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Hey everyone, I haven't posted in a while, but I've still been looking around from ... BlackBerry Bold forum

  1. #1
    Skier87's Avatar
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    Low speaker volume

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    Hey everyone,

    I haven't posted in a while, but I've still been looking around from time to time

    Anyway, the speaker volume of my Bold has been excessively low lately (NOT the earpiece, though). Here is the sequence of events:

    I was running 4.6.0.266 for a long time. Always used to keep my 8100 on Low or Medium ringer volume because I had a (probably unjustified) fear of straining the speaker. I set my Bold to Medium when I got it (about 7 months ago), then later changed it to Loud to avoid missing any calls even when in a loud environment (It was a Loud ringer alright!). Since about a month or two ago, I slowly realized I was missing calls. I hadn't really sat down and watched a movie on my Bold recently though, so I never actually noticed the decrease in speaker volume until a couple days ago when I finally has some time to upgrade my OS. After upgrading to the latest official AT&T .304, I perused the OS to look for any changes... including playing the sample Speed Racer video. I was surprised to notice I could barely hear the audio, even after maxing out the volume setting. Because of this, I downgraded to the next most recent AT&T OS, .297, to see if it would fix the problem.

    Unfortunately, it is still very low, and I am forced to rely on vibrate when I'm out and about, and I still don't always feel it. It is definitely the combination of Vibrate, then Ring that gets my attention one way or another! I've grown so used to it.

    Any ideas on what the problem might be? Is anyone else experiencing this on these OS versions? Was it different before the upgrade for you? I am hoping it is not a hardware issue. My Bold is in very good shape. Clean off the "cheek smudge" from the screen and it looks brand new.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Mike99PA's Avatar
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    Any help with this issue yet? I had a similar problem and now it's solved. Let me know if you want to try what I did to resolve my low speaker volume.

  3. #3
    digitaldevil's Avatar
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    I had this same problem and determined it was a hardware problem and got a warranty replacement thru At&t.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike99PA View Post
    Any help with this issue yet? I had a similar problem and now it's solved. Let me know if you want to try what I did to resolve my low speaker volume.

    I haven't had the problem yet, but in case I ever do, I'd be interested to know what the problem was and what the fix is. Thanks!

    -capT

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    I second that ^^ Mike99PA, if its not too much trouble, could you post your solution?

    Not that it was any affect on the OP, but when on the leaked 5.0.0.314, my profiles did not work. After a batt pull they'd work for a little bit, but somewhere along the way they'd quit.

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    Believe it or not my solution was quite simple. All it took was a small piece of cardboard about the thickness of a credit card. Note: This works if your volume level is normal with the battery cover removed.

    Place the small piece of cardboard above the camera lens and light - not blocking them! You will see this space is small so keep the insert small but the thickness is necessary. When you assemble the cover it will be tight. This will create the slight 'lift' necessary for the sound to resonate properly. Poor design flaw RIM!!!

    I hope this helps!

  7. #7
    Skier87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike99PA View Post
    Believe it or not my solution was quite simple. All it took was a small piece of cardboard about the thickness of a credit card. Note: This works if your volume level is normal with the battery cover removed.

    Place the small piece of cardboard above the camera lens and light - not blocking them! You will see this space is small so keep the insert small but the thickness is necessary. When you assemble the cover it will be tight. This will create the slight 'lift' necessary for the sound to resonate properly. Poor design flaw RIM!!!

    I hope this helps!
    It doesn't seem to be an issue related to the hardware design. I gave it a shot anyway but unfortunately no luck.

  8. #8
    Skier87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by digitaldevil View Post
    I had this same problem and determined it was a hardware problem and got a warranty replacement thru At&t.
    I'm wary of getting a refurb, which is what I would end up with. From personal experience it doesn't always turn out well in the long run. Any idea what the exact problem was?

  9. #9
    Skier87's Avatar
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    In case anyone else has this issue, here is what I found out:

    It is a problem in which the internal loudspeaker of the device becomes muffled by the other parts pushing down on and covering it. There are spacers in the phone that are there to prevent this, but they can fail. This can occur from pressure being placed on the phone in any way, causing the spacers to bend. My personal opinion is that it happens most readily when squeezing the phone and clip while it is in its holster in order to clip it onto your belt, or remove it. People have come up with "home-cooked" remedies for this problem. The most efficient way I have found to alleviate the problem is to do the following:

    **IMPORTANT** BEFORE CONTINUING, PLEASE KNOW THAT THIS MAY BE CONSIDERED TAMPERING WITH YOUR DEVICE, AND MAY THEREFORE VOID YOUR WARRANTY.

    - Open the back cover and take note of the rectangular black piece that surrounds the camera's flash, just above the camera itself.
    - Tilt the phone down so that you are looking down at it from the top.
    - Between the rectangular piece and the rest of the body of the phone you will find a small white piece.
    - On either side of this white piece there is an opening between the rectangular piece and the rest of the body of the phone
    - Try playing an audio file long enough to conduct the following simple test: While the audio is playing at maximum volume (probably still at too low of a volume if you are having this issue), gently use your fingernail to GENTLY AND SLOWLY pry away the rectangular piece from the rest of the body of the phone. You will notice a clear increase in volume the further you pry the piece away. ***TAKE NOTE*** You are NOT prying this piece off the phone... its only a matter of about a millimeter, maybe less.
    - The volume increases because you are pulling the body of the phone off of the speaker, and therefore stopping it from being muffled.
    - To maintain the effect of prying this rectangular piece away from the body of the phone, I simply cut a thin piece of an index card, folded so that there were 3 layers of index card, and wedged it between the rectangular piece and the body of the phone (1 on either side of the white piece), leaving a small "tail" so that the back cover could be replaced easily. This "tail" will also allow the 2 pieces of index card to be removed easily if desired. NOTE: Others have attempted to use other things (regular paper, pieces of credit card, etc.), but I find the 3 layers of index card to be the most efficient thickness, as well as soft enough to not scratch anything.

    You may also choose to take the phone apart and reposition the spacers. Either way, many have reported that the problem often still returns. So far, the index card has worked for a couple days for me. A piece of Post-It paper, however, failed after a couple days and slowly became less effective throughout. The "index card solution" I used is still going strong with no noticeable decrease in volume.

    I spoke to RIM about this, and they claim to "know it is a problem", but have not officially created a ticket for it or addressed it. AT&T says they do not know about this, and therefore have no official device notice in their system. It really is a shame since a great deal of people have run across this problem. Simply Google 'blackberry bold speaker problem' and Google auto-completes the search for you, and you get a large number of relevant results, including on the BlackBerry Support Forums.

    I do not think RIM or AT&T will ever address this issue formally. AT&T wants to send out a refurbished 9000 since I am within the 1 year warranty. No Thanks. Honestly, it will probably happen again, and even if it doesn't, the build quality of the 9000's is quite inconsistent, and I am afraid I will run into another issue that bothers me. I am pretty picky as it is. I have also had horrible experiences with refurbs in the past through someone else close to me. They usually look nice physically, but tend to develop problems over time. Again, that is just my personal experience and preferences though.

    So, here is my advice to prevent this from happening: Always clip and unclip your BlackBerry (if you have a 9000 at least) from your waist while the device is NOT in the holster, and always avoid putting pressure on it no matter what, especially on the top part where the speaker is.
    Last edited by Skier87; 12-01-2009 at 12:09 AM.

  10. #10
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    hasn't happened to me but good info.
    " B safe "

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    Happened to me yesterday. Thanks for the great info Skier! I was wondering what happened. Just took my fingernail and pried up on that square and all is well-thanks!!!

  12. #12
    Skier87's Avatar
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    No problem everyone

  13. #13
    Powerlover's Avatar
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    Stupidly simple.......

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    Nice write up. I haven't had this issue at all on my 2 9000s. I'm guessing the reason is that I use two band-aids on the inside of the battery door to get a little more solid feel out of the device.

  15. #15
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    Thanks so much Skier87!! I was dreading having to exchange my phone due to this issue. I simply pull the area in question with my fingernail and ta-daaa! Instant fix... I haven't wedged anything in there to keep it from happening again, but plan to do so soon. At least I know it's a physical issue and not a software issue. Sweet.

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