How to fix poor call sound quality on iPhone

Nowadays, smartphones are much more than machines for making calls. As a matter of fact, making regular phone calls probably isn’t high on the list of the most performed actions on a smartphone. Especially the iPhone. After all, who needs calls with Facetime, iMessage, and other IM services around.

But even though traditional calls have lost their popularity, those who still use their iPhones for calling other people still want everything to function properly. And everything does function properly most of the time. However, some users have reported poor in-call sound quality on certain iPhone models. A problem that you’d want to resolve as soon as possible.

If you’re one of those users, and I assume you are, we prepared for you some optimal solutions to tackle the distorting and muffled sound, and/or bad microphone performance while making a call.

In case you experience bad sound call sound quality on your iPhone, try some of the following solutions:

  1. Disable Noise cancellation on the iPhone
  2. Select Data Only in Mobile Data Options
  3. Try using the phone without the case
  4. Turn off the Bluetooth
  5. Try restarting the phone
  6. Try updating to the latest version of iOS

How to improve bad call sound quality on the iPhone

1. Disable Noise cancellation on the iPhone

Noise cancellation is a built-in option that helps you by reducing ambient noise while speaking on the phone. Good intention but some of the users found it unsatisfying. To disable it, follow the instructions:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Head over to Accessibility.
  3. Go to Audio/Visual.
  4. Turn the Phone Noise Cancellation option off.

2. Select Data Only in Mobile Data Options

There may be a problem concerning your Mobile Data. Maybe your VoLTE ( Voice over LTE) is the one that makes calls distorted, so try disabling it. To that follow this path:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Head over to Cellular.
  3. Go to Cellular Data Options > Voice & Data.
  4. Disable the VoLTE option.
  5. Choose Data Only instead of Voice & Data

3. Try using the phone without the case

There are some reports that your case can be the issue while speaking on the phone. Because it covers the rear microphone, sometimes may cause distortion.

Remove your case and check your in-call performance without it.

4. Turn off the Bluetooth

Interference may also occur because of your headset and phone speaker. To be sure that is not the case, disable Bluetooth:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Select Bluetooth
  3. Turn Bluetooth OFF.

5. Try restarting the phone

If the problem is somehow connected to the software, the reset may be of help. To reset your iPhone, do the following:

  1. Press and hold Wake and Volume Down buttons
  2. Wait until the Power off screen appears.
  3. Drag the Power off slider to the right.

6. Try updating to the latest version of iOS

Keeping your phone updated is a good way to overcome slight software issues, probably even the sound ones. To update your system, follow these instructions.

  1. Make sure your iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi and charging.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. Choose General.
  4. Select Software Update.
  5. If there’s a new update available, tap Download & Install.

These were our tips for a possible solution for the poor sound quality on iPhone. I hope at least one of them helped you restore the good in-call sound quality on your iPhone. If you still have trouble making phone calls, be free to share it with us in the comment section. Or reach us out on Twitter and Facebook.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in January 2021. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.

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Jim P
Jim P
February 28, 2018 5:26 pm

I’ve had a number of iphones–the 7 is without a doubt the worst regarding sound quality and connectivity. I rarely get through a call without loss of the call or distortion so great the call is a burden. Awful, awful, awful.

Aleksandar Ognjanovic
Aleksandar Ognjanovic
February 28, 2018 5:41 pm
Reply to  Jim P

We hear you, Jim. It seems that they chased flashy improvements while neglecting fundamental phone features.

Trevor
Trevor
February 28, 2018 5:43 pm

But I can’t believe they can sell you a phone for £850 that doesn’t make calls properly and your stuck with it!!!! In this case you should be given a full refund as it’s unfit for use

Phyllis Trainor
Phyllis Trainor
February 28, 2018 5:43 pm
Reply to  Trevor

I have the same issues for 5 weeks. I even got a new iPhone 7 and then today a new sim card put in. It improved for one call and I am back to needing to use the speaker feature to speak with anyone. I asked for any other phone today that I could talk to people on. Verizon said any other iPhone would have the software problem too. Left me hanging…

Roopali Kadam
Roopali Kadam
February 28, 2018 5:26 pm

I have purchase iphone7 on 25th September 2017 , I find very poor call sound quality (with incoming & outgoing calls). The shop vendor from whome I purchase did some calling options & said he don’t find any problem which I m experiencing with calls. I feel so bad. I feel so embrace saying I m talking from iphone7 which has bad sound quality. Kindly help.

Sylvain Pilote
Sylvain Pilote
February 28, 2018 5:26 pm

go to Options>Cellular>Cellular Data Options>Enable LTE……. make sure it’s on Data ,not on Voice Data. It fixed my problem

FW
FW
February 28, 2018 5:26 pm

I second that the phone cases might have been the issue that affects the call quality. It happened to be my experience that every time I was on the call, the other end would tell me that they couldn’t hear me, or my sound was muffed, while I could hear them just fine. I have been using wallet cases for over a year…and ever since I remove my phone from the case, everyone, I repeat, EVERYONE, on the phone told me they could hear me very clearly. My wallet case only slightly covers half of the two microphones my iPhone… Read more »

John D
John D
February 28, 2018 5:26 pm

Literally have had the same issue and told I am shit out of luck.There has to be some way to get a refund or something done about the issue. This is absolutely ridiculous

Sarah
Sarah
October 24, 2017 1:05 pm

Believe it or not. My husband bought an iPhone 7 plus two months ago it was a disaster as every one said they can’t understand because the sound is hollow and distorted. He went back to the dealer and got it exchanged but for his bad luck the second was the same. Yesterday he went back to get the third one and it was the worst. I could barely understand him when he called me from work. He is so disappointed and upset. Every single phone should be tested for defects before releasing such garbage into the market.

BRYAN INFANTE WAGAN
BRYAN INFANTE WAGAN
March 17, 2022 2:37 am

OMG! I have the same error on my iPhone XR yesterday and I don’t know what to do. It only stuck on searching mode. Luckily, I have a tech-savvy friend that was able to recover it using a tool called AceThinker Fone Keeper and he said he used this article as well. So A big thank you to the author of this post! Kudos!!

Emma
Emma
February 10, 2022 11:51 am

I heard that there are some iOS repair tools suggested, they said that the software can fix the issue without data loss, such as Joyoshare UltFix, Dr.Fone, iMyFone Fixppo.. are they safe to use?

Sarah
Sarah
February 28, 2018 5:26 pm

Believe it or not. My husband bought an iPhone 7 plus two months ago it was a disaster as every one said they can’t understand because the sound is hollow and distorted. He went back to the dealer and got it exchanged but for his bad luck the second was the same. Yesterday he went back to get the third one and it was the worst. I could barely understand him when he called me from work. He is so disappointed and upset. Every single phone should be tested for defects before releasing such garbage into the market.

Barbara Ann Bush
Barbara Ann Bush
February 28, 2018 5:26 pm

I am having the same problem with my iPhone 7. With the Lifeproof case on it (which I bought because I am around water a lot), people say I sound muffled. I have to consciously speak at a much lower volume, so that to people on my end of the conversation get to experience me yelling into my phone. I have finally taken the case off. Apparently the problem is that the iPhone 7 has only 2 or 3 microphones and something like the Android, which doesn’t have this problem, has 7 microphones. My fiancee has a Lifeproof case on… Read more »