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  • keysersozeisreal Level 1 (0 points)

    I had this same problem 32 gb iphone 5.  Also have 2 other iphone 5's both 16 gb's and they sound clear as day.  Took it to Verizon and the employee noticed it within 2 secs of using the cell phone.  She then processed a return and my phone is on the way tomorrow next day air.  Its the speaker than was going bad on my phone.  It speakerphone and headphones its sounds perfect.  But using it normally through the ear speaker it sound robotic and muffled like the speaker doesnt have good contact to the circuit board.

  • jfaughnan Level 3 (785 points)

    FWIW my blog post on this topic still seems accurate:



    There are several different complaints on this thread, but the most common one is the clipping problem. To me it seems more compression artifact than noise cancellation but of course the two are related.


    In any case there's no point in replacing your phone for this problem, the phone is working correctly. The bug is between the 5 and some towers.


    A partial fix is to turn on hearing aid mode and don't use the wired headset. I do this when call quality is really bad, typically on a VOIP converence call. Otherwise we wait for Apple to fix this.


    I'm pretty sure they know what the problem is.

  • opticmotion Level 1 (0 points)

    My speaker also had issues.

    I bought 3 iPhone 5's at the same time and while I thought I had issues with all 3, it turns out that my phone was the problem. I still think the issue is much more than the speaker alone however, or compression or noise cancellation.


    Before I took my phone back the the apple store to have it replaced, not only did I have problems hearing my caller, but they also had a hard time understanding me as well. So when I was calling the other 2 iPhones, it appeared that they were all bad, but it was only my device. I will say that I instantly noticed an improvement after getting another device as well did my callers, however, the new "working" phone didn't solve ALL the issues with voice quality. I would say that it's about a 70% improvement as my phone was indeed defective,  but I still hear compression in the signal and it's nearly impossible to make out converstions where multiple people are in the background making comments to me or to the person on the other end of the call.


    I hope that Apple will continue to work on resolving the other issues and make the voice quality itself better and work further on their attempt of drowning out ambient noise. There are actually many times during a call that it's actually desired to hear ambient voices in the background versus the inaudible digital noise that it produces while trying to cancel the noise completely.

  • obasmaci Level 1 (0 points)

    We have the same poor voice quality issues, too. After reading the comments, I realised that I didn't take off the screen protector, we took it off and it works perfectly, good luck to everyone and thanks to the reminder comments on screen protector.

  • rickeyfrompittsburgh Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the suggestion graemeR.  It makes sense.  I took off my survivor case and others were still having issues hearing me.  It may be an issue with some, but maybe it's the HD voice for others...

  • rickeyfrompittsburgh Level 1 (0 points)

    So I read in the Mac Rumors forums that the tape on the Survivor Cases may be the cause of the poor voice quality.  So, I'm going to try this since it was an easy fix, and maybe look to return the phone if it doesn't work this week.  The prior survivor cases for the 4/4S had holes, and this one has tape... Maybe to help with water issues.  I tested this am and it seemed to work better, but there was some robotic sounds/echoes at first.  This may be a function of Verizon's updates to HD voice which aren't fully implemented.  I have read online about this to be possibly fully implemented by sometime later this year.

  • stoutie Level 1 (0 points)

    I had never heard about Verizon and other companies having trouble updating their system for the iPhone 5 until now. Good thought. Check this out. Applies to AT&T too.



    I'm surprised the Apple folks didn't mention this when they gave me my 4th new iPhone 5. Maybe they're not allowed to. I hope this gets fixed.

  • rickeyfrompittsburgh Level 1 (0 points)

    Apple may not have an official policy on it since it really isn't their "fault."  I think you're right, though since it would save them a lot of money and hassle if it is simply a function of a some people with protective films/ cases and the carriers not upgrading yet fully to HD voice.  I think we may be able to surf and talk once they upgrade the LTE networks fully... Who knows for sure.  That's how I found some of the info on the HD voice since I was curious why Apple didn't address the request to surf and talk at the same time which some Android phones already do.


    Maybe Apple needs to start talking more to the carriers.

  • dysphonix Level 1 (0 points)

    This is definitely not a case of protective film covering some sort of non-existent microphone.


    There are three mics, one right next to the ear piece, one next to the main (back) camera, and one on the bottom of the phone. Everything else you're seeing are proximity sensors.


    We have 3 iPhone5's on Verizon and all of them suffer from the stuttering, robotic, drop out characteristics and also an overall lack of fidelity (all midrange with no presence in the high end or definition of lower midrange frequencies). We switched out one of these iPhone5s at the  Apple store (that turned out to be a refurb) and it appears the quality improved a lot versus the originals. While not perfect, there is a noticeable difference especially in fidelity.


    My guess is that overall on this thread, the issues are a combination of things; lack of HD-voice technology on Verizon's (and AT&T's, Sprint's) network, noise cancellation issues (hardware and/or software) and compression algorhithms (Apple's software). Whatever it is, there is no excuse for Apple/Verizon not to acknowledge and address these serious issues. Call quality on the original iPhones5s that we still have are completely unacceptable and borderline acceptable on the replacement iPhone 5 refurb we got.


    Apple, are you listening? Hello???

  • tgpi Level 1 (0 points)

    Gordon, I've bought into your theory and had just replaced my iPhone 5 with the problem to quickly duplicate it when I got home ( BTW - I'm on the AT&T network) Anyhow, I spoke with Apple techs over IM and at the store, they haven't recognized it in the field level yet, but thought I was a PITA customer for insisting there's a problem like this on the iPhone 5. I can't always duplicate the problem, but I'd feel better about if Apple would recognize the problem. Thanks for sharing.

  • SheriIpod Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm still having the problem of clipped words and sounds on headset calls months after getting the phone. The only thing I discovered that restores the dropped sounds is to turn the volume way up to the point that it hurts my ears. Then the loud sounds are incredibly loud and the quiet sounds that had been lost are audible. This makes me wonder whether the problem is limited to people with good hearing who are unwilling to blast the volume too high. I've had a case with Apple technical support all this time and the person I'm communicating with said that my issue had been bumped up to a higher level of engineering and that the problem was recognized (though they insist the clipped sound only occurs at the lowest volume settings, ie one bar, which as we know is not true). I urge you all to file a complaint with Apple technical support so they know that many people are having this issue. My husband has the same problem on his iphone 5. We are both with Verizon.

  • tgpi Level 1 (0 points)

    I have a case open, I've tweeted about this and shared on FaceBook, for what it's worth. Given this is a core operation of the smart phone (a phone call), it has to be corrected. I've started to nickname my iPhone 5 the Apple "Blackberry." : p

  • sk1sk1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Sherilpod, I reached the same conclusion you did - that the drop-out problem is limited to those who listen to calls at lower volume settings, and those on calls (such as conference calls) where the distant parties can be speaking quietly. The problem is masked by noisy environments - where you blame yourself, not the phone, for failing to understand what they said, then you turn up the volume, and they shout louder the second time around.


    But it is a real problem nevertheless. I am often on international conference calls, and like you, don't want to be deafened by running the sound too loud.


    Here's my analysis of the bug. There's a threshold. Sounds below a certain level are attenuted. That's all fine, but the bug is that such a threshold should measure the full-strength signal, before the volume control.  Apple is applying a threshold after the volume control. Thus the lower the volume setting, the larger the proportion of "good" sound falls below the threshold and is attenuted. If you listen carefully and in a quiet setting you will hear that the signal is still there, but is so highly attenuated it would be impossible for a normal person to understand the words.


    I sure hope Apple will fix it. I suppose it may not be top priority for them since so few people seem to notice or care.  I wrote a letter to Tim Cook in hopes it gets through to their engineering folks that there is a flaw.


    See my earlier post on how to reproduce the problem with 100% reliability by calling the recording at +1 (877) 654-4400 at the lowest volume setting in a completely silent environment. I have reproduced it on all three US carriers, on six different handsets, including with the latest released iOS as of a few days ago. It's real. It's reproducible. My iPhone 4 doesn't have the problem. Here's hoping they fix it. I am looking forward to buying an iPhone 5 if and when it's resolved.

  • technogalleryandblog Level 1 (0 points)

    Sherilpod, you described it very well, the problem is the i-Phone 5 and not any specific carrier and it is a problem which occurs when using headsets, the headsets which come with the new i-Phone 5.

    I guess not more people realize that there is a problem because most people don't use the headsets. I find myself not using them any longer as it is impossible to make a phone call using the headsets. I changed from an i-Phone 3 and wish I would not have bought a 5. I already changed mine at the apple store once because I thought it is a faulty phone and did not realize that all i-Phone 5 are faulty.

    What this thread is about is not caused by the none removal of the protective film over the microphone, inadvertently covering the microphone in the back with your hand while on the phone, any specific carrier issue or any other malfunction which has nothing to do with with a faulty product. This thread is about the fact that Apple's new i-Phone 5 does not work right when used with headsets, apple's headsets!

  • Aesthetics_ Level 1 (0 points)

    The problem is not linked to the headset because it occurs without it too.

    Maybe the headset increases the possibilities to have the robotic voice and so on... but I don't use any headset and my phone has this call quality problem.

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