I have a 6s with iOS 9.3x installed. Out of the blue, the speaker volume became barely audible. By speaker I mean the the loud speaker at the bottom of the phone.

I've used headphones and bluetooth to see whether those are affected as well - those continue to work fine.

I've done the following - none fixed the problem:

  • Restarted the unit multiple times.
  • I've cleaned out the speaker and headphone jack.
  • I've blown compressed air at the problem spots.
  • I've toggled Settings/General/Accessibility/Phone Noise Cancellation and Hearing Aids options.
  • Various miscellaneous things that I've read about here and there.

I know that if I take it to Apple store, they will suggest restoring a new phone, which I don't want to do. Other than reinstalling the OS, what else can I do to try and fix this issue?

  • Have you tried Settings/Music/EQ or Sound Check. Both should be off. – bret7600 Jul 16 '17 at 12:28
  • @bret7600 Both are off. – AngryHacker Jul 16 '17 at 16:09
  • Just took a needle, and clear the upper layer of the speakers, do not put the needle too deep in the speaker hole. Repeat this with each speaker hole. – sirajalam049 Jun 4 '18 at 13:31
  • Big thanks to all the answers, I was about to throw away my Iphone 6s plus until I have read this solution, use my old tooth brush to clean the lower speaker where is protected by filter then the loud speaker doubled 3 times Thanks for the very simple and smart solution – Daniel Jan 6 '19 at 15:52
  • @Daniel Depending on the hardness of your toothbrush, you might need to be extremely careful. – AngryHacker Jan 6 '19 at 19:13

Answering my own question.

Got it fixed. In case someone else has this issue, I took it to the Apple store. Turns out the speaker got clogged with microscopic particles (lint, sand, etc...) since I spend a lot of time outdoors. They have a very fine brush that can get those things out. The whole process took like 5 minutes.

  • How much they charged you in your country? – Vin Nov 12 '18 at 9:07
  • @Vin Nothing. They just brought out the brush, cleaned the speaker with it for 30 seconds and it was all done. Most of the time was taken by locating the brush. Subsequently I had a similar problem with my iPad, took it in, and had an identical superb experience. – AngryHacker Nov 12 '18 at 19:09

The solution you mention worked perfectly for me. I have an iPhone 6 and speaker volume was painfully low (I even thought I was getting deaf). Speakerphone calls were simply impossible to handle.

Instead of taking it to the Mac store, I used one of my camera's lens cleaning brush (NIKKON LENS PEN is $5 dollars at Amazon) and in less than 1 minute, sound was doubled to my estimation.

The benefit of having an Apple technician clean your device is if they break it (pushing in the bristles too far), they may have the ability to have the business repair the device at no cost to you. The down side of having an Apple technician is you have to go to them and travel and perhaps wait. If you're comfortable with a gentle toothbrush and won't press the gunk in deeper and make it worse, go ahead and try a DIY cleaning.

As long as the substance isn't oily or going to get compacted, you can clean your speaker grills quite effectively with light air or a mechanical duster.

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