Many iPhone SE users complain about audio issues with Bluetooth phone calls

By , Apr 11, 2016

iPhone SE family back

As evidenced by a growing thread on the Apple Support Communities, many owners of the new iPhone SE smartphone are plagued with various Bluetooth issues.

Folks are reporting distorted or inaudible calls when the handset is paired with a car or headset.

These issues appear to only affect Bluetooth phone calls, not music playback. Apple had not commented on this problem at post time.

As mentioned, for many affected users playing music or YouTube videos through Bluetooth produces crystal clear audio quality, as expected. Not so much when making phone calls via Bluetooth through a wireless headset or an in-car system: the sound gets distorted, scratchy and constantly cuts in and out.

Unpairing and re-pairing the wireless headset, resetting network settings does, toggling cellular data and changing SIM cars doesn’t alleviate the problem. Restoring the software and setting the device up as new also does nothing to make the bug go away.

According to MacRumors, this issue appears to affect all iPhone SE models running iOS 9.3 or 9.3.1, regardless of carrier or model, in markets like the United States, Australia, Canada, Germany, Sweden and the united Kingdom.

“The issue does not appear to be isolated to any particular carmaker, as customers have reported identical issues with vehicles sold by Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, GMC, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jeep, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen and many other makes and models,” as per MacRumors.

The first iOS 9.3.2 beta also did not resolve this problem.

According to those who’ve contacted Apple Support with the problem, Apple is very much engaged in this issue and is working on a fix.

“There is an internal ‘Issue’ board and tracking system for Apple Support and this Bluetooth issue is on the top of the list,“ as per one poster. “It was conveyed to me that this has become a very real issue internally and resources are now committed to its resolution.”

Have you, or anyone that you know been affected by this issue? If you own an iPhone SE and are plagued with these Bluetooth audio hiccups, sound off in the comments.

Source: Apple Support Communities via MacRumors

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  • Romi

    Ho, interesting !

    I just switch back from android (1+1) to iOS (iPhone SE) and my bose bluetooth headset is soooooooooooooooo glitchy I can’t listen to music and phone calls keep dropping…
    I feared iOS was shitty with it’s bluetooth management but HOORAY, it’s just the SE hardware that sucks …. Damn you Apple …

    • MrTarek

      It will be fixed , no worries!!

      • 9to5Slavery


  • Bill

    Here you go, haters! lol..

  • Tin Raz

    Same issue with wireless powerbeats2 headset with Skype on iPhone 6 (9.3.1) it’s distorted and it cut in and out.

  • White Michael Jackson

    Same here on 9.2.1. Lg tones sport edition. They only work when the iphone is facing me. Any other direction it glitches or cuts in and out.

  • n0ahcruz3

    Iphone always has crappy bluetooth, it’s not a glitch

    • kaliente

      iPhone was probably the first phone with Bluetooth 4.1, so not accurate.

      • czbird

        Very accurate. It’s about stack implementation, not version itself. My previous Sennheisers had constant dropouts with older iPhone but worked flawlessly with any other device…

      • kaliente

        My Parrot Zik 3 are having troubles with Windows and Android, but they work perfectly with Mac and iPhones.
        Still it doesn’t bring anything to the table. Some devices are designed for iPhones and some are not. After Jailbreak I have installed BT enabling tweak, and transfer speeds were same as Galaxy s7. BT at iPhones is just fine.

    • 5723alex .

      Never had any BT problems with any iPhone (currently 6s plus, iOS 9.3.2 beta1) and BT headphones, BT loudspeakers, Pioneer AV car system, Apple watch…

  • Rook HD

    you’re buying the wrong blue tooth headphones

  • RC

    I switched to the SE from the 5S and now when I make phone calls in my GMC Acadia, the person on the other end is fuzzy and difficult to hear.

  • Ben Russell

    Unfortunately I too have bluetooth issues with car paired devices on my Mazda. Works great with my iPhone 6 (work) but I just got a personal SE and the quality is terrible. It sounds like a scratchy bad call. Turned off blue tooth and used the speaker phone instead, call quality was great. Hope apple can fix this with a software patch, else this is going to be one dang expensive cheap phone for apple!

  • moninbox

    The bluetooth connection to my BT headset is so bad (note that I have had zero issues with this headset with any other device, even an iphone 4s) that I just cannot use it. the iPhone SE is a beta. Additionally, on several calls, am being asked to call back b/c the line isn;t good. Again, I have zero issues, and never had any, in the exact same situations with iphone 4s, Lumia 1520, Asus Android, etc. iPhone SE plagued with audio issues!!