8 Ways to Fix It When an iPhone Speaker Is Not Working

Whether it's an ear speaker or a call speaker, the reasons why an iPhone speaker is acting up range from ringer/mute issues to the audio output setting

Whether it's the iPhone ear or call speaker that isn't working, both have the potential to be a bigger problem than you might expect. Even if you have headphones for listening to music, without the sound coming from the speaker, you can't hear incoming calls, alert tones, text notifications, and other features.

This article covers eight easy ways to fix the most common reasons your iPhone isn't making the sounds it should.

Reasons Why the Speaker on Your iPhone Isn't Working During Calls, Notifications, or Other Situations

Fixing an iPhone when a speaker doesn't work isn't necessarily hard, but it can be tricky. That's because many things can potentially cause an iPhone's speaker to remain silent.

For example, the phone could be on mute without you realizing it, Bluetooth might be sending the sound somewhere else, or audio output settings might be messing things up. Most of the time, the exact cause of a faulty iPhone speaker isn't clear until you've tried the corresponding fix.

If the speaker is working but doesn't sound as loud or clear as it should, you may need to skip the software and clean the iPhone speakers.

How to Fix a Non-Working iPhone Speaker

If your iPhone speaker isn't working properly, follow these steps, in order, to troubleshoot the problem and get it working again.

  1. Check the iPhone ringer and volume. On the side of every iPhone are three buttons: the ringer/mute switch and two volume buttons. The ringer/mute switch disables all sound for calls and notifications, while the volume buttons control the overall volume of the device.

    To get your iPhone speakers working again, toggle the ringer switch. Do this by flipping it down (or towards the back of the phone) so that the orange underlay appears, then flip it back up. Also, raise the volume on the phone as high as it will go.

    iPhone ringer switches showing Ringer On, Ringer Off and Volume Buttons
    Apple Inc.
  2. Check the sound settings. It could be that you turned off sounds related to certain functions of the phone, such as ringtones for incoming calls, notifications, or other functions. Go to Settings > Sounds & Haptics and check the settings there.

    Then, adjust any of the following: Adjust the volume slider, move the Change with Buttons toggle switch to on/green, set a new ringtone, or set a new text tone.

  3. Check if the iPhone is stuck in headphone mode. The iPhone can only send audio output to one place at a time. Your iPhone speakers could be working fine but may be stuck in headphone mode. This is a bug that causes the iPhone to send audio to the headphones, even if the headphones aren't plugged in.

  4. Turn off Bluetooth. The iPhone speaker can't play sounds if the audio is sent from the iPhone to another device. You may not hear anything because your iPhone is sending audio to a different speaker, such as a Bluetooth speaker.

    If so, turning off Bluetooth breaks the connection to the speaker and plays audio through the iPhone speaker again. To turn off Bluetooth, select Settings > Bluetooth, then move the Bluetooth toggle switch to off/white.

  5. Check the audio output settings. Your iPhone might be connected to an external speaker via AirPlay without you knowing. In this situation, switch the audio output settings away from the AirPlay speaker and back to the built-in iPhone speaker to receive sound from the iPhone speaker. To do that, open Control Center, then select the AirPlay icon in the upper-right corner of the music playback control. Select iPhone if it is not already selected.

  6. Restart the iPhone. This may not solve the problem if nothing else has, but it's quick and easy, and restarting the iPhone can solve a range of problems. It's possible that your iPhone speaker is not working because of a temporary software glitch. If that's the case, restarting it may clear out that glitch.

  7. Update the operating system. Updating the operating system can solve software problems. Software updates also fix bugs that may appear from time to time. It could be that your iPhone speaker isn't working because of a bug present in the current version of iOS.

    Like with a restart, this isn't the most likely fix, but it has the potential to help. Plus, since updates are free and quick to install, it's worth a try.

  8. Get support from Apple. If nothing you tried has fixed the problem, and if your iPhone still has no sound, consult the experts at Apple. It's likely that the phone has a hardware problem and will need a repair to fix it. Take your iPhone to the nearest Apple Store or get support over the phone. If you take it to an Apple Store, make an appointment to get help right away.

  • What do I do if my iPhone's microphone isn't working?

    If your iPhone isn't picking up sound, it could be due to settings, an app, Bluetooth, an outdated version of iOS, or physical blockage. Depending on the issue, you might need to restart your iPhone, check your settings, download an update, or carefully clean the microphone.

  • Why is my iPhone's speakerphone not working?

    If you tap the speakerphone icon and the sound stops completely, there's probably a problem with your iPhone's speaker or microphone. First, try closing the Phone app, then reopening it. If the problem persists, shut down and restart your iPhone and check for iOS updates. If those fixes don't work, reset your network settings.

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