Android Phone Speaker Fixes

I can't hear anything on my Android phone

There's nothing more annoying than when you're talking hands-free and your phone speaker goes mute. If the speaker is not working on your Android device, there are a dozen troubleshooting techniques you can try to restore the volume.

Instructions in this article apply broadly to all smartphones and tablets running the Android OS.

How to Fix It When the Speaker Is Not Working on Your Android Device

Follow these steps to uncover the cause of the problem:

  1. Turn on the speaker. If you can’t hear anyone on the other end during a call, check to see if the speaker is enabled. If it is activated, the speaker icon is green or highlighted. If it's not, tap the speaker icon so that it lights up to enable it.

    You can hear through the earpiece even if the speaker is disabled.

  2. Turn up the in-call volume. If the speaker is enabled, the volume may be turned down too low. Press the volume up button on your phone. This tends to be on the left side of most phones. Press this button to display the volume level indicator. To increase the volume, press the button or slide the volume indicator to the right until you hear the other person speaking.

    The only way to test and set the in-call volume is to be in a call. Make a test call to your voicemail to experiment with the in-call settings.

  3. Adjust the app sound settings. Some apps, such as Facebook, allow you to mute the sound separately from the main volume control. If you don't hear sound in one particular application, check the app’s sound settings. You might have the sound muted or turned down low in the app.

  4. Check the media volume. If you still don't hear anything, verify that the media volume isn’t turned down or off:

    1. Navigate to Settings.
    2. Tap Sounds and vibration.
    3. Tap Volume.
    4. Move the Media slider to the right to increase volume.

    Alternatively, press the volume up or volume down buttons on your device, then tap the down arrow in the upper-right corner of the screen to reveal the sound mixer settings.

  5. Make sure Do Not Disturb isn’t enabled. This handy feature could be the culprit for no sound. To disable this setting, navigate to Settings and turn off the Do not disturb toggle.

    Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) displays the following options: Total silence, Alarms only, and Priority only.

  6. Make sure your headphones aren’t plugged in. Most Android phones automatically disable the external speaker when headphones are plugged in. This could also be the case if your headphones aren’t completely seated in the audio jack.

  7. Remove your phone from its case. Some phone holsters or cases may muffle the sound. Remove your Android phone from its case, then test the sound. You'll notice immediately if the sound improves.

  8. Reboot your device. A reboot often clears up any software glitches that may disable the sound. Press and hold the power button until you see a set of options on the screen. Tap Restart to reboot your phone.

  9. Turn off your device and turn it back on. If rebooting doesn't do the trick, your phone may have some technical issue that requires you to turn it off and on. Press and hold the power button, and then tap Power off. Once you power your phone back on, test the sound with an app.

  10. Reinsert the battery. Not all phone models have removable batteries, but if yours does, remove and reinsert the battery to completely reset the phone without wiping your data. Consult the cellphone manufacturer’s manual or website for details.

  11. Clean the speaker. Speakers get dirty or clogged, so a bit of cleaning could make sounds clear again. Before you clean the speaker, turn off the phone and remove the battery. Use a can of compressed air to blow quick bursts into the speaker. You'll see some lint and other debris after blowing it out. You may be able to blow through the speaker without opening the case.

    Consult your phone’s manual or a smartphone dealer for help with this process. Do not attempt to clean the speaker if you aren’t familiar with smartphone hardware, or if your device is under warranty.

  12. Reset all settings. Before you take your phone back to the store, reset the phone to its default state. When you reset your phone’s settings to the default, any app or software setting that may have disabled the speaker is eliminated.

  13. Check your device’s manual. If the above tricks don't work, consult your device's documentation or the manufacturer's website for more specific guidance.

Still having trouble? It might be time to throw down some dollars for a new Android. We've tested a lot of them; take a look at our recommendations to see what might work for you and your budget.

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