My iPhone Speaker Sounds Muffled! Here’s The Fix.

A lot of the day-to-day tasks on your iPhone revolve around functional speakers. When your iPhone speakers aren’t working, you can’t enjoy music, talk to someone on speakerphone, or hear the alerts you receive. This problem can be incredibly frustrating, but it can also be fixed. In this article, I’ll explain what to do if your iPhone speaker sounds muffled!

Software Vs. Hardware Issues

A muffled iPhone speaker can be the result of a software problem or a hardware problem. The software tells your iPhone what sounds to play and when to play them. The hardware (the physical speakers) then plays the noise so you can hear it.

We can’t be sure what type of problem this is yet, so we’ll start with the software troubleshooting steps. If those steps don’t fix your iPhone speaker, we’ll recommend a few great repair options!

Is Your Phone Set To Silent?

When your iPhone is set to silent, the speaker won’t make any noise when you receive a notification. Make sure the Ring / Silent switch above the volume buttons is pulled towards the screen, indicating that your iPhone is set to Ring.

Turn The Volume All The Way Up

If the volume on your iPhone is low, it may sound like the speakers are muffled when you receive a phone call or notification.

To turn up the volume on your iPhone, unlock it and hold the top volume button on the left side of your iPhone until the volume is all the way up.

You can also adjust the volume on your iPhone by going to Settings -> Sound & Haptics and dragging the slider under Ringer and Alerts. Drag the slider all the way to the right to turn the volume on your iPhone all the way up.

If you want to have the option to turn up the volume using the buttons on your iPhone, turn on the switch next to Change with Buttons.

sounds and haptics ringer and alerts

Take Off Your iPhone Case

If you have a bulky case for your iPhone, or if the case was put on upside down, it could make the speaker sound muffled. Try taking your iPhone out of its case and playing a sound.

Clean Out Any Gunk From The Speaker

Your iPhone speakers can quickly get filled with lint, dirt, or other debris, especially if it has been sitting in your pocket all day. Try wiping off the speaker with a microfiber cloth. For more compacted gunk or debris, use an anti-static or an unused toothbrush to clean out your speaker.

Back Up Your iPhone And Put It In DFU Mode

Before you run to your local Apple Store to get a hardware repair done, let’s make sure we’re absolutely certain that the speaker is broken. A DFU restore is the last step you can take to completely rule out any type of software problem causing your iPhone speaker to sound muffled.

First, backup your iPhone. A DFU restore erases then reloads all the code on your iPhone. You’ll want a recent iPhone backup so you don’t lose your contacts, photos, messages, and more.

You can follow these guides to back up your iPhone using iTunes or back up using iCloud.

After you’ve backed up your iPhone, follow these instructions to put your iPhone in DFU mode.

Before checking if your speakers work, go through steps 1-4 again and then try to play music or use your speakerphone. If the speaker still sounds muffled, it’s time to look into repair options.

Repairing Your iPhone Speaker

Apple offers repairs for iPhone speakers. You can schedule an appointment at the Genius Bar or use their mail-in service by visiting their support center.

One of our favorite and often less-expensive repair options is Puls. They will send an iPhone repair expert to a location you choose and can have your iPhone fixed in as little as an hour. They also offer a lifetime warranty, so this might be the best option for you!

If you have an older iPhone, you may want to consider upgrading to a new one instead of paying out of pocket to repair your old one. New iPhones have better stereo speakers that are great for listening to music or streaming videos. Check out UpPhone’s comparison tool to find a great deal on a new iPhone!

Can You Hear Me Now?

Now that you’ve reached the end of the article, we’ve either solved your speaker problem or at least figured out that you need a repair. If your problem was fixed, let us know which step helped you figure it out — this might help others with the same problem. Regardless, if you have any other questions, leave them in the comments below!

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1 month ago

if I put my phone on speaker it works clear as can be…the only thing that doesn’t work is I can’t hear anything on a phone call in or out unless it is on speaker…I have tried all the things you suggested

28 days ago
Reply to  Barbara

Is something covering your ear piece? My husband put his screen protector on upside down and had this same problem.

Monica Bauer
28 days ago
Reply to  Barbara

Is something covering your ear piece? My husband put his screen protector on upside down and had this same problem.

1 month ago

I did the windows thing and restarted it. It fixed the problem

1 month ago

Good post. Trouble with my iPhone was Phone-lint! After reading this post took a needle and carefully cleaned the pores of the speaker and mike at the bottom of the phone- works great now! Somehow the speaker and mike are connected to ear-speaker, cleaning the former sets right also the latter.

2 months ago

I have issues with phone calls – but if I do a FaceTime Audio it is clear as a bell. So – I am not sure this is an issue with the speakers as such or it would affect both phone calls and FaceTime equally. Any suggestions?

Lloyd Macklem
2 months ago

I bought the top iphone 8 . The left speaker has very little vibration coming from it , compared to the right . I took it into the Apple store . They want $390. to fix it . I had a new battery installed there , and the speakers cleaned .

3 months ago

my iPhone 11 Sonu’s is muffled
I can’t here the call sound

Keith Rabin
4 months ago

My volume on iPhone xr always turns itself down . It’s been to AppleCare 3 times same issue . The speaker is attached to screen so if you don’t have insurance upgrade. I got fed up and up graded to 11. Credit was great but if you can’t hear your customers it’s not worth a dime. Good luck.

Kumar Chandan
4 months ago

I just bought a new iPhone 7 but incoming voice is coming muffled and distorted

Millie moore
3 months ago
Reply to  Kumar Chandan

I was having same problem with iPhone 7 Plus. I upgraded to iPhone 11 in April and am having same problem. I am about done with iphones

5 months ago

What fixed it for me was using the toothbrush and just wiping the speaker/mic at the bottom of the iphone, having the toothbrush only SLIGHTLY wet (Not terribly wet or you’ll mess your stuff up) works wonders. (I got cake in mine, so might not work if your phone suffers from water damage)

Last edited 5 months ago by finder12
Karen Lanier
8 months ago

People tell me that my voice sounds muffled on my iPhone 8! I’m very frustrated and want to remedy! Volume is up all the way. Do I need to take it to be repaired?

Sam Conover
5 months ago
Reply to  Karen Lanier

That is the same problem my wife has with her iPhone 8. I haven’t seen any responses.

1 month ago
Reply to  Sam Conover

Clean out all the speaker. One at the bottom of the phone, one at the back by the camera and also the one at the top by the ear. Just di it to mine and its clear now