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Galaxy Note 3 voice garbled, popping, morphed, etc during calls?


Galaxy Note 3 voice garbled, popping, morphed, etc during calls?

Product: Sprint Samsung Galaxy Note 3 White 32 Gigabyte Smartphone


Receiving voice quality on a connected call is garbled with intermittent popping and frequency morphing.

Conditions: During connected call and hears through speakerphone, or headphones, or earpiece speaker.

Not present on music, video nor recording playback. Only occurs during a connected call.  Receiving party hears me clearly on their end.

Steps taken:

Called Samsung. "It's a hardware issue. Return phone or send that one in for repairs".  Called Sprint: "All our towers are up and functioning in your area".


Returned first phone within one day of purchase. Repurchased Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (White). Same issue. Received call voice quality verified by Samsung rep at Best Buy. Exchanged phone #2.  Phone #3 exhibits the same poor call receive voice.  Three new phones. Same call quality.

Anyone else experiencing this issue?

Thank you.

1,016 REPLIES 1,016

In all seriousness...



I see them posting and responding on other threads so why are they ignoring this one?

Shouldn't Sprint and their employees comment in this thread and let us know what is going on? It's like they're actively ignoring it in hopes that it'll go away.


shannon is getting back today Monday. perhaps we'll hear from her real soon.

maybe the social support people are not responding because they know shannon is already involved.

nothing is going to happen before we have returned iphone within the 14 day period.

I really love the screen on this phone. too bad.

the note 3 is fast becoming "the big phone that couldn't", or, it's most endearing nickname, "El Problemo".


I'm at a corporate store right now exchanging the phone. I refuse to sit around waiting for Sprint to make it happen. Either the device works or it doesn't, not sometimes work.

So far nothing from Sprint. Ofcourse, they don't want to acknowledge that there's something wrong so other networks can beat them over the head. Time they learn a thing or two about quality assurance.




1. Anyone who purchased OR exchanged their NOTE 3 on October 4th (release day) MUST RETURN (NOT EXCHANGE) THEIR PHONE BY OCTOBER 17TH.



Exchanges do NOT stop the clock on your grace period. Full returns with your upgrade status reset does revert you to a pre-purchase state.

IMPORTANT NOTE: if you then purchase another Note 3, you may be subject to another $36 activation/upgrade fee, AND, a possible restocking fee if that repurchased phone is returned.

Regardless, if you return your phone within 3 days, you will not face that activation/upgrade fee. This may or may NOT apply to 3 day "exchanges".

Check with your retailer for their particular policy.

REMEMBER, OCTOBER 17TH!! GET YOUR PHONE BACK BY THEN! (If purchased on release date).



Remember, exchanging your phone doesn't stop nor reset your 14 day grace period, and retail stores can eventually deny you an exchange/return. Return, not exchange, your phone within 14 days, or you own it in its current dysfunctional state. Just trying to help. John


Just completed a full return with store manager.

Apparently, they have this listed as a known issue and Samsung and Sprint will release a new MR update in the "near" future.

I'll patiently wait until they get their act together. Back to my GS3.


If you go and look at Amazon:

Samsung Galaxy Note 3, White (Sprint):Amazon:Cell Phones & Accessories

It has a rating of one star.  I have tweeted Sprint and Samsung asking that I want to buy this phone, but need to use it as a phone, and have heard of these issues and when will a fix be available. No reply so far. 


FYI, just asked Samsung about this and they said that there was no issues reported and to contact Sprint.

System: Please wait for a Samsung Agent to respond.

You are now chatting with Avery

System: You are now chatting with 'Avery'. There will be a brief survey at the end of our chat to share feedback on my performance today.

System: Your Issue ID for this chat is LTK111790962660X

Agent: Hi, thank you for contacting Samsung Technical Support. How may I help you today?

You: I'm interested in upgrading to a Note 3 on Sprint but I'm reading about a lot of issues on call quality. Is there a fix planned.

Agent: I'm sorry for that.

Agent: As of now we do not have any reported issues on this.

You: I think you need to check the Sprint Message Boards, there's many posts on this issue.

Agent: I can understand your concern. However I request you to contact the carrier.

Agent: They will provide you with all the details.

You: Can you please check again, there are post on many different sites.

Agent: I really apologize for the delay. I checked the information and there are no reported issues on this.

Agent: I request you to check with the Sprint.

You: This is the ONLY thing that is keeping me from upgrading. And there are LOTS of upset users out there.

You: Ok, I will be sharing your comments on the Sprint Message Boards. It's sad when a company refuses to admit that there's a issue.

Agent: I can understand your concern. However I checked the information for you and I checked from my end and there are no reported issues.

You: Okay, thanks


I find it frustrating as I am waiting for either company to resolve this issue before I upgrade. has had the best news so far. Hopefully they weren't blowing smoke to appease him.

I've notified Sprint & Samsung of the issue as well. They're aware of it, but with huge corporations, no telling how many layers of bureaucracy it has to sludge through before all the proper departments are all on the same page. You'd think between the tech articles, forums & social media, response time would be so much faster. So until they're on the same page, it seems all we'll ever get is the standard, non-helpful corporate line from the customer-facing employees.

Message was edited by: JASONGEORGE7 (spell checked like a boss)


You would think. I'm just concerned because Sprint hasn't responded yet. But I'm wondering if they can do it because people will stop buying phones?


Possibly. But why risk the negative online press & word of mouth? Problem isn't gonna go away by itself. Instead of losing or pissing off customers by remaining silent, they should acknowledge it (with an official sticky thread on the phone's page) and stay on top of it. Show that they've identified the problem, where its most prevalent, what's being done to remedy it and temporarily extend the return policy as a result of this issue. Then provide a daily summary of what action was taken that day.

Instead they always shoot themselves in the foot. The ambassador thread was deleted (he still hasn't replied to my inquiry & his new PR fluff thread *can't* be replied to) and customer service agents really don't appear to be doing anything tangible. Have they turned the complaints over to management? Has the issue been communicated to other departments? With everything Sprint can do, it amazes me at what little they have done in terms of damage control. I saw another thread where a Sprint agent proclaims they want to be the number 1 carrier. Spoiler alert: this isn't how its done. You're gonna have to do better Sprint.


Introducing the Galaxy Note 3: The REAL Review

The reason this is called the real review is because many of the reviews  on web sites currently state that the note 3 is in excellent phone. However, the actual user experience is quite different.

Many Note 3 purchasers are on their 3rd and 4th phone exchange.

The problems are nation wide. There are many new "Reviews" now surfacing that tell the real story of the Note 3, without the "made for TV" type hype.

Please see the Sprint Community Forum "

The Good:

The screen. It is bright. It is clear. It is awesome.

The battery. It seems to last longer than the Note 2.

The power cord: charging is faster when connected to outlet power via the new USB 3.0 inlet and power cord. REVIEWS state this USB interface will also increase data speeds when connected till USB 3.0 computer port. I have not tested this, but it's obviously reasonable.

The Bad:

The Touch Wiz interface seems to be quirky. There is often a miscommunication, it no communication at all, between the finger point and the screen. Tap on a homescreen icon, and you may notice this delay or experience no action at all.

Likewise, the Internet application has features that get in the way more than they help. Tap on a "reply" link to a forum, and you'll pull your hair out trying to type in a reply. Text size changes on the fly, completely blinding you to what you've just typed, and often times your cursor all together.

Sometimes when tapping on an entry field, you'll get that section immediately within a magnifying rectangle. The options you could have chosen without the magnification quickly pop into view, then disappear. You're left with a slightly magnified rectangle box that you just have to tap again to get back to the original non-magnified screen. Then your prior used options click info view, again, giving you the option to input them into the field. It's a glitch that soon becomes irritating.

In landscape mode, the HUGE keyboard takes up more that a third of the screen realestate. The notification bar and the suggested word bar take up considerable space too. All said and done, you have a small rectangle to maneuver input text/message in a web site. Couple this with the magnifying thing, and you'll soon avoid web forum input all together. While you can remove the notification bar display (and word suggest bar) from the screen with settings options, I personally feel blind not seeing the clock nor the status of my data connection (which, by the way, is now comprised of very very small up and down arrow tops beside the 3G indicator. I miss the full arrow representations. I could see them easier. That's why we get a large phone, right?) There are multiple interface quirks when interacting on message boards, including being sent to the top of the messages while entering text on the screen bottom, then having to use a narrow view window to scroll back to your text entry location. Buggy, quirky, and time consuming.

The SNote application is totally different (and not fully compatible with the Note 2, more on that later). It's like, again, you're typing on a top layer interface that the screen then needs to communicate with a bottom interface. The lag is minuscule, but you sense it. When choosing a lined template to type onto, you're dismayed that you no longer type directly into those lines as in the Note 2. With the Note 3, you are presented with a blue text box to enter your text into. Problem is, the text box is not aligned with the lines on the template, further giving you that "disconnected" feeling between the interface and the actual app. It's no surprise when you discover that your entered text isn't in the template lines all, but the lined template is just a wallpaper background completely disconnected from your message. Not very professional, and sub par to the Note 2's direct entry. You begin to wonder if Samsung tried a new thing regarding user input, where there's a middle layer of programming involved between input and execution. The more you sense lag on this statistically superior phone, the more you sense this middle layer is a reality.

Try backspacing within SNote to delete unwanted text. The cursor goes left, but portions of the deleted text remain on the right side of the cursor! These phantom characters cannot be deleted without exiting that SNote and then re-entering to remove the text. It's not uncommon to have a string of word pieces and stay characters residing in the right cursor margin.

The graphics potential should be everything the reviews state. Indeed the screen is stunning. But why then does a dinky game app such as "Atomic Bomber" lag ask over the place when it doesn't on my Note 2?

The screen is beautifully awesome (can't day that enough), yet tapping on it is another matter entirely. Not only is there the intermittent delay mentioned earlier, but the result may be unexpected as well. Tap on Ann home screen icon, and the screen might slide to the right or left menu screen instead of executing the app you tapped. Start tapping a word in a text input area, and watch how the word morphs. "Comm ::) ng" is an actual real time and reproducible example of me meticulously pecking the keyboard characters for the word "coming". Although the keyboard interface is to blame, it is still there and contributes to the overall experience.

The list of statistics is impressive, yet you begin to realize something just isn't right in Dodge. Add up all The Bad, and your user experience is lacking where it shouldn't in an expensive electronic purchase.

There's more, but you get the point.

The Ugly:

If call quality is important to you, the Note 3 is not the phone for you. Whether you use headphones, speakerphone, our the headset, the voice you hear on a connected call will snap, crackle and pop. The incoming voice will have high and low pitches, sometimes high enough to hurt your ears. The interruption and popping and morphing of the voice frequency will make you cringe when you have to make, or receive, an important call. This is being experienced by Note 3 users nation wide.

Although repeated phone exchanges and returns do nothing to alter this occurrence, Samsung well state they want you to send in your phone for repairs, stating as of this message, that they are unaware of the problem (though it's awareness went viral nation wide. Right). Sprint is currently looking into the matter as most are returning or exchanging their phone for the 3rd and 4th time. See for details and Sprint comment.

If Wi-Fi is important to you, then the Note 3 is not the phone for you. I was at a Toyota dealer with "Excellent" Wi-Fi signal strength. My laptop connected without issue at breakneck speeds with "Excellent" listed as the signal strength.  My Note 3, meanwhile, kept displaying "attempting to authenticate IP address". It never did connect.

At Starbucks, again my laptop connected without issue with "Excellent" displayed as my signal strength. . My Note 3 wouldn't connect, stating "Signal strength too weak". Wi-Fi is trash on this phone. Google this for your own research.

Note 2 native calendar DATA transfer to the Note 3 is not supported. That's right. Samsung released a Note 3 without compatibility with the Note 2. That in itself says something. If you decided to forgo having your private Calendar data plastered on a Google or Samsung "will eventually be hacked someday" "cloud" and opted instead to keep all your calendar data on your "phone" app... then you're outta luck. Where you could simply install a "Kies" program on your PC computer and backup/restore a galaxy S3 into a Note 2, that is s no-can-do with the Note 3. First, the Kies software will tell you that version 2.6 whatever isn't compatible with the Note 3 and to download version 3.0. After downloading that and installing the update (no small amount of time either), you'll discover that all your Kies backups are no where to be found for the 3.0 version of Kies. Thus, all your use of Kies to backup and restore was for naught. As of this message Samsung technical support affirms that neither Kies nor the Smartswitch program currently offer Note 2 native calendar transfers to the Note 3. Note 3 S Note is also incompatible. The Smartswitch app will transfer Note 2 SNote data to the Note 3, but you'll lose a lot of formatting of the Note 2 version, and, once in the Note 3, your editing of the Note 2 SNote is limited. Samsung wasn't looking ahead here, because people going from a Note 2 to Note 3, and (mistakenly) turning on their Note 2 as an exchange, will have no avenue to get their native calendar information into the Note 3. Ridiculous.

Google sync only restores a few months worth of calendar entries onto the new phone. Not good if you want ALL your calendar transfered to the new phone.

Call quality and Wi-Fi are a must in a Smartphone, especially a $700 phone (or $350 and a two year commitment to expensively connect the phone the duration of that 2 years). Either way you look at it, the purchase should function as advertised, and the Note 3 (Galaxy S2?) doesn't. The ability to transfer information from the prior Note 2 should have been made "easy" long before the Note 3 became available, especially concerning trade in matters.

Some lucky chaps have actually received a good Note 3 void of the call quality issues. As if this message, I have heard of a mere handful that have.  Is the Note 3 the phone for you? If you're willing to take the gamble, just be aware that exchanges do not reset their 14 grace period, and returning/exchanging the phone after 3 days could snag you with a $36 activation/upgrade fee, plus, for some, like Sprint, a restocking fee as well. Take stock in the fact that many of us are on our 3rd and forth return, with no admission Samsung admission nor fix of the problem in sight.

Take care, John

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