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iPhone 15 might have a speaker issue that needs fixing

Published Oct 6th, 2023 7:26PM EDT
iPhone 15 Pro Max Screen
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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Thankfully, Apple recently addressed the overheating issue impacting the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max. Apple rolled out a software update for iOS 17 this week, and best of all, it didn’t even need to throttle the performance of that A17 Pro chip.

But there might be another issue Apple needs to fix: The speaker. Some users have complained on social media about speaker noises that appear when playing sound at louder levels. A TikTok user revealed they took the iPhone 15 Pro Max to Apple for replacement. The company acknowledged the sound issue, replacing it twice. The issue seems to persist.

iPhone 15 owners have observed the issue when playing sound (including videos and calls) with the volume set at over 80%. They describe it as a crackling or rattling sound or as if there’s water inside the speaker. The problem appears to impact the top speaker primarily.

In a video, TikTok user MilesAboveTech explained that Apple acknowledged the issue and replaced his iPhone 15 Pro Max twice. But all three units ended up manifesting the same speaker symptoms.

Moreover, he went to an Apple store to try various iPhone 15 models and found that all four versions could exhibit the same sound issues.

It’s unclear how widespread the problem is. Miles is just one of the iPhone 15 buyers who have detailed the sound problem online. Also, it looks like Apple is confirming the issues by swapping out the defective phones. That’s one thing to consider if the crackling sounds bother you. But it also looks like replacement units come with the same sound problem.

A better idea might be waiting for Apple to address the matter publicly. It may be that a software issue fixes the speaker problems on all iPhone 15 phones. You won’t have to return the handset if that’s the case.

If it’s a hardware issue and speaker components are to blame, Apple will likely fix the problem at the manufacturing level. That means future iPhone 15 models will not suffer from the same issue. And that will be the time to exchange your iPhone 15 for a replacement.

I’m only speculating, as I cannot know what causes the sound issues or how Apple will fix this problem. I’m still using an iPhone 14 Pro, and I don’t plan on upgrading to the new iPhone. Also, I haven’t encountered sound issues since buying it last year.

Considering that Apple has already confirmed the overheating issues for the iPhone 15 Pro models, I’d expect the company to also address the sound problems in the near future. That’s if the speaker issue is as widespread.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.