Garbled, robotic, underwater sounding connection

Any updates on this issue?  I’ve done all the suggested “quick fix” things, and its not the device, its the network.   It happens to me daily.  I’m on calls for maybe 4 hours at a time, and every once in a while, it will sound like we’re both underwater, or we have both turned into Jabba the Hut.  Then other times we sound like the Chipmunks on crack.   It will only last for 5 to 20 seconds.  Another thing we experience is that sometimes it just goes dead. The call is connected, but its like we both put ourselves on Mute.  This happens when I call another T-Mobile user (wife), or Verizon (mom), or AT&T (friend) user. Those are the only people I have 2+ hour long conversations with.   Long enough for this to happen at least a couple times each conversation.  Each time, I have full signal, and it doesn‘t matter if I’m on LTE, 4G, or WiFi, or if I’m on my car Bluetooth, or the phone next to my head, or on my LG Tone Bluetooth.   I’m currently using an iPhone 7+

17 replies

Userlevel 5

Hey there!

Thanks for reaching out and explaining your issue. What "quick fix" did you already use? We just don't want to repeat suggestions. 😊 Have you tried a master reset on the device?


Reset network settings

Erase and Reset iPhone

Remove/Add Bluetooth connections

Reboot phone

Hard reset phone

Try SIM card in another device

Turn off WiFi calling

Turn off calling on 4G/LTE

Clean out microphone

Try different Bluetooth

Userlevel 5

Ha! Sounds like y'all did quite a bit. 😊

You tried all the big ones except a SIM card swap, that would be my next suggestion!


Userlevel 6

Seriously, I agree with Lauren -- this is an impressive troubleshooting agenda! 😊 Did you have a chance to test a new SIM?

Got a new one yesterday and I’m still testing it out.

Userlevel 6

Cool! Please keep us posted! 😊

Userlevel 6

Hey there! I know it's been a few days -- just wanted to see how that new SIM held up over the weekend!

Userlevel 5

Happy Wednesday, @suasponte​!

How's the new SIM working out for you? Has the audio improved?

Userlevel 6

Hi, @suasponte​! Just wanted to stop by once more and see if you had any updates about your experience with the new SIM. I hope things are going well! 😊

Well, it isn’t as frequent. Maybe every 8th call?

Sent from my iPhone

Userlevel 6

Well, yay and boo to that! Every eighth call is still 1/8 too many. 😥
Have you noticed any patterns now that it's cooled off a bit -- does this happen more in some locations than others? I know previously you mentioned that when you were on a long call you noticed it happening a few times during the call -- does this only happen on long calls, or do you ever start calls out this way right off the bat?

It doesn’t happen right off the bat. It will normally take about 20 minutes into the conversation before it starts acting goofy. Today, it had several instances of just dead silence. We have to constantly ask, “are you still there?”

Userlevel 6

Well, shoot. That doesn't sound like much of an improvement at all. 😥
If you've already done the master reset and SIM replacement, you've tried the last resort device troubleshooting step and hardware test. The next step would be to Community-2153​ and work with our Care/Tech (over the phone) or T-Force team (social media support on Twitter and FB) to see if we're able to file a ticket for these issues and determine if the network is the culprit.
Fair warning; since it's happening both on and off of WiFi, and in multiple locations, that typically points to device trouble, for which a replacement would be the ultimate recommendation if a factory reset doesn't resolve the matter.
That said, it's worth reaching out and trying to see if there's a network concern; especially if you can narrow down a location where you spend the majority of your time when this happens!

This stupid phone is about the be traded for an iPhone X

Sent from my iPhone

Userlevel 6

I hear you -- I can't imagine how frustrating it is to be dealing with this -- calls should be reliable, it's the foundation of wireless service! Please keep us posted on the ultimate results!

I just wanted to give a heads up, my wife and I have been experiencing very similar issues on our new phones. Primarily the audio dropping out. I have not done much troubleshooting as we recently started service but have tried on and off wifi-calling. This is while sitting still. I have not had the audio come back but I usually just hang up and call back after I noticed it had happened. Planning on calling in or seeing by a store.

I’m having same garbled robotic underwater sounds as well. Sad thing for me is I talked my husband into chucking his flip phone and got the BOGO IPhone 8 Plus. I agree with Suasponte it has to be a network problem. I left AT&T, overly priced but great connection for a miserable experience talking on T-Mobile network. I hope this larger problem can be fixed And please don’t tell me T-Mobile that every single batch of the IPhone 8s are lemons  purchased this year. I went to two different T-Mobile stores and they tried all of the fixes and we still have terrible garbled sound when talking. I’m very disappointed. I gave up my old 5c that worked just fine  for talking and everything else.