I own an Apple iPhone 5s. It’s been terrific for almost two years and I never had an issue. Until yesterday. I made a call just like I always do. Keyed in the number and put the phone to my ear to find the volume was extremely low. It almost sounded like I was using the external speaker on a low volume setting. I checked to make sure that wasn’t the case and for sure, the low volume was coming from the ear speaker. I even removed my Otterbox to make sure nothing was blocking the speaker. I didn’t make any software changes or upgrades and was pretty stumped as to what to do. I even checked to make sure no applications automatically upgraded even though that should not matter.
Off to the internet to Google a solution. The first place I landed was the Apple web site. Their suggestion ranged from checking my settings (did that) to upgrading your IOS (I’m not going to do that) to bring it to the Apple Store. OK, that was of no value.
Back to Google, I went off to some forums to figure things out. I couldn’t possibly be the only person to have this issue. Turns out I was correct. This is an issue that users have been experiencing since the days of the iPhone 4 and continues up to the current iPhone 6 generation. I would imagine that owners of other models besides an iPhone may have the same issue on occasion.
Turns out this issue is typically found in two situations. The first is a brand new iPhone. Turns out that Apple may have covered the speaker with a thin film that is typically removed before you get the phone but sometimes is not. The thin film can be removed with your fingernail or very carefully using something like a toothpick. Be careful to not break thru the black protective covering when doing this maneuver.
As I mentioned, my iPhone is a 5s and I have owned it for almost two years so the above fix didn’t apply to me. I found a few sites that said they sucked on their speaker to fix the issue. I know this sounds insane, but it fixed my problem. I took my Otterbox off the phone, put my mouth over the speaker and sucked in a few times. I then made a quick phone call and it was back to normal. Amazing.
The problem more than likely was some dirt or dust entered the ear speaker area. Sucking in loosened the clog and made everything perfect again. I felt pretty silly sucking on my ear speaker but luckily I was alone.