Weird problem with the sound on my iPhone.

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by Exadus, Mar 8, 2009.

  1. Exadus macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2009
    Hey there. I just recently found that I have a peculiar problem with my iPhone. The speakers work just fine, but when I listen to music or podcasts with headphones on (I've tried four different pairs), the sound is.. uhm.. weird, to say the least.

    Sometimes the vocalist on the song is quieter, a certain guitar is really loud, while another one is on heavy reverb and quiet.. I can't really explain it. It's like the sound channels have somekind of problem. Maybe I can provide a sound sample?

    Anyways, any ideas on how to fix this? Maybe I need to clean my headphone jack, or worse even.. get a new one?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. The Admiral macrumors member

    The Admiral

    Mar 2, 2009
    the behavior you are describing is consistent with a headphone plug that is not fully inserted in the jack. do you have the original iphone or an iphone 3G? since you can reproduce the problem with different pairs of headphones plugged into the same phone, it sounds like the phone is probably to blame if it is the newer model. can you reproduce this problem with the same headphones plugged into multiple devices?
  3. Exadus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2009
    The original iPhone - I've had it for a year now. And yes, the headphones I've tried it with work perfectly on other devices. This is defenatly a phone problem, but I don't know if it's hardware or software.
  4. The Admiral macrumors member

    The Admiral

    Mar 2, 2009
    it sounds like the plug is just not fully inserted. this is a common phenomenon; most standard 1/8" headphone plugs don't quite fit into the jack on the original iphone. you'll need to get a razor blade and shave off some of the plastic to get it to fit, or get an adapter.


    (by the way, this won't harm the plug if you want to use it with other devices. it will still work and won't be loose; you just want to shave enough of the plastic off that it will fit into the recessed area on the aluminum case. if you shave carefully, you'll actually get a nice tight grip that keeps the plug from coming out on the phone)
  5. Exadus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2009
    Nope, it's not a problem with the plug. The problem continues while using an adapter, and the original iPhone headphones.
  6. Exadus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2009
  7. leodavinci0 macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2006
    This sounds exactly like a bad ground (the base, or sleeve, contact point). This means that the each speaker completes their circuit through eachother and not the ground connection, which leads to distorted sound coming through both. This typically occurs when the headphone plug is pushed to one side forcefully while in the plug, and this force breaks the ground contact on the internal plug of the iPhone. This is a hardware problem, although easy to fix with a micro-soldering iron. You will of course need to take it apart to fix it though.

    If you are very lucky, you only bent the inside contact point (the one at the top of the plug). Using a needle you could bend this back towards the center of the hole of the plug so that it will contact the earphones plug again when it is inserted.
  8. Mr J macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2010
    Very simple solution

    Don't take your phone apart just yet!!

    I had this problem, but after a bit of Googling came up with the solution. No insurance claim, no service required! Just a paperclip. God, I love geeks.

    To summarise:

    The weird sound through the headphone jack is caused by the plug not being fully inserted. To quote Mike: "Right and left channels cancel each other out and the only thing left is the difference between them, which is usually some weird reverb’ish sound. Lead vocals are usually gone when that happens and the phase is totally screwed."

    If you get a light and look carefully down into the jack socket, you may well find what I did: a load of dust and pocket fluff that had been building up over many months. I used a paperclip to carefully scoop this out and hey presto! No more weird sounds! It works fine again.

    Never thought I'd say this, but thank goodness it took my insurance company half an hour to pick up the phone yesterday, or I'd have already sent phone off to be replaced!

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