Why iPhone can’t hear the caller unless on a speaker? How to solve it?

As you may know, iPhone is an essential device in our day-to-day life. You have to pick up someone’s calls immediately, and you can’t hear the person’s voice no doubt can be very annoying, more when it is an important call.

Don’t know whether it is happening because of hardware or else software problems. Whatever the reason is, if you also find that your iPhone also has this issue and you can’t hear a word until you put the iPhone on Speaker, then there must be some issues with it.

In this article, I will explain how to fix the problem iPhone can’t hear a caller unless it’s on a speaker on your iPhone. So, without any further ado, let’s get depth to the article.

Why my iPhone can’t hear the caller in the first place?

iphone can't hear caller unless on speaker
iphone can’t hear caller unless on speaker

When iPhone can’t hear what the caller is saying can be because of many reasons. You must be wondering why it is happening and how to fix it. Before fixing the issue, I will explain to you why this is happening in the first place.

Here are three reasons why iPhone can’t hear the caller unless on a speaker:

  • The first reason can be because there must be some issues with your iPhone hardware. If the problem is in the hardware, you can fix it at your home with a simple restart or resetting your iPhone. If that doesn’t work out, then there can be some serious problems with your iPhone hardware, and may need professional help.
  • Not the hardware problem? Then it can be a software issue. Try to remember which third-party app you have recently downloaded, and that has microphone permissions. Maybe because of the third-party app, it might be interfering with your iPhone’s mic functionality. What you can do is try uninstalling them to see if that is the issue of not hearing a call.
  • And the last reason why you are facing this issue can be because your iPhone Earpiece might get damaged. This might be the reason, and to check that you have to contact the iPhone service to repair or replace the Earpiece to use the iPhone correctly.

Now that you pretty understand the reasons why this issue may occur, I will now explain to you how to fix it. So, let’s get into it.

How to Fix iPhone Can’t hear Caller Unless on Speaker:

1. Restart your iPhone:

The most basic but the most efficient yet easy thing you can try is the restart your iPhone. If you don’t know already, restarting your iPhone can fix small software problems that you can’t see and understand on your own.

It can be possible that a random bug is interfering with your iPhone volume settings. Quickly rebooting the iPhone can also fix that. Here is what you can do:

  1. Tap and hold the Power Button on your iPhone until you see the Slide to Power Off slider on the screen.
  2. Then slide to Power Off.
  3. Wait until your phone shuts down.
  4. Once your phone is shut down, wait for a few seconds.
  5. After that press, and hold the power button until the iPhone starts.
  6. Lastly, check if you can hear the caller and issue is solved or not.

2. Check your Cellular Service:

The poor cellular service on your iPhone can also be the reason you can’t hear a thing from the caller. Uneven or inconsistent cell phone service can definitely impact the quality of a call, and at one point you can’t even hear that’s they are saying unless you put the phone on speaker.

To check the cellular service on your iPhone, follow the given below steps:

  1. Take a look at the upper right-side corner of the iPhone screen to check the cell service.
  2. Make sure your phone has at least one bar.
  3. The more bars you have, the better your service will be.

If you have poor service all the time, then you must consider switching cell phone networks. It is possible that your current iPhone network is not working for you, or is not reliable for the location you are living. Look out the coverage maps to see which wireless network has the best service, try it, and see if the issue is resolved.

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3. Use Your Phone in Safe Mode:

The second thing you can try is to use the phone in safe mode. As I explained earlier, the recently downloaded third-party apps on your iPhone with mic permission may be the problem that creates issues.

So, to find out if that is the problem that’s creating the issue on your iPhone, what you can do is simply boot your iPhone in safe mode. To do that,

  1. Shut down your iPhone.
  2. Then press and hold the Power Button until your iPhone lights up.
  3. Press and hold the volume down button as your iPhone lights up until you see Apple Logo.
  4. As you see the Apple Logo on the screen, release the volume key.
  5. Your iPhone now boots to Safe mode.
  6. Check if you are still getting the issue.

If you are still getting issue, then I would recommend you to find the third-party app that is causing you the problem and uninstall it. To find that app, try to uninstall all the recent third-party apps you have downloaded and see which app is responsible.

4. Set the iPhone Volume to the Highest While Calling:

One of the most basic mistakes we all make while calling someone is we didn’t set the volume to the highest. Sometimes you won’t be able to hear your calls because the volume of the iPhone can be extremely low or just silent.

Mistakes like this make you think you have a problem with your iPhone. But it turns out it is just a volume of your iPhone. To solve it, you just have to increase the volume with the help of the volume button located on your phone.

It will increase the volume of your iPhone. But, if the volume button does not seem to increase with the help of the volume button, then follow the given below steps to do it in another way.

  1. Go to Settings, and select Sound and Haptics. Select Sound on your iPhone if you do not seem to have a Sounds and Haptics option.
  2. Turn off Change with Button.
  3. Now, use the slider to increase the call volume on your phone. 

5. Try to Keep your Earpiece Port Clean:

It is essential to always keep the Earpiece port clean. Not cleaning it regularly results in you uneven hearing issues while calling. Basically, the Earpiece port generally contains dirt, gunk, and debris, and because of that, the caller won’t be able to clearly listen to you. So, it is recommended to always clean the Earpiece port so the caller can easily listen to your voice. 

To do that, simply use an anti-static brush or a cotton cloth and clean out everything carefully. You can even use Flash light on the earpiece, so you can clearly see any debris or dirt. If you can, then use a small tweezer to pick out the pieces of debris and pieces.

Once your iPhone Earpiece port is cleaned up, check if you can hear the caller without putting the iPhone on speaker. 

 6. Update the iPhone software to the Latest Version:

Not updating the software to the latest version can also be one of the reasons why you can’t hear the calls. As keeping the iPhone software up-to-date can also remove temporary glitches, bugs, or errors and fix them. 

So, check if you have any pending updates available on your iPhone, if there are then update it as soon as possible. Also, make sure that you are connected to a good and working internet connection before updating the software. 

Here are the steps to do so:

  1. Go to your iPhone Settings.
  2. Choose General.
  3. Tap Software Update.
  4. Now see if there is any pending software update for your phone.
  5. If there is any, then please consider updating it as soon as possible. 
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7. Make sure the iPhone is not connected to a Bluetooth Device:

There is a good possibility that your iPhone might have connected to a Bluetooth device. So, if it is then obliviously that the sound will play through a Bluetooth device, and not actually through the iPhone. 

Simply check to see if your iPhone is connected to a Bluetooth device or not. To check that follow the steps:

  1. Go to the Settings on your iPhone.
  2. Navigate to the Bluetooth option.
  3. Make sure it doesn’t connect next to any Bluetooth device listed under My Devices.

If you are talking to someone on a call, you can also tap Audio on your iPhone and check if it is connected to another device or not. And if it is, then simply tap on your iPhone. 

  • Turn off Headphone Mode: It is possible that you may have accidently turned on Headphone Mode on your iPhone accidentally. By turning it on, you can’t really hear the caller voice. Just turn if off, and your problem might be solve easily.
  • Turn off Noise Reduction: Again, just like headphone, check if Noise reduction is turned on on your iPhone. If it is, then turn it off, and check it if it solves the problem. If you are still facing problem then don’t worry you can try the other methods to solve it.

 8. Make sure Nothing is Blocking the Receiver:

After cleaning up the Earpiece port and still having issues with hearing. Then check if something is blocking the receiver. Maybe a bulky case or growing debris can block the receiver which results in you uneven sound on phone calls.

Use the anti-static brush or new toothbrush and clean the receiver clearly, and also remove the bulky iPhone case. Try to call someone and see now if you can clearly hear the voice, and if the problem is fixed. 

9. Reset Network Settings:

Another thing you can try if you are still facing this problem is to reset the network settings. If you don’t know, when you reset the network settings on an iPhone, all the network settings will be back to their defaults.

Whether it’s Cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and VPN settings will have resorted to defaults. You must be wondering if this step is necessary? Well, this step can possibly fix all the little software problems and may fix the hearing problem too. 

Here is how you can do it, 

  1. On your iPhone, open Settings and tap General.
  2. Navigate to Reset, and click the option Network Settings.
  3. Enter your iPhone passcode, then tap Reset Network Settings again to confirm your decision.
  4. Your iPhone will turn off, reset, then will turn on again itself. 

 10. Turn Airplane Mode On and Off:

Sounds simple, right? But it can be a minor issue that might be creating an issue where you can’t hear the voice while calling. It can be just a little software bug that may cause interference with your earpiece.

What you can do is just turn the airplane mode on for 5-10 seconds, and then turn it back off and see if it fixes the issue. It might sound random, but a not hearing caller is related to a network issue, so turning on and off the airplane mode may definitely fix the problem.

11. Change your Phone Case or Screen Protector:

Did you recently get your screen protector? If you are facing this problem recently, then the screen protector is not installed properly on your phone and causing problems.

Having the screen protected not placed properly can also block the earpiece and seal it, blocking the earpiece means you will not be able to hear any sound when someone calls you. You can easily remove the screen protector by yourself and replace it with the new one, and check if the iPhone is working correctly.

Sometimes using cheap, non-standard, or bulky phone cases can also block the mic at the bottom of the phone. So, if it’s possible only use the case that doesn’t block the mic as you can easily hear someone’s voice.

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12. Use a Third-party app to solve the problem:

If you trust the third-party apps, then you can use a third-party app to solve the problem. You can try the third-party app that will improve the earpiece’s hearing ability. One of the popular app named SoundAbout is the app that is used to fix the problem of ‘can’t hear calls unless switched to speakerphone’.

Many users have used this app and also gotten the result from it. Although, if you uninstall this app, the problem might occur again. I recommend only using this step if the above methods don’t work for you.

13. Factory Reset:

If any of the above methods don’t work and didn’t solve the issue, then the last possible method you can try to fix is to Factory Reset your device. If nothing else works then factory reset is the only option you get.

If you are going to factory reset your iPhone, then remember to backup your iPhone data first as resetting will going to delete all your data and information completely. Here is how you can factory reset your iPhone.

  1. Go to your iPhone Settings.
  2. Choose General.
  3. Tap Transfer or Reset iPhone.
  4. Select Erase All Content and Settings, and follow the on-screen options.
  5. Wait till your iPhone finishes the Factory Reset.
  6. Once Factory Reset is done, check if the issue is fixed or not. 

14. Contact iPhone Service Center:

Sorry to say this but, if after trying all of the above troubleshooting methods and still having issues with the sound, then unfortunately you have to contact the iPhone service center.

The issue is might be with the hardware, which can only be repaired by the iPhone service center. So, go to the nearest iPhone service center and tell them your issue. If you don’t have a service center in your area, then you can also contact them and explain your issue.

If you have recently bought the iPhone then they might replace you with the other one. Remember to schedule an appointment before going there as you may have to spend hours in a waiting line.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why can’t I hear calls on my iPhone unless on Speaker?

If you can’t hear calls on your iPhone unless it’s on speaker, then it is because of hardware or software problems. Many users have faced this issue on their iPhones. Are you the one who is going through this? I have already explained why you are having this problem and how to solve it in this article. Kindly go through all the possible methods to solve the issue.

Can I fix I can’t hear calls on my iPhone unless it’s on Speaker?

Yes, you can definitely fix the issue if the problem is related to software. You can use all the above-given methods in this article to fix your problem. However, after trying all the above troubleshooting methods and still having issues, then the issue is related to hardware. If the problem is because of hardware, then you can contact the iPhone service center and continue the process as they suggest.

The bottom line:

I have seen, recently several users facing this problem and reporting that they can’t hear the caller unless the iPhone is on a speaker.

For once, you must think it is only happening to you, but facing a problem like this is normal. You are facing this issue can be because of a hardware or software problem, but the good news is you can solve this issue right away.

You can even fix the problem on your own at home by trying the methods I have explained. I hope, you have already fixed the problem and can hear phone calls from now on.

If you did, then please share this article with your friends and family and help them solve their worries.