iPhone 7 Plus Speaker Problem? Here's Why & The Real Fix.

David Lynch

JANUARY 19, 2017

There's a problem with your iPhone 7 Plus speaker you don't know what to do. Your iPhone 7 Plus software and hardware are involved anytime your speaker makes a sound, so the problem can be difficult to track down. In this article, I'll help you diagnose your iPhone 7 Plus speaker problem and show you how to fix the problem for good.

Why Isn't The Left Speaker Working On The Bottom Of My iPhone? It Is!

When you start to notice iPhone 7 Plus speaker problems, you may also notice that no sound is coming from the left grille on the bottom of your iPhone 7 Plus. Don't worry, this is perfectly normal because the left grille isn't actually a second speaker. Although they look identical, the left grille is a barometric vent, which helps your iPhone 7 Plus measure altitude.

When Apple removed the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 Plus, they decided to add the left grille in it's place for two reasons — to add the barometric vent and make the bottom of the iPhone 7 Plus more visually appealing. It may be a bit confusing, but the left grille is functional and aesthetic. The second speaker is really in the earpiece above the screen of the iPhone 7 Plus.

Is My iPhone 7 Plus Speaker Broken?

Right now, we can't be certain. Before we can diagnose the problem, it's important to understand that both the software and hardware play a role whenever your iPhone 7 Plus makes a sound. The software of your iPhone 7 Plus determines which sounds to play and when to play them. The hardware converts those software instructions into the sounds you hear from the speakers located in the earpiece of your iPhone 7 Plus, and from the right grille at the bottom of your iPhone 7 Plus.

How To Fix iPhone 7 Plus Speaker Problems

8 Steps Total

Check Your Ring/Silent Switch

The Ring/Silent switch is used to quickly and easily turn your ringer on and off. If your switch is flipped to silent, your iPhone won't ring.

How Do I Check My Ring/Silent Switch?

  1. Take a look at your Ring/Silent switch, which is located on the left side of your iPhone.
  2. You'll know the your iPhone is on silent when you see a small, orange line because switch is pulled away from the screen.
  3. To turn your ringer on, pull the switch towards the screen.
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Turn Your iPhone Volume All The Way Up

If the volume on your iPhone is too low, you may not be able to hear audio output from your speakers or headphones. It's easy to flip the silent switch or accidentally turn the volume all the way down on your iPhone, especially if you're using a big, bulky case.

How Do I Turn My iPhone Volume All The Way Up?

There are three ways to turn up volume on your iPhone:

How To Turn Up The Volume Using The Volume Buttons

  1. Unlock your iPhone.
  2. Tap or hold the volume up button which is located on the left side of your iPhone.

Turn Up The Volume In The Settings App

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Sounds & Haptics.
  3. Use the Ringer and Alerts slider to turn the volume all the way up.
  4. If you don't hear anything, you may have a problem with your iPhone speaker.

Turn Up The Volume Using Siri

  1. If you're already listening to something on your iPhone, you can turn up the volume using Siri.
  2. Home button until Siri appears, or say, “Hey Siri."
  3. To turn up the volume say, "Turn up the volume.”
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Make Sure Your iPhone Is Not In Headphones Mode

Your iPhone can be "tricked" into thinking that headphones are plugged in if there is gunk, lint, or other debris in the Lightning (charging) port. If your iPhone thinks that headphones are plugged in, audio won't be streamed through the speakers.

How Do I Make Sure My iPhone Is Not In Headphones Mode?

  1. One quick way to see if your iPhone is stuck in headphones mode is to press the volume buttons on the left side of your iPhone. If the notification that pops up says "Headphones" then your iPhone is in headphones mode.
  2. Using a flashlight, inspect your Lightning port or headphone jack for lint, gunk, or any other debris.
  3. If you see something stuck in your Lightning port, brush it out using an anti-static brush or new toothbrush.
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Disconnect Your iPhone From AirPlay Devices

Disconnect from AirPlay devices to make sure your iPhone isn't streaming audio through another device (such as an Apple TV) rather than your iPhone speaker. Sometimes, your iPhone will automatically reconnect to AirPlay devices that you've used before.

How Do I Disconnect My iPhone From AirPlay Devices?

  1. Open Control Center by swiping up from below the bottom of the screen.
  2. Tap the AirPlay icon airplay mirroring icon which looks like a TV. You'll know your iPhone is connected to an AirPlay device if the AirPlay icon is blue AirPlay icon when on and the name of the device (such as Apple TV) is next to the AirPlay icon.
  3. If you are connected to an AirPlay device, tap Turn Off AirPlay Mirroring.
  4. Now that you are disconnected from AirPlay devices, sounds will be streamed through your iPhone speakers.
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Disconnect Your iPhone From Bluetooth Devices

Turning off Bluetooth is an important troubleshooting step for diagnosing sound or ringer-related iPhone problems. Often times, even though it seems like an iPhone isn't playing sounds at all, the iPhone is connected to a Bluetooth device like an external speaker or headphones, and the sound is playing through that device and not the iPhone. Turning off Bluetooth disconnects your iPhone from those devices and is an easy way to eliminate that possibility.

How Do I Disconnect My iPhone From Bluetooth Devices?

There are three ways to turn off Bluetooth:

Turn Off Bluetooth Using Siri

  1. Press and hold the Home button to activate Siri, or say, "Hey, Siri."
  2. To turn off Bluetooth, say, "Turn off Bluetooth."

Turn Off Bluetooth In The Settings App

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Bluetooth.
  3. Tap the switch next to Bluetooth. You'll know Bluetooth is off when the switch is gray.

Turn Off Bluetooth In Control Center

  1. Open Control Center by swiping up from below the bottom of the screen.
  2. Tap the Bluetooth icon, which looks like a "B" made of triangles. Bluetooth Icon
  3. You'll know Bluetooth is off when the icon is black inside of a gray circle.Bluetooth icon off control center
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Clean Out Your iPhone Speaker

Over the course of a day, a lot of debris can get stuck in your iPhone's speakers, especially if you keep your iPhone in your pocket. If your iPhone speakers are full of lint, dirt, or any other gunk, they may sound muffled or not make any noise at all.

How Do I Clean Out My iPhone Speaker?

  1. Wipe off the speakers using a microfiber cloth.
  2. Clean out more compact debris using an anti-static brush or a brand new toothbrush.
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DFU Restore Your iPhone

A DFU restore has the potential to fix software problems by completely erasing the code which may be causing your problem. The code is rewritten as if  your iPhone is brand new, so the software problem may get solved.

Think of it like a house that has cracks in the foundation. Rather than try and fix the cracks, we are building an entirely new foundation.

If you can, back up your iPhone before completing a DFU restore. Any time you do a restore, it erases everything from your iPhone. However, after the restore is completed, you restore all your backed up data back onto your iPhone.

How Do I DFU Restore My iPhone?

Watch our DFU restore video walkthrough on YouTube, or follow the steps below:

  1. Using a Lightning cable, plug your iPhone into a USB port on your computer.
  2. Open iTunes if you have a PC or Mac running Mojave 10.14 or earlier). Open Finder if you have a Mac running Catalina 10.15 or newer. It doesn’t matter if your iPhone is on or off.
  3. On an iPhone 6s or older, press and hold the Home button and the power button. On an iPhone 7, press and hold the power and volume down button.  
  4. After 8 seconds, release the Power Button, but continue to hold the power button (iPhone 6s or older) the volume down button (iPhone 7).
  5. Let go of the power button or volume down button when your iPhone appears in iTunes or Finder.
  6. Your iPhone’s display will be completely black if you’ve successfully entered DFU mode. If it’s not, try again from the beginning.
  7. Restore your iPhone using iTunes or Finder.
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Repair Your iPhone With Apple

Apple repairs iPhones at the Genius Bar in Apple Stores and through their online mail-in repair service. Apple repairs are high-quality, but out-of-warranty repairs can be much more expensive than third-party solutions. If you're looking to save some money you're not covered by Apple's warranty, you may want to check out our other recommendations.

How Do I Repair My iPhone With Apple?

How To Repair Your iPhone With Apple's Mail-In Service

  1. Visit Apple's support website to begin the online mail-in repair process.
  2. Alternatively, call 1-800-MY-APPLE (1-800-692-7753) to set up a repair.

How To Repair Your iPhone At The Genius Bar Inside Your Local Apple Store

  1. Visit Apple's website to make a Genius Bar appointment before you go into the store. Apple Stores are extremely busy, and if you don't have an appointment, you may have to wait for hours or end up being turned away. (Editor's note: I'm a former Apple tech and we're not exaggerating — please, do yourself a favor and make an appointment first!)
  2. When you arrive, go to the Genius Bar to check in for your appointment.
  3. Genius Bar appointments always include free diagnosis. If you're under warranty, many repairs can be done on the spot, but it all depends upon which parts are in stock. If you're not under warranty, the Genius will give you a quote for the cost of a repair.
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iPhone 7 Plus Speaker Problem: Solved!

We've diagnosed what was causing your iPhone 7 Plus speaker problem and fixed it for good. If you notice that your iPhone 7 Plus speaker isn't working again, you'll know exactly how to solve and fix the problem. Thanks for taking the time to read our article. Leave us a comment down below and if you liked our article, we'd love it if you'd share it with your friends on social media.


David Lynch

Hi, I'm David! I'm here to help you fix problems with your iPhone and help you find a better cell phone plan.

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3 years ago

I had an issue w/ ear speaker (when playing stereo songs) and took to Genius Bar

In 3 minutes he fixed it in the back of the store. He told me he took isopropyl alcohol and cleaned out the ear speaker vent.

It was like brand new

Now the bottom speaker is muffled and I tried his idea (swab w alcohol)
And it’s still quieter than the ear one and muffled