I honestly think there is something wrong with the phones. This problem has happened to me three times. To be fair though, each time, I'm sure the problem was brought on by me dropping the phone, so is likely to be my fault.
Twice, I have tried a bunch of things, hitting mute on and off, hitting speaker on and off and plugging and unplugging headphones. I think the first time, the latter may have fixed it, but it could have been coincidental. Regardless, the first and second times were both suddendly fixed after about a week.
This happened again recently, and it has been about 2-3 weeks and yet nothing. I tried this solution last time, and nothing. Yet, I tried this today, hit mute, unmute...nothing. Speaker and speaker off, and still it only worked on speaker. Then hit mute and boom! a voice came out. Put it to my ear and it was working fine. YAY!!
Ok, had my iPhone 4 for a couple of years. It's taken some hard knocks but the OtterBox has done great. Today it popped out of my holder and hit perfectly flat, face down. Few minutes later duing a phone call the ear piece speaker just quit. Rebooot no good. Headset and speaker phone worked fine.
Last resort I smacked it VERY hard face-up with my otterbox on and low and behold, the speaker works. What ever happened hitting face down I fixed by hitting face up.
Good luck, if you break your phone don't blame me.
Accidental fix !!!
My earpiece speaker was dead, but it came back to life by accidentically falling on the floor. Looks to me that the connections to the earpiece speaker is really poor. Apple should have paid a little more to Foxconn for a better quality control.
So you have 2 option:
1. just drop it on the floor or hit it like JohnBauby (I like this suggestion). But please dont blame anyone, if it is not working.
2. get the earpiece connections fixed properly by a pro or if you feel comfortable, do it yourself.
This is what I'm trying now. Same issue, when I call out, I can not hear through the handset, I place it on speakerphone and it works, I use the ear pods and can hear fine. This seems to only occur when I use bluetooth in the car. This has happened 3 times. This third time, I've tried everything I can possibly think to get this to work and it does not work. When alerts or sounds are made while the iPhone 4 is in idle mode, the sounds are fine. It's just placing calls and, apparently, according to my voice-mail numbers and missed call numbers, this also makes the phone not ring when a call comes in.
This has to be a software issue instead of the suggested hardware issue (people in this thread state it's a hardware issue.)
thanks NintendoMad8. this is what helped- just trying different things to figure out a solution. I did these steps and removed recent additions from the app store.
first, i backed it up.
plugged / unplugged the earpod jack, multiple times.
rebooted while plugging / unplugging multiple times.
using speakerphone and mute, speaker off mute unmute.
turning bluetooth on/off (I'm convinced that bluetooth is what causes this issue on this iPhone 4, each time I've had this problem, it is after I use Bluetooth in the car.)
reset the time to 24-hour time and reboot.
tricked the cellular network into dropping 3g coverage.
had someone call their Droid phone with the iPhone and they did not experience the issue, I grabbed the phone and listened and I could hear the call ringing.
one of these items fixed it.
I don't think anyone has stated that it is a Hardware problem. They are simply looking at what happened to make their phone go wrong in this way and trying to figure out which one it is. No one, including myself, have ruled out a software problem. It could be either one.
No problem. It's the best thing to do, try loads of different things and something will work. In my case, it always seems to happen after I drop the phone, which makes me think that that caused a hardware problem. But it could easily be a software problem too because of how it's happened with other people.
Whether hardware or software, I think the problem is the phone thinks it's still in another form, so you can't hear out of the handset. By this I mean, when you take the phone off speaker, it still thinks headphones are in or it's transmitting via bluetooth or something along these lines, and it won't set back. It's definitely an issue that needs to be sorted.
I read a post on how to fix this but it may be the case that there are different solutions for different problems. If its not a headphone jack problem this is what worked for me. You will need a bluetooth device like a hands free car device. Once you have connected the 2 devices and you are able to use this to talk - whilst you are connected to your call change the speaker selection to iPhone - you will see it on the screen - Speaker > select iPhone.
It seems that the iPhone software is confused and just needs to be prompted.
If this is still an issue, try the "Jack plug" earpod plug suggestion above. My phone reverted to the same issue again a few weeks ago, after this post, I corrected it by the following: 1) Moved the phone to another network from what it was on (i.e., from inside's Microcell / WiFi network to a lunch restaurant public network.) Then 2) Click the top and reboot the phone and while the phone began to shut down (and turn back on,) I constantly plugged/unplugged the earpod jack. Sounds silly but it worked. My phone is working at the moment. I'll have it refurbished with Apple as soon as my 5 arrives. If you fix it, post back !
I tried all the fixes. Not sure which one worked but it's working for now. Hopefully it will last. First I removed the plastic cover that was still on the phone (was waiting for otter box to come in). Reset network settings a few times. Plugged and unplugged headphones several times. After all these years I talked my husband in to finally getting an iphone. I have had mine for a year. First I bought him a refurbished but he came home whining about not hearing people. I didn't look for a solution then. Just called Sprint and had a new iphone 4s sent out. Got it, updated with new OS and got him set up then he came home today that the same thing was happening with his new iphone. Looked here for solutions and finally got it working so we'll just see.