Apple Delivers iOS Update to Fix iPhone 8 Audio Problem

UPDATE: This story was updated on Tuesday, Oct. 3 with the news of an update that purportedly fixes the issue.

If you're hearing static on your new iPhone 8, it's not you — it's the phone's earpiece.

Image Credit: Shaun Lucas/Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Image Credit: Shaun Lucas/Tom's Guide)

Reports of the iPhone 8's earpiece emitting crackling sounds and static noise disrupting phone calls are currently spreading across Apple's Communities Discussion pages, Reddit and the forums at MacRumors.

On Oct. 3, Apple formally responded to these concerns by releasing iOS 11.0.2, and stating — in its release notes — that it "fixes an issue where crackling sounds may occur during calls for a small number of iPhone 8 and 8 Plus devices."

To install this update, open Settings, tap General, tap Software Update and tap Download and Install. We've yet to see any user reports confirming that this feature solves the issue, or if it fixes any of the bugginess reported from iOS 11.0.1 users.

MORE: iPhone X vs iPhone 8 vs iPhone 7: Which One's Right For You?

These complaints began on launch day with a forum post from the user Vask asking "Is anyone else experiencing a crackling static noise from the earpiece during facetime or cellular calls? Strange thing is this noise happens randomly, roughly 1 in 3 calls. This is happening on [an] iPhone 8 Plus."

In a statement to The Verge, an Apple spokesperson acknowledged the issue, but stated that there have only been a "small number" of instances. The representative promised it would be solved soon, noting "Our team is at work on a fix, which will be included in an upcoming software release."

Judging by reports from regular users, this issue isn't affecting users on any specific carrier or region, and may vary in how bad it sounds. In one posted video, the crackles are so faint that you need to wear headphones to perceive them, while another user reports that they "can’t make one single call without hearing loud metallic popping sounds."

If the update doesn't fix this flaw in your device, it appears that the company is replacing devices that have the issue. A forum post from the user ghsNick claims that an Apple retail store in Florida replaced his iPhone 8 Plus twice, as the second model he got also crackled.

Apple released the previous update, iOS 11.0.1, on Sept. 26, and it issued three updates to iOS 10 within the first six weeks of its release.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.

  • Yatiyati
    6, 6S, 7, and 8 (really a 7S) look virtually identical. And that's fine, but the enormous forehead and chin bezel is feeling like the 80s--it's like those pair of jeans from 10 years ago.
  • avshmu
    20216025 said:
    6, 6S, 7, and 8 (really a 7S) look virtually identical. And that's fine, but the enormous forehead and chin bezel is feeling like the 80s--it's like those pair of jeans from 10 years ago.

  • avshmu
  • gtptech
    I repair iDevices for a living. When I first heard of this report I was thinking defective earpiece speaker possibly or perhaps a component on the proximity sensor assembly which links the earpiece speaker to the logic board, but then someone stated that they hear it with headphones on as well. If it's happening with headphones then this may just be a simple software patch to fix it (possibly an audio amplification/equalization tweak) ...but if not, it could be a serious board level hardware problem much like the iPhone 6 plus had with the touch sensor controller failures (aka. touch disease). Guess we'll know after the next iOS update.
  • mountainwizard
    I sincerely hope Apple provides a fix soon, unlike their behaviors in the past where some fixes are announced and they are never delivered.

    It was years ago, had a Mac with dual processors and the released an update which disabled the proprietary CD / DVD drive, after a year of no update and unwilling to spend over $100 to replace when I could buy a PC DVD for less than $40, I upgraded to a PC so that would never happen to me again. As you may guess no more OS upgrades permanently disabling my PC's hardware.