Hey Jared, if your connector is visibly not damaged, I would try another ribbon. #3 ribbons can be damaged/defective without any signs of it at all. I receive bad ribbons all the time, so I have to keep a lot in stock for repairs. If the connector looks like it is lifting up or mangled in anyway, then yes the connector needs to be replaced.
Replacing it is a lot more involved than a coil replacement. If the iron isn't small enough then you end up damaging more than you want.
If you're still hearing, and the proximity sensor is working then I dont think it is either the ribbon nor the connector. I would guess it is the ear speaker or possibly the ribbon is not touching the speaker pins closely enough.