Do you have an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus that’s suffering from strange audio issues? Then hopefully it’s still under warranty, because this problem could otherwise cost you as much as $180 to fix.
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So, let’s start off by looking at the symptoms of the audio problems. These issues range from oddities such as a grayed-out Voice Memos icon or finding that the speaker icon you see during phone calls is grayed-out, to general poor audio quality, intermittent iPhone freezing, or, at worst, your iPhone gets stuck on the Apple logo during start-up.
The problem is widespread enough that it has attracted the attention of lawyers looking to kick off a class action lawsuit against Apple.
Based of reporting carried out by Consumer Affairs, the issue is down to something called “Loop Disease.” What is “Loop Disease”? Here’s what Puls, a digital repair firm, had to say to Consumer Affairs:
“Loop disease is a loosening of a chip on the motherboard – in this case, the audio chip,” explains Puls, a digital repair company. “A fix necessitates removing the chip and soldering a small section of wire beneath it to repair the connection.”
According to Puls, the cost of repairing this issue can range from $79 and $180, depending on whether they customer wants a “quick fix” or “future-proofing.”
Is a hardware fix the only option available to you? Well, there are some software-based tweaks and tricks you can try, but if your iPhone is suffering from a chip that’s loosened over time and with use, none of these things are going to help.
If you’re having problems and your iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus is under warranty (while Apple started selling this iPhone back in September 2016, it’s actually still being offered for sale by Apple) then get Apple to take a look at it. If the iPhone isn’t covered by warranty, then it might be worth seeing what Apple has to say. Sometimes Apple will fix iPhone outside of warranty. If Apple can’t or won’t help, then a third-party repairer is your best option.