iOS Can't Hear Phone Calls through Headset and Apple Has Zero Fix?

Using iPhone 7 updated with iOS 13.4.1 and I want to use headphones for calls so I can type on desktop computer while talking. Plugged in wired headphones using 3.5mm to lightning adapter, which work fine for music etc. However for phone calls the audio goes through the internal phone speaker/s and nothing comes through the headphones.

A little Googling found an official thread at with around 300 people reporting exactly the same problem for over 8 months, but zero solution being offered or found…

Is there any hope for me?

This is my first time having an iPhone.

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  • Which headphones are you using? Some headphones have different pins on the 3.5mm jack that are not compatible with some devices.

    Example: - That Nokia headest example won't allow mic to work in an iPhone and vice-versa (but left and right audio still does).

    Have you tried the headphones that came with the iPhone?

    • Like I said the headphones work fine for music on the phone. Actually they work for hearing the tones when you dial a number manually, but then nothing comes through when the call connects. Would love the speakers to work even if the microphone doesn't. They're Samsung headphones from an old Galaxy S4.

      • Audio won't be affected as the pin order are standard but the mic/ground pins are the other way around then and won't work. You'll need some new headphones or use the ones that came with the iPhone.

        • Did you read the thread I linked? I'm not sure you understand the problem. Seems to be a software bug with iOS 13 and Apple isn't fixing it.

          I didn't get the phone new, it's a used one. Didn't get it with any headphones.

          • @inherentchoice: Well try another headset then that's known to work with iPhones instead of potentially a 6 year old one with incompatible pins.

            • @Hybroid: The headset speakers work with the iPhone… but not for calls? How is that a headset issue?!?

              • +2

                @inherentchoice: Could be a conflict with mic. Try the voice recorder or voice memo app to see if it works with headset speakers and mic maybe?

                • @Hybroid: Now have 100% genuine Apple earphones, 3.5 mm with microphone. Never used in original packaging. Plugged into lightning adapter. But problem is still exactly the same. :(

                  Also not sure you're right about the microphone pins, because the Apple earphones and mic work perfectly with my personal Android phone. Although the volume control doesn't work. Volume control buttons on Apple headphones aren't working on the iPhone either.

                  • +1

                    @inherentchoice: Ah bugger, was worth trying though. Have you considered reinstalling iOS to see if it resolves the problem? Alternatively maybe it's the adapter that's causing issues. Do you have any lightning or bluetooth headphones to try?

                    The pins issue is definitely real but depends on which devices. Even Bose used to have an iPhone version and Android version products. Maybe it's consolidated in recent years and everyone's doing the same nowadays. Hopefully anyway.

  • So there's an existing discussion elsewhere with over 300 messages from people experiencing the same problem and you decide to start another one here? I don't see the point.

    • I'm asking if there's any hope?

      • +2

        As a representative of the Ozbargain Forum Elders, I can assure that there is hope.

      • Of course there's hope. Without hope we are lost.

  • Have you tried clicking the triangle icon in control centre when you’re on a call? Edit: like this:

  • I had that issue upon updating to the latest firmware.
    I restarted the device and all was fine again. I have noticed issues with call quality on this firmware though. People reporting to me saying my voice sounds very robotic and laggy

  • Funny I had a colleague yesterday who was rambling about his iPhone not working with wired earphones all of a sudden, his headphones didn't work either.

    He suppressed all updates until recently.

  • +4

    Apple does have a solution … buy a newer iPhone like the iPhone 11! This is pretty much Apple's business model…

    • -1

      Apple provides more update support for iPhones making them last longer than any other manufacturer. But keep spreading your incorrect rhetoric if it makes you feel better.

      • Not according to this fellow. Feel free to check out the rest of his videos— most of which showcase Apple as an enemy of product support and repair.

        • -1

          We could get into a protracted debate but let's not here. Absolutely there's lots of things they could be doing much better.

          My point was iOS 13 is still supported on 2015's iPhone 6s Plus. That's a far cry from the claimed planned obsolescence and much better than any other manufacturer.

    • According to that thread, the issue is the same on the newer iPhone 11.

      You're still correct though, they want you to buy the $250 bluetooth earpods.

  • Thanks for replies so far. Will try again tomorrow, also might be able to get some original iPhone headphones.

  • FWIW, there was also a similar uproar when USB-C came out for phones and, for phones w/no 3.5 port, you had to plug in your earbuds via that connector. Turns out that "some" buds wouldn't work with "some" Android phones.

    Doesn't solve your Apple issue, but it's so similar that the advice to try other brands of earbuds might actually work.

  • Engineer here: Have you tried turning it off and on again?

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