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Can’t hear phone calls unless on speaker: Quick Fix

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  • 5 min read

Our smartphones work without a hitch for the most part, but that’s not to say they can’t run into problems, whether hardware or software, from time to time. It could be anything from a misconfigured setting to a failed piece of hardware that can cause problems for you.

In this article, we’re talking about a problem where you can’t hear phone calls unless you’re on speaker on iOS and Android, and giving you a few fixes for the problem.

Restart your phone

The first and foremost thing to do when troubleshooting your devices is to try and reboot them. Restarting your phone can resolve many issues on your phone, including the ‘can’t hear phone calls unless on speaker’ issue.

Also read: How your Android phone can be hacked in under 2 minutes

Use the Airplane mode

Enabling airplane mode and then disabling it effectively restarts all the network equipment inside your phone, including your WiFi, Bluetooth, and the network modules. It’s like soft rebooting your phone and can help solve this problem.

Increase your call volume

This might sound basic, but it’s relatively easy to forget that sometimes your call volume might just be too low for you to hear anything. Now you can use the volume rocker to increase call volume, but if that doesn’t work, follow these steps.

For Android

Head to the phone’s settings and follow the steps mentioned below.

  • Tap Sound and vibration.
  • Make sure the Call volume slider is set to max.

For iOS

  • Head over to the phone settings and tap Sound and haptics.
  • Set the call volume slider to the max. 

Check your earpiece 

Next up, check your earpiece to make sure there’s no dust or debris stuck in there that can impact the sound coming from the call. Remove any obstructions in the earpiece using a small, sharp object and try again. 

Also read: Can’t send message error 38: 4 Fixes

Clean the headphone jack

It might be worth inspecting if your phone still has a headphone jack. Sometimes dust and debris can collect inside the headphone jack and make it seem like there are headphones plugged in, which consequently routes the audio to these imaginary headphones. Cleaning out the headphone jack can solve this problem. 

Check Bluetooth

Another possible cause for the problem could be that you’re connected to a Bluetooth device, and the audio is routed there. Check your Bluetooth settings to ensure you’re not connected to an audio device, and if you are, either unpair or disable Bluetooth and try again.

Also read: What does ‘no supported app for this NFC tag’ mean? 3 Fixes

Update your phone

A system update will often resolve any crashes or errors you’re facing in the operating system. If there’s a bug in the OS or an issue with the current software version installed on your phone, updating it can eliminate any such issues.

On Android

Open your phone’s settings and follow the steps mentioned below.

How to fix System UI has stopped issue on Android?
  • Scroll down to System.
  • Tap on Advanced.
  • Tap on System Updates.
  • Your device will automatically start downloading any available updates.

On iOS

Open your phone’s settings and follow the steps mentioned below.

Why is iMessage not working? | Candid.Technology
  • Tap on General.
  • Tap on Software Update.
  • Ensure that you’re on the latest update available. If not, update your device immediately. 

Wait for the updates to download and install and for your device to reboot. 

Also read: Cannot start the PS4: 7 Fixes

Reset network settings

Resetting network settings can fix any misconfigured settings that might be causing problems with your calls. 

You can read our detailed guide on resetting network settings for Android and iOS here. 

Factory reset

If nothing else works, factory resetting your phone might be the best way forward before reaching out to a professional for help. Keep in mind that factory resetting your device will remove all data you haven’t backed up to the cloud or locally. 

Every year since the release of the first iPhone in 2008, Apple releases a new iteration of the device with the latest ones being iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max. If you're planning to switch to a newer version of the iPhone and are planning to sell or trade your old iPhone, it makes sense to wipe off all the data and restore the device to the factory settings. This not only ensures that none of your data gets in the hands of someone else but also gives the device a fresher look if you're planning on selling. Before you go ahead and factory reset your iPhone, you should back up its data via iTunes or iCloud, so that you're able to restore it to the new device. In this article, we've put together a simple guide to help you factory reset your iPhone in three simple steps. Also read: How to use your iPad in Split Screen mode? How to factory reset an iPhone? Go to your iPhone's Settings. Scroll down and tap on General. On the next page, scroll down to the bottom and tap on Reset. On the next page, tap on the second option from the top Erase All Content and Settings. Once the factory reset of the iPhone is complete, it will restart from the Hello screen. Note that if you don't want to erase your data and just wish to reset the factory settings of the device, you can do so by tapping on Reset All Settings, which is located right above the Erase All Content and Settings option. In addition to the aforementioned, users can also individually reset their Network settings, keyboard dictionary, home screen layout and location & privacy settings by tapping on the other options on the same screen. Also read: How to switch off WiFi and Bluetooth in the iPhone?

Consult a professional

If you’ve made it this far without fixing the issue, chances are it’s a hardware problem with your earpiece, and you should get it replaced by a professional. 

Also read:  Does iMessage notify when you take screenshots?

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here:

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