I've ruled out a number of my factors contributing to the problems I see. For the record, I am iPhone 5, AT&T, St Paul area and I use a wired headset (Apple and 3rd party). My problem is audio clipping on my incoming audio.
I really don't think my problem is a hardware issue, though in modern complex devices there is a thin boundary between software and hardware issues.
There is really only one circumstance I run into SERIOUS problems, though there are subtle issues elsewhere:
- a conference call on our corporate Global Conference system when I'm at HOME.
Here are the things that don't seem to matter:
- LTE on or off
- WiFi on or off
- Case on or off
- Position of phone
- Covering or uncovering the rear background-noise-canceling headphone
- Resetting my network settings
- Restarting phone
- Background noise or note
Here is what works
- unplug my headset when I've enabled 'hearing aid mode' and llisten to the phone directly or use speaker phone.
I think there are multiple issues in this thread, but, as noted by a few contributors, this looks like an issue with the new-with-iPhone 5 noise cancellation software/hardware Apple is using. The fix is 'hearing aid mode', which probably changes or disables noise cancellation. It is possible that a hardware problem on some iPhones is causing the noise cancellation product to misbehave, but since this is new software, and since for me the problem is so much worse with this one audio source and possibly even with selected cell towers, I'm somewhat optimisitic it will be fixed with next iOS update.
I'm pretty sure Apple's engineers know what's wrong.
I figured out that i have massive battery drain if i use my iPhone with the carrier causing bad voice quality (not the bumping volume, that is a software bug by Apple itself und exists on every carrier i tried) . It's Three (3) in Austria (ZTE 3G/LTE Network, LTE not usuable because of frequencies used).
It's my fourth iPhone and i'm done. I don't care if the carrier is to blame. Apple should explain why any other Phone with HD-Voice compatibility can use HD-Voice on the 3 Network of Austria but the iPhone not.
iPhone5 is for me an epic fail till now and after i replaced my iPhone because of voice quality and scratches i'm still in a return period and SADLY i have to go for an S3.
Minor update: the audio with headphones on the Global Crossing VOIP calls is awful. Hold music waxes and wanes, as though there were some cyclic drops. Something about that signal drives the noice cancellation a bit nuts.
On speaker phone it's pretty much the same as any other phone (bad, but workable).
To whoever the host of this forum that just deleted my post: That was not nice and you all are acting like the communists.
All I want to know is that if the next iOS release will fix this "voice call / noise cancelling" problem so that I can make the decision to keep or return this iPhone 5 - I have only a few days left to do it.
But that's ok. I'm returning it anyway and going back to the 4S, and wait till this problem gets fixed, if ever.
When you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly. - Steve Jobs
Just got my iPhone replaced for the SIXTH TIME two days ago by Apple, same problem exists and still no update on a solution and the store are blaming the carrier (Vodafone UK).
Vodafone have swapped my sim for a standard one and have loaned me a brand new NOKIA 113 (this phone costs £30 to buy brand new!) the voice quality on it is amazing compared to the iPhone5, Apple should be ashamed of themselves, although I miss the features of my iPhone it's a terrible phone so i'm gonna either get it changed for a Samsung S3 or keep this Nokia!
I will never return to Apple again, i've had the 3G, 3GS, 4, 4S and the 5, i've got an iPad and a Macbook, I would have stuck by Apple through and through if they had at least admitted a problem...come on Apple stop ignoring all these posts otherwise you will lose more customers.
My advice to everybody on here is change your phone or by a iPod, Apple will not fix this problem.
Maybe they should just call it the i5 until the phone part works!
Follow my logic. If you tried six iphones and ALL of them had the same "problem", it isn't the phone but something else. Could be the cell yower, the provider or the signal strength.
Or some software that is loaded on the phone that is not compatible.
I haven't seen this problem reported on any other Apple web site. Macintouch is a great Apple site and nothing about poor audio quality.
I'm not sure what the "problem" is since different posters describe it differently. Most say the caller sounds "robotic" or muffled or low in volume or having wind noise or static. Doesn't sound like the same problem.
I haven't had anyone I know complain about audio problems. My two 5s work fine, better than my old 4, even with low signal strength or quiet or noisy environments.
just like the users who left the shipping plastic cover on the phone and complained about muffled sound, it might not be the iphone.
The SIM is like an I.D. card. It does not have anything to do with call quality, It just identifies the phone to the network.
Don't expect Apple to respond to anything on this USER forum. If you need a direct response, call them or email them directly. ******** here will not get you a response.
I first reported this issue of call quality in my (San Diego) newspaper column several months ago. After extensive investigation speaking off the record with case manufacturers and wireless headset company executives, I confirmed that the echo cancelling design of the iPhone 5 suffers serious flaws. Results vary widely depending on the case, the position of the phone, ambient noise, and many other variables.
Everyone I spoke within these industries said Apple is not being open to them about what is being done, if anything, to fix the problem. They won't even admit there is a problem, but there intelligence and experience indicates the problem is serious and widespread.
Engineers in these companies are unable to speak directly to Apple engineers. They have to go through a middle man at Apple that has little technical expertise. From all I can tell, and I've been in the tech industry writing and designing products for many decades, the iPhone 5 suffers from serious design flaws. My sense tells me this is as big a screwup as the Maps fiasco.
This "bad voice call" problem would NOT be expierenced by the iPhone 5 callers themselves, but by the persons at the other end. If your iPhone 5 calling any other phone, that person should experience your voice fading in and out, muffled, "robotic", "digitized", etc. But you may not hear anything wrong.
If the receiving phone is also an iPhone 5, then situation is the worst. I can see husband and wife getting divorce over a bad phone call. Especially if you have sensitive ears (musicians, singers), then it becomes insanely intorable.
Also, if you do have sensitive ears, the "vertigo" effect of noise cancelling which would produce "counter-noise" sound waves into your ear can drive you crazy. Why? Because noise cancelling only works correctly with 2 ears, but this case, one ear is subject to noise and one ear is not, leading to listeners feeling imbalanced and disoriented and dizzy.
iPhone 5 are not widely sold yet, so you would not have to talk to many other iPhone 5's. But soon, I suspect as more people talking on iPhone 5's, the problem will be more recognized and maybe Apple will do something about it. Also, many young users are using iPhone 5 as a mini computer, they could care less about phone calls - texting, email, Facebook, Twitt, web surfing and games are all they want.
I would suggest users just stop exchange for another iPhone 5 to solve this problem (don't you think after the 5th exchange is enough?) and wait till Apple to fix it.
Or go back to iPhone 4S. That's what I did and it works for me even I know iPhone 5 is a better "computer".
So that proves the point: iPhone 4S does not have this "bad voice call" problem. Apple, are you listening?
It's common for companies to keep their engineers away from the general public. Not only do they sometimes lack the patience and manners a good PR person would have, they also don't want their expensive time being taken up by dealing with questions/problems from the general public that their support team should handle.
How could the iPhone 5 have seroius design flaws when all the ones I have seen work fine.
If 25 million are produced and only a few experience any problems, what should Apple to do?
Widespread problem? How wide? 100 out of a million? 50 out of 20 million? Serous design flaws when mine work perfecty?
Im sure we all saw the post from Walt Mossberg who said his iPhone works fine and won't report a "problem" he hasn't experienced.
The killer was the peole who left the plactic shiping cover on the front of the phone and then complained about low caller volume!
Also, if you do have sentive ears, the "vertigo" effect of noise cancelling which would produce "counter-noise" sound waves into your ear can drive you crazy. Why? Because noise cancelling only works correctly with 2 ears, but this case, one ear is subject to noise and one ear is not, leading to listeners feeling imbalanced and disoriented and dizzy.
How does a sound have vertigo? The sound spins around? From one speaker? And that makes the listener feel like they are spinning?
What is "counter-noise"? Do you mean noise of a different phase?
Do you mean that when using one earpiece, like an IFB on television, all people feel imbalance and dizzy. That's not true.
Do noise cancelling microphones make anyone dizzy?
Or take a walkie-talkie with a survanance earpiece like the Secret Service wear. Do all of them go around dizzy? Hearing a quite phone in one ear does not make you go dizzy. The person you are talking with hears the lack of noise, not the caller.
Where did you hear that noise cancellation only works with two ears?
Charles Park Seward:
I'm not entirely sure what your point is. To some degree you almost seem to say that there is no problem as you are not experiencing it, which is usually one of the least helpful answers anyone can give.
I assure you that it's real, and it's not something as simple as removing the front cover plastic.
It seems to show itself in a few different ways, as you write in one of your posts. If it is one or several problems I'm not sure, but they seem related. Personally I've got the problem where when I make a call it can sometimes just make the reciever of the call sound like static, and then cuts out. I've tried changing the phone once but that didn't help. And since many others here have the same experience with each exchange it probably wouldn't get better with another.
If I would be allowed to just guess I think it's probably a problem with the phone (hardware or software) which only shows itself under certain circumstances, and the majority which don't have any problem just don't have those circumstances.
For example so far I've only had this problem at home when calling someone else, and more often than not it happens after the phone has been lying unused for a while, on but in locked mode. Then there is a pretty large chance that the next call when I pick it upp will be a "bad" one. Now I'm not entirely sure if it only happens at home, since I don't make that many outgoing calls when I'm away after not using it for a long time. When I'm away from home I usually fiddle around with it a lot so that might affect it. But say that it is only when I'm at home. What's so different there that could affect this? Well the only thing that I can think of is that I've got my Wifi which the phone is connected to. But there's really no problem with it as such. The phone can use it without any problem, and all my other devices can use it also. And how many doesn't connect their phones to their Wifi? If it was that then almost everyone should have the same problem. So I'm pretty confused as to what the problem could be.
The funny thing is though that my girlfriend told me before getting the iPhone 5 that she had a "feeling" that there would be problems with it. Now and then she has such feelings and they often turn out to become reality. But that's just a side note.
Charles Park Seward is an Apple apologist so he will deny the problem. However, this is a real problem. For almost 8 years I have used at least 4 different Blackberry models on the same carrier, in the same home office region, and none of them exhibited the issue I have with my iPhone 5 that has plagued it day-one. The issue for me (and many others), when I am on a phone conference (as I am often), I have in earphones (doesn't matter who's), and others on one of the other conference bridge endpoints are gathered around a speaker phone, invariably there is someone not speakind directly into the mic on the other end. I can hear them granted, but they cut in and out in almost constant intervals of between 1 and 2 seconds...and when they cut out, it is dead silence.
That choppy, cut in and out, doesn't happen when talking one-on-one, and it seems to be only for certain volumn situations for the speaker on the other end. Others can hear me fine.
I've never had this issue before, but am plagued by it now, and since this is the primary use of my businesss phone, it is unacceptable.
It does, in fact, seem like something to do with noise cancellation. But, I don't know the problem. Others that have reported this, and there are many, and there is a video link posted here that shows this very issue, claim it is fixed in an iOS beta release.
My first iphone 5 that I got on the day or release had the robotic sound issue , I wanted a replacement but due to the severe backlog , verizon told me I would be out of the iphone for 3 weeks
I returned the phone , went back to my old iphone and now go the iphone back last weekend since it is now fully in stock.
The second phone DOES NOT have the problem and i am so happy. Everything in my old phone was perfect except this issue and this is gone now.
my strong feeling is that this is a HARDWARE issue. please get your unit replaced. I dont think it will be fixed by a software update.
Also given that the thread is still so short after 3 months of release. The number of people having this problem must be in just hundreds vs millions and millions sold
Apple cares for its customers , i dont think this is a design issue , noise cancellation issue like several of us are speculating.
Please either replace your unit or return your phone. Dont put your hopes that a software update may fix it.