iPhone 4S audio issue most likely won't see a fix with iOS 5.1

iPhone 4S Audio Bug

As noted by GigaOM, a lot of iPhone 4S and some iPhone 4 users are continuing to experience an issue where they cannot hear anything from the recipient on an outgoing call.

The issue in question is when the iPhone 4S (and according to some reports, the iPhone 4, too) mutes all audio on the caller’s end when placing an outgoing voice call. The person on the other end of the line can hear everything just fine, but on the caller’s end, there’s no ringing sound and no audio from a recipient speaking.

The issue has pushed the Apple Support Communities discussion thread past 110 pages with users expressing their frustration and calling for Apple to do something about it. Two of our editors, Rene and Georgia, have both had their iPhone 4 devices swapped out by Apple when the earpiece stopped providing audio (only the speaker phone would work).

It has been speculated that iOS 5.1 won't address this issues -- assuming it is addressable , but we'll have to wait and see.

Source: Apple Support Communities via GigaOM

Andrew Wray

Andrew Wray is a Salt Lake City, Utah based writer who focuses on news, how-tos, and jailbreak. Andrew also enjoys running, spending time with his daughter, and jamming out on his guitar. He works in a management position for Unisys Technical Services, a subsidiary of Unisys Corporation.

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There are 50 comments. Add yours.

danlarock says:

When this happens, which isn't often at all, I just end the call if I don't hear any ringing, and then re-initiate it immediately and it's fine.

MadamRock says:

I've had the same problem! So glad I'm not alone. Generally if I hang up and redial, I can hear the second time around. I had actually visited the Genius bar where they had me reset the network settings and if that didn't work, they advised me to do a full restore before I went into Verizon (thinking it was a network issue). I hadn't had time to go in yet.
At this point, I'll just deal with it and hope that there is a bug fix soon! I don't want to have my phone swapped out with a refurb from big Red.

MadamRock says:

Forgot to note that this has been an issue from the very beginning.

javierE186 says:

Do you have the 4 or the 4s? I ask because I didn't have this problem on 4.2.1 but as soon as I updated to 5.0 it started happening. It rarely happens but it is annoying when it does. I wanted to make sure that I didn't just make this change up, so please verify with me xD

James says:

I've experienced that problem before! I thought I was the only one... Well the problem occurs when the phone is placed on the ear right after dialing a number. I've noticed that unless I remove it from my ear for a couple of seconds the phone won't ring at all. It's a pretty annoying problem, but not something to go overboard about.

Tony says:

Had this problem with my brand new iPhone 4S at the beginning of December, since it was brand new my carrier replaced it no questions asked the next day and I have yet to experience this problem with the replacement. This seems to be a weird problem, no sound came out from Bluetooth on outgoing calls either on mine, but incoming calls were always fine and a full restore fixed nothing. I have seen, probably on the same thread mentioned in the article, that some have speculated that the headphone jack was broken for some reason and was telling the phone to send audio to a not connected headphone, but there is probably more than one cause…

Remington Arneson says:

I had this issue yesterday actually. My phone, for whatever reason, thought my headphones were in even though they weren't and that was why the issue appeared. It eventually disappeared, but I think that if you take headphones and plug them and then unplug them, it'll fix it.

Premium1 says:

Man iphone is having all kinds of issues lately.

Linkjul says:

Had this issue about a year and a half ago with my 2 weeks old iPhone 4, asked for a swap from Rogers (they sent one by mail) but was able to solve the issue just by connecting it to my computer and pressing sync within iTunes... Had the device swapped though, as I said to them I wouldn't want this to happen again.
It is surely only software related, but the issue happens so randomly that it cannot be reproduced and so no fix can be done.

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xxDruMMer BoYxx says:

Had this issue. Didn't know it was wide spread. Happened when I was calling to make a payment at my dentist and the lady got so frustrated that after the 5 th time I called, she was furious and asked if I kept prancing the office, I said no and I that I didn't know what she was talking about. :( lol

Francois says:

I have this problem with my 4S since I bought.
The only way to solve this issue temporarly is to turn on the speaker when placing a call until you hear the phone ringing and then you can turn off the speaker and talk normally.
Let me know if it works.

Tony says:

Mine did this as well, I'd still get it replaced like I did if I were you since at this point we don't seem to have any real proof that this is fixable by a software update. As I said below, the replacement they gave me never had this problem, yet though.

duoFurious says:

Have same call issue but only occasionally. If I don't hear it ring when I dial. I quickly hit speaker on and off again and audio works fine from that point forward.

Mike says:

ios 5.1 (beta 2) Build 985127c has fixed the issue for me. I had the exact trouble on 4 different phones including the one I am currently using. After changing to the latest Beta Test Version mentioned the issue has gone away. Right now you need to be a beta tester to be able to get the load but hopefully it will be released soon.

Callie says:

I haven't had this issue, but my fiancee did with is 4s. He wasn't able to hear me, but I could hear him. If anyone has that problem and cannot get a new phone right away (i.e. is a week or have to wait a few days for it to come in) you can use speaker phone, but plugging in a headset (like the one that comes with the phone) and using the speaker on there works just as well. That's what he did for 3 days until he could get his replacement.

Terry G says:

Had this problem shortly after I got the phone release day. Went to the Apple store, they reinstalled the os it didnt fix the problem they Exchanged the phone & all has been good since

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Raymon829 says:

And i thought this was a carrier issue.... It happend to me with the sprint iphone but since sprint sux i now have att iphone 4s and have never experience the issue again

Michael Baker says:

I have had the issue numerous times with my iphone 4. The only solution I've found is to completely turn the phone off then back on.

benjimen says:

Read somewhere this was happening just on jailbroken devices...

(Copy of) Dev says:

No, it has afflicted stock devices, too.

LL says:

I have the same intermittent issue. I also tap on speaker until I hear ringing and then tap speaker off. Let me know if there is a permanent fix.

Newliberty26 says:

Settings......general......network.....then put the enable 3G toggle into the off position. :)

derk says:

Jason- Clearly, you don't own an iPhone 4S. The enable 3G option is gone in the 4S!

Shanil says:

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Xeyad says:

I just need to be able to turn off 3G on my iPhone 4S...it's getting really annoying, because the area I live in just has 2 bars of 3G, but very strong EDGE network!
My last iPhone 3G was able to do....I just cannot see any reason not to be able to do it on the 4S

Vote lo says:

Have you tried turning off 3G in Settings - General - Network - Enable 3G ?

Ray says:

I have a iphone4s: I can no longer listen to music through my speakers or adjust the volume using the side buttons. Ringer works on calls and text messages, plus sound through the head phone jack works ok. The side buttons still work for other functions I.e the camera. Also people always say on calls I sound like a robot but from my side the caller sounds ok. All was ok before last update.

jhulgan says:

The only couple times I've experienced this issue was when trying to call someone using the bitesms 'call' shortcut

Gooner21 says:

Ahh thought it was just me, happens at least once a week to me,usually turn it off/in fixes the prob

Radu Tanasescu says:

I heard that you can hear something if you switch to speaker then back. This is a temporary way to go around the issue.
My iPhone 4 didn't experience it but it stopped locking the screen when the phone was at my ear during some calls, and I would turn speaker on with my face. Didn't happen for a while though.
This is pretty disappointing, the iPhones advantage was that, although it's such a closed system at least it works perfectly. Ever since IOS 5 I've had a bit too many issues, applications crashing, including Apple apps like the App Store, the screen failed to lock while held close to my face and so on.
Apple is going soft, too many problems get passed testing.

GG says:

My wife has this same issue with her iphone 4. She has a otterbox case. There is a sensor next to the speaker on the front of the phone that senses when the phone is held to your face. On the otterbox, you just have to clean the clear plastic covering that sensor. I have to do this to my wifes phone every week. When this clear plastic gets dirty, the phone screen will blank out and she hangs up or mutes calls all the time. Just clean the case. Works for me everytime. She will probably get another case because of it.

Dave says:

I've had the same problem since I had my 4S (release day). Glad I'm not the only one. Just waiting for a fix. Thanks for the suggestions to try and workaround this problem.

phinx404 says:

i swapped mine out right away when they got more stock in and no probs at all with the new one.

nyc_rock says:

This happened to me with my launch day Iphone 4S. Went to my local apple store and had a replacement within 5 minutes. The issue has not happened since.
If you are having this problem, take it to apple. No need to wait for a fix.

erikbock says:

I't must be a software issue. My iPhone 4 does this occasionally and I upgraded to iOS 5

matt says:

my 4s was doing that, and i wernt waiting about for an update to come out, coz id still b waiting today, got a replacement from vodafone

hoosieriphone says:

This speaker problem showed up on my iPhone 4S a few days before Christmas. It got to a point where I couldn't hear anything at all. Drove to the Apple store in Indianapolis on Christmas eve after being on the phone(my wife's iPhone 4s)for 45 mins with Apple. I got a new phone and have had no problems so far.

Beezzy says:

Thank god it wasn't just me. Idk why they wouldn't fix this in 5.1? Its a big deal and needs to get fixed!

Gsarfin says:

Just had this problem crop up a few days ago. I thought it was the network or on the other end of the connection, as it was the same 2 numbers I called that it happened with, and I could hear myself in my earpiece. Hmmm

Carioca32 says:

This is has been a huge problem, why took so long for TiPB to talk about it? Is it a blog about Apple produts or a blog just to praise Apple products?

onlineboypr says:

This is not a software issue and has been around forever and is easy to fix... what happens is that where you insert the headphone that hole has a sensor that switch from headphone to speaker, when that sensor is dirty let the software know you have a headphone and that's why you don't hear anything un less u put speakerphone or insert a headphone... the solution is buy an air spray the one to use to clean keyboards etc and blow it carefully in the hole of the headphone... the insert carefully a q-tip clean it.. turn off and on device... and voila is solved...

Jerry2588 says:

I usually just tell the person hang up I'll call you back assuming if they heard me or not and call back and its usually works fine after that. Sometimes if it acts up too many times, I kill all apps then power cycle then that fixes everything about the voice calls.

Raptor007 says:

Its interesting that I ran across this thread today, my co-worker had issues with her iPhone4 having issues with no audio as well on phone calls. I went with her to the Apple Store in our area spent over an hour plus with a Genius Bar associate and in the end since she was just a couple of weeks out of warranty they wanted her to spend $149 on a refurbished phone. She was not about to spend the money since she plans on getting the next iPhone and din't want to waste money or an upgrade.
Still what irritates me is Apple is well aware of this issue and the Genius Bar associate was like too bad its out of warranty. If you know your stuff has issues you should take care of the customer.

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Brenda Hook says:

Picked up my new iphone 4s tonight. When I try to talk to someone I cannot hear them unless I put them on speaker phone. They sound very faint like they are in a wind tunnel. Is this the same problem others are having? There doesn't seem to be any volume control for the ear piece just for the ringer.

Brenda Hook says:

I figured out the problem on my 4s when I purchased mine the girl put it in the otter case and did not take the front film off the phone this was interfering with the sensor. If u read above u will see that this sensor is mentioned and about keeping it clean. I took the otter case off and pulled off the film....no more problem hearing the other person on the other end. All fixed.

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