
  8. exi thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2012
    Has happened to me in two cities several hours apart so far, unfortunately.
  9. BoostDeuce macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2013
    I have this exact problem with my iphone 5 from Verizon. First they would tell me it sounds like im really distant. Often times they don't reply to me, and they tell me they couldn't hear me talking, even though i'm talking in a normal voice.

    But I can call Verizon tech support and whisper to them from a mile away and they can hear me loud and clear. Its so dumb. I can't have a somewhat private conversation with anyone because i'm basically having to yell into my phone for people to hear me.

    I just need to go to a Verizon store and try getting it replaced I guess. I've had it just over a month.
  10. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    By any chance are you using a case that protects the phone from the elements?

    I work with a guy that uses a case that has a screen over the microphone. About once a month it gets clogged with dust even though you can't really see it. Once he cleans it out its fine again. When its like that it sounds like he is across the room talking at his phone.

    Just a thought.
  11. exi thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2012
    Nope, no case on the phone.

    @BoostDeuce, hope that works for you! What happened with me was that I was on VZW for a brief time and had people first tell me about this. I went back to AT&T for a short period and had that same person or two tell me I sounded much better despite otherwise similar circumstances (our locations, little background noise, etc); then, I went *back* to VZW and got the "you sound far away..." thing again.

    I left AT&T for Verizon's "superior" coverage in so many areas per RootMetrics, widespread LTE, and possibly better building penetration. Not so sure it was worth doing.
  12. SR45 macrumors 65832


    Aug 17, 2011
    HD voice is only good if the other party also has T-Mobil HD voice as well. Not for the other carrier phones sadly
  13. pilot1226 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 18, 2010
    Does this happen when you're using the speaker phone or only when you're using the regular microphone/ear speaker? I'd suggest for the sake of troubleshooting you try both. I'm wondering it if's something as ridiculous as you're just holding the phone in a weird way creating some type of reverb.

    There's all sorts of software compression and coding that goes into the voice processing. Carriers usually set this up to be a utilitarian view: ie, best for the masses, but might end up hurting a few in the end.

    So, try speakerphone, try speakerphone with it placed on a counter, try holding it a different way, etc.

    If you have a microphone or bluetooth, try that too!
  14. exi thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2012
    Appreciate it. It's worse/worst when I'm using the handset normally; speakerphone seems to improve things. I never use BT so can't speak intelligently there!
  15. osofast240sx macrumors 68030


    Mar 25, 2011
    i do conference calls with a beats pill, it's like the person is in the room.
  16. ascNYC macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2010
    Same Issue - Possible Cause

    I too have had this "muffled" or "underwater" issue with my AT&T iPhone 5.

    I believe the cause of my issue is blocking or partial blocking of the rear microphone (located between the flash and the rear camera lens). I find that if I am cradling the phone between my ear and shoulder or inadvertently have my finger over the mic that I experience this problem. Usually adjusting my grip (not blocking the rear mic) seems to fix it.

    Not sure if this is the same issue but it has certainly been a problem with my iPhone 5 which I never experienced with my 4 or 4S.
  17. awegew macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2013
    The iPhone has never been a monster for voice quality. Go dig up a Blackberry from 10 years ago and it'll be night and day for handheld usage and even a bigger difference if you compare speakerphone quality. I'm hopeful this is something Apple addresses with their next phone.
  18. Diseal3 macrumors 65816

    Jun 29, 2008
    Do you have a case on? If it blocks mic that's probably the issue.

    Edit: nvm already mentioned. Could try a different handset to see if that's the issue, if not by all means go to a carrier that works better for you.
  19. neutrino23 macrumors 68000

    Feb 14, 2003
    SF Bay area
    Try calling a land line. That would isolate the phone issue. I used to have problems calling associates on older Blackberrys. They sounded really garbled, especially with a BT headphone.

    I've had the last four iPhones. The iP 5 is by far the best sounding on my end, I don't know what it sounds like for those listening to me.

    I've always been on AT&T. Do you know what kind of phones are on the other end? Are they also Verizon? It might be helpful to know if this is appending all the time or only with certain combinations of phones and carriers.
  20. Prime85 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2012
    Do you hold the phone with your shoulder? I have noticed that when i do that it covers the mic by the camera in the back and people cant hear me. Its the noise cancellation feature.

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