Battery life isn’t the only complaint about Apple’s newest smartphone. Customers are reporting an issue with the device’s audio echoing during a voice call.

An Apple discussion thread is alive and kicking with hundreds of disgruntled iPhone 4S users that are complaining about an audio echo on the other end of the call when talking on the phone via an Apple hands-free headset.

And we thought that no one used a smartphone to actually call people anymore…

Users are reporting a significant drop in audio quality and heightened sound reverb when using the Apple hands-free headset. The audio seems to generally go down in quality as the call progresses, and then the person on the other end of the line starts echoing uncontrollably. Sites like BGR have been able to independently confirm this bug.

One thread member wrote:

“It does not occur immediately. It can vary from 30 seconds into a call and as far up to 9 mins in before it begins the annoying echo. If I unplug the headset it goes away but will return when I plug the headset back in.”

Another complaint:

“Same thing happens to me.  Very annoying.  But, the echo is on the other side of the conversation.  What I hear is the person sounds like they are all of a sudden really far away, but the volume of the voice increases and it’s scratchy.  At the same time this happens, the person on the other side of the call says there is all of a sudden an echo. I haven’t tried unplugging the headset yet, because I pretty much always use the headset and don’t want to give that up.  I just hang up and call the person back.  SOOOOOOO annoying!!!!  I’m on AT&T 32 GB black iPhone 4S.”

The bug seems to affect both Apple-branded wired headsets and third-party headsets:

“I am having the exact same problem with my Klipsch wired headset with AT&T.  I switch to the Apple wired headset which did not fix the problem.  I did not have this issue using the same headset with my 3Gs last week.”

A temporary fix involves turing the iPhone’s speakerphone on when the call begins to echo and then turning it off immediately after. This supposedly restarts the audio cycle and the call goes back to normal until the echo returns after a few more minutes. Many of the complaints seem to come from AT&T customers, but iPhones on other networks, like Rogers, are reportedly experiencing the same bug.

Have you experienced this audio bug when using Apple’s headset on the iPhone 4S? Tell us the details in the comments below!

  • My iPhone echos on my end, I can hear myself repeat!! Very off putting when trying to chat to someone, feel like a retard cause I can not concentrate!! Can anything be done to fix this problem!! I’ve only had my phone for 2 weeks and can’t stand it already!!

  • just wanna let you guys know att is confirmed this is a tower issue!!!! not the iPhone. thanks. also because the data/cell is all efed up by att towers ur phone is working a little bit harder trying to establish connecting, thus having battery issues (again att confirmed this go and ask!)

  • Anonymous

    I have a iphone 4s 16 GB and I hear my own voice echo most of the time, not on every call though. That’s without a headset.

  • I found an answer!! So excited I thought I’d post. I’m referring to echos on iPhone 4GS when you call someone and they complain of an echo on their end while talking to you (while you don’t notice anything). The problem is the WAY YOU’RE HOLDING THE PHONE. My husband found and tested this. It happens when you accidentally cover over the bottom speakers of the phone (by the power-up connector). It’s very easy to do, esp if you have large hands like my husband. We also happen to also have Otterbox coverings, dunno if that makes a difference too. But if you block these parts of the phone, the other party on your call will instantly hear an echo. Move your hand away and problem instantly goes away. Simple answer but of course it drove us crazy trying to figure out what the problem was — handset? or carrier?

    I don’t know about echos where the caller hears but callee does not. That seems something else. But I thought I’d let people know what just found. It’s a shame that even the Apple people were clueless. All they did for us was swap out our phones but the problem continued until my husband and I did some research. It seems if you block the speakers, the phone generates some sort of reverb or something on the receiving end of the call. Dunno.

    Hope this helps.

  • Clinton Fisher

    My wife and I bought both of our iphone 4s five days ago and hers has been having the echo whether she was using her bluetooth hands free sync in her Lexux IS 250 or if she was talking on the phone at her ear. I Called Apple Tech support tonight and have been hammered with trying to get me to buy a software insurance for another $100 so they can fix THEIR software problem; mind you we paid an extra $200 to get the apple care when we bought the phones five days ago. The tech guy then has proceeded to tell me he can go ahead and fix the problem to night since I was not very pleased with the idea of paying more money for a product that is already expensive. Even tough he made it sound like he was going to take care of the issue for me at no cost and asked me if I would like to go ahead and get the phone fixed now,I replied that I did, and he proceeded to tell me that tonights charge would be $69. I have no idea what the hell is going on with Apple but they need to get a grip with reality and understand that when they sell a product that is a proven product like the iphone they are the ones liable for making sure it works just like the advertized and have sworn by. Before our iphone we had droids, I thought we were upgrading and I hope I am right…..I guess time will tell.

  • Got the same problem but the echo is never on my end, but everyone that I speak to tell me there’s an echo and it doesn’t go away. I’m on Telenor in Sweden using a iPhone 4S 16GB.

    Bah humbug!

  • I have the same Audio problem , people in the other side can not hear me well , sounds like if I am really far :S I have 64 gb 4s white

  • the same issue for me. really annoying bug!! i think its needless to explain it again, i have read comments above and derived that is have the same bug

  • Might be relevant – I had the same issue, until I removed my phone from the Trident AMS case it was in, several test calls before and after removal of case – results were echo with case on and NO echo with case off. I would assume that any heavy duty case IE Trident AMS and Otterbox defender cases would produce the same result, either way give the naked phone a try..

  • Mustafa Taha

    To fix voice echo on iPhone 4s you need to cover the noise cancellation mic it’s a small hole on top of the phone next to the headset hole….cover it with your finger during a call and make sure the person at the end of the line can’t hear their echo and then use clear strip tape or clear silicon and cover that mic permenatly and enjoy your IPhone 4s since apple doesn’t seems to know what case or how to fix this frustrating issue.

  • Jocelyn

    oh, yes. I have the same problem. It is beyond annoying-as I use my phone for all of my business calls, etc. Horrible stuff, Apple. I don’t think you’re getting a repeat customer here.

  • Yes.I have the iphone 4S and
    I don’t use a headset and it is awful. Ever conversation I have I can here myself echo what I just said.This is very annoying. If apple doesn’t do something soon I’m going to another type phone.

  • Bruce Kendall

    My 4S seems to have a similar but different issue. I rarely hear an echo but when Im sitting at my desk near my computer, the person Im speaking to complains of the echo. If I get up and walk away from the computer then the echo stops for them. Im now DL 6.1 and hope that fixes it.

  • Our 4s ‘other end echo’ problem (no handset involved) was solved by removing the $80 underwater Lifeproof case…

  • Lou

    My iPhone 4S echos my voice on my end when I’m on a call. Very, Very annoying!!!

  • myrab51

    Yes, I am on an iPhone 4S. My dad and husband both put my on speakerphone a good deal while they are working. As soon as the do, I can start hearing myself echo. It sounds fine on their side though. I have tried turning mine on speakerphone, but my speakerphone does not seem to function when it is echoing. I cannot even tap the icon. It just sits there looking cute. It only happens when I am talking with other people on iPhones, and they have me on speaker. We are on Verizon, and we all have Lifeproof cases. I don’t know if the case would somehow matter.

  • nellie yamaoka

    The conversation can be heard and it’s coming from the speaker,so loud that I don’t need to put the iphone close to my ears,I feel that I’m losing privacy.

  • Userwoman

    I’m getting a repeat of the previous statements in the tel conversation, although the other end put the phone down

  • EchoJade

    I don’t use a headset, but get the echo problem whenever I talk to a certain individual. It gets so bad I can hardly communicate with him. I have to wait for the echo to finish before I can talk again.

  • Ghadeer

    same problem with my iPhone 4s ios 8.1.2 … What to do????

  • Bill Rushing

    peoplewho callmyphone say they hearit only when they callme

  • TESconsult

    Have been using iPhone6 since January and only today (August 24th) began hearing my own voice echo while I am talking to another iPhone user. Both of us Verizon supported. The other user states that my voice quality sounds normal to her. I was NOT using a head set.