A comment on the varieties of sound and the cnet article mentioned above.
I belive there might be different sound problems (as discussed earlier in the thread somewhere). The choppy sound in the cnet article is just one of, I believe, three or four symptoms. And, for the record, the cnet sound clip was not at all representative as to how bad my two phones have been.
The other syptoms are:
2) words cut short (by the noice cancellation?). I.e. that low sound seem to be removed, and with total silence between spoken words. This seems, in my experience, to happen in rooms with little background noise.
3) muffled sound (I have dubbed it Kenny voice, after Kenny in south park).
4) Robotic sound. I have no idea what people refer to when saying the sound is Robotic. Is it like the choppy sound in the cnet test?
I have myself experienced the first three. I have no idea if the cause is the same or whether they have each a separate cause. Number 2) does not sound like a reception issue, while the first, the choppy sound, very well can be just reception.
I have a iphone 5 here in Belgium using Proximus carrier, I have the problem with robotic voice, dropped calls on about 35-50% of my calls. Even with hearing aid on.
So I tried the Verizon sound clip on Cnet. If the sound on that clip was on my "bad" calls I would be happy, with me if it starts it is realy like a robot, with parts of the conversation dropping completly and you can't understand a word, sometimes the sound comes back sometimes the call drops.
I've been using the phone now for about 2-3 months and getting more and more frustrated that you can't trust your phone to do the most basic thing....
I agree my calls sometimes gets much worse than the cnet verizon sample, but it seems to be the same kind of choppy garbled voice just exadurated in certain calls. So if you lengthen the gaps and gable sound it does make words of the person on the other end skip.
The muffled kenny sound is something I have experienced as well. Its only for a few words every now and then and goes back to sounding more like the verizon sample.
I cant comment on the robot sound as I have not experienced that. If my calls sounded like the at&t/sprint clips I would be completely happy with this phone, but as of now I dread making a phone call or answering one because I dont know the severity of how bad it will sound.
I called the land line on my desk and could hear the iPhone 5 mute the mic when I stopped calling. The room was quiet enough that the mic would mute between my sentences. It would turn on as soon as I started talking.
It's possible that if the location is very quiet and the voice was low in volume that it could cut out during a conversation. It all depends on how the mute threshold is set. One immediate solution is to speak louder and make sure the mic is close to your mouth. I can see how a speakerphone session could mute if the room was quiet and the voices low with the phone a distance away.
I did notice if I turned the phone around and spoke to the back of the phone, my voice was almost completely cancelled out. So it's possible that holding the phone at an angle might cut out your voice if the rear mic was picking up your voice.
My current location only has two bars and the voice quality was fine.
Hunting causes...you described my problems to a "T". I am also noticing that it occurs more in my home office, which is very quiet, and absolutely is more promenant when the volume on the other end is low. But, when I use my earbuds all calls are garbled in my home office. When we tried the earbuds in the Apple store the quality was better.
My brother and neice both have iPhone 5. His is an early version and hers is the same as mine (Christmas). He does not have this problem. I haven't been able to talk to my neice to see if she does or not. So, the earlier post about the later production phones being more suspect may be on to something.
Dear Charles Park Seward,
That's an interesting test, and does seem to corroborate that the muting/drop-out problem is present on your phone, even though you reported being perfectly happy with it. However there's another test you can run, I'll repeat here in case it's difficult to find in this long thread. In that test, you'll hear it fail profoundly:
(1) Perform the test in a quiet room, so you can comfortably hear a phone call at the lowest volume setting.
(2) Insert the Apple provided headset.
(3) Call Hertz at +1 877 654 4400.
(4) After you initiate the call, lower the volume to the lowest setting (one square). (This must be done during a call because your call volume setting may be different than the volume setting that applies outside of a call.)
(5) Note the profound long silence after the call rings and answers - eventually you'll hear some broken speech.
(6) Call the same number from your good landline or mobile phone other than iPhone 5, and note that the long silence was actually a recorded message that your iPhone 5 discarded or muted so you could not hear it, and that the rest of the recording is not broken up when heard from another phone.
This test has reproduced the drop-out problem on every iPhone 5 I've tested, on every carrier, on phones whose owners claim work fine. Someone should pass this along to someone who can help us.
The reason you don't have the problem in the Apple store is because it's noisy, and you'll naturally turn up the volume. The drop-out problem is worse at lower volumes, reduced at middle volumes, and almost gone at high volume. Of course your hearing will be gone soon at high volumes, too, so that's not much help.
Yes, there is a difference in call quality if you lower the headset volume to one square, almost inaudible. The gate just starts to work. I don't know why I would lower the volume that low. I found a comfortable setting about half way up and I could hear the call clearly with no breakup.
If you look at professional audio plug-ins called a Gate, you will see settings of threshold, attack, hold and envelope following. Perhaps the threshold on the iPhone 5is set to high for quiet voices. My voice is strong so I haven't noticed any dropouts.
Here is an article about noise gates:
I've had the problem with phone call loosing the person I'm talking to, robotic and static sound, an absolute nightmare, but for the past week my phones been great! It could be because I'm working away in a different area to we're it was playing up!! Either that or when I dropped it the other day it knocked some sence into it :-)
I am having the same issue with iphone 5. Continuous fade in / fade out during the calls. It happens on every call. Even i changed carriers, still the same issues. Sometimes completed block out what the caller is saying. The other end can hear me crystal clear. I tried everything like switching of Wifi, opened apps etc. Problem continues. Its really frustrating and the phone is useless when you can't use basic and very important function smoothly. The skype calls are very clear though. Unfortunately, i bought the phone is US and now i live in latin america. Worried about support. Hope, the apple fixes the issue in the upcoming iOS 6.1 update.