5 ways to make your iPhone speakers sound louder

No headphones? No Bluetooth speaker? No problem.

Matt Elliott Senior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
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Matt Elliott
2 min read

Perhaps you've gone away for the weekend only to discover -- horror of horrors -- that you forgot to pack your Bluetooth speaker . Or perhaps you are simply trying to listen to a podcast while cooking dinner and can't hear over the running water and sizzling skillet. There are a number of scenarios where you may need to boost the audio from your iPhone speakers and don't have the aid of a Bluetooth speaker or don't feel like wearing headphones.

Here are five free and easy ways you get some added oomph from your iPhone's audio, from easiest to still pretty easy.

Watch this: 5 tips to make your iPhone speakers louder

1. Turn iPhone upside down

The speakers on your iPhone are on the bottom, so they're better able to kick out the jams, as it were, if they are facing upward and outward and not downward where they're muffled by your table, desk or countertop. If you are listening to an iPhone propped up against something, then make sure it's propped up and upside down.

Matt Elliott/CNET

2. Cup hand around speaker end of iPhone

This one is good if you are watching YouTube or otherwise holding your iPhone while attempting to listen to it. Just cup your hand around the speaker end of your iPhone so the sound waves can bounce off of your hand and toward your ears.

Matt Elliott/CNET

3. Late Night EQ

We've covered this trick to boost iPhone speaker volume before but it bears repeating: Head to Settings > Music > EQ and select Late Night. Some of the other EQ options give the volume a bit of a boost but none more so than Late Night. If you have your iPhone's volume turned all the way up, however, you may hear a little distortion with the Late Night EQ.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

4. Put iPhone in a bowl

This trick has been around for as long as there have been iPhones and bowls. Just pop your iPhone into a bowl -- and this time keep the speakers pointing downward -- and the sound waves will bounce off the bottom and sides of your chosen vessel to better fill a room.

Matt Elliott/CNET

5. DIY iPhone speaker

The bowl trick works pretty well but you can better direct the sound waves if you are willing to MacGyver a speaker. All you will need is a toilet paper or paper towel roll and a pair of plastic or paper cups. And scissors. All you need to do is cut a slot in the toilet paper roll just large enough to fit your iPhone and then cut a hole into the side of each cup just large enough so they fit on each end of the toilet paper roll. Then you can sit back and enjoy the sounds of your crafting skills.

Matt Elliott/CNET