FIX: iPhone Only Works on Speaker [Guaranteed Tested Methods]

The iPhone is popular due to its sleek design, intuitive interface, high-quality cameras, fast processors, and security features. However, like all devices, iPhones can experience software and hardware issues, such as battery life, screen responsiveness, and connectivity problems.

The iPhone’s earpiece is an essential component that directly impacts the user’s experience. However, it’s not uncommon for iPhone owners to experience issues with the earpiece, such as only working on speaker mode. This can be frustrating and affect the phone’s functionality. In this article, we’ll explore the common causes of earpiece malfunctions and provide troubleshooting tips to fix the issue.

The iPhone 14 series | Apple

Common reasons for earpiece malfunction

Understanding the root cause of the issue is key to finding the right solution. Hardware and software problems are the two most common causes of iPhone only working on speaker. 

Hardware issues frequently involve an obstructed or dirty earpiece, which can block sound. It also can be due to a damaged or problematic earpiece speaker resulting from physical damage, water exposure, or manufacturing flaws. Because of these problems, hearing can be limited unless the speaker mode is activated.

However, compatibility issues that affect the phone’s performance and earpiece operation can result from using an out-of-date version of iOS. Incorrectly set up-settings, such as call audio routing, can potentially cause this issue. 

Troubleshooting and fixing issues

Follow these methods to resolve hardware and software issues with the earpiece on your iPhone:

1. Restart Your iPhone 

Restart your iPhone | Business Insider

Many iPhone problems can be resolved by simply restarting the device. If you haven’t restarted your phone in a while, the RAM couldn’t clear all the temporary data it has cached since the last reboot. 

Just turn off your phone, leave it off for at least 60 seconds, and then turn it back on to solve the problem. 

2. Check your sound settings

Sometimes faulty sound settings can be the reason for this issue. You might have lowered your phone’s volume to its lowest or switched on silent mode. Check if the phone’s volume is up and see if the Ring/Silent switch on the side of your phone is off.

iPhone Ring\Silent button | Macworld

To confirm if it is off, make sure that it is facing toward the direction of the screen, or you should not see orange color on one side of the button.

Furthermore, Make sure Do Not Disturb is disabled by navigating to Settings > Focus > Do Not Disturb.

Turn off Do Not Disturb mode

3. Clean your receivers and speakers

Take off any protective screen protectors or cases from your gadget. Find out if the speaker port is obstructed or filthy. Make sure the iPhone’s receiver is not obstructed or unclean. Use a small, soft-bristled brush to clean the port on the speaker or receiver if necessary.

It’s important to use a clean, dry brush to avoid introducing moisture to the device as it can damage the internal components of your iPhone.

4. Gently press the earpiece and blow air with the mouth

Thumb pressure on the top, between the speaker and the front camera, has fixed the earpiece for some users. If there is a blockage in the earpiece, this can assist in removing it.

You can also try blowing into the earpiece with your mouth, but be careful not to release moisture, which could increase the problem. Try using the earpiece again after making these adjustments to determine if the problem persists.

A dirty iPhone earpiece | 9To5Mac

5. Inspecting the earpiece for damage

While cleaning the earpiece, look for visible damage marks, such as cracks or signs of water exposure. Without physical damage, a soft reset or iOS update can be tried to eliminate software problems.

6. Updating iOS

Regularly updating your device guarantees the most recent security patches and performance enhancements. An incompatible earpiece can result from using an older version of iOS.

  1. Proceed to General > Software Update in the Settings menu. Your phone will routinely look for software upgrades.
  2. Click “Download and Install” if an update is available, then follow the on-screen prompts to complete the process. Your device will automatically restart once the update is finished, which could take some time.
Ensure your iPhone has enough battery life or is charged and connected to a Wi-Fi network before starting the update procedure as iOS updates can be large and may require a stable internet connection to download and install.
Check iPhone for iOS update

7. Reset settings or perform a factory reset

If you’ve tried everything above and can’t get your phone to work, restoring it from a factory backup is the last resort. All of your iPhone’s data and configurations will be deleted. 

Here’s how to perform a complete reset of your iPhone:

Note: Please ensure a recent iCloud backup is available.

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Go to General
  3. Tap Transfer or Reset
  4. Select Erase All Content and Settings  
Reset settings or Factory Reset

Your phone will restart once you’ve confirmed your selection. When the loading bar disappears, you can set up your phone as if it were brand new. 

8. Seeking professional help

Apple Support

If the earpiece on your iPhone is malfunctioning despite your best efforts to fix and avoid the problem, you should contact an expert. Make an appointment with the Genius Bar at any Apple Store, call Apple’s support line, or take your device to an approved service provider. 

Do not try to fix the problem alone, as this would likely void the warranty and cause even more problems. Put your iPhone in the hands of experts for maintenance and repairs.

Preventive measures to avoid earpiece issues

Take good care of your iPhone | Konstatic via Canva

If you take good care of your iPhone and develop healthy routines, you can avoid problems with the earpiece in the future. If you want your gadget to last as long as possible and work as intended, you should take the following preventative measures:

Clean the earpiece regularly

Keep the earpiece free of obstructions by regularly cleaning it with a lightweight brush or compressed air.

Avoid extreme temperatures

Your iPhone’s earpiece and other internal components are vulnerable to damage from temperature extremes.

Update your device and apps

Always ensure your iOS and apps are up-to-date, and install any necessary updates for maximum compatibility and performance.

Be cautious with third-party apps

To prevent installing apps that can interfere with your device’s functionality, only download them from reliable sources like the Apple App Store and always read reviews first.

Final Verdict

iPhone users can experience earpiece issues, making it difficult to hear voice messages or calls without speaker mode. By identifying the underlying causes of the problem, whether it’s a hardware or software issue, you can employ a variety of troubleshooting processes to fix it.

This issue can be resolved by restarting the device, cleansing the earpiece, updating the iOS, and resetting the settings. If none of these solutions work, Apple Support or an authorized service provider should be contacted for assistance. Your iPhone’s earpiece will last longer and perform better if you take preventative actions and treat it carefully to avoid future problems.


Khalid Ali

Khalid is a versatile analyst honing his expertise for the past 5 years. With certifications from Google and IBM to back him up, his knowledge extends far beyond the routine coverage of the latest trends and in the industry.