Some users complain about poor phone call sound on Apple's iPhone 7 & 7 Plus

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 2016
Some people are experiencing unusually bad sound quality from the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus when taking phone calls, according to complaints received by AppleInsider and shared on Apple's support forums.




One poster on Apple's forums said that phone audio sounded "distant," as if it were coming from behind the device. The complaint was echoed by several other people, most of them -- including the original poster -- being iPhone 7 Plus owners.

Regular audio appears to be immune. Lowering volume may mitigate the problem, but Apple doesn't yet have a permanent fix, and in fact a company community specialist simply pointed to a general troubleshooting guide for missing or distorted sound.

It's also uncertain what the root cause might be, whether hardware or software.

Since the launch of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus last Friday, a number of buyers have encountered issues, such as hissing sounds or cellular service dropping out. None of them appear to be too severe or widespread however.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 39
    misamisa Posts: 827member
    The question is, is this with a headset/earpods/lightning headphones, or is this the onboard speaker/microphone.

    Because it seems to me that there should be no change from the iPhone 4/5/6 in regards to call quality, especially since all operators are now using VoLTE, so unless the codec being used is ridiculously poor, it shouldn't be happening.

    People who have an iPhone 7 who want to confirm this, need to make a call to a landline (wired phone), another LTE phone(iPhone 5S/6/6S,) and another iPhone 7. If it only sounds distorted in all phone calls, that sounds like some kind of decoding problem or echo-cancellation problem.


  • Reply 2 of 39
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,990member
    May need to further diagnose GSM vs CDMA calls which might answer Intel vs Qualcomm modem chip.
  • Reply 3 of 39
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,071member

    No problems with call quality here at all. I have a minor issue with the connection not automatically returning to LTE mode after being in a spot with only 3G coverage, It simply remains on 3G. Setting it to airplane mode and back fixes it for now, but I hope for a software patch down the line.
  • Reply 4 of 39
    My iPhone 7 Plus sounds distinctly louder and clearer on calls than my 6 Plus plus did. 
    davidf18appledapple
  • Reply 5 of 39
    Here's an out there idea... Why not call AppleCare instead of complaining to a blog? I know that's such a hard concept to comprehend, but maybe these people should try that first. The sound quality on my iPhone 7 is awesome. I have no complaints, and if I did, I would contact Apple about it first.
    nolamacguyentropysjfc1138argonautwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 39
    Black iPhone 7 on ATT here. No hissing, no call quality issues, no wifi/lte/3g switching issues here. It could use some more improvements on dropping a weak wifi signal though. I think it still tries to hang on to a weak wifi signal for a tad bit too long.
    nolamacguy
  • Reply 7 of 39
    Here's an out there idea... Why not call AppleCare instead of complaining to a blog? I know that's such a hard concept to comprehend, but maybe these people should try that first. The sound quality on my iPhone 7 is awesome. I have no complaints, and if I did, I would contact Apple about it first.
    Because AppleCare will instantly solve the issue, and all will be well? I think the issue here is that a premium priced, much hyped phone doesn't work well as a phone. That might be worth a discussion.
    singularityanantksundaramentropysboredumbhtatc
  • Reply 8 of 39
    kpomkpom Posts: 617member
    eightzero said:
    Here's an out there idea... Why not call AppleCare instead of complaining to a blog? I know that's such a hard concept to comprehend, but maybe these people should try that first. The sound quality on my iPhone 7 is awesome. I have no complaints, and if I did, I would contact Apple about it first.
    Because AppleCare will instantly solve the issue, and all will be well? I think the issue here is that a premium priced, much hyped phone doesn't work well as a phone. That might be worth a discussion.
    Out of several million of any consumer electronic product sold, there will be some with defects. Also, new hardware often has software glitches that don't become known until the devices are out in the wild (since it's impossible to test for every possible combination of software, carrier, firmware, etc.).
    nolamacguyperkedeltmayentropyscwingravnetmage
  • Reply 9 of 39
    This could be related to HD Voice calls being supported/more common. I've noticed better LTE reception with my new phone and, consequently, more calls being HD Voice calls. To me, an HD call sounds like the phone is on speaker phone and being held up to your ear. It's almost like someone is talking directly into your ear. The audio is really different sounding, so this may be what people who don't realize this are attributing to "distant."
  • Reply 10 of 39
    I seem be able to hear people better overall on my iPhone 7+, but I don't know if they can hear me so well.  I had one person complain, but then I moved the phone a bit and they said they could hear me.  The phone does seem to go into 3G, a problem I did not see on the iPhone 6s+ and I have to flip airplane mode on/off to but then it gets into LTE.

    Can others please discuss signal strength?  Is signal strength better than on the iPhone 6s(+)?

    Also, Verizon turns on VoLTE by default now.
    edited September 2016
  • Reply 11 of 39
    Here's an out there idea... Why not call AppleCare instead of complaining to a blog? I know that's such a hard concept to comprehend, but maybe these people should try that first. The sound quality on my iPhone 7 is awesome. I have no complaints, and if I did, I would contact Apple about it first.
    Apple support forums are considered a blog?
    baconstanghtatc
  • Reply 12 of 39
    define "some", please. 

    this will help us weigh this "story" appropriately.
  • Reply 13 of 39
    Excellent sound on my 7.... (AT&T variant; Intel chip).
  • Reply 14 of 39
    eightzero said:
    Here's an out there idea... Why not call AppleCare instead of complaining to a blog? I know that's such a hard concept to comprehend, but maybe these people should try that first. The sound quality on my iPhone 7 is awesome. I have no complaints, and if I did, I would contact Apple about it first.
    I think the issue here is that a premium priced, much hyped phone doesn't work well as a phone. That might be worth a discussion.
    so might the price of tea in china. 
    applepieguy
  • Reply 15 of 39
    This could be related to HD Voice calls being supported/more common. I've noticed better LTE reception with my new phone and, consequently, more calls being HD Voice calls. To me, an HD call sounds like the phone is on speaker phone and being held up to your ear. It's almost like someone is talking directly into your ear. The audio is really different sounding, so this may be what people who don't realize this are attributing to "distant."
    since my 6S i have noticed more calls with incredibly clear audio. akin to using Facetime Audio than the usual crappy cellular voice. i believe thats the VoLTE implementation.
  • Reply 16 of 39
    Here's an out there idea... Why not call AppleCare instead of complaining to a blog? I know that's such a hard concept to comprehend, but maybe these people should try that first. The sound quality on my iPhone 7 is awesome. I have no complaints, and if I did, I would contact Apple about it first.
    Apple support forums are considered a blog?
    i think he was obviously referring to AI, from this line in the article: "according to complaints received by AppleInsider". whether this is a blog or not is splitting hairs, as his question remains valid -- why would one complain to a tech site rather than use their support options to resolve the problem? because controversy.

    but you knew that.
    netmageRayz2016
  • Reply 17 of 39
    My iPhone 7 audio sounds great.  If there's a case/cover on the iPhone, I'd make sure that wasn't the problem, by checking to make sure the holes in the case line up with those on the iPhone's speakers.  I had an iPhone 6s cover I initially put on my iPhone 7, till my 7 case arrived.  I discovered that the multiple holes in the case, were offset from those on the iPhone 7, just enough, to effectively block the speaker/mic exit/entrance port.

  • Reply 18 of 39
    This sounds like it might be a carrier specific issue - why isn't that information part of this article/comments?
  • Reply 19 of 39
    Here's an out there idea... Why not call AppleCare instead of complaining to a blog? I know that's such a hard concept to comprehend, but maybe these people should try that first. The sound quality on my iPhone 7 is awesome. I have no complaints, and if I did, I would contact Apple about it first.
    these are the same people posting their daily mood on twitter and facebook, as well as every meal they eat, and pics of themselves after every workout with dumb captions. They also probably tweet that their house is being broken into rather than call 911
    edited September 2016 nolamacguyJanNLwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 39
    dreyfus2 said:

    No problems with call quality here at all. I have a minor issue with the connection not automatically returning to LTE mode after being in a spot with only 3G coverage, It simply remains on 3G. Setting it to airplane mode and back fixes it for now, but I hope for a software patch down the line.
    That has to be IOS 10 I would think.  My 5S was doing the same thing after upgrading.  Didn't do it before.
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