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Phone Can’t Hear Caller Unless on Speaker? Here’s the fix

They designed calls to be private by default. Your calls will always be somewhat silent, requiring you to bring the speaker at the upper part of your phone closer to your ear to hear anything that the other party has to say in a phone call.

You know there’s a problem when you have to enable the speaker to hear the other person during a phone call. Not only does that intrude on your privacy, it’s also very inconvenient because enabling speaker on your phone causes lots of noise because of the sensitivity of the mic.

In this article, I’ll show you what to do if you can’t hear a caller on your phone unless you’re on loudspeaker. Also, you’ll learn what may cause this problem and how to avoid future occurrences of the issue in your devices.

How to Fix Phone Can’t Hear Caller Unless on Speaker

As hinted in the introduction, there are several reasons you might face this problem with your Android phone. While it’s often from the software, you shouldn’t rule out the possibility of it being a hardware fault.

Instead of enabling the speaker each time you have a call, you’d be better off trying to fix the problem to keep your calls truly private. This article will suggest some tricks to try when you have this problem to fix the problem with your phone’s call speaker.

Since I can’t tell what the problem is with your device specifically, this article will have to cover all the issues and their appropriate solutions. You can consider implementing them one after another until you find one that works for you.

Without further ado, here is some of the way to fix the phone can’t hear caller unless on speaker issue.

  • Increase your device’s volume

In some cases, the primary reason you’re unable to hear what the other person on a call is saying is because your device’s volume is so low that you can’t even hear it. If that happens to be the case, you’re in luck, since it only requires a very easy fix.

While the fix is pretty easy, it can also be tricky, no thanks to the separation of volumes on Android. Most Android phones (and all iPhones) have three or four different volumes that are all controllable using a single set of volume buttons.

If you try to change the volume levels from your homepage, you’ll likely only be changing the regular notifications volume and not the call volume. In short, your phone will ring loudly when you receive a call, but as soon as you pick the call, the volume goes south.

To increase the volume for calls specifically, you’ll have to dial a number on your phone. Once it rings, press the volume up button repeatedly until you’re comfortable with the volume level. In most cases, that should let your phone’s volume become a bit more acceptable.

  • Change your phone’s case

While this isn’t a likely scenario, there are times when your phone’s case is the reason you can’t hear the person on the other end of a call. Everything starts to make sense when you understand how you can hear people during a call in the first place.

Your phone has a speaker at the upper part, near the front facing cameras and proximity sensor. This speaker is used exclusively for calls, which explains why we put our phones next to our ears during silent calls. That way, the speaker is directly next to your ear, making it easier to hear the caller.

However, some poorly designed cases cover this speaker, blocking the sound signals from reaching your ears. If that happens to be the case, you have only two options: you can either find a way to unblock the speaker or change the case entirely.

For the most convenient experience, I’ll recommend changing your phone’s case. There’s almost no good way to make the speaker work well over the long term, while keeping the same case. Instead of having to struggle with your case every couple of weeks, why not remove it altogether?

  • Reconnect the call

If it happens that the issue is only one-off, it may cause a slight temporary interference in network. This sort of interference is usually fixable by disconnecting the call and starting a new call all over. In some cases, that fixes the network interference and allows you to hear the caller on the other end.

To be more specific, you can disconnect the call by tapping on the big red button on the call screen. Then, navigate to your call logs and dial the number again to reconnect the call, hopefully fixing any issues with hearing or not hearing the caller on the other end.

  • See a technician

If you still can’t hear the person on the other end of a telephone conversation after trying all the fix above, it’s most likely a hardware fault. Your phone’s ear speaker has likely developed a fault that you can’t solve using software, requiring a visit to a technician.

If your device is still under warranty, you can send it back to the manufacturer for a free repair, or even possible, a replacement. Otherwise, you can patronize any of the local repair shops around you and get your phone fixed for a couple of dollars at most. 

READ MORE: My phone isn’t receiving calls? Here’s the fix


Several decades after the invention of the telephone, its main function remains calling and receiving calls. Anything that hinders a smartphone from doing that constitutes a serious problem, calling for instant correction, as in this case.

If your phone can’t hear caller unless on speaker, you should consider implementing the tips in this article. In most cases, one of them should work for you, but that’s not a guarantee. The only guaranteed fix is getting the phone to a repairer, who’ll certainly diagnose the problem and fix your phone for a few bucks.

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