iPhone 4

Fourth generation iPhone. Repair is straightforward, but the front glass and LCD must be replaced as a unit. GSM / 8, 16, or 32 GB capacity / Model A1332 / Black and White.

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Ear speaker on iPhone 4 suddenly very low, near mute.

My iPhone 4 is a 16 GB, about a half-year old.

I have replaced the front screen. Everything went smoothly, and the new screen worked like a charm. But after three weeks or so, the ear speaker suddenly became extremely low—at normal volume levels, it's impossible to detect any sound.

So now I'm stuck talking with the speaker on or using a headset. Which is not too cool...

I have done the works, as far as I know, for the software. I've done a hard restart and used iTunes to reset the phone to original settings.

None of these attempts have worked, though. I´m not that technically advanced when it comes to electronics. So I am just wondering if any of you could give any tips how I should fix it.

Is it a hardware error or a software problem? The speaker works. I can turn it up and down with the volume buttons, but it's all extremely low—essentially useless. Is there some software error that may have dialed the whole volume setting down somehow?

It's probably a hardware error, and my Apple guarantee is no longer valid, as I have changed the front screen. Should I try to replace the ear speaker myself, or should admit defeat and pay a pro to do it?

I hope you guys have some good ideas!

Thanks.

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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haha, worked -awesome.

by joewhiting

Well, I tried this and it worked, I just sucked on the ear piece area and it is back to normal

by mike

I thought this was a genuine joke to make you look stupid but oml it actually works!!!!! I was panicking that my speaker was broke, I've already had one replacement phone, I was to excited I kept making my bf ring me and hear that it was clear again haha I kept having to talk with loudspeaker :( thankyou so much

by Heidi

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27 Answers

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I have had the same problem, which I have just solved.

As strange as it sounds, the remedy I found was to place my mouth over the ear speaker and suck inward a few times. Now my speaker is back to full volume. I hope this helps.

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I had gotten melted chocolate on my phone and wiped it with a cleaning wipe, suddenly my ear speaker was at such a low volume it was almost impossible to hear.

I started sucking in on the speaker but not enough cause thought it was silly, so didn't work. I then stumbled upon this site, and Ian thank you so much for the tip, it worked!! I sucked in on the speaker again, this time harder, and voila, the speaker is back to full volume!! Sounds like it just became obstructed.

THANKS!

by blueyorker

I have had the same problem. For the last week or so, I have hardly been able to hear anyone on the other end of the call.. I tried the trick with headphones, I tried cleaning all around the speaker and everything else i could find on the net. Finally i read this thread and tried Ian's suggestion about putting your mouth over the ear piece and sucking in a few times... and hey presto, it worked!!! I cant believe it! its awesome!

by Jess

Thanks lan method did worked for me aswell

by Abdul Haseeb

Hoooray!!

Thank you for all the advise.

I dampened a qtip with rubbing alcohol rubbed the speaker opening and then dried it with the dry end of qtip several times then gave it a couple of quick blows - and its working again!

by installationbyecs

tried sucking it, didn't work.

replaced earspeaker, didn't work.

tried sucking really hard AND IT WORKED!!!

APPLE TRIED TO CHARGE 317 EUROS BECAUSE IT GOT WET?!!!

NO IT DID NOT

i'm so happy :-)

by iBar

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Hello,

Like you read above, the sucking remedy can work great. Normally the speakers just have something blocking them if they sound low.

If sucking does work, you can alway try a tooth brush or eyebrow brush to clean the small mesh that sits over most speakers.

If the speaker is completely out, it may be time for a new one.

Hope this helps!

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Great answer to an old question :-) you might want to try a newer question that has not yet been accepted/answered

by oldturkey03

Thank you old turkey, as dumb as this sounds I just saw the dates lol

by Shaina O

You just saw the dates???? Did you not see the other 30 same answers on here then? LOL.

by Clems

worked great for me for iPhone 6. thanks

by samalsamad

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My wife had the same problem with her iPhone 4. The earpiece speaker suddenly went very quiet almost muted so you could hardly hear the caller.

I tried some of the other suggestions such as sucking and blowing on the earpiece but no joy. I was about to order a new earpiece speaker and some tools when I though to try one last go at cleaning the area with a very tiny pin.

I scraped the surface of the speaker and got a few bits of dirt etc out, and then tried sticking the tip of the pin into the speaker mesh and pushing it up, down left and right slightly to see if it had come loose from the connectors. This appears to have worked as the earpiece speaker is now back to normal and working fine.

Thanks for the tips. Great site...!

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Worked for me. I didn't use a pin but something less sharp so as not to damage the speaker

by Aram Attarian

Same problem. I tried The Suck & got some relief, but Aram's suggestion got my phone back to full functionality.

I created a Speaker Scraper™ by straightening a staple and sticking it into a pencil-mounted eraser. That gave me good control while avoiding the possibility of snagging the speaker mesh.

Thanks, Aram and iFixit!

by macartisan

Same problem. I tried The Suck & nothing, I cleaned my speaker with a pin and a napkin and a little bit of hand sanitizer. I put the hand sanitizer in the napkin and scratch the speaker with the pin to clean it

by joaquinporras

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Have you taken a closer look at the speaker assembly? Making sure the pins are not bent and that it's secured to the induction flex proximity sensor?

http://guide-images.ifixit.net/igi/qV35f...

The location that the speaker connects to is part of the induction flex ribbon cable.

http://www1.dealextreme.com/productimage...

It's often overlooked that you have to remove this part in order to fix this ribbon. It wasn't very securely attached to the ribbon so I think this should be worth a look. The only downside is you have to remove the logic board to look into this.

http://guide-images.ifixit.net/igi/mXXSH...

I had some buzzing and low volume from my iPhone and reseating the speaker to the cable fixed it.

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I spilled my Iphone with sweet juice. I tried toothbrush cleaning and air compression. It didnt work.

Then i wet toothbrush with a little saliva and tried again. It worked.

Dried juice was dissolved and earspeaker volume increased perfectly

hope this will help

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blow with compressed air into speaker and works o.k.

I was try to change speaker but did not help.

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I've had 2 4s iphones do this and never could make them work again.

You wouldn't by chance work in a weld shop or other area with tiny metal airborne particles?

I'm beginning to think that's why mine died. I noticed these little dark "dust" particles settling on the ear speaker grill when I came home from work. When holding a magnet over the grill, I noticed that the particles jumped out and stuck to the magnet.

Hate to think how much of it I'm breathing daily.

anyway, I believe the ear speaker magnet must be fairly strong and is sucking these metal particles into the grill where they cannot get out once stuck to the speaker.

I think they are either muffling the speaker by covering it, or posiibly shorting out the speaker.

This is all a theory I have. This time, I covered the speaker grill opening with a strip of velcro loop material to hopefully keep the metal dust out of this one. We will see if it also dies.

The magnetic attraction would explain why blowing it out with compressed air did not clear the debris in my case.

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Wow Justin!… This is the 2nd iPhone I have the speaker issue with, And Yes, I am a Welder/Metal Fabricator. I used to have a trick where as I would put a magnet in a rubber glove and rub it over any opening to pull the metal dust out of the speaker ports (thats the trick I use to get bits of metal out of my eyes). That worked GREAT with my 3gs BUT it seems that the magnet is what is causing it to fail in my iPhone 4s. Seems to start as soon as I try it. I had tried to keep the 4s in a life proof case but that was for from dust proof so now I keep it in a SeaLine dry bag made for iPhones. unfortunately, the sucking and blowing hasn't worked for me yet.

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The problem is of the thick layer dust on the earpiece... I just cleaned it with a pointed pin(I use sim ejector pin) and volume is back to its original.

The sound quality is awesome !! Pls do it on own risk but this is the only solution to get the original sound !

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My earpiece in my 4S has never worked since I got it from the factory when they first came out. Then I found this thread. Tried sucking as hard as physically possible, tried blowing, tried the wet toothbrush followed by a big shop vac...no luck. About to try restoring my 4S to factory settings through iTunes in case it is a software problem (I think I already tried that a long time ago though). I also have a new OEM ear piece on the way to replace the original. If none of that works...I guess it's a good thing I'm ordering the 5S in a couple days. :)

Update

UPDATE: Tried resetting my 4S to factory specs. Guess what! No luck. Tore my phone apart, installed my new OEM earpiece, and reassembled it. Voila! I can finally talk on my phone like a normal person, now that I am about to get rid of my device. *facepalm*

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So embarrass that this worked lol

by jechandler

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it does work by sucking the ear speaker out but What works even better is using a vaccum cleaner for about 5 seconds ... Swarve...

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I would advise against using a vacuum cleaner on sensitive equipment such as a mobile phone as the static created from the cleaner *could* damage the phone.

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Yes! Result. Ive done this before with a pair of in ear buds, sucking the metal mesh seems to work if clogged up. The other day i spilled cappucino all over my iphone4s, not long after i had cleaned up the phone, my earpeice vol became very low. This time i used an earbud soaked in saliva pressing the fluid into the mesh then sucked it out quite strongly a few times and it really worked well, i can imagine the sticky coffee mix was glueing the speaker diaphram up.... I could actually taste the coffee coming out as i sucked!

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It sounds like you may have inadvertently blown more crap into the earpiece rather than remove it.

Try cleaning it with a cotton bud (preferably with a tiny bit of rubbing alcohol or if you haven't got that, wet the bud so it is damp - do not soak it in water though) or use a very soft toothbrush. If it still doesn't work then it sounds like the earpiece speaker will need to be replaced - it's quite an easy (and cheap) job to do. There are lots of tutorials on the net to help you with this.

Good luck :)

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Use a cotton bud dipped in rubbing alcohol (isopropanol) which can be bought from ebay. Make sure it is at least 99% pure though, do NOT use the 70% pure or less as this is mixed with water and could damage the phone.

It has to be at least 99% pure (if you can get 100% pure then even better).

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The sucking blowing method did not work for me, but I could hear the sound changing slightly better to slightly worse. I cleaned the Area with a qtip and peroxide and it works perfectly now.

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I guess I can give you solution for your iPhone 4 which has problem with its ear speaker which is suddenly very low as you said nearly mute. This is a very simple problem to fix for most cases: Take a natural hair paintbrush (or anything with bristles softer than the ones on a soft toothbrush) and gently clean out the earpiece grille with a side-to-side motion. Then use the brush (and this is why it has to be natural hair) and gently push the bristles onto the earpiece grille (that is, perpendicular to its surface). Natural hair bristles are tapered at the tips, and they can pierce and dislodge dirt, which has clogged the grille mesh to the extent that it attenuates volume considerably.

Try this and let me know if it works.

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Before we go into details about what it could be, have you tried my suggestion above using rubbing alcohol?

Dip a cotton bud (or do you guys in the US call it a q-tip or something like that?) in the rubbing alcohol and clean the mesh with it. You may need to do this a few times and then use a clean cotton bud to wipe away the excess. You can also use a toothpick to scrape the mesh to see if any dirt comes off as well but I really wouldn't use the sucking method as you may end up swallowing a load of earwax or other muck (gross!).

Silly question but have you checked your volume settings? It may also simply be that you need to change the ear speaker in the phone.

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Tried all that. Nothing worked.

by AwakenJornie

How many times did you clean it with a q tip and rubbing alcohol? You may have to do it several times and you will also need to (carefully) scrape it with a toothpick or something similar.

If that still fails, then you may need to replace the ear speaker on the iphone (I know it may be a silly question, but you have checked the volume settings on the phone , right?)

by Clems

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Thank you for your help. Didn't work at first and I told my husband what I was trying to do. My husband told me "it's a prank and your sucking your phone?" He laughs so hard. So today I tried the q tip with alcohol, then I used a paper clip end to scrape it and then sucked a few times it again and voila, have my ear sound again. Amazing. Off to clean out my mouth now. lol

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Glad I could be of help :)

by Clems

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Just to add to other success stories on here, I saw that someone had cleaned their phone with a qtip and water!!!!

Try to avoid cleaning your phone with water as it could end up damaging the phone. If you have to use water, make sure you use a damp (not wet) cotton bud/q-tip) Where possible, always use rubbing alcohol as this evaporates and is the safest liquid you can use for cleaning electronic equipment.

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If you have an iPhone and there is an issue with the in-call earpiece speaker, then it is most definitely an issue with the iPhone itself, not the IOS version. To address all the comments that say it did not work when you cleaned the speaker, then you DID NOT do it correctly. The ear piece speaker should be a visible silver color if it is clean. The method I utilized was a Q-tip with rubbing alcohol. You have to make sure that you squeeze to Q-tip to sharpen the end so that it can actually reach into the ear piece speaker to clean in. There is a lot of dirt in there that you would not expect to find. Once you have used the Q-tip with alcohol on it a few times then se a dry Q-tip to dry and finish the cleaning process and it should not work correctly. If you can not see the clean speaker (Meaning you don't see any dirt) then you did't clean it good enough. This method is a 100% fix.

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i spilled honey on my iphone while playing fussball.... the earpiece volume suddenly went very low.

thanks for this thread, i tried the sucking, hair dryer, toothbrush and cleaning with wet wipe .... the earpiece volume is back to normal now....

thanks all...

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I didn't read all the comments so not sure if anyone mentioned this but I just used canned air and blew out I assume dust from the speakers and it fixed the issue like a charm.

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For everyone who has been orally sucking off their phone, just use your vacuum cleaner, you're done in 5 seconds....................

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NEVER use a vacuum cleaner on ANY electronic equipment. You run a serious risk of damaging the device as a vacuum cleaner will create static electricity. Sensitive electronic device + static electricity = not good bedfellows.

by Clems

It's on the outside touching the glass....... Your advise is not applicable to this situation.

by Mr John

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Have you read the other answers to this on here?

Try giving the mesh which covers the earpiece speaker a clean. You should use rubbing alcohol and a cotton bud / q-tip. If that doesn't help much, you may have to scrape it with a toothpick or something similar and then try the rubbing alcohol again (be very careful with the toothpick as the mesh is very fragile). Whatever you do, don't use water to clean it with.

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Same problem. I tried The Suck & nothing, I cleaned my speaker with a pin and a napkin and a little bit of hand sanitizer. I put the hand sanitizer in the napkin and scratch the speaker with the pin to clean it

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One more succes with iphone 5c with the soft sound problem, by using two advices from previous comments: toothbrush with alcohol gently over the speaker net (phone facing ground to prevent possible drops going inside), then vacuum cleaner over the speaker net for a few seconds. Normal sound came back. Thank you all for sharing these solutions

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Andreas88 will be eternally grateful.