No sound 50+% of the time in calls, until reboot

Blockquote …Vodafone is by far the worst in voice quality.

Have you contacted Vodafone? If there is a difference in sound quality between the two providers very likely it is not the phone (or the software) , but something with the SIM card(s).

Anyhow, this solution (and the update) are not for sound quality, but for “no sound at all” and “dropping of phone calls”.
As described in the information about the update:

So, my recommendation is to first test with another SIM card. Try one of family of friends to see what the quality it. Best would be to avoid the carriers you are using (Vodafone and the other). If with different SIM card the issue is solved contact your carriersto request new SIM cards.
If the problem remains with different SIM cards contact Fairphone Customer Support again and tell them you did what I mentioned in my previous reply and replaced SIM cards but the quality is still bad.


I can’t change Vodafone, it is the carrier my work is providing me… But, on other phones it causes no issues, and when using a headset sound quality is good. The sim is not the problem. Swapping the sims into the other slots doesn’t help either.
So I’m pretty sure it is a software issue

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But you can’t test the phone for a few calls with another SIM card? I don’t mean permanent.
Anyhow, if it works well with headset I don’t expect it to be software, but rather that the ear speaker is defect
The best is to contact Fairphone Support to have the ear speaker module replaced in that case.

Or of course if the recipient of the call can’t hear you well the microphone module.

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This is going in a loop. This has been suggested already :
_ October 2019 No sound 50+% of the time in calls, until reboot - #4 by NicoM
_ December 2019 No sound 50+% of the time in calls, until reboot - #6 by matthewbednarski
_ September 2020 No sound 50+% of the time in calls, until reboot - #62 by hans.stoops

With a 2 min quick search of the word “SIM” on that very topic, this loop is actually the third iteration about suspecting the SIM. I might have missed another iteration.

To anyone reading that post, you should :
_ Open a ticket as soon as possible.
_ Do consider getting reimbursed before they fine some sketchy reason not to (Group action against Fairphone for dishonest support on Fairphone 3 - #26 by BertG). Weight how much you want a Fairphone. The coolness fades away but the need of a working phone doesn’t.
_ Ask over and over to get the phone swapped. It is not up to you to prove that it is a HW problem. Fairphone has now failed to solve that problem with ALL updates since Fairphone 3 came out, that is 3 updates if I remember well. And now 16 month + since Fairphone 3 is out. Meanwhile, some users do not report having a problem. Why should some be lucky and other not. This is not a lottery, but a company selling phones. Consumer law exist for a reason.


The thing is, it is not always. Sometimes the quality is good, mostly it is acceptible, sometimes it is poor. With Kpn (the other provider) quality issues are less frequent. That’s why I don’t think it is the hardware, but is the software.
Besides that, using a headphones helps, but putting the phone on speakermode helps as well. I didn’t mention that earlier, so I completely understand that you are thinking of a hardware issue, but I think it is software related.

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Looks likes this topic refers to the same problem :

Sadly if it is intermittent it could be anything. I have some issues but not as described by the topic title, I don’t switch the phone of 50% of the time, in fact rarely and not for that reason.

So poor sound, quite sound, not working well on WhatsApp, Echo when using speaker et yes I have them all occasionally, ~ often ~ :slight_smile:

It would be very difficult to find the software issue that could solve any one of those or many.

As you said I doubt it is the hardware, though the modules could be a bit loose, or the contacts dirty, even on a new phone. If the phone get damp, being modular and open to the air it can effect not just contacts between modules but the workings of the mic and/or speaker. Note that many, if not all people that migrate to FP have been using phone that don’t have the problem of so modules setting accurate nor are they so subject to damp etc.

The resolution to many/some such audio issues has been resolved by disassembling and reassembling the parts. Give that, it show the precarious nature of the FP build.

If you have tried everything, and you really don’t have to, carry out the steps FP official support ask of you and send it back it they can’t resolve it, but don’t take a year or more of asking for help here :slight_smile:

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Sorry, could you please clarify the meaning of this reproach!

To state the obvious (have a look at my profile): I am NOT Fairphone, neither do I have any connections to the company or any saying in their decisions etc.
If I personally voice my opinion, that’s just it: MY opinion, nothing more and nothing less. And I tend to make that clear by adding “in my opinion”.
If I - as a moderator (as well as personally) - ask for more polite and cautios wording in this forum, that’s because it’s my role and function in this community (as well as my personal feeling).

You are really annoyed and frustratedt. That’s your right and - from what I read - quite understandable.
But please take care not to take it out against others; especially with such unjust accusations. Because; nowhere in my posting you have linked did I argue against your rights. I just happen to disagree regarding your wording. That’s all.


Also found (via google search for “fairphone no sound)” 2 other topics which looks the same :
_ FP3+, Android 10: No sound during phone calls
_ No sound during some phone calls This last has a quick video, it’s exactly what I have.

What is the proportion of people actually impacted by that issue ?
It is 6 different topics and around 11k views as of today

@BertG I think that my opinion regarding the duplicity of Fairphone with the Forum and the community has been made clear in the many previous posted messages. Fairphone uses it as a marketing argument :
“key superpower is our amazing community”
(Community - Fairphone)
But with great power comes great responsibility, which they don’t seam to take.

The problem I have, has been considered as starting in August 2020 only, while that very topic proves that it started few days after I received it that is September 2019 (which lead them to not offer me a full refund, but 220 euro only). I was then convinced a fix would be found, and my problem treated reasonably. Turn out it did not. For details, you can re-read the posts in that very topic and in that other (Group action against Fairphone for dishonest support on Fairphone 3 - #31 by Alex.A). You already are familiar with those I believe.

Then again, I am accused to do unjust accusations, because I am breaking a taboo, which consists in avoiding any criticism. I have spent most of my time defending my words rather than receiving help. I have spent time bringing arguments and being rational, which I cannot say the same from most posts I have read. You have been interacting in both posts mentioned, so you know the background of the story.
All that has been happening the last 5 days (damn it feels like weeks) make me feel un-welcome in that forum.

Hi @Bas_tien if you would read my suggestion exactly for your problem you will see that for your issue I don’t say it is the SIM card.
The only thing I say, if you read my first reply here No sound 50+% of the time in calls, until reboot - #177 by Sietse is for to solve the problem before performing the factory reset and flashing the phone you should remove the SIM card.

After all this is done just put it back.

@teider his issue is something completely different from yours. To try with another SIM card was a suggestion for him, not you.

Please read again, instead of directly jumping to conclusions. After all, I still want to help both you and teider.

For the rest you can continue to point at almost one year old topics were nobody else is replying to any more. But this is not helpful in your case. You don’t know if for these people the problem was solved or not.
Focus on what is your issue, try to resolve this and don’t drag up old cows that are not related to your case.


Hello @Bas_tien,

there is a poll-function in this forum. You could try and use it to get a rough display on who has your problem.

I do not know, how to use it, but it is displayed here

Many greetings

I’m having the same problem for months already. I contacted the support but they couldn’t help me yet. It’s so frustrating, I cannot use the phone anymore!
Is there any chance to get my money back?


The problem is that even if 10% of the recent complaints that are unsolved on this forum that’s likely to be less than 0.1% of people who bought phones and never had to query the forum.

So what use would a pole serve, only to highlight the disgruntled users who ideally would speak to FP about ongoing issues not add more work for us poor peer to peer, trying to be helpful nerds.

Thanks for the idea. I think I pass for now.
The reason is that I have spent a huge amount of time in that forum the last 5 days. Mainly answering the same 4 to 5 people, including 1 moderator (@BertG ), which constantly accused me of going on a crusade, bullying Fairphone, being angry, got the title of my post edited without warning until it got reverted by a moderator, threatening me to delete my posts on private message, etc…
This is such a disappointment I got to say. Fortunately, several other people including yourself and @Alex.A , have been intervening and contributing constructively.

I am now in the process of sending back the phone for the support to swap it. I will post results here. At some point, I would like to sum up all that happened here, and try to centralize all the topics related to the sound/call problem, as well as the inability of the support to reasonably deal with it. And also what can be done when support is not a option anymore (use of consumer law, online conplains). But for that, I have to allow time for the phone swapping to happen. Then, doing a poll could be a thing to do.

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If you write a message to discobot, it has really helpful and well-made interactive tutorials about using the forum, including how to make polls :wink: (just tell it to “start tutorial” and after that “start advanced tutorial”).

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The support is obliged to help you, and swap the phone for another if they can’t fix it remotely. They should also offer you a refund, but you’ll get full or partial, depending on WHEN you started complaining about the problem (they look at the delay between phone reception and start of problem).

I am now in the process of preparing my first return, which took me many emails asking the support for it. I have started another post on the matter of what to do if the support doesn’t help :

It is a bit messy due to some people disagreeing on wording, and I plan to make another clear one, once I have my phone swapped by the support.

As far as I understand, you have already opened a ticket on Fairphone support. Now you got to ask them over and over to get refund or get your phone swapped. It worked for me and for another guy on that thread.
At any moment, if you consider that the support isn’t respecting the consumer law, you can decide other actions, as explained in the link above.

I asked them for a refund and they said that this is not possible as I did not ask for it within the first 14 days of buying the phone. I got it back, repaired, which (they say) only took an software update. I can’t check this and don’t even wanna check it anymore. I contacted customer support again, quoting their warranty, and now I am waiting for a reply. I don’t think, however, that I see any money. I even bought the camera module upgrade back in September (which was delivered waaaay after the initial date) and asked if they would take them back as I don’t use the phone anymore…of course the won’t do that. This is very very very annoying.

Assume users “with fault” are equally distributed.
Now devide FP-Users in two groups: “Forum” and “Non Forum”.
So “All” = “Forum” + “Non Forum”.
Now you calculate the partition where the percentage of phones with fault for all users F, for “Forum” Users A and “Non Forum” users B.

F * “All” = A * “Forum” + B * “Non Forum”.
Then we get F = (A*“Forum” + B*“Non Forum”)/“All”. (1)

With the poll we’d approximate A*“Forum”.
Assuming we know “All” we just don’t know B*“Non Forum”.
The assumption was “with fault” is equally distributed, therefore we assume A=B.
We also get “Non Forum” = “All” - “Forum”.
Now we know B*“Non Forum”.
With formula (1) we now get an educated guess for F.

Or more easily A=B=F.

Obviously a lot of things are not clear. But equal distribution is reasonable (why would the part of faulty phones change through demografics?).

Anyways. One pole is better than no pole.

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How so?
Users with faulty devices should be much more probable to hit the forums in search for fixes, so distribution would not be equal, and the view in the forums would be skewed, but you wouldn’t know just how heavily skewed.

But it’s an academic exercise anyway.
It shouldn’t really matter how wide-spread an issue might perhaps be. Issues need to be resolved no matter whether it’s one single customer having them or any large number.
The customers have rights, resellers have rights (if involved), Fairphone have rights.
In the end it’s boring unromantic legal stuff that matters, which gets blanked out or blurred often enough for idealistic reasons (as commendable as they may be).