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iPhone Speaker "Blown" - Is it a DEFECT?

18719 Views 16 Replies Latest reply: Nov 12, 2007 3:38 PM by Robert Rivas RSS
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Kushy01 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Oct 6, 2007 10:16 AM
Last week, I brought my iPhone into the Apple store and they replaced it because the speaker (for speakerphone/music) was blown. The problem was that when listening to music, the speaker was very crackly and sounded muffled very often. This problem occurred with all the music that was on it. The replacement phone had the same problem. I brought it in again today, and they said it could be either the speaker, or the sound processor in the phones that is causing the problem. They replaced it one last time, and the latest replacement also has the problem! I have been through 3 4GB iPhones and they all have this problem. However, I compared my 4GB model to the 8GB model in the store, and all the 8GB floor samples didn't have the problem. Anyone know what the real problem is? Is there anyone else who has noticed this problem? Do you think the iPhone is defective?

Message was edited by: Kushy01

Message was edited by: Kushy01
iMac 17" Core 2 Duo, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • Brian Tesoro Level 2 Level 2 (400 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 6, 2007 10:39 AM (in response to Kushy01)
    It's a small speaker and it's really not designed to play music. Yes it does sound muffled and it gets worse when the volume is turned up to the max. When using it for calls, it sounds fine, but the volume is low. So to answer your question, it's not a defect.

    You'll be better off using a headset or connecting the iPhone to an speaker with a built-in dock.
    Mac Plus, PM 7100/80, PM 500MP, PB G4, iMac G5, MBP 17" C2D 2.4 GHz, iPhone 8GB, Mac OS X (10.4.10), iPods: 1/3/5G, mini 1G, shuffle 1/2 G, nano 1/2G; Westone UM2, PIXMA iP6600D
  • green traveler Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 6, 2007 11:00 AM (in response to Brian Tesoro)
    +"Do you think the iPhone is defective?"+

    Nope.

    Brian explains about as succinctly as possible.
    Intel iMac, Mac OS X (10.4.10), iPhone
  • Brian Tesoro Level 2 Level 2 (400 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 6, 2007 11:40 AM (in response to Kushy01)
    In regards to the problem you're having, yes you have to compare the two to give you a better explanation why the speaker isn't designed for songs, rather more for voice calls.

    Human voice doesn't have much complexity in regards to the frequency it uses vs to that of a song as evidenced on a graphic equalizer. For that reason, the speakerphone can handle voice calls better, having a better frequency response. Songs trigger a more complex frequency on a graphic equalizer (i.e. the graph goes crazy) and the speakerphone speaker isn't powerful enough to handle that.

    Play a music with a lot of bass through the speakerphone, you'll hear that it sounds blown. I have the same issue. Try out the the display units in the Apple Store, I bet you'll experience the same thing.

    Bottom line is that songs pushes the speaker's limit on the iPhone when it's not truly designed for that function.
    Mac Plus, PM 7100/80, PM 500MP, PB G4, iMac G5, MBP 17" C2D 2.4 GHz, iPhone 8GB, Mac OS X (10.4.10), iPods: 1/3/5G, mini 1G, shuffle 1/2 G, nano 1/2G; Westone UM2, PIXMA iP6600D
  • Brian Tesoro Level 2 Level 2 (400 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 6, 2007 6:28 PM (in response to Kushy01)
    Yes and it lets you do just that. But I think you have to lower your expectations on the quality of the sound output from such a tiny speaker. I agree with you that the sound is subpar but that speaker isn't designed first and foremost to play your music, rather for speakerphone telephone conversations, phone alerts, etc. Hence the enjoyable way to listen to your music is via the headset jack or the docking port.
    Mac Plus, PM 7100/80, PM 500MP, PB G4, iMac G5, MBP 17" C2D 2.4 GHz, iPhone 8GB, Mac OS X (10.4.10), iPods: 1/3/5G, mini 1G, shuffle 1/2 G, nano 1/2G; Westone UM2, PIXMA iP6600D
  • mcrutch Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 7, 2007 6:41 PM (in response to Brian Tesoro)
    I think my speakers have actually blown. I can turn the volume almost all the way down, and the sound still sounds distorted (like how the stereo speakers I once blew sounded). This is a new issue for me, as a few days ago, the audio for the iPod music sounded good. So, either my speakers have been blown (either as a result of a defect or as a result of the new update (louder speaker volume)), or the new update has introduced a distortion issue with the louder volume. I have the 8G model.
    HP, Windows XP
  • jmemanley Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 7, 2007 7:36 PM (in response to mcrutch)
    You are not alone with this issue. My 4GB iphone is extremely distorted when playing over the speakers. I did not experience this problem until the recent update about 2 weeks ago. Since then, I am unable to do anything over the speaker because it is uninterpretable. Even at the lowest level the sound is too distorted to understand anything at all. I have even adjusted the built in equalizers in the iphone settings. None of the settings fix the problem, not even when you choose the lowest bass level. It sounds as if the speakers are completely blown, the same noise you would hear if your car speakers bust. I am curious if this is a widespread problem that is a result of the recent update.
    Windows XP
  • Briarknit Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Oct 21, 2007 3:44 PM (in response to jmemanley)
    bumping this because I think I have the same problem, at high volume my songs sound distorted and even at low volume they still sound distorted. Also, the speaker phone for the phone itself is low..but not like OMG low like people have exclaimed, but I do have to turn off all my music in the car and roll the windows up to use it while the car isnt even moving.
    PC, Windows XP Pro
  • steve1313 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 21, 2007 6:09 PM (in response to Briarknit)
    I had the same "problem" through both my iPhone speakers and the ear buds. I even took the time to compare the same song listened on the iPhone and my Nano. The iPhone was clearly much worse in trms of sound quality.

    I went into the iPhone iPod settings and noticed the EQ was set to Bass Booster. As soon as I set the EQ to off, the sound quality improved greatly through both the speaker and the ear buds. It now sounds (via the ear buds) as good as my nano.
    Windows XP
  • Dr.FunkToasten Level 1 Level 1 (75 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 26, 2007 7:22 AM (in response to Kushy01)
    I have the identical problem, but the speaker worked relatively well before the last update. So, I think it must be, in part, related to the update.
    Powerbook G4 17, Mac OS X (10.2.x)
  • Dalrymple Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 8, 2007 12:26 PM (in response to Dr.FunkToasten)
    I bought the iPhone day before yesterday... today, i noticed that the right speaker on the bottom of the phone is not working... barely any sound comes out... compared to the left one which is very loud and sounds fine...

    sounds like they still have some bugs to work out... bummer... I've only had it 2 days.
    Mac Pro Intel, Mac OS X (10.5)
  • DaVBMan Level 6 Level 6 (9,265 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 8, 2007 12:33 PM (in response to Dalrymple)
    There is only one speaker. The other is the microphone.
    http://manuals.info.apple.com/en/iPhoneUserGuide.pdf
    Page 10 of user guide shows this.

    They are just made to look the same for design asthetics.

    Message was edited by: DaVBMan
    Windows XP Pro
  • pzabo Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 8, 2007 11:01 PM (in response to Kushy01)
    my speaker sounds a little funky, but i am sure it's because of the size of it. has anybody had a problem with a crackly ear piece? not an external headset, but the speaker in the iphone meant to be held up to your ear. from day one, mine is not that great. it almost sounds blown...any feedback out there?
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