iPhone X Users Report Annoying Earpiece ‘Crackling’ Sounds

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Since it was released over a week ago, Apple’s high-end iPhone X has been incredibly well-received by early adopters; however some of the first units in circulation have been exhibiting a number of quirky, software-related hiccups that Apple has either already acknowledged and provided a fix for, or has its team currently working to resolve.

Adding to the list of complaints this morning are the “limited but increasing number” of iPhone X users who are experiencing an annoying “crackling” or “buzzing” sound coming from their device’s front-facing earpiece when the volume is cranked up.

The first complaints surfaced just hours after the iPhone X was released, however they’ve since been corroborated by a number of users, including those on MacRumors’ own support forums, as well as among the Twitter and Reddit communities.

What’s the Issue?

According to those experiencing it, the buzz and crackle sounds present themselves when their iPhone X handset is set to “high or max volume,” and most are claiming that the sound emanates with the same, relative audibility during any kind of audio playback — be it during a routine phone call, while listening to music, watching videos with sound, ringtones, alert tones and even alarms.

“Love the phone but I was wondering if anyone has had any issues with the speakers slightly sounding a little crackling whenever max volume,” said MacRumors forum member, ShadowYYZ, who noted that the sound is “Noticeable on certain songs and even my ring tone which was bought from the iTunes Store.”

Apple’s iPhone X (much like the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8) boasts dual, stereo speakers on its front side and bottom to optimize audio playback. So while the issue could be the result of audio distortion within the speaker chamber itself, the fact that only a select number of iPhone X users are experiencing it has led many to believe it’s a more invasive, software- or hardware-related problem that Apple will simply have to address in time.

Meanwhile, Apple has acknowledged that the issue is prevalent on a “small scale” — and has been offering replacement iPhone X handsets to those who’ve contacted Apple Support with their complaints. The company is also working to collect “diagnostic information” from users so that it’s engineering team can “investigate the issue” and provide a permanent solution for it.

In the interim, if you’ve purchased an iPhone X and can determine there’s a crackling or buzzing sound when the volume is set to high, we recommend getting in touch with Apple Support via phone, email, or online chat to schedule a Genius Bar appointment.


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