A number of iPhone SE users are having issues with phone call audio quality when connected to a vehicle or headset via Bluetooth. The issues were first reported by MacRumors.
Streaming music seems to be unaffected
Apple is apparently aware of the issue and is working on some type of fix.
Interestingly, the audio problems seem to be confined to phone calls and GPS voice navigation. Streaming music over a Bluetooth connection doesn’t seem to be affected.
The first poster on Apple’s forum, skierrob2, summed up his experience:
I have a new iPhone SE and have so far paired it to a 2014 BMW 328i and a 2011 Kia Optima and a 2015 Kia Santa Fe. In all cases, I have terrible quality bluetooth call reception… the audio while on a phone call is extremely scratchy and distorted.
If I pair an iPhone 6S to each of these vehicles (same iOS version – 9.3.1), I do NOT experience these issues and calls are clear.
When I use the iPhone SE to make phone calls outside of Bluetooth, I have no issues and calls are clear.
The issues are apparently affecting all iPhone SE handsets, no matter its model, carrier, or software installed – iOS 9.3 or iOS 9.3.1. The latest beta software, iOS 9.3.2 beta 1, doesn’t offer any type of relief.
Apple is working on a fix
Apple seems to be aware of the issue and is apparently working on a fix. But it’s currently unknown whether the problem is software or hardware based.
We’ll definitely keep you informed if we hear any more information.
If you’ve purchased a new iPhone SE, are you having issues with phone call audio quality via Bluetooth? Let us know in the comments.