iPhone Speaker Not Working? Here’s The Real Fix!

When an iPhone’s speaker stops working, so do many of the features that make the iPhone so great. The music stops playing, you can’t make calls using the speakerphone, and you don’t hear a “ding” when you receive a text message or an email, or maybe your iPhone speaker is muffled. One thing’s for sure: Your iPhone uses its speaker a lot. In this article, I’ll explain what to do when an iPhone speaker is not working so you can fix the problem for good.

Is My iPhone Speaker Broken?

At this point, we simply don’t know. Broken and not working are two different things. You should try to do an iPhone speaker test just to see if no sound will come out of your phone at all or only a few sounds. Test your ringtones, media sounds, and check to see if your iPhone speaker is not working during calls.

To determine why your iPhone speaker won’t work, it’s necessary to understand the two things that happen every time your iPhone makes a sound:

  1. Software: Your iPhone’s software decides which sound to play and when to play it.
  2. Hardware: The built-in speaker on the bottom of your iPhone converts the software’s instructions into sound waves you can hear.

iPhone 7 speaker

What Causes iPhone Speakers To Stop Working?

Software

If the software is malfunctioning, your iPhone may not be sending the proper signals to the speaker, so the speaker doesn’t work at all or your iPhone speaker is muffled. Here’s the good news: Most software problems can be fixed at home. Unfortunately, the hardware is a different story.

Hardware

speaker graphicThe iPhone speaker is one of the most damage-prone components on iPhones. Speakers make sound waves when a very thin piece of material vibrates very, very quickly. If the material is damaged in any way, your iPhone speaker can stop working entirely, start to make static noises, or make your iPhone speaker muffled.

How Do I Know Whether It’s A Hardware Or Software Problem?

When I worked with customers with speaker problems, I would always try to fix the iPhone’s software before replacing the speaker itself. Software is free to fix and speakers are not, but that’s not the only reason why. If there is a software problem, we could replace the speaker again and again and the iPhone still wouldn’t play sound.

This happens all the time to people who replace their iPhone batteries and are surprised when their battery drains just as fast or even faster. Later, they realize the battery drain problem was being caused by software all along.

How To Fix iPhone Speaker Problems

1. Make Sure Your iPhone Isn’t On Silent

It happens all the time. A customer comes into the Apple Store and we fix the problem by turning up the volume and flipping the silent switch to the “Ring” position. Check out my article called My iPhone Won’t Ring if your speaker is making some sounds but doesn’t ring when you receive a phone call.

ring silent switch on iphone 7

2. Make Sure The Volume Is All The Way Up

It’s easy to accidentally turn the volume all the way down on your iPhone or flip the silent switch if you’re using a big, bulky case. Unlock your iPhone and hold the volume up button until your iPhone is turned all the way up. I’ve worked with customers who say, “Oh! I was wondering where the volume buttons were!

volume buttons on iphone 7

If the volume isn’t turning up even as you hold down the volume up button, open the Settings app and tap Sounds & Haptics. Make sure the switch next to Change with Buttons is turned on (you’ll know it’s on when it’s green).

ios 13 change with buttons

If you turn the volume all the way up and you hear sound playing very, very quietly, your speaker is damaged. Skip to the last step to learn about your repair options.

3. Make Sure Your iPhone Isn’t Stuck On Headphones Mode

iphone headphones stuckWhen headphones are connected to your iPhone, all sound plays through the headphones, not the speaker. Here’s the tricky part: If your iPhone thinks headphones are plugged in but they’re not, your iPhone tries to play sound through headphones that aren’t there.

This usually happens when a piece of debris or small amount of liquid gets inside of the headphone jack and “fools” the iPhone into thinking headphones are plugged in. If you see Headphones under the volume slider when you turn the volume up or down, check out my article about why iPhones get stuck on headphones mode to find out how to fix it.

4. Make Sure Sound Isn’t Playing Somewhere Else (Yes, This Can Happen)

iPhones automatically reconnect and play sound through Bluetooth speakers, Apple TVs, and other devices as soon as they come in range. Sometimes people don’t realize their iPhone is playing sound through another device in their house or car. Here are two examples of how this can happen:

  • You have an Apple TV that’s hooked up to your TV. At some point in the past, you used AirPlay to play music through your TV speakers. When you come home, your iPhone reconnects to the Apple TV and continues streaming music through it — but the TV, and the speakers, are off.
  • You use a Bluetooth headset in the car. When you go in the house, your iPhone speaker suddenly stops working — or does it? In actuality, your iPhone is still playing sound through the Bluetooth headset because you forgot to turn it off. (Watch out for Bluetooth speakers, too!)

To make sure your iPhone isn’t playing music somewhere else, we’ll turn off Bluetooth, disconnect from AirPlay devices (like your Apple TV), and try playing sound again. You can accomplish both using Control Center on your iPhone.

To activate Control Center, use your finger to swipe up from the very bottom of the screen. Tap the Bluetooth icon (in the box in the upper left-hand corner of Control Center) to turn off Bluetooth.

turn off bluetooth in control center

Next, press and hold the music hub in the upper right-hand corner of Control Center and tap on the AirPlay icon. Make sure there is only a small checkmark next to iPhone. If your speaker starts working again, you’ve fixed your iPhone and discovered the cause of the problem.

tap airplay button in ios 11 control center

5. Restore Your iPhone

There’s only one way to be absolutely sure your speaker is broken, and that’s to restore your iPhone. Back up your iPhone first, then follow my instructions in my article about How To DFU Restore An iPhone, and come back here when you’re done.

After the restore finishes, you’ll know almost immediately if the problem is solved. Make sure your iPhone isn’t on silent mode (see step 1) and the volume is all the way up (see step 2). You should hear keyboard clicks as soon as you start to type your Wi-Fi or Apple ID password as part of the setup process.

If you still don’t hear anything or your iPhone speaker is still muffled, we’ve eliminated the possibility that your iPhone’s software was causing the problem, and unfortunately, it means your iPhone speaker is broken. But don’t despair — there are good options available for repairing an iPhone speaker.

6. Repair Your iPhone Speaker

If your iPhone speaker is broken or your iPhone speaker is muffled or won’t work during calls, the good news is that Apple does replace iPhone speakers both at the Genius Bar and through their mail-in repair service at their support website.

There are less-expensive alternatives too: One of our favorites is Puls, an iPhone repair service that will meet you at a location of your choice in as little as 60 minutes and repair your iPhone on the spot. Puls also offers a lifetime warranty. If you go the Apple Store route, make sure you make an appointment first, because they can get really busy!

iPhone, I Can Hear You!

By this point, we’ve either fixed your iPhone’s software or we’ve determined that your iPhone speaker is not working because of a hardware problem and you know how to get your iPhone repaired. If you have time, share how you first realized your iPhone speaker wasn’t working and which fix worked for you in the comments section below—that will help other people with the same problem.

Thanks for reading, and remember to pay it forward,
David P.

About Author

I'm a former Apple employee and the founder of Payette Forward, and I'm here to help you with your iPhone.

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Navin
3 days ago

So I have an i phone6+ the problem is the ringer doesn’t function and light blinks when call is coming can’t hear the call and have to connect through wired earphone , please suggest what to do

Sha-Ray
9 days ago

I have an XS and all of my sound is coming from my top speaker and not my built in speaker at the bottom. Is there a was I can fix this ? I need my music and Notifications, or whatever else, to come out the bottom.

Kathy
21 days ago

My sounds work on everything but incoming texts. Phone rings. I message works just text.

Sampreet singh
1 month ago

i am having iphone 11 speakers are working but sound is not proper
 

Anonymous
16 days ago
Reply to  Sampreet singh

I’m having this same issue. if I put the phone on speaker people can barely hear me and Siri can’t hear me either

Rayal
5 months ago

I have the iPhone 11 and the right part of the phones speaker works, but the other one doesn’t

Admin
David Lynch
5 months ago
Reply to  Rayal

The speaker on the left isn’t actually a speaker, it’s a barometric vent.

Kimberly Standridge
5 months ago

i have a iphone 6s. my wife bought me for xmas. it was working just fine till yesterday. now when someone calls me i hear nothing. and they cant hear me. i get no sound when trying to put it on speaker either

Anonymous
1 year ago

My speaker went out right before Christmas. I cant not talk on the phone or hear anyone unless Im in the car on Bluetooth. My phone rings, plays music,videos etc, just fine. The only vital thing I can not do is talk on it. I did all the steps here and have come to the conclusion that I have to bite the bullet and take it to Apple. My service provider said there was nothing they could do. Being that its so close to my upgrade time, I just have stuck it out one the past few months. Has anyone… Read more »

Anonymous
1 year ago

thank you for the info , my ringer wasn’t working and none of these things were working so i thought the ringer was bad . but i decided to turn it off and reboot it and my ringer came back !

Anonymous
1 year ago

Hi. I just got a new screen and have no sound. Brought back to shop and he reconnected to new screen . Worked for 10 mins and now gone again

Anonymous
1 year ago

why my iphone no sound but when have a call have sound why when im play music and watch vedio no sound

Anonymous
1 year ago

Thanks the silent ring switch did the trick…feel a little silly here

Anonymous
1 year ago

Very helpful, thank you. Before trying #5, I did a hard reset and that fixed the problem (whatever the problem was). So far so good!

Anonymous
2 years ago

Am facing same problem as that Saurav Saha with my iPhone can’t hear an incoming calls,except connected to ear piece n on speaker,Pls what I do ??

Anonymous
2 years ago

This is such a stupid article; it basically blames it all on the user. I updated my phone (Iphone 7) and immediately started having speaker issues. Turns out this is a software problem. My phone was out of warranty but Apple gave me a brand new Iphone (so, you know it was their issue). If you did the same, did the update, and then the problems occured, most likely it is this know Apple IOS issue. It ruins your phone. The only way to get it fixed is to go get a new one, even if it is out of… Read more »

Anonymous
2 years ago

Thank you so much. It nice to finally find someone who knows what they are doing and not just guessing and sending g people on a wild goose chase. I read this once already and tried to explain it to my to a friend of mine who took the phone to a certified Apple repair shop to which I was informed that it was the speaker and needed to b replaced and that screen would have to b replaced if he took other one off so u leave it with him for over a week. When I could finally go… Read more »

Anonymous
2 years ago

I ended up restoring my phone. Only thing that worked. Had sound for the rest of the day. Woke up to no sound again though! Would this be a reoccurring software issue?

Anonymous
2 years ago

I noticed I couldn’t hear sounds from my phone after charging it through my laptop. Trying to figure out now how to fix the problem. Will try restoring the software.

Anonymous
2 years ago

Thank you Rebecca Gordon Lynes! And David Payette! God bless you and yours for the help I went through the instructions and there was no static so I turned my phone off n back on n my speakers started working again I am so happy because I am on disability and could not have afforded Apple I’m sure!! So once again thank you both and God Bless!
Kathie

Anonymous
2 years ago

Thanks , your information helped me to fix the speaker issue. Thanks again.

Anonymous
2 years ago

My speaker works fine. My phone’s problem is that in order to answer a phone call, I have to first, answer the call, then turn off the speaker and put it to my head and talk. Is there a way to make it go back to phone answering the old fashioned way, like just hitting the answer button and putting it to your head? It appears stuck on being loud and obnoxious. Everything else works fine on my 6 plus.

Anonymous
2 years ago

I really want to change my iPhone. I will never buy another iPhone again. My speaker does work too and there is the battery issues also. Too expensive for its quality. I am thinking of the Microsoft one. Any ideas please?

Anonymous
2 years ago

I couldn’t hear my spotify and I clicked on the bottom of the screen where it said devices available. I picked my phone and for some reason the volume just on spotify was turned all the way down. I realized it was a spotify problem when I did all the fixes above and I was getting beeps for texts but no music. Thank you for the article – I feel empowered that I didn’t have to ask my pre teen to fix it and get the eye rolls with it!!

Anonymous
2 years ago

Very informative post. I had no sound from incoming calls or texts. Followed your steps, problem solved!

Anonymous
2 years ago

Fixed it! Your step by step along with the visual was so far the best troubleshooting instructions I have used.

Anonymous
2 years ago

Thanks so much your article just helped me,never knew it was silent with that button close to volume

Anonymous
2 years ago

Thanks for this post, it was very useful! I concluded to water damage from the rain… so I used an old trick I successfully used a couple times in the past: remove moisture from the device by planting it in a bag of rice, speaker down. It took less than an hour and my speaker works normally again! Cheers!

Anonymous
2 years ago

Many thanks! I could not understand why I could hear phone calls but not music or video clips. IT WAS BLUETOOTH exactly as you suggested.

Anonymous
2 years ago

This is very helpful thanks.

Anonymous
2 years ago

Omggg thank you so much. This helped so much and I thought my speaker was broken but it wasn’t. IT DOES WORKKK

Anonymous
2 years ago

All I want to do is fix how to use the speaker on my phone. The above info is really hard to follow when you are not good with figuring out what to do. This is to complicating. Just tell me how to turn it back on. I am not good with this sort of thing. Please help me.

Anonymous
3 years ago

I m facing a sound related problem in my iPhone 6S plus.
Sometimes when i call or recive a call i cant hear the incoming voice either when Itz connected with headphones.
Even after deinserting/reinserting the headphones I cant hear anything. My phns speakers also stops working.
What I have to do iz I have to turn on speaker mode on and off.
Den I can clearly hear the voice of the person on the other side of the call.
In earphone or without earphones.
Please tell Me why is this happening????

Anonymous
3 years ago

I have trouble with people hearing me. I have a 5se. I sometimes have to use the speaker, which is not condusive whenin public. Any suggstions? This is a new, not refurbished phone.

Anonymous
3 years ago

I think it’s my iPhone’s headphone jack not detecting that my headphones are taken out. Usually when I take out my headphones when I’m watching youtube, it stops the video. It doesn’t. It may be a software issue but I don’t know.

Anonymous
3 years ago

My headphones only work, if I have the speaker turned on, when I’m making phone calls! I’m wondering what I could do to fix this?

Anonymous
3 years ago

I have one person that I call and the speaker doesn’t work on her phone! The speaker button is blacked out and if you push it to go on, nothing happens? Any suggestions?

Anonymous
3 years ago

I went through all the checks listed. My speaker suddenly stopped working after disconnecting from a Bose speaker. Never had this problem until this morning. None of the checks worked until I powered off the I phone and then powered back up. Working fine now.

Anonymous
3 years ago

thank you!!!!! i fixed it. it was me. i had it on bluetooth:)

Anonymous
3 years ago

My speaker doesn’t work only during calls and FaceTime. It is a brand new 6s. The speaker in my other 6S quit working and then I went to get the recalled battery changed. They replaced my whole phone because they had trouble getting the battery out. The speaker on the new 6S doesn’t work now. Can you help me this?

Anonymous
3 years ago

ITS THE DANG BATTERY!! My wife’s iPhone 6 speaker stopped working and battery got shot after the latest update. I figured the simplest one to fix would be the speaker. So, I checked a bunch of forums and found that a lot of people had the same issue with the speaker. After checking all the phone functions as directed on the many websites, I replaced the main speaker (bought on eBay for $2.98) and that didn’t work. I then had the wife take it to the Apple Store. They tested it and couldn’t figure it out either. They also tested… Read more »

Anonymous
3 years ago

headphone charging patta reples problam solve

Anonymous
3 years ago

But why hasnt apple fixed this issue? I have to power off and on several times a day to fix this reoccurring issue. It started ever since I paired my I-watch. I’ve cleaned out the port, and the speaker was replaced when my screen was replaced. Anytime I play music from my speaker or use a Bluetooth ear piece I can’t get it off of headphone mode without having to shut down and power it back up. It’s rediculous when you get a call and have to answer it on speaker phone or pick up the phone thinking your phone… Read more »

Anonymous
3 years ago

Great post. Thank you for sharing your expertise to help us all navigate the challenges of our technology dependency !! I realized my sound was missing when alarms and phone calls didnt ring out loud – and i couldnt play a voicemail recording, I followed your steps 1-4 but before attempting #5 i powered off the phone to see if that would trip something and miraculously, for now, my ringer sounds are restored. Power off and on.

Amy Kramer
3 years ago

When I make a call on my iPhone the person on the other end can’t hear me at all. If I turn I on speaker phone they can hear me. What can I do?

Samehra Rafiq
5 months ago
Reply to  Amy Kramer

I have the same problem

Haseena Bangash
4 years ago

Tried the DFU Restore. The speaker were fixed and the phone started ringing – but only for a few minutes and went back to silent 🙁 – PLEASE HELP

Holly Doan Spraul
4 years ago

After doing everything (air, pen, qtip, clip) it was still stuck on headphones. I then went to settings-accessibility and changed to mono, and hearing aid assist, and switched audio routing from automatic to speaker and boom, it worked. I then switched everything back, restarted and I’m good to go.

Derek Andrews
4 years ago

How many speakers does the iphone 4S have? I can hold a normal phone conversation ok, but the ringer doesn’t work and I can’t listen to audio on the speaker. The headphone jack works ok to play audio. This is undoubtedly related to water damage; a lot more salt water than a bit of sweat running down the headphone cord. This happened a couple years ago and I’ve muddled through. Thanks for your tip in another article about holding home and power keys together for a long while; I was about to call it a day with this phone, but… Read more »

My iPhone Won't Ring! Here's The Real Reason Why.
4 years ago

[…] your iPhone isn’t making any sound at all, my article about what to do when an iPhone speaker stops working will show you how to fix that problem. If you’ve already done all this, here’s why […]