Apple has designed the dual speakers in such a way that the stereo sound comes out of the right bottom-firing speaker and the other comes out of the front-facing microphone at the top. The grilles on the left side of the phone don’t serve any purpose and are just there for aesthetic reasons. This is key since many assume the second speaker is located there.
iPhone XS Speaker Complaints
PiunikaWeb reports that several iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max owners have taken to Twitter, Apple’s official forums, and Reddit to complain about an annoying problem which crops up when they’re trying to listen to music. The microphone speaker fails and won’t output any sound.
The strange part is, most of the complainants say the microphone works just fine when they’re talking during calls. It’s only when music starts blasting or a video starts playing that the issue becomes obvious. One person covered the bottom of their iPhone XS and noted that there was no sound coming out of the microphone.
They also tried to slide the audio balance under Accessibility settings, but they couldn’t hear any sound when they slid to the right speaker. Most say the issue resolves itself if they perform a reboot, but this clearly isn’t a permanent solution.
One iPhone XS Max owner posted a video to demonstrate the problem. He compared the stereo speakers on the iPhone X and iPhone XS Max. Both the speakers were clearly working in the former, but only the bottom speakers were functioning in the latter.
The general opinion at the moment is that this is a software issue and not a hardware one. Apple could roll out a fix for it in future iOS versions. Its support team has been responding to complaints on sites like Twitter, so hopefully a solution is already on its way.