How to fix a broken earpiece on your iPhone 5
If you're having issues with the earpiece on your iPhone 5, there's a possibility it could need to be DIY repaired. Symptoms typically include low audio through the actual earpiece, crackling sounds, or no sound at all. If that sounds like something you're experiencing, your earpiece could be bad. Luckily, a DIY earpiece repair isn't terribly hard and can save you a ton of cash. So follow along and we'll walk you through from start to finish!
What you need to DIY replace a blown earpiece on an iPhone 5
You'll need some tools and parts in order to repair your iPhone 5. If you're in the United States or Canada, we highly recommend checking out eTech Parts as we've had lots of good experiences with them and know their customer service is out of this world. All the links below will route you to the direct item on eTech's site.
- Replacement iPhone 5 earpiece - Buy now
- Suction cup - Buy now
- 5-point security screwdriver - Buy now
- Standard #000 Phillips screwdriver - Buy now
- Spudger tool - Buy now
- Razor blade - Buy Now
- iSesamo Opening tool (not necessary but awesome for prying up cables and getting under adhesive) - Buy Now
Step 1: Power off your iPhone 5
Before beginning any repair, always power your iPhone down completely using the Slide to power off option. Easy enough right?
Step 2: Remove the front screen assembly
- To begin, use your security screwdriver to remove the two screws in the bottom of your iPhone 5 that sit on either side of the dock.
- Now place your suction cup above the Home button and gently pry up from the bottom. Take care not to pull the entire screen off as the top of the screen is still attached by several cables. You only want to release the bottom portion.
- Once the screen is free, swing up the display assembly so you can get to the shield that is holding the cables in place.
- Using your ##000 screwdriver to remove the three screws holding the display shield down. Set the shield aside and remember not to mix up the screws.
- Now use your spudger tool to pry up the three cables that attach the display to the board. After you do so, the display should be free from the device. As a side note, you can only see two of the cables (as marked in the photo below) as the third is underneath. Most of the time the third one simply pops up on its own when you remove the first two. You may need to free it but most likely, it'll come up on its own. The second photo below shows its location on the board for reference.
- Set the device aside once the display is free.
Alternate method: If you're having issues pulling the screen up with a suction cup, you may insert a razor blade on the outer edge of either screw hold and pry upwards slightly. This method gives you enough clearance to stick your spudger tool underneath and release the screen. I recommend this method if your hands aren't as steady or you're afraid you may pull too hard and damage a cable.
Step 3: Replace the earpiece speaker assembly
- Place your display assembly face down on a clean cloth as to not scratch the screen.
- Remove the two screws holding the earpiece speaker and shield in place using your #000 screwdriver.
- Gently lift the earpiece and shield off the display assembly.
- Now swap out the old earpiece for the new one. Be sure to line up the contacts on the back of the earpiece with the contacts on the cable assembly on the back of your iPhone display. An easy way to know the earpiece is positioned correctly is if the screw holes are lining up correctly. If they are, you're in good shape!
- Replace the earpiece shield on top of the actual earpiece. Make sure it also lines up with the screw holes correctly.
- Replace the two screws that hold the earpiece and shield in place using your #000 screwdriver.
Step 4: Reconnect the display assembly
- Re-attach the three cables for the display back to the board of your iPhone 5.
- Carefully re-position the display shield over the cables once you're sure they are secure.
- Replace the three screws you removed previously using your ##000 screwdriver. Sometimes the top right screw is not magnetized and may be a little tricky to get back in. I normally guide it in with my finger and then use the screwdriver. Makes for an easier job.
- Now snap the display back down and into place. Be sure to line up the grooves in the top of the screen inside the frame. If you are facing resistance, do not force the display down. Make sure everything is lined up properly and that the clips in the top are aligned properly. Then try gently pressing down again.
- Replace the two screws that sit on either side of the Lightning dock using your security screwdriver.
Step 5: Test the earpiece
Now that you're iPhone 5 is fully assembled, you can go ahead and turn it back on. In order to test the earpiece, place a test call and make sure whatever issue you were having is now gone. Also toggle speakerphone on and off to be sure that both functions pass audio back and forth correctly.
If everything went as planned, you should be in working order again! If not, check out our iMore forums and do a quick search. If you still can't find help or an answer, feel free to email me with questions or suggestions for other guides.