Your Android phone’s speaker grill is exposed to the world and all its debris all the time, even if it’s in a case. While your phone is built to withstand these environments, it doesn’t always hold up well against dust. That often results in your Android phone speaker sounds becoming muffled, or worse, your phone’s speaker not working.
Fortunately, if you’re facing speaker issues, you don’t have to book an appointment at a service center just yet. Here are a handful of troubleshooting steps and fixes you can try to revive your Android phone’s speaker if your phone speaker is not working.
1. Check for Software Issues
Before we dive into the actual troubleshooting for why there may be no sound from your Android phone speaker, you should make sure the issue is an actual hardware malfunction. There are several ways you can do this.
The first step is to simply perform a reboot. This will restart all background services and give your phone a clean start in case anything had crashed since your last reboot and may have been causing the speaker on your phone to stop working.
Next, if your phone speaker is not working during a call, you need to examine whether your phone’s audio output is set to the built-in speaker. If you regularly connect your phone to wireless headphones or speakers, it might still be connected to another device.
Head into Settings > Connected devices to see if your phone is connected to any Bluetooth audio outputs. After this, you should head into the Sound section of Settings and confirm you haven’t accidentally switched on the Do Not Disturb or Silent modes.
In addition, we recommend testing the speaker by turning down the volume to its lowest setting and then raising it to the maximum level. Try to play music at both levels to make sure it isn’t stuck.
You can also try volume amplifying apps to fix your speaker volume if your phone speakers are muffled. These try to artificially pump up the sound output, which could work in case your phone’s sound is stuck at a low level due to a glitch.
If you’re trying new audio apps like pairing Shazam with Spotify, then your music app of choice could be to blame here too. So a more conclusive way to check if it’s your music app or your phone speaker not working is to play a ringtone or alarm from your phone’s audio settings.
You can do that by heading into Settings > Sound > Ringtone and selecting one of the many available options. Make sure your call volume is turned up while doing this.
2. Manually Disable Headphone Output
Sometimes, your phone speaker may not be working, but your headphones are. When you unplug accessories from the audio jack, Android may fail to process this event, leaving your phone stuck in headphone mode and your phone speakers not working. That means your speaker will be disabled, despite you having disconnected your earphones.
While a lot of phones don’t have headphone jacks these days, those that do can still experience this problem.
Usually, you can resolve this bug with a standard reboot. But if that doesn’t do the trick, you can try a free app, appropriately named Disable Headphone. With the flick of a switch, this app lets you manually force your phone to leave headphone mode and play sound via its speakers.
Disable Headphone functions in the opposite manner as well. 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: Disable Headphone (Free)
3. Try Safe Mode
Android allows you to launch a stripped-down mode that only runs the original software your phone shipped with. Doing so lets you troubleshoot your phone without any third-party services or apps interfering with the diagnosis. It’s called safe mode, and it’s present on every Android phone.
To enter safe mode, press and hold the power button. In the resulting prompt, touch and hold the Power Off button, then hit OK when you see a prompt. Your phone will soon restart in safe mode. You can easily leave safe mode by repeating the procedure and choosing the Restart option the second time.
Do note that the steps for safe mode could differ depending on your Android device. If nothing comes up when you follow the steps above, try a Google search for your model or check the official support forums.
4. Clean the Speaker Grills
If you’re wondering, “why does my phone sound muffled?” or “how do I fix my speaker volume?”, the chances are that your speakers are full of dust! As mentioned earlier, your smartphone’s speaker vents often accumulate dust over time.
This can hinder their ability to emit sound. At this point, you should try cleaning the grills yourself to remove as much obstruction as possible.
There are many tips and tricks to help you clean your phone. You can begin by blowing air into the speakers, either using your mouth or a can of compressed air. Apart from that, you can try to suck small crumbs and bits of dust out using a vacuum cleaner. This could affect your phone’s internals, though, so you should be careful if you attempt this.
Another good option is gently scrubbing the speaker grills with an old toothbrush or a soft bristle brush, which should help loosen up the dirt. If you’re feeling particularly confident and your phone is easy to take apart, you could try getting inside it and blowing out the dust from the inside too.
5. Perform a Hard Reset
Testing your phone in safe mode, as above, rules out the chances of a third-party app being the cause of your phone’s sound not working.
If your phone’s speakers functioned properly in safe mode, you could try to isolate the issue to a specific app, setting, or device. In case you’ve only had this speaker problem after making changes to these options, try undoing what you changed.
Failing that, you can go ahead and perform a hard reset. You could give this factory reset a shot even if switching to safe mode didn’t have an effect. By doing this, your phone starts afresh, and you eliminate the possibility of any software wreaking havoc on the speakers.
You’ll often find the option to reset at Settings > System > Reset options, but you can use the search bar at the top of the Settings app if you don’t see it. Just make sure to fully back up your data first.
6. Water Accident? Let It Dry
If your phone speaker isn’t working and it recently came into contact with water, then water damage is the likely culprit.
One of the most common consequences of water damage on your phone is a malfunctioning speaker. The liquid can quickly make its way to the internal component linked to the open grills. So if you’ve had speaker issues after such an accident, let your phone dry off.
There are several methods to dry a wet phone. You can blow hot air into it, dump it in a bowl of rice, and more. Whatever you do, turn your phone off immediately and let it completely dry before trying to boot it back up.
While many phones are water-resistant these days, an IP rating doesn’t make them immune to water damage. If you don’t know what an IP68 rating even is or whether your phone has one, then it’s worth doing some research before trying your hand at underwater photography!
Further, you can try downloading apps like Speaker Cleaner. These will play a vibrating sound to unclog the speakers and pump water out of them. It has a proven track record and doesn’t cost anything, though it does include ads.
Download: Speaker Cleaner (Free, premium version available)
7. Get Professional Help
If none of these steps worked for you, you most likely have a hardware failure. You should book an appointment with a trusted service center and have it examined by a professional.
Given how often your smartphone speakers are at work, their quality will eventually wear out. While these fixes can potentially help you revive a dead speaker, they won’t promise longevity. So if your phone speakers aren’t working, and you have an old phone, you may simply need a new one.
Protect Your Phone With a Case
Your phone goes through a lot on a day-to-day basis. To help protect it from falls, debris, and general wear and tear, it’s always best to keep it in a phone case. While you may prefer the look of your phone as is, using a case can help to extend the life of your phone and will also save you money on repairs.