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How to fix distorted sound, crackling earpiece bug on the iPhone X during phone calls [Troubleshooting Guide]

Some owners of the iPhone X were purportedly experiencing an annoying issue during phone calls. Reports have it that the iPhone X seemed to be making this odd crackling earpiece noise or distorted sound when having phone conversations. Many have speculated that it’s a hardware issue like a defective speaker or built-in audio component while others deemed it among other iOS glitches.

Should this be inflicted by the latter factor, performing some workarounds will likely solve the problem. And to give you some inputs, I highlighted some potential solutions for you to try on. Feel free to refer to this walkthrough if you need more help dealing with the same issue on your iPhone X.

For those who are looking for a solution to a different problem, drop by our troubleshooting page for we have already addressed some of the most common issues with this phone. Browse through the page to find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work for you or if you still need our help, contact us anytime through our iPhone issues questionnaire.

First solution: Clear all background apps the restart the Phone app.

If the symptom suddenly occurs on your iPhone X and this is the very first occurrence, then it could be just a random glitch transpiring on the Phone application. This is often the case if the app has been kept running in the background and eventually crashed. A potential solution is therefore to restart the Phone app on your iPhone X. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Swipe up and then pause from the Home screen.
  2. Then swipe right or left to navigate through app previews.
  3. Swipe up on an app’s preview to close individual background apps.

Clearing all background apps can also help clear out rogue apps from the possible triggers. Background apps that were corrupted may also affect other app’s functions thus, they must be rid of.

Second solution: Soft reset your iPhone X.

A more effective solution to minor app glitches and random software issues is a soft reset or restart on the phone system. It also a way of clearing junk files that are stored among other cached files on the internal memory, which may be inflicting problems to the phone app. To soft reset your iPhone X, follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Side button and either Volume button simultaneously for a few seconds.
  2. Release both buttons when the Slide to Power off command appears.
  3. Drag the Power off slider to the right to turn off the phone.
  4. After 30 seconds, press and hold the Side button again until the Apple logo appears then release.

Allow the phone to finish booting up and then make some test calls to see if you still hear some distorted noise or crackling earpiece. Continue to troubleshoot and try other potential solutions, if the problem persists.

Third solution: Update your iPhone X to the latest iOS version available.

If this is proven a widespread software problem, then Apple must have considered rolling out a fix patch. That said, installing the latest iOS update on your phone can be the key to fixing it. If you haven’t yet updated your iPhone X to iOS version 12 or 12.1, then this could be the right time to update. Aside from bringing in new features, the latest update also offers fixes to random problems inflicted by software bugs. You can check your update notifications and see if a new iOS version is up for grabs.

First, check and ensure your iPhone is connected to the Internet through Wi-Fi. A strong and stable Wi-Fi Internet access is a key requisite to downloading and installing over-the-air (OTA) updates. Also ensure that your phone has at least 50 percent battery life to prevent update interruption from battery drain.

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Then tap Software Update.
  4. If an update is available, you will see a notification that says so. Before you start downloading the new update, back up all your important data for safekeeping.
  5. Then tap Download and Install when you’re ready.

Follow the rest of the onscreen instructions to finish downloading and installing the latest iOS update on your iPhone X. Don’t forget to reboot/soft reset your phone afterwards, to ensure that all new system changes are properly implemented and likewise to prevent apps from acting up following the recent platform changes.

Fourth solution: Reset all settings on the phone.

If the problem happens to be a post-update glitch like when you just started hearing distorted sounds or crackling earpiece after installing the latest update to iOS, then resetting all settings on the iPhone can help clear the glitch. Some updates may override some settings on the phone, making it possible to end up having conflicts especially with any customized options. To clear this out, follow these steps to reset all settings on your iPhone X. Doing so will erase all your customized settings and then revert the default settings or original values. This can help eliminate any possible errors that may have caused troubles on the phone’s audio or calling functions. Here’s what you should do then:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll to and tap Reset.
  4. Select Reset All Settings option.
  5. If prompted, enter your device passcode to continue.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm all settings reset.

Allow your device to finish reverting the default settings and then reboots by itself. After it restarts, enable necessary options and features you want to use on the phone.

Unlike a factory reset or master reset, resetting all settings won’t affect any saved data on the internal memory. Should this still failed to fix the problem, then that’s when you may consider opting for an iOS reset or system restore.

Fifth solution: Reset or restore default settings on your iPhone X.

Complex system errors usually cause persistent software issues. Hence if your iPhone X continues to make distorted sound or crackling earpiece noise during phone calls after applying all prior methods, then you could be dealing with a complex system problem. In that case, you may have to resort to a full system reset to clear any tough bugs and fatal errors. But before you do so, back up all important files you saved on the phone including personal information as they will also be deleted in the process. Once you’re all set, follow these steps to erase and reset your iPhone X to its factory defaults:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll to and tap Reset.
  4. Select the option to Erase All Content and Settings. This will wipe everything from your iPhone X system including personal information, customized settings, and downloaded applications.
  5. Enter your device passcode when asked.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm master reset.

Your iPhone should reboot by itself when the reset is finished. By then you can proceed with the initial setup process to set up your iPhone as new and ready for use.

Aside from a factory reset, performing a recovery mode restore or DFU mode restore through iTunes can also be considered among other last options to deal with major system issues on the iPhone. Both these restore methods will result to data loss, thus creating backups is recommended beforehand.

You may have to escalate the problem to your carrier or Apple Support if none of the given solutions is able to fix the problem and your iPhone X is still showing the same symptom on distorted sound or crackling earpiece during phone calls. Or you can just take your device to the nearest Apple Genius bar and have it examined by an iPhone technician for any indication of hardware damage. A damaged sound component can also trigger similar sound issues to occur on any device, thus ruling out hardware damage is also important.

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If you need more help with the use of certain functions and features of the Apple iPhone X smartphone, feel free to visit our Tutorial Page. There you can find a list of how-to contents, step-by-step tutorials, as well as answers to FAQs regarding iPhone X. If you have other concerns or encountered some troubles while using the phone, you can reach us through this form. Just be sure to tell us more details of the problem or device issue(s) you may have and we will be more than happy to assist you further.

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