Apple launched its new iPhone SE model under its 4.0-inch iPhone lineup at the tail-end of March. Since its launch, many users are reporting audio issues with phone calls over Bluetooth. There are numerous threads found on Apple Support Community forums where users are complaining about this Bluetooth phone calls issue.
Early adopters of Apple’s brand new 4.0-inch iPhone SE are reporting inaudible or distorted calls when the device is connected with a car or Bluetooth headset. The issues seem to be Bluetooth phone calls specific because the music playback works just fine. Apple is yet to comment on the matter at the time of this post.
As mentioned earlier, users are able to enjoy the expected audio experience when watching a YouTube video or playing music through Bluetooth. The audio quality in these cases remains crystal clear, as expected. However, the distortion, scratchy and constant cuts happen when a phone call is made over Bluetooth using a wireless headset or an in-car system. Some of the affected users also appear to have troubles with GPS voice navigation.
There are numerous users complaining about the issue at Apple’s Support Community Forums. The issue does not seem to be firmware specific as the affected devices include the ones running iOS 9.3, or iOS 9.3.1. It doesn’t seem carrier specific or even a particular model. The issue is reportedly still present in the iOS 9.3.2 beta which was released just last week.
Simple troubleshooting steps such as factory resetting the iPhone SE, turning Airplane mode ON and off several times, pairing and unpairing the Bluetooth equipment, and other workarounds do not seem to be of any help here. Even swapping the SIM card doesn’t work. It still remains a mystery whether it is an issue specific to hardware or the software.
One Forum users, in a post at Apple Support Community, says that Apple is aware of the issue and is currently 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.
If you have an iPhone SE, are you experiencing any such Bluetooth phone calls issue with your device?