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Audio echo bug plagues iPhone 4S owners during voice calls

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 7:34PM EST

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Following widespread complaints of excessive battery drain thought to be related to a time zone bug, iPhone 4S owners are now beginning to draw attention to a new iPhone bug. According to multiple threads on Apple’s support forum, hundreds of iPhone 4S users are experiencing an audio echo during voice calls when using a wired headset. Users across multiple wireless carriers with various iPhone 4S models report that audio quality on voice calls often depletes after a period of time, and the voice of the caller on the other end of the line begins to echo. BGR was able to independently confirm the echo bug on one of our iPhone 4S handsets. Read on for more.

“When using the Apple hands free headset with the phone during a call, I get an echo problem,” one iPhone 4S owner wrote in a thread on Apple’s support forum. “It does not occur immediately. It can vary from 30 seconds into a call and as far up to 9 mins in before it begins the annoying echo. If I unplug the headset it goes away but will return when I plug the headset back in.”

Multiple readers have contacted BGR via email complaining of the issue as well, which we then tested and confirmed. During our independent testing, we typically found that an echo developed between one and four minutes after starting a call, though some users report that voice calls remain echo-free for up to 12 minutes. We also found that the bug occurs while using Apple-branded wired headsets and third-party headsets alike.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Multiple iPhone owners across a number of forum threads have determined that a simple interim fix for the bug is to enable the handset’s speakerphone during a call once the audio begins to echo, and then to disable it. This effectively restarts the cycle, and call quality will return to normal for a period of time before the echo returns.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.