There’s nothing worse than having to repeat, “Hello? Hello? Can you hear me?” and wondering if the fault lies with your phone or the other person’s.
While we use our smartphones for various tasks, they are still phones at the end of the day.
They were intended to make life easier by allowing us to call people and talk to them from wherever we are!
Both iPhone and Android users alike are susceptible to issues that cause problems with sound.
Some of the more common reasons as to why your phone might not have sound during a call can include:
- A bad receiver
- Network problems
- Some kind of obstruction to the speaker, or
- Simply forgetting to turn your volume up.
However, it is possible at times for the sound issue to be a little more finicky than that.
For instance, some people have experienced having no sound unless their call is on speaker or headphones are plugged in.
If you have an iPhone, this can also mean that your Noise Cancellation feature is turned on.
Finally, it’s also possible that your smartphone is simply showing signs of wear and tear after years of use.
To address this issue, you’ll have to do some troubleshooting- which we’re going to guide you through in this article!
Ensure that you don’t have any Bluetooth or wired devices connected for a start, as they will redirect the sound.
In some cases, you may need to update your operating system as well!
Here are the top five reasons as to why you might not be able to hear while on a call:
The receiver is that small speaker at the top center of your device that transmits the voice of the caller to you. When it’s faulty, you won’t be able to hear any sound while on a call!
If your phone was working fine at first, but then you stopped being able to hear sound mid-call, it’s possible your receiver needs replacing.
Some people talk louder than others.
If your boss was yelling at you on the phone and you turned the volume down, make sure you turn it back up when you hear your elderly aunt calling!
Check that your volume is as high as it can go before you arrive at the conclusion that there is a problem with the sound.
Phone calls rely on the local network of your service provider, and this shouldn’t be a problem in most cases when you’re in the city.
(Though there are certainly times when city signals do go bad as well!)
With that said, anytime you are out of town, there is a higher probability of inconsistencies with the signal quality.
When this happens, the sound might start to break down or completely go mute!
Since you’re new to the area, you might not be familiar with incumbent signal issues.
So, before taking your phone to a technician and panickedly excliming, “My phone has no sounds during calls!” First confirm that it’s not a problem with the network!
We probably don’t need to do a deep dive into all the, err… slightly unsanitary places we keep our phones.
The fact is that not all of them are clean or free of dust, dirt, or debris!
Even if you’re a neat freak, there’s still a chance that your coat pocket is harboring at least a little lint.
Just like how your ears don’t work as well when they’re stuffed to the brim with earwax (ew), your phone receiver won’t work properly either if something is blocking it!
In some cases, dirt and other particles can build up on the phone’s surface and block sound from coming out of the receiver.
Your phone might be working just fine, but the connected gadget might be a goner.
You might find that when the phone is against your ear, you’re unable to hear anything at all.
Yet, as you put your device on speaker: Voila! The sound comes back.
Why is that?
Here are some potential reasons:
iPhones (other than the most recent iPhone 13) have a unique feature designed to help users regulate the volume level of sounds.
Mind you; this is different from the regular volume button at the side of the phone.
This feature is called “Phone Noise Cancellation.” If you turn on this feature, it can in fact affect sound performance during a call!
There may not even be a problem at all!
Even if your phone volume is turned up all the way when you have it against your ear, switching your phone to the speaker will still make it louder.
The reason you can hear sound when you switch to speaker could be that the person on the other end of the call has a soft voice.
If they are speaking quietly and you have a hard time hearing, you might not be able to hear them through the ear speaker.
Ask them to speak louder and see if there is any difference!
We all know that technology isn’t always perfect.
If your phone has no sound during calls, it might simply be a glitch in the system software.
This is especially likely if your phone was working well before a system update, and then stopped working as smoothly after one.
If you plug your headphones in or are connected to another device via Bluetooth, the sound of your call may automatically go through the other device.
In some cases, iPhones in particular have had problems with continuing to be linked to a device even after you’ve supposedly disconnected!
So, it’s definitely a good idea to double-check this to ensure your phone is not still connected after you have decoupled.
Here is another common sound problem experienced with many smartphones: The volume level will be high, but your phone won’t produce any sound until you plug in a wired headphone!
Here are some reasons why this could happen:
Unfortunately, the manner in which many smartphone users handle their devices is the root cause of many of these problems!
When dirt or a mixture of dust and moisture gets into the headphone port of a smartphone, it can then affect the electronic circuit.
When this happens, you’ll find that your phone may detect a headphone connection- even when there is none.
Therefore, before taking your phone to a technician, check if the headphone port is free of debris first! If there is, clean it gently with a cotton bud until it’s all clear again.
Have you heard about phone rooting before?
Rooting is a process that grants a smartphone user the access to customize certain functions that would otherwise be unavailable.
Several apps have been created that are able to grant developer controls to smartphone users who may not otherwise have had those features on their regular OS.
If you have any of these apps with audio control, it might have toggled the control to headphones- even when you haven’t plugged in any headphones!
If this is the case, the way to fix this would be to change the settings from the app at fault.
Handling your phone recklessly can result in negative consequences, as I’m sure you already know!
If you’re constantly throwing your phone about, exposing it to constant water, or even sitting on it from time to time, then it’s really only a matter of months before the audio jack (and other parts) develops a fault.
It’s always nice to be able to learn what the root of your problem might be- but not as nice as being able to fix it altogether!
Luckily, many of the common causes for sound issues are easy to fix. Here are some effective methods for you to try:
First things first: Try turning up your volume!
Some phones, especially Androids, will have automatic volume protection settings, and sometimes the volume on the phone will change on its own if your volume button is not working correctly or has become stuck.
Press the volume increase button on the side of your phone, or adjust the volume on-screen using your phone’s control center if you want to do so in smaller increments.
It’s probably a good idea to clean your phone regularly regardless of any issues you’re currently experiencing.
To make sure your receiver is clear, use some dry cotton fabric and wipe the surface of your phone. The receiver is usually located at the top of the screen, so be sure to give that area a good rub.
Additionally, confirm that your phone case is not covering your receiver. If it is, adjust or remove it!
Disconnect your phone from any Bluetooth devices that may be rerouting the sound.
Additionally, check to ensure that you don’t have anything plugged into your phone, and that the audio jack is free of debris.
To disconnect a Bluetooth device, go to your Settings app, click on “Connections”, and tap Bluetooth.
Select the device and tap on ‘Forget.” Also, if you are not using the Bluetooth feature, it’s best to turn it off.
Wind clean wool around a small stick and insert it gently inside the audio jack.
Alternatively, a cotton bud is also a good option! Turn it around softly twice in the port, and then remove it carefully.
Using cotton or wool is the safest and easiest way to clean your phone’s audio jack, as this method allows for a gentle, harmless clean of your device.
If the problem behind your sound not working is a software glitch, a good thing to try is to update your phone’s operating system.
Look for any update that might be available- even if you’ve just updated your phone not too long ago!
The reason for this is because there’s a chance that a new update carried a glitch, and the provider has since fixed it.
Go to your device Settings, scroll through the options and click on Systems. Select “System Update” and follow the on-screen instructions!
Restarting your phone can resolve many issues that pop up on your device.
A simple reboot can fix a surprising number of software and hardware issues, including not having sound when you’re on a call.
If you haven’t been able to regain your sound using the other methods above, you may want to give this a whirl!
Hold the side button until the ‘Power off‘ slider displays, then toggle it to switch your iPhone off. To turn it back on, hold down the side button until the Apple logo reappears.
If you’ve exhausted the limits of your expertise, it might be time to call in an expert.
Give them a detailed explanation of the issue, and the attempts you’ve made to resolve it so far.
A skilled technician should be able to get to the root of the problem and resolve it quickly!
Unfortunately it’s possible for the iPhone’s (or any other phone’s) microphone to malfunction at times- rendering it useless when making phone calls or hailing Siri!
In other cases, it may also stop operating correctly during conversations if the microphone is exposed to dust or grime.
The device has three different microphones:
- The ports on the left and bottom of the lightning port are used for phone calls.
- The top one is for recording Voice Memos and FaceTime calls.
- The black dot at the back of your device on the right side of the camera is another microphone for video audio recording.
Try the following procedures if your iPhone audio isn’t working on calls, or if the other party still cannot hear you despite cleaning the microphones:
- Ensure that your fingers or case don’t block the microphone while holding the device;
- If they’re too much of a hindrance, remove any case or screen protector that may be covering the microphone;
- Disconnect your iPhone from any wireless speaker or headset by turning off Bluetooth;
- Restart your phone;
- Check for any software or iOS system updates that may be available.
If you’re unable to hear the other person’s voice on your iPhone, go to Settings > Sounds (or Sounds & Haptics). Once there, toggle the ‘Ringer and Alerts‘ slider a few times.
Your iPhone speaker may not be operating properly on calls if you still don’t hear any sound, or if the speaker button on the Ringer and Alerts slider is darkened.
If this is the case, you may need to contact Apple Support and service your device.
The first place to look if your microphone isn’t working correctly is in your device’s sound settings.
Increase the level of your phone’s call and media volume if the volume is too low or if the phone is completely muted.
If that doesn’t help, follow the instructions laid out earlier to clean out the mics of any dust or other material.
Dirt particles, as previously noted, can quickly jam the microphone of your mobile device- rendering them unreceptive!
There are several reasons as to why you might be experiencing a lack of sound on your phone during a call.
One of the most common issues is simply that the volume is turned down too low without you realizing!
This is an easy fix, of course; all you need to do is turn up the volume!
Another common issue is not recognizing that the audio of your phone call is being redirected through a connected Bluetooth device.
This could be a speaker, headphones- or even your car.
In this situation, you’ll need to disconnect the device- after which your phone should then automatically take over the sound.
Finally, issues with the sound on your device can sometimes come down to a faulty hardware component.
Persistent software issues can equally be the cause, and this is where you may need to consult expert advice!