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What causes muffled voice with an iPhone?

Here at TORRO we are avid iPhone fans and started the company making cases and covers we want to use ourselves that complement the aesthetics of the iPhone as well as being practical and functional. This is not to say we do not love our Android community also as to be fair we are style conscious geeks who like all things tech.

We have received reports over the years regarding muffled voice on iPhone only, bearing in mind we offer the same styles for an array of android handsets it has always been a puzzling question. This only gets mentioned in 0.01 % of cases but we are still keen on getting to the bottom of the issue.

We have worked very hard to replicate the issue in house and out and about using different iPhones in different styles of case and we have never ever been able to replicate a difference in our voice clarity in or out of a case when using iPhone. We have researched the issue and have found a couple of solutions that may be of assistance if you have noticed this.

1 - Depending on the style of the case, if you are in an area of low reception and fold the case back on itself loosely then the extra layer of leather can create a void chamber in-between the back of the handset and the front flap - this chamber allows vibrations to bounce around by the rear microphone housed in the camera assembly muffling the call, to resolve this, simply hold the case with the front flap pressed tightly back on the back of the handset to eliminate the air chamber / void or speak with the cover open and not folded back at all. If you are in an area of poor reception then this problem is exacerbated. See article 

So to summarise this point - fold the cover flush back on itself or do not fold the cover back at all. Folding the cover back on itself but leaving a triangle gap / void can cause muffling to the call. It is most important to make sure the cover is flush against the microphone in the camera assembly.

2 - The second issue we are aware of applies to iPhone 7 and newer models. The iPhone 7 was the first case to be referred to as ‘water resistant’ this works by a small silicon vent which pushes forward to cover the hole preventing water entering the device. When a device is inserted into a case, the air pressure can cause a small vacuum which can knock the silicon vent forward as if the phone had been submerged in water. This seems to occur in a small number of iPhones which have an overactive waterproofing vent. To fix this all you need to do is blow hard on the microphone for 10-15 seconds as if you were blowing up a balloon and it knocks the silicon vent back into place. This is a function you need to perform every time you take the phone out of the case and put it back in. For us this has resolved 99% of customers noise muffling issues.

3 - Holding the handset, please ensure you are not covering the microphone with your hand at all, some people have said that when the phone is in the cover they are muffled but that it goes away when the phone is out of the case, upon investigation we have found that people hold the handset totally differently when the device is in the case and block the microphone with their fingers.

OUR BEST DIAGNOSTIC TEST - If you are unsure and want to get to the root cause quickly our top tip is to use the phone in the case on hands free in your car by using the vehicles bluetooth handsfree mic and speakers etc. If the call is clear with no difficulty being heard then chances are there is a hardware issue whereby our recommendation 1 should be considered for handheld use. If the call is muffled on handsfree then we suggest this is a carrier or hardware issue with your device.

If the call is clear on handsfree but the problem persists with the phone in the case after recommendation 1 has been carried out then it is 99% likely to be recommendation 2 to fix the problem.

We have never ever had a single iPhone user still report muffled voice after conducting these checks. This is simply a quirk of the iPhone. We also understand this list is not conclusive and there may be other issues, for example we once heard from a customer that a software update resolved the problem. Again we have never had a customer left disappointed with their TORRO case so we hope this guide resolves any tiny quirks with the iPhone.