phone switches to speaker while on call

iOS & iPadOS

I have an IPhone SE running ios11.26. My phone is constantly switching to the speaker phone while on a call. What happens is it makes the lock sound and will go on speaker phone and I have to press the home button and raise the phone back to my ear to get it off speaker. I've had this issue off and on for a while now but seems to be getting worse. I've tried a backup and a restore with the same problem. I've also cleaned the sensor and the area around it. Could this be a hardware problem?



Submitted by Nicholas on Sunday, March 25, 2018

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

Hello Troy,

I have the same issue and hardware/OS. After digging around in Settings I found an option in the VoiceOver settings called, Auto select speaker in call. Apparently, if turned on, this setting will auto-select the speaker for the audio from calls whenever the phone is not held to the ear. Mine was on by default. I turned it off, but have not received a phone call yet to test it. Maybe this is responsible?

Go to:
Home screen, Settings, General, VoiceOver, Audio, and check this setting. Mine was on by default.
Hope this helps both of us. :-)

Submitted by cool cat on Sunday, March 25, 2018

When talking on the phone it kept switching back and forth from the earpeice and the speaker which is really annoying. I did what Nicholas mentioned at a earlier time and it worke.d

hi, Since Ios 11 the sensor has become much much more sensitive. I have this problem too, and on a phone I've had since Ios 8. so it's not hardware. It's 11. I'm loathe to turn it off but I might soon, because when it goes back and forth, people can't understand me while it's cutting in and out of speaker. but it's sad because I liked the feature that let you take it away from your ear and put it on speaker.

Submitted by Aidan JK on Thursday, August 29, 2019

Sorry I know this thread is old but i’d like to know if people are still experiencing this. I’m running latest iOS on iPhone 7 and it ruins the phone app for me. I don’t want to have to turn speech off, or lose the ability to switch to speaker as a deliberate choice by changing the setting.
It tends to happen when:
1. I make a call that’s HD compatible. It switches to speaker when they answer.
2. Often a short while after a notification sound. BO announces “Screen locked” and the switch happens again. It is possible to put it back to the earpiece by pressing the unlock button, but then the sensor is ridiculously oversensitive. So you have to remove it completely from your ear and put it back again, until the next time.
This does not happen with other apps that make use of the sensor, such as Messenger.

Submitted by Wahid Raza on Friday, August 30, 2019

What you have discribe is same on IOS 12.4.1
Im facing all the same issues, as discribe above comment
Is their any workaround? For same?
Or its a IOS bug with VO.
Others also share their experiences and workaround.

Thank you.
Wearing a Bluetooth headset would be one way to get around it. Another would be to go to the Voiceover settings and, in audio settings, switch off the setting to auto-select speaker. Not very helpful though, if you need to input numbers whilst on a call, for example to select options or dial an extension.
Potentially toggling speech off with a 3-finger double tap could be another solution, but you might miss out on information coming through the earpiece, for example if you receive a second call.

None of these things should have to be used to make a phone function as a phone. i’ve spoken to at least one other person who has this issue too. The more replies we get, the more effective this link would be if submitted as part of a bug report. Or maybe they will finally fix it in iOS 13. :)

Submitted by Davis on Friday, October 2, 2020

I've tried all the suggestions and they don't work! This is a brand new I-phone SE for me--I'm not happy!