We continue to report on an issue where the iPhone generates echoes that can be heard on the receiving end of phone calls made from the device. To be clear, the issue being described is not a network issue; it's endemic to the iPhone. Though echoes can occur due to AT&T connectivity lapses, they usually result in the person speaking hearing their own voice echo and can generally be resolved by establishing a new connection. The issue being described is one where iPhone owners report "everyone can hear themselves in the background" on a consistent basis, and the problem is instantaneously soluble by turning the iPhone's earpiece volume down.
In our previous coverage, we noted that in addition to turning down the iPhone volume, the issue can sometimes be resolved by using the included headset mic, avoiding cupping the bottom of the iPhone with your palm when not using the headset and using Bluetooth headsets. These workarounds are effective because one potential cause (in some cases) of the problem seems to be design-inherent; that is, audio from the iPhone's earpiece travels to the receiver, generating the echo.
We also noted that (although it's not clear whether this is a design or individual hardware defect issue) Apple is replacing units for some users reporting the problem, and some of those receiving replacements report that the problem does not exist on the new units. We've since received further corroboration of this fact, with some users actually reporting that replacements iPhone units resultant from different hardware problems are exhibiting the echo phenomenon.
Tom Kozik writs:
"I'm on my 2nd iPhone (battery fried itself on my first one), and am experiencing this problem consistently. All callers complain about the echo they're hearing, whether I've got the earpiece in or not. Interesting to note, the problem did not exist on iPhone #1, just on this second unit. Going to go try and see if they'll replace this one as well."
If you are experiencing this issue, please let us know. Also, if you have time, let us know which build version of the iPhone you are using by putting the iPhone into field test mode as described in this article.