Having sound issues on your iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S? Here's how to fix them.

If you've got an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S that's having some issues with sound, you probably aren't alone. Issues could range from system sounds working but your iPhone not actually ringing or system sounds not working unless plugged into the headphone jack. While sound can be caused by several issues, symptoms like this are typically fixable with a pretty simple DIY repair.

If any of the above symptoms sound like what you're experiencing, follow along for a more detailed list of symptoms and how to correct the problem.

This week we're doing things a little differently and instead of giving you a new repair, we're going to take a look at some existing mods that should fix very common sound issues pertaining to both the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4.

Disclaimer: As with any repair, iMore can not be held responsible for any damage you may do to your device. It’s also worth considering that opening up your device to perform any repair or modification can and will void your Apple warranty. If you don’t feel comfortable opening your device, don’t. Use extreme care and caution when performing a repair on any device.

If you are comfortable with repairing your own device, put your ninja pants on and keep reading!


Sounds issues are a common problem we see with the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. Some users have been experiencing quite a few simliar issues lately that can be solved quite easily using repair guides we already have readily available to you. If you're experiencing any of the following symptom combinations, we would suggest trying the repair solutions linked below.

No system sounds

Your iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S will ring when someone calls it or you can go into Settings and get sounds to play but system sounds don't work throughout iOS such as keyboard clicks, lock/unlock sounds, and certain system notifications.

No alert sounds

If you can go into Settings and hear system sound previews but no sound actually produces when an alert such as a phone call, text message, or email come in.

Combination of no alert and/or system sounds

If your sounds work sporadically or in any combination of the above symptoms.

How to fix sound issues

Try a DFU restore first

Before performing any kind of hardware repair, you should always try a restore first to rule out software issues. A DFU restore is the kind of restore we recommend for issues like this. If you aren't sure how to put your iPhone in DFU mode, you can follow our guide:

Replace the dock connector

Wait, what? You may be asking yourself why replacing the dock connector would fix sound issues. Actually, the dock connector component contains some wiring and components that delegate sound throughout your iPhone. In our experience, if you're experiencing the sound issues like we've described above, 9 times out of 10 a dock connector replacement fixes the issue.

Depending on whether you have an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S, you can check out our guides and replace the dock connector on the device on your own. It'll cost you a lot less than a brand new iPhone and will only take about 30 minutes. The best part is, you should have sound again.

Other sound issues

If you're experiencing no sound at all or it is heavily distorted, your issue may be the actual loud speaker itself or another component related to how sound is handled. We have many tutorials and guides for replacing other components related to sound in our DIY section that you can access via the links below.

Get more DIY help

If you're running into issues with a DIY repair or need some more answers, our DIY and mod forums are a great place to start. Still have questions? Feel free to email us.

Additional resources:

Allyson Kazmucha

iMore senior editor from 2011 to 2015.

  • Hey Allyson, love your helpful columns...but I'm not sure if anyone has experienced the issue that I am having. Not sure how to contact you personally, but I guess I will leave the question for all to see, maybe someone else is having issues as well. Since I've updated my iPod Touch 4th gen to iOS 6, I have experienced that I CANNOT lower the sound at all!! Like it'll be NO white squares and the sound coming from the other end is soooooo loud! Do you have any idea what may be the case? Should I reinstall it? (Ugh such a pain). My iPhone 4 (which I still love and adore even with all the newest bells n whistles the newer phones have, ha) does not have this issue even with iOS 6 installed. I am holding out on updating it because I want to jailbreak it (the least I can do to stay somewhat 'updated' ha) so that I can have better wifi, bluetooth toggle access (Hello Apple wake up!). Any input would be appreciated. Also, I don't have warranty for my iPod or iPhone, but if I were to bring it into an Apple store, could they take a look at it for me? Neither have gone near water, I can assure you of that. What would they do, if anything? Thank you.
  • My old iPhone 4 was having the issue you detailed in the post. I was able to diagnose the issue as being to doc connector by
    A) entering the multitask menu (double tap the home button)
    B) swiping the multitasking tray to the right twice revealing the soft volume control and airplay/speaker choice icon
    C) tapping on the airplay/speaker icon, if it shows "doc connector" instead of "iPhone" as an option in the drop down, then you know that it's your dock connector that's shot. Hope that helps diagnose the problem, will potentially save time/effort of opening the phone knowing for sure what the problem is.
  • What if you do this and tap on the airplay/sound icon and nothing happens?
  • Thanks for the informative post
  • Fantastic article. Changing the dock removed the issues I was having (no system sound but ringing fine). It seemed too easy to be true but great result. life saver!
  • Hi, i like to ask a question. My iPhone 4s doesn't have sound at all, no in and no out sounds. Don't work speakers and mics. Can anyone know what could happen? I really appreciate the help!! It's urgent!!!
  • Even doesn't vibrate!!!
  • I had the same exact problem. no sound in or out, didn't vibrate or anything. I just received my new 4S frame in the mail with a new loud speaker assembly installed and it still didn't work. I powered down and back up then played around with the rocker buttons (+-) and silent mode switch. it seems to work for awhile but it cuts out when I open other apps then have to reboot. hopefully I don't have to do that every time but it's working for me. I do my own repairs and trust myself to trouble shoot problems like this.
  • i tried everything. my iphone 4 att is not producing sound just vibrates. was unable to play audio or video. unable to use voice memo. able to make call but no sound. cant do facetime. able to take picture. able to record but no sound and cant stop the recording. "no audio hardware detective" pop up when i try to play on aps. everything is in working order besides this issue. all buttons. wifi. network. settings everything. vibrates and mutes works. just no sound. please help
  • I have exactly the same problem. Are there any solutions?
  • play around with the buttons a few times then lock and unlock to see if that helps. if not, close off any active apps and reboot. if there's a unlock click when it's done powering up, try your music app.
  • Simpler and worked for me: home, settings, sound, control with buttons, off. This stop the annoying habit of ios switching the function of the volume buttons arbitrarily.
  • Sometimes my iPhone 4s has sound and sometimes it don't but it's only on my texts and when I try and play music.the ringer and sound work when I get a phone call I'm just having trouble with my texting and music
  • My issue with iphone 4 is that when I am on call- the voice on other end is loud but not clear..do you have any fix for that? It happens to all calls so am ruling out service provider issues.On iphone 3 I had no such issues...
  • My issue is with my iPhone 5s I can't hear anyone and they can't hear me when making or receiving phone calls but if I put my phone on loud speaker I can hear them but they still can't hear me??
  • nice article solved issue