Several iPhone SE Users Reporting Audio Issues with Bluetooth Phone Calls
Apple launched iPhone SE at the end of last month, and over the past two weeks, a number of users have reported experiencing audio issues with phone calls using Bluetooth.
Tested each vehicle individually. Paired one, tested. Then did a “restore as new phone” and tested a different vehicle.
iPhone SE users reporting distorted audio quality over Bluetooth
Early adopters who went for Apple’s new 4-inch iPhone are experiencing issues with Bluetooth audio when their device is paired with a Bluetooth headset or a vehicle, or when they are taking a phone call. While users have reported that they can stream music over Bluetooth, GPS voice navigation remains affected for many. Several users have reported these issues on Apple Support Communities and claim that they are experiencing distorted or inaudible phone calls when using an iPhone SE over Bluetooth.
I actually had to return my SE back to Verizon because my Bluetooth calls reception quality was terrible. Playing music or YouTube videos through the Bluetooth was excellent but when it came to phone calls, the sound was constantly cutting in and out and sounded “scratchy” and distorted.
Never had this issue with my previous 6S or my work-issued Android phone. Tried my SE in a different vehicle and got the same results. I’ve unpaired and repaired and I even restored my SE and set up up as a new device but nothing has worked.
The issue appears to have attracted plenty of attention within Apple’s Support Communities, where one user even claimed that Apple is aware of the issue and is working on a fix.
I have been working with a high level support person who has assured me he is working directly with engineering. Apple has very much become engaged in this issue. They have had me do extensive testing of various conditions in order to document and troubleshoot. Further, there is an internal “Issue” board and tracking system for Apple support and this BT issue is on the top of the list. It was conveyed to me that this has become a very real issue internally and resources are now committed to its resolution.
The problem isn’t specific to any region, carrier or car model. Users from the United States, Germany, Sweden, Australia and other areas have reported this iPhone SE Bluetooth audio issue over iOS 9.3 and iOS 9.3.1, on vehicles sold by Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, Toyota, Volkswagen, and many others. Those who are testing Apple’s latest iOS 9.3.2 beta, have suggested that the issue is still present in the OS.
One user said that he tried to reset the Network Settings, wiped the phone and set it up as a new phone, but still couldn’t fix the problem. Apple is reportedly working on a fix for this iPhone SE Bluetooth issue; we will update this post when a fix or a workaround arrives.