Good sound is integral to the functionality of your iPhone. Making phone calls relies on you being able to hear the person on the other end of the line, after all, but for everything from playing music to listening to voice notes, your speaker is critical.
For this reason, a muffled speaker on your iPhone can be really frustrating. Muffled sound can manifest in all sorts of ways, from being unable to make loudspeaker calls or hear your ringtone, to poor music and video quality through your speakers.
If you’re struggling with bad iPhone sound quality, here’s our step-by-step guide to cleaning your iPhone speakers and microphone.
The first step in the process is to determine whether the problem is just in one particular area - listening to music through your headphones, for example - or whether your sound is muffled all over.
Head to your Ringtone Settings menu to test your sound. You can do this by adjusting your ringtone volume levels. With your ringtone sounding low, you’ll be able to listen to each of the speaker channels to pinpoint where the issues are.
To clean your iPhone speakers and microphones, you’ll need an anti-static brush. But if you don’t have one lying around, a brand-new toothbrush can work just as well.
Take your phone out of its case, then gently brush out the speaker on the bottom. Take care to brush out the microphone as well - microphones work with speakers to cancel out background noise and have a major impact on the sound quality of speakerphone calls.
Carefully brush the microphone at the top of the phone, the earpiece speaker, and the pinhole microphone hidden in the camera setting on the back.
If your speakers and microphones are clean but your sound is still muffled, you will need to carry out a soft reset. This is just a matter of restarting your phone, but it can deal with any minor software glitches that might have occurred.
You can do this by heading to General Settings and clicking Shutdown at the bottom of the menu, or by using the side power button. Switch your iPhone back on and test the sound again using Step One to see if the problem has been resolved.
If the soft reset hasn’t fixed the issue, your issues may have something to do with your accessibility settings.
Head to the General Settings menu, then go to Accessibility. Take a look at your Mono Audio switch and make sure it is set to Off. The Noise Cancellation switch should also be set to Off as this can impact the sound from your earpiece speaker.
Finally, check the left/right balance slider. This is one of the most common sound problems, and if your slider is set over to either the left or the right, one of your speakers will be failing to produce sound!
Set the slider right in the centre to ensure that your audio is perfectly balanced and that both speakers are working harmoniously.
If your sound still isn’t perfect, it could have something to do with your EQ levels.
Head over to Music Settings and explore the EQ Settings menu. You may have a particular EQ setting ticked, like Treble Reducer, which will have an affect on your overall audio experience.
Tick ‘Off’ to ensure that your EQ settings are not getting in the way of your sound quality, then head back to your Music Settings and turn both Volume Limit and Soundcheck off as well.
If none of the above steps dealt with the problem effectively, then it’s time for a hard reset.
Go to the General Settings menu, tap Reset, then tap Reset All Settings. You’ll need to enter your passcode to confirm this action.
Your iPhone will turn off, and all settings will be restored to how they were straight out of the box. It’s worth noting that this will remove things like stored WiFi passwords and wallpapers, but it won’t delete contacts, photos, or anything important saved to your iCloud.
The above guide represents the limit of what you can do at home to fix and clean your iPhone speakers and microphones.
If your problem persists after trying everything above, you’re most likely dealing with a hardware issue, and you’ll need a professional to look at your speakers.
If you’re still under warranty or have AppleCare, then you can head straight to the Apple Store. Otherwise, you can browse your local phone repair shops and view their prices using our comparison portal.
We’ll help you find the very best deal to get your speakers and mic in tip-top condition again!
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