A number of iPhone X users are complaining about poor sound quality from the new handset’s front-facing earpiece speaker when it is at high volume. The complaints allege that some users are hearing buzzing or crackling sounds when using the device, regardless of whether this is while making phone calls, listening to music, watching videos, or using apps.
While it doesn’t appear to affect every iPhone X unit, the issue has been widely reported on social media, as well as on websites such as Reddit. It’s not clear whether this is a software issue or possibly one involving the new iPhone’s hardware.
Interestingly, it sounds a whole lot like a problem Apple has previously acknowledged — and claimed to have fixed — with the iPhone 8. iOS 11.0.2. arrived in early October, supposedly fixing a crackling earpiece issue on the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. The issue only affected a small number of iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus earpieces, but resulted in a distracting static noise during calls.
This isn’t the first issue that has been reported by iPhone X users. A number of iPhone X owners have already claimed to be affected by an issue with the OLED screen on the iPhone X that causes a green line to appear on the side of the display.
Ultimately, it’s no great surprise that Apple would experience a few teething problems with its new handset. Not only is it Apple’s most radical redesign since 2014’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, thereby opening up new potential issues, but the large quantities of iPhone Apple is making means that a small percentage of affected units still adds up to a decent number.
As my colleague Buster Hein has pointed out, even if issues like this affect .001% of handsets, that can appear to be a lot when you’re trying to sell 80 million iPhones in a quarter.
It’s worth noting, though, that if you do have an iPhone X with an issue affecting its usage, Apple will swap it out for you for free at your local Apple Store.