The fact that the caller couldn’t hear unless I was on speakerphone raised a big red flag. The fact that I was told that the representative didn’t need my credit card or bank account information also made me realize that something was wrong. But it wasn’t until I got another call that I knew that the person on the phone wasn’t a real person.
Understanding the root cause: Software or Hardware?
Why you can’t hear calls unless you switch them to speakerphones can be covered in about two scopes: the hardware and the software. Hardware deals with what goes into making a telephone work and software is a set of instructions coded into a program that is displayed when one interacts with their computer.
Depending on the severity of the problem, you may be able to fix a hardware issue yourself. If not, it will probably be cheaper to get a professional opinion.
There is a lot of hardware-software interaction especially in the Android ecosystem, so it’s worth knowing that when you fix one, there’s a much greater chance of discovering that the other has an issue. For example if your software looks fine but your “phone is sluggish” or drains battery pretty quickly. The key thing here is to make sure both areas are looked into when trying to solve one specific problem.
If your battery is being slowly drained out by a third party app, or multiple apps, then swapping the battery will be of no use as problems with the hardware cannot be solved by replacing it which may not change anything about the consuming power of the software.
How to fix ‘Can’t Hear Calls Unless Switched to Speakerphone’
Solution 1: Turn your Call Volume Up
This may sound like basic advice, but sometimes we can’t hear our callers because the volume on our phones is turned down too low. Depending on your phone’s model, the buttons to alter the volume are located in different places, but the common function is increasing the volume by tapping on the upper end of the moving bars and holding for a second or two whilst lowering it in a similar fashion. If changing the screen or button does not improve call quality, these are some troubleshooting steps you can take:
On an Android Phone:
- Go to Settings and tap on ‘Sounds and Notifications’ (different android phones have different names for the same).
- Go to ‘Volumes’ and then check where the dot stands on the slider for ‘Call’ volume.
- If it is low, slide the dot to the extreme right to increase the call volume.
On an iOS Phone:
- Go to Settings, and select ‘Sound and Haptics.’ Select ‘Sound’ on your iPhone if you do not seem to have a ‘Sound and Haptics’ option.
- Turf off ‘Change with Button.’
- Now, use the slider to increase the call volume on your phone.
Solution 2: Clean your Earpiece Port
The earpiece on your phone may have lint from your pocket or clothing that is preventing your callers from hearing you. To avoid this, try to keep lint out of pockets so it does not go through the wringer and into the microphone. You could also reach up and check if there is any debris in your earpiece or if the voice quality is muffled or garbled.
Try to turn on the flash of your camera phone if possible and zoom in to take a close-up picture. It will help you see sizing textures much more clearly. If there is visible dirt, use a thin lint-free cloth moistened with rubbing alcohol only (never water or any other liquid – use only a small amount so that it does not get too wet and penetrate inside the earpiece). If there is a metallic grill over the earpiece, do NOT attempt cleaning it yourself!