Your iPhone is an extension of you. It contains more about your life than you probably even remember at any given moment!
Many tasks you complete with your iPhone (for any model) require functional speakers to maximize the experience. If this component isn’t working correctly, you can’t stream movies, enjoy a favorite playlist, or speak with someone.
It won’t alert you to new messages or notifications. Even your apps might not load correctly if tech issues are happening.
When you know how to fix the problem of having your iPhone speakers sounding muffled or not producing audio whatsoever, you can get back to your routine faster.
My iPhone Speaker Sounds Muffled: Here’s the Fix
If you don’t hear any sounds from your iPhone speaker or it is muffled, go to Settings > Sounds, and drag the slider for Ringer and Alerts in each direction. If your speaker button is dimmed, the product might need service. You can also fix the issue by turning up your volume more.
Once you’ve determined that the volume controls and ringer alerts aren’t the cause of your iPhone’s problem, here are some other areas to review so that you can get your smartphone working again.
1. Is it a software problem?
If your iPhone speakers started malfunctioning in the middle of a streaming session or app activity, there could be a software issue to blame. Although Apple products are excellent at recognizing a malfunctioning cycle, some of them can cause errors that interrupt the communication loop permanently.
Most software issues are correctable if you turn off the iPhone, allow it to rest for about five minutes, and turn it on again. Once it goes through the whole reboot, you should hear the speakers start functioning as they did before.
If a simple on-off reset doesn’t work, you’ll want to back up your device to iCloud, another computer, or an external drive before continuing. That step will preserve your information.
You can back up your iPhone using iCloud by following these steps.
- Go to Settings. Find your name, choose iCloud, then iCloud Backup.
- Turn on iCloud Backup. This step ensures that you get an automatic backup of your device when it is connected to a power source, locked, and on a Wi-Fi signal.
- You can perform a backup manually by choosing Back Up Now.
- You can go to Settings to manage your backups under Settings, Your Name, iCloud, Manage Storage, and Backups. You can delete ones from the list by selecting the appropriate one and the Delete Backup command.
If you have an Apple computer, you can connect your iPhone to it with a cable. Locate it through Finder, click General, and then select the option that backs up all the data from the device. You can even encrypt it following this step.
You’ll need to be in the iTunes app on a Windows PC or an older macOS version. After locating the iPhone, choose Summary. That will take you to the Back Up Now command.
2. What are your phone’s settings?
Is your iPhone set to silent? When you toggle this command on the side of your device or through the Settings menu, the speakers won’t make noises when you get notifications.
This issue will let you hear sound from your apps, games, and streaming services. You’ll want to ensure that the ring (silent) switch isn’t enabled. If you move it, you should see the volume button restore itself.
If you don’t hear sound yet, look at the volume indicator as you press the up or down buttons on the iPhone’s side. If you see a crossed-out circle underneath the speaker, there could be a hardware or connectivity issue causing your problem.
3. Is your phone on mute?
When your iPhone speakers sound muffled, it could be due to your volume settings. When the device is on the lower audio tier, it can be challenging to hear some output. Try turning it up by unlocking the device and holding the top volume button.
Continue depressing the top volume button on the left until the indicator bar is full.
You can also adjust your iPhone’s volume by going to Settings > Sound and Haptics. Drag the slider under the Ringer and Alerts heading. The toggle should be to the right so that your sound settings are maximized.
You can also turn on the switch next to the Change with Buttons setting if your volume commands on the phone’s left side aren’t operating correctly.
4. Remove the iPhone from its case.
If you have your iPhone in a case, the covering could be distorting the sounds you hear. Some products cover the speaker output, reducing the audio enough so that it sounds muffled.
Some people experience this issue when they install their iPhone in its case upside-down. If you take the device out and the muffled audio disappears, find the instructions for the case to ensure you’re using it correctly.
This issue can develop if you’re using a case for a different iPhone model than the one you own. Please remember to verify compatibility before completing an order.
5. Clean your phone.
When you pick up your iPhone, the speaker area should have clear sound holes that transmit the audio from the device. If those spaces are filled with junk, you can get a muffled sound.
Here are some of the best ways that you can clean your phone at home without damaging it.
|Unused Toothbrush:||• Use a clean toothbrush that hasn’t been in your mouth to clean away the dirt, lint, or other debris. |
• Even if you soak the bristles in alcohol before using them, there is a risk that bacteria or other unwanted items could get into the device.
|Compressed Air:||• When you gently blow out the speaker holes in your iPhone’s case, you can often correct audio issues. |
• This option works well if you have compact debris that doesn’t brush away.
|Microfiber Cloth:||• A microfiber cloth can pick up the dirt from your speaker area if it is still loose. |
• Some phone-friendly cleaning agents on the material can capture the stubborn stuff that could be leading to the performance issues you’re trying to correct.
|Anti-Static Wipes:||• Static electricity can ruin the interior components of an Apple device quickly. |
• If you don’t have the other items available to clean your phone, consider grabbing this product to wipe away the offending materials.
|Toothpicks:||• If you carefully use the tip of a toothpick to clean out the gunk from your speakers, you can use the other methods to finish the job. |
• This option works well when the materials are so packed in the frame that nothing else touches it.
6. Put your iPhone in DFU Mode.
Before you take your iPhone to your local Apple store for a repair, you might consider putting the device in DFU Mode. This option verifies if your speaker is broken or needs a rest.
The DFU restore is the last step to take to rule out a software problem.
Before starting this process, back up your iPhone. Once you complete this option, the DFU mode erases and reloads your iPhone code. Without a recent backup, you’ll lose photos, messages, contacts, and more.
Most of the information you can find online to use DFU for iPhone restoration is wrong. That’s why you’ll want to follow these steps for a successful experience.
- Connect your iPhone with your Apple computer and open iTunes on macOS 10.14 (Mojave). If you’re on macOS 10.15 (Catalina) or newer, you’ll want to open Finder. The device can be on or off.
- Press and hold the sleep and home button for the iPhone 6s and below for eight seconds. If you have an iPhone 7 or higher, press the sleep and volume down button simultaneously for eight seconds.
- After eight seconds pass, release the sleep button. Continue to hold the home or volume down button until the iPhone appears in iTunes or Finder.
- Let go of the home or volume down button. The display should be entirely black if you’ve entered DFU Mode. If it is not, restart from the beginning of this sequence.
- Restore your iPhone by using the backup.
You don’t need to turn your iPhone 8, 8 Plus, X, 11, or 12 off to achieve DFU Mode. You just need to follow the instructions while the device is connected.
If you see the Apple logo appear on the screen, it means you held the volume button for too long. You’ll need to start over from the beginning of the steps.
Should your iPhone have physical damage, the DFU restore process could cause it to malfunction. If you’ve ever had to have your device looked at for water or liquid damage, it’s not worth trying this option.
The Device Firmware Update might not work as expected if other components within the iPhone are already damaged because of water exposure. A useable device with minor issues can become an expensive paperweight with a DFU failure.
You could try a recovery or a regular mode restore before the DFU to cover all options before taking a final stand with your muffled speakers. If the iPhone issues are resolvable with a restoration, the Device Firmware Update offers the best chance at success.
7. Repair your speaker.
If your iPhone speaker continues malfunctioning, it is time to have it professionally examined to determine what the problem could be. At this stage, your issues are likely related to a hardware issue.
You can schedule an appointment at your local Genius Bar to receive an eval on your speaker issue. It might take 24-48 hours to complete the work, especially if you have a busy location.
When you don’t have a Genius Bar near your home, you can take advantage of Apple’s mail-in services if your AppleCare is current.
Most Apple devices come with a 90-day complimentary support window through AppleCare to ensure your product works correctly. They also have a limited warranty for you to use.
In most countries, you can purchase an AppleCare extension within 60 days of your initial transaction.
What If I Need to Purchase AppleCare Before Having Someone Look at My Phone?
You can purchase an AppleCare plan from your iPhone settings menu.
- On your iPhone, open the Settings menu.
- Go to General, then look for the About section.
- Tap on AppleCare Plus Coverage Available. If you don’t see this option, your device is likely ineligible.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the purchase. You’ll be given the price of this protective policy when you follow these steps.
A Final Thought on a Muffled iPhone Speaker
When my iPhone speaker starts acting up, the first thing I look at is if the audio holes are plugged up with junk. Since I keep the device in my pocket for most of the day, it eventually collects enough lint where the sound quality decreases.
I love to use compressed air in that circumstance because it removes the offending items quickly without creating a mess. It’s best to do the work outside since the stuff can blow around the house if it’s really full.
If you want to avoid any risk of creating litter, another option I’ve found helpful is a shop-style vacuum. I love my Craftsman 20 Gallon Wet-Dry model because it can go anywhere and do almost anything.
It’s a little overkill if you only need an option to clean your iPhone ports. If you have other DIY projects to complete, it’s worth the investment!
A muffled iPhone speaker is usually an easy fix. When nothing seems to be working, your local Genius Bar is there to help. If you don’t have AppleCare, a third-party technician can review and potentially repair the issue.
Thankfully, speaker problems are usually quickly resolved. Please note that this content should be considered as general advice only. You should seek professional assistance if you’re unsure of your iPhone’s problem.