7 Must-Try Fixes If Phone Speakers Don’t Work

By | March 8, 2022

While your phone is built to withstand harsh environments, it is not always dust-resistant. That often results in muffled sound output or worse, dead speakers.

Luckily, if you’re facing speaker issues, you don’t have to book a service center appointment just yet. Here are some troubleshooting and fixing steps that you can try to bring your Android speaker back to life.

Check for Software Problems

Before we dive into the actual troubleshooting for your speakerphone, you should make sure that the problem is an actual hardware malfunction. There are several ways you can do this.

The first step is simply to reboot. This will restart all background services and give your phone a clean state, in case anything has been stuck since your last reboot.

Next, you need to check if your phone’s audio output is set to the built-in speaker. If you regularly connect your phone to wireless headphones or speakers, it may still be connecting to other devices.

Go to Settings > Connected devices to see if your phone is connected to the Bluetooth audio output. After this, you should head to the Sound section of Settings and confirm that you accidentally enabled Do Not Disturb or Silent mode.

Also, we recommend testing the speakers by turning the volume down to the lowest setting and then raising it to the maximum level. Try playing music on both levels to make sure it doesn’t get stuck.

You can also try a volume booster app. It tries to artificially pump the sound output, which can work if your phone’s sound is stuck at a low level by mistake.

The music app of your choice is also to blame here. So a more conclusive way is to play a ringtone or alarm from your phone’s audio settings. You can do this by going to Settings > Sounds > Phone Ringtones and selecting one of the many available options. Make sure your call volume is turned up while doing this.

Manually Disable Headphone Output

When you unplug the accessory from the audio jack, Android may fail to process this event, leaving your phone stuck in headphone mode. That means your speakers will be muted, even if you have removed your earphones.

Usually, you can resolve this bug with a standard reboot. But if that doesn’t work, you can try a free app, which is called Disable Headphone. With the flick of a switch, Disable Headphones lets you manually force the phone to leave headphone mode and play sound through its speakers.

Disable the Headphone function in the opposite way too. For whatever reason, if your phone is unable to transmit audio through a connected accessory, you can enable headphone mode manually using the app.

Download: Turn Off Headphones (Free)

Try Safe Mode

Android lets you launch a stripped-down mode that only runs the original software your phone shipped with. By doing so, you can troubleshoot your phone without any third party services or apps interfering with the diagnosis. This is called safe mode, and it is present in every Android phone.

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To enter safe mode, press and hold the power button. In the resulting prompt, touch and hold the Power Off button, then press OK when you see the prompt. Your phone will immediately restart in safe mode. You can easily leave safe mode by repeating the procedure, selecting the Restart option a second time.

Note that the steps for safe mode may differ depending on your Android device. If nothing appears when you follow the steps above, try a Google search for your model or check the official support forums.

Clean Speaker Grills

As previously mentioned, your smartphone’s speaker vents often accumulate dust over time. This can hinder their ability to make sound. At this point, you should try to clean the grill yourself to remove as many obstacles as possible.

You can start by blowing air into the speakers, either using your mouth or a can of compressed air. Also, you can try sucking up small crumbs and debris using a vacuum cleaner. This can affect the internals of your phone, so you should be careful if you try this.

Another good option is to gently scrub the speaker grill with an old toothbrush, which will help loosen the dirt. If you are feeling very confident and your phone is easy to disassemble, you can try getting inside and blowing the dust from the inside as well.

Do a Hard Reset

Testing your phone in safe mode, as above, rules out the possibility of a third party app being the cause. If your speakerphone is working fine in safe mode, you can try to isolate the problem to a specific app, setting, or device. If you only have these speaker issues after making changes to these options, try undoing what you changed.

If that fails, you can go ahead and perform a hard reset. You can give this factory reset shooting although switching to safe mode has no effect. By doing this, your phone starts up again and you eliminate the possibility of any software wreaking havoc on the speakers. You’ll often find the option to reset in Settings > System > Advanced > Reset options, but you can use the search bar at the top of the Settings app if you don’t see it.

Water Accident? Let Dry

One of the most common consequences of water damage to your phone is a malfunctioning speaker. The liquid can quickly reach the internal components connected to the open grill. So, if you have speaker issues after such an accident, let your phone dry.

There are several methods to dry a wet phone. You can blow hot air into it, throw it in a bowl of rice, and more. Whatever you do, turn off your phone immediately and let it dry completely before trying to boot it up again.

Next, you can try downloading an app like Speaker Cleaner. It will play a vibrating sound to unplug the speaker and pump water out of it. It has a proven track record and doesn’t cost anything, even if that includes advertising.

Download: Speaker Cleaner (Free, premium version available)

If none of these steps worked for you, you are most likely experiencing a hardware failure. You should book an appointment with a trusted service center and have it checked by a professional.

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