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Question: iPhone X call quality issues

Hi


I seem to be having random issues with call quality. I’ve had several people now tell me that when calling them they can’t hear me or I sound like I’m underwater.


Problem is it seems to be very random.


I have tried 2 different cases (the second seems to be better) but I have also had the problem with no case on the phone.


The other day I was on a call which was fine. I got put on hold so put it on speaker and put the phone down. When they came back I took it off speaker but they couldn’t hear me. I tried tapping the back of the phone hard at the bottom and then suddenly they could hear me.


I’m now worried that I may have a loose microphone connection but I just cannot seem to replicate the issue.


I will book a Genius Bar appointment but I can’t get one for over a week so thought I’d do some back ground Work first.


Thanks in advance for any help.

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Same issue with mine. Almost every call people complain that I sound like under water. No case, no film, or anything else. Noise cancellation set to off so as Wi-Fi phone call. To people clearly hear me I have to speak almost touching the mic and speak loudly. Then, everyone says... “oh, know I can hear you”. What s the deal? $1k for a phone that can’t make decent phone calls?

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Dec 8, 2017 5:37 PM in response to StevenBottrill In response to StevenBottrill

I just went to Apple today over the issue. I never had people tell me this when I was on iPhone 6 but now that I have the X everyone I talk to says I sound garbled or far away. I’m told I come in and out of clarity. I have had this issue speaking to other people on their iPhones before, but I just thought the person had the phone tucked in so the sound was muffled. Now I realize it’s the phone after googling the issue and seeing how many people notice. I went to Apple. The gentleman acknowledged this is a problem. They don’t really know what it is. It’s a bad thing to have a phone that you can’t make business calls on or talk to family members. Regardless he replaced my phone, the problem is the same. I went to sprint to see if it was carrier issues but it isn’t. So at this point all I can do is go back to Apple but it seems if there is no answer yet.

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Dec 10, 2017 7:15 AM in response to StevenBottrill In response to StevenBottrill

This is an IPhone design issue that appears to be related to the microphone located on the rear near the cameras. I experienced it on my IPhone 7+ which was replaced but the same fault existed on the replacement. Apple don't seem interested as they've designed the IPhone 8, 8+ and X with the same Mic position and they to are experiencing the same call quality issue. Eventually I reluctantly replaced my 7+ with a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and call quality has been excellent. Apple's disrespect for it's customers by continuing to repeat design faults through model changes has pushed me away for good. PS I hope you get to read this Apple have habit of censoring forum posts, the reason why the IPhone 7/7+ call quality discussion was moved to Facebook....

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Feb 19, 2018 10:09 PM in response to hareeshsnair In response to hareeshsnair

Reposting earlier fix with additional info explaining why...


Verizon customer iPhone X. Same problem. Phone works great except for phone calls. I sound muffled or underwater, but only sometimes. Other calls are perfect. Tried all of the fixes in this forum - Network reset, LTE off/on, full reset, wi-fi calls off. Noise cancellation off. With and without cover. Got a replacement phone from the Apple store. None of it helped and now I know why...


The issue turned out to be how I was holding the phone. There are three microphones on the X and one of them is located by the camera on the back of the phone. Even though I didn't cover it while holding the X (with fingers and thumb on the sides of the phone, I apparently was close enough to make that mic behave differently. When I move my phone-holding position in the same grip to the bottom part of the phone, the problems vanish. I have run through a series of test with my "complainers" and this seems to pinpoint the root cause. It's either user error or a design flaw, but there is a simple workaround. Hold the phone at the bottom of the case and definitely not near the top. Problem Solved!


Update as to why this works: Apple has designed noise cancellation into the talking side of the phone. (This is different than the noise cancellation in the Accessibility settings - those are for the listening not speaking). Anyway, there is a small mic on the back of the X by the camera. It's purpose is to listen for ambient noise (think crowded bar) and to cancel that noise from what it hears from the mics on the front at bottom of the phone. Those mics hear your voice talking plus they hear the ambient noise (crowded bar). The software "subtracts" the bar sound from what it hears on the front and the listener never hears the bar noise - just your voice. (You can test this by completely covering the back mic hole with your finger - then the listener hears the bar noise and has trouble hearing your voice).


Anyway, this is a really great feature - except that if you hold the phone near the top, it channels part of your voice into that back mic and it ends up canceling out all or part of your voice. So I have to hold my phone at the bottom and things work fine. This also explains problems with folding phone cases and issues when you are holding the phone between neck and shoulder.


I sure hope someone from Apple reads this. It would have saved me a lot of time if they had told me this when I complained...

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Nov 19, 2017 8:18 AM in response to StevenBottrill In response to StevenBottrill

Hello, StevenBottrill!

Thank you for posting your question in the Apple Support Communities. I understand from your post that you're having some trouble with people on the other end of your calls either not hearing you or with you being distorting on their end. I know it's important for your callers to be able to hear you on every call, and I'm happy to help.

Trying a different case & no case are both great first steps. Since you're still having the same issue even without a case on the iPhone X at all, there are a few more troubleshooting steps to try. See the following article for additional suggestions:
Get help with the microphones on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

Let us know how it goes, and have a great day!

Nov 19, 2017 8:18 AM

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Nov 19, 2017 9:24 PM in response to StevenBottrill In response to StevenBottrill

brenden dv clearly provided some excellent suggestions.


I also have an iPhone X and have used iPhones for many years without incident. I had a problem with the iPhone X and thought of a possible issue in my setup.


The problem occurred while I had Settings > Phone > Wi-Fi Calling > Wi-Fi Calling on this iPhone set "On." After the difficult call, I checked my cellular carrier (AT&T) records of the call and learned that indeed the call was transacted as a Wi-Fi call. However, I was live-streaming at the time. So I think I may have gotten in my own way.


If I have a problem with a call in the future, and I am not in a very bad cellular reception area, I am going to see what happens if I turn off Wi-Fi calling.

Nov 19, 2017 9:24 PM

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Nov 20, 2017 12:22 AM in response to brenden dv In response to brenden dv

Thanks for that. I’ve been working my way through the list and the various combinations.


So far no problems but then I had a call and they couldn’t hear me!!!!!! Still at a loss to Work it out.

Nov 20, 2017 12:22 AM

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Nov 21, 2017 9:33 AM in response to StevenBottrill In response to StevenBottrill

I was having the same issue and figured out it was the Apple Folio case covering the microphone present near the camera. Depending on how I hold the phone/case (fold the case entirely vs. hold it open) issue would happen or not. Can you check whenever you face the issue that your back microphone near the camera is not covered/blocked?

Nov 21, 2017 9:33 AM

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Question marked as Solved

Dec 9, 2017 12:16 AM in response to StevenBottrill In response to StevenBottrill

Same issue with mine. Almost every call people complain that I sound like under water. No case, no film, or anything else. Noise cancellation set to off so as Wi-Fi phone call. To people clearly hear me I have to speak almost touching the mic and speak loudly. Then, everyone says... “oh, know I can hear you”. What s the deal? $1k for a phone that can’t make decent phone calls?

Dec 9, 2017 12:16 AM

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Question marked as Helpful

Dec 8, 2017 5:37 PM in response to StevenBottrill In response to StevenBottrill

I just went to Apple today over the issue. I never had people tell me this when I was on iPhone 6 but now that I have the X everyone I talk to says I sound garbled or far away. I’m told I come in and out of clarity. I have had this issue speaking to other people on their iPhones before, but I just thought the person had the phone tucked in so the sound was muffled. Now I realize it’s the phone after googling the issue and seeing how many people notice. I went to Apple. The gentleman acknowledged this is a problem. They don’t really know what it is. It’s a bad thing to have a phone that you can’t make business calls on or talk to family members. Regardless he replaced my phone, the problem is the same. I went to sprint to see if it was carrier issues but it isn’t. So at this point all I can do is go back to Apple but it seems if there is no answer yet.

Dec 8, 2017 5:37 PM

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Dec 8, 2017 9:13 PM in response to JnPC In response to JnPC

JnPC wrote:


I went to sprint to see if it was carrier issues but it isn’t.

Except for the one issue and resolution I mentioned above, which occurred about three weeks ago, I have had no problems at all regarding voice quality with my iPhone X on AT&T.

Dec 8, 2017 9:13 PM

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Dec 9, 2017 12:46 PM in response to Gary919 In response to Gary919

I am using an open speck case that has minimal cover over the speakers. I will test taking it off again and calling people but so far nothing has worked. And even after getting a replacement phone last night I found the problem is, if anything, worse. It’s very disheartening. I’ll be going back to Apple sometime this week after more trial and error on my end.

Dec 9, 2017 12:46 PM

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Dec 10, 2017 7:15 AM in response to StevenBottrill In response to StevenBottrill

This is an IPhone design issue that appears to be related to the microphone located on the rear near the cameras. I experienced it on my IPhone 7+ which was replaced but the same fault existed on the replacement. Apple don't seem interested as they've designed the IPhone 8, 8+ and X with the same Mic position and they to are experiencing the same call quality issue. Eventually I reluctantly replaced my 7+ with a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and call quality has been excellent. Apple's disrespect for it's customers by continuing to repeat design faults through model changes has pushed me away for good. PS I hope you get to read this Apple have habit of censoring forum posts, the reason why the IPhone 7/7+ call quality discussion was moved to Facebook....

Dec 10, 2017 7:15 AM

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Dec 11, 2017 3:03 PM in response to pr12 In response to pr12

Who is your service provider? I went to sprint and the guy at the tech support desk told me sprint can’t handle the new iPhone X. At this point I don’t know what the problem is but I know I have an 1100 dollar paper weight. I’m so aggravated. I spent 2 hours on the phone with Apple trying to fix the problem. They were very pleasant even tho the issue is still here. Sprint on the other hand is unable to help me... all they have done is blame Apple. I spent over 2 hours on the phone with sprint after I went to the store to see if I could get the problem resolved. I’d love to know if people with Verizon have this issue too.

Dec 11, 2017 3:03 PM

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Dec 12, 2017 9:53 AM in response to JnPC In response to JnPC

Like sberman, I have an iPhone X with AT&T, and know others. I've never been told there is a problem hearing me, and I tend to use the phone for calls more than texts. Although email comes in a close second. It seems from your statement you received from Sprint that this could be a carrier issue, and not a phone issue, especially since the phone replacement exhibited the same behavior. In your Cellular settings, do you have LTE turned on for voice? Have you tried turning LTE off in an effort to test Sprint's network? This would force the phone to fall back on the older 3 or 4G network, and may help troubleshoot. Just a suggestion.

Dec 12, 2017 9:53 AM

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Question: iPhone X call quality issues