Unable to hear calls and sound on my Samsung Galaxy S5

No sound, unable to hear voice calls, cannot be heard by recipient

This guide contains troubleshooting steps and advice to help resolve sound issues that you may experience when making or receiving calls, or listening to media.

After completing each step, test to see if the issue is fixed. If not, continue to the next step.

Symptoms:

  • I am unable to hear voice calls
  • I cannot be heard by the person I am calling
  • I have no ringtone or notification sound at all
  • My music or sound effects and ringtones generate no sound from built-in speaker, but headphones work fine
  • I have no sound at all, from any source including headphones

Troubleshooting Questions

  • Are sounds completely missing, or of poor quality?

    If the expected sounds are entirely missing, then this may be due to a number of different reasons, and in this case it is recommended to continue to the next step.

    If however, the sound quality is poor, then this could be a result of low-quality sound files being used, or damage or dirt in the speakers. If the quality issue is with all sounds, then the most likely cause is the latter, and it means the device needs to be booked for a repair.

    If only certain sounds are of poor quality (such as ringtones, music files, etc.), then this is usually due to the quality settings of the files in question. Normally, once a digital audio file is encoded, the only way to improve the quality is to re-encode the file with different options. This is the recommended solution if you believe that file quality is the problem.

    Poor sound quality on calls can sometimes be the result of a poor signal level between the phone and network mast. This can manifest as variable volume, crackling, or the intermittent loss of all sound. In this case, check the signal bars on the phone.

  • Can any sounds be heard through either the main speaker, or the earpiece, and if not can they be heard through headphones?

    If it is the case that no sounds can be heard from the earpiece or the main built-in speaker, but can be heard through headphones, then it is likely that either component is being physically obscured, or may have developed a hardware fault of some description (see below for reasons why this can happen).

    If however, there are some sounds playing through the internal speakers, but not all, there could be a software cause. Likewise, if you are unable to hear sound from any source, including headphones this may be due to software issues.

  • Have the sound settings been checked?

    If no sounds can be heard during normal operation of the phone, this can sometimes be due to the sound settings having been changed.

  • Has the protective plastic sheet been removed from the speakers or microphone?

    New devices sometimes come with a protective plastic sheet covering the speaker. This can lead to muffled sounds no matter how loud the volume is for voice calls and notifications. It can even make the microphone not pick up the caller.

  • Is there debris covering the speakers or microphone?

    Debris in, on, or around the speaker or microphone can cause the sound to become quiet, or possibly completely muted, depending on where the debris is and the severity. Cleaning this off can improve voice quality. It is highly recommended to use a soft, dry, lint-free cloth to perform any cleaning, in order to avoid scratches to the device. If a cleaning solution is required, then you should contact the manufacturer for a list of approved cleaning products.

  • Has the phone experienced any shock or exposure to water?

    Accidental physical shock to a device can sometimes cause problems with the speakers. Damage can occur either to the speaker itself, or to its connection to the motherboard.

    Water exposure can also lead to damage of the microphone, however due to the slow way water damage manifests, the cause may not always be obvious as it is usually due to indirect water damage, e.g. as a result of humid and damp conditions.

    With any physical damage, the only recourse is to contact the device manufacturer, and follow their approved repair or replacement process.

Further Troubleshooting Guidance

This section contains further troubleshooting guidelines, should the above advice and guides fail to resolve the issue.

Resetting to factory defaults can help resolve software-related sound issues, but should be used after all other troubleshooting has been completed. Resetting also deletes any cache or temporary files and forces the phone to re-register on the network.

Walkthrough - Perform a Master Reset

Note: Resetting the device to factory defaults will erase anything stored on the device itself. Back up as desired to prevent the unwanted loss of content.

If the issue persists, it is likely that there is a serious, hardware-related fault with the device, and in this instance you should book the device for a repair.

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