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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


Thank you for contributing to this thread. The garbled voice issue with the Note 3 does not appear to be widespread and from what we are seeing it does appear to be confined to small geographic areas. As far as dropped calls they are usually associated with the towers in the area that serves you and if work is being done there to update the system.  

I am seeing that there are towers in 50701 that seem to have 4G upgrades coming.  If you let us know the nearest cross streets to your location we can check out the specific tower that serves you.  

Thank You,


Sprint Social Care Team

Michael C. 


I am also having the above issues with Note 3. What info is needed from me for the Sprint side?


I'm not sure if you've gotten the solution for your problem.. but I recently purchased the note 3 and was told by everyone I was muffled. .so I went into my call settings and turned off the noise reduction selection. . I believe it is the cause of the problem. .since I've turned it off no one had the same complaint.. they all say I sound better.. hope that helps all of you 🙂


Turn off noise reduction in the call settings. . It fixed the problem for me.


the note 3 is a superior device compared to the LG G2

as john has mentioned....the note 3 has a bigger screen, larger RAM, sd card (64 gig cards on sale ehehe) ...and better multi-window/s-pen functions

i just rooted my note 2 a while ago....and it can now do GroupPlay video share w/ the note 3 ....yeap it can do panoramic video spread on both devices...i tested 1080p "man of steel" & 720p "superman returns" mkv files

here is a video for the LG G2 users out there whose main priority is just making phone calls (um have you tried the 13k vocoder fix before switching?) *wink* *wink* *nudge* *nudge*


Michael from Sprint

I understand you are trying to help but your response to my post is just another indication that you either don't really care to see what the real problem is or you are so use to giving canned responses that you don't care to read the post in detail. My issue is with dropped calls not garbled or distorted calls. My cousin was trying to contact me to tell me that my uncle died and my phone dropped the call 15+ times. I ended up texting my mom to tell her to call my cousin to find out what it was she was trying to tell me. That should NOT be happening. My husband and I make calls from the same location with the same phone and yet my phone drops calls and his doesn't. Sprint has neither offered to give me any alternatives to resolve this issue nor give me credit for what is now going on over 1 month of not being able to make calls. Oh and did I mention that I don't have a land line sort his phone is my main method of communication. It is frustrating to repeatedly be asked for cross streets and location and not given an adequate response. And even if it was to be a network issue which doesn't affect any of the other cell phones in my home (5 in all) why am I not at least offered credit or the opportunity to switch to a different phone that will work on the network?


Your post made me laugh out loud thanks.  I find it hilarious that you mention all the Note3 qualities without actually making a fair comparison. First of all we all know the note 3 is a pretty good device but i owned one for 2 months and experienced first hand the problems it caused me. Battery life is terrible compared to the note 2 and the LG G2. Samsung had to put the a 3200 battery in it with a 3 gb RAM to support all the blotware bullcrapp it came with and without rooting the device and losing your warranty the phone didnt last 12 hours with heavy usage for me (college student). The note 3 laggs much more than the note 2 did for me and the power button took a couple seconds to wake up the phone every damn time. I dont know how old you are honestly but who uses microSD cards anymore? Dropbox and SkyDrive are the way to go in the world now. Anything you want shared across the cloud with no need to usb cables nor limited storage. The 32 gb that comes with the lg g2 is more than enough. Also have you looked at a camera comparison between the note 3 and the lg g2? Haha LG puts samsung to shame with their OIS and photo resolution and quality. Oh wait never mind, microSD cards are on sale for the $300 dollar device call-less prick i purchased. Why the hell would you buy a device that makes no calls? Get an ipod without paying the monthly bills wink wink!!!!!!  But..  But this has group play so i can gather 6 of my friends who all supposedly own Note 3s to play this movie while hanging our phones on a wall hahah Movie theatre anyone? Anyways i gotta make a call to the advising office and will be put on hold for god knows how long.... Good thing my phone doesn't drop calls. Good day



Thanks for reaching out to us! So that we can check to see if any changes on the network are affecting your device, I will need the zip code and nearest major cross streets for your area. Also, can you tell us what troubleshooting steps you've tried so far? Thanks.

Sprint Social Care


the LG G2 eh? hmmm....

triband first world problems...

dropbox & skydrive are inferior services compared to younited (NSA privacy concerns & freebies)...but they're all next to useless when you're offline (or with a poor connection)

....why do you think Spotify offers an offline feature?

i'm sure you were happy when the sprint note 2 only offered the 16gb variant (i wonder why Apple users want more memory on their phones/ipads, or are willing a premium for 64-128gb built-in)

the lag is noticeable on any android device unless you use a good launcher like Nova (or tinker with the Developer Options)

have you tried the 13k vocoder fix on the note 3

or any of the VOIP apps?

voiding your warranty is a badge of honor

similar to ignoring the canned responses of "sprintcare"

i've only had 2 dropped calls since i had the note 3,

and i blame that for making phone calls while laying in bed

we can all agree that sprint is a ghetto service network...their connections suck


I called samsung today. I asked about the galaxy note 3 and any information they had on it. I ask them to tell me the specifications. I presented myself as someone interested in purchasing the phone. I asked if there were any reports regarding call quality. She stated that there were no issues regarding the call quality of the samsung galaxy note 3.

I said that it was odd because there was a sprint community website that mentioned multiple situations to where the galaxy note 3 did indeed have poor call quality. She looked in her alerts and said there were no alerts about it and if there were that it would be displayed for her.

She said she could go to the sprint community site and see what the Sprint community website was saying about the issues. When she attempted to do so, she said that she was blocked from accessing that site.

She did read to me reviews from people who have the phone, and it read like a TV commercial. I could not have given a better review if I were paid to do so.

Then I came clean (not easy to do with my showering schedule). I mentioned that I actually have the note 3 and that I have had 9 note 3's. I then explained the issues and the community website responses. She then interrupted me and said, "Oh, wait. There is an alert. It reads that Sprint and Verizon may experience call quality issues. Samsung is working on a solution with Sprint and Verizon and there is no solution at this time."

I asked her what date was on the alert. She said, "It must be recent because it is at the top of the list."

We talked awhile about Sprint. She has Sprint and stated that all her friends get better call quality and faster data than she does. She was not happy with Sprint. Sprint needs to take note of this because it is not the first time a phone representative has told me this.

Then I called Sprint. Sprint's representative told me that their records state that the MJ4 update resolved the Note 3 call quality issue. I mentioned the forum. I mentioned my in depth experiences with 8 [9] Note 3 phones. I mentioned that the best a Sprint corporate store could do was to give me a refurbished phone (which is why I've gone the brand new exchange route 9 times).

Sprint's response: "There's really nothing we can do".


Then I received the best call I possibly could regarding the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. The SAMSUNG QUALITY ASSURANCE TEAM called. I relayed EVERYTHING. Pre and post MJ4 phone call quality issues. I explained my in depth study of the phone and each issue. I explained how THE MJ4 update did not work for everyone. I explained our somewhat successful call quality when the vocoder settings were changed [for some]. I explained how ROAMING calls are clear. I explained about Texas not being affected; about Sprint and Samsung recommendations that didn't resolve call issues. About the differences between the MI3 and MJ4 updates.

The highlights were:

The MJ4 update did not resolve the underlying poor call quality for many.

The problem is intermittent: a couple purchasing the phone at the same time and place, one having issues and the other not.

And every other aspect of the persistent issues present in the MJ4 update [underlying static] as well as a Verizon poster stating they received a second update.

Mostly, I asked that Samsung acknowledges to us that they are aware of the problem and that they are working on an update that takes into consideration all the aspects of who's affected, where they are affected, and how they are affected.

The WAY rep reviewed this Sprint Community Forum.

The Quality Assurance rep stated that they recorded everything I stated, and linked this forum to their report, A REPORT THAT WILL GET TO THE RIGHT SAMSUNG ENGINEERS AND BE ACTED ON. This site is linked to the report.

If everything she told me was accurate, this was the best we could have hoped for in getting our issues acknowledged.


(Of you are not experiencing issues, the very best to you and your communicating).

Sincerely, John


We are blessed to have someone as meticulous as John documenting our Note 3 woes....

So i'll just repost his full documentation of the known issues: (which i have also experienced INTERMITTENTLY~)

" Hello folks.

I've tested 8 Note 3's. Here are my experiences.

Things very wrong with the Galaxy Note 3 with the latest MJ4 software update:

1. The WiFi is inconsistent with frequent messages informing that the connection was terminated due to a poor WiFi signal.  However, the WiFi settings themselves will report that same WiFi connection as "very strong". Often times the phone will refuse to connect to that WiFi source again. This WiFi abnormality occurred in 2 of my 8 phones used. However, WiFi was not tested in all 8 phones due to phone change time intervals. 2 phones in which WiFi WAS tested exhibited no WiFi issues.

2. There is a perceivable delay in screen tap recognization. There is also an intermittent keyboard pop-up delay. This is perceivable and existed in 2 of the 8 Note 3 phones I've used. There is also frequent "this program has stopped" notifications.  My impression regarding this abnormality is that it is not always present in every phone.  5 of the Note 3's I've had didn't exhibit this delay whatsoever.  Delays in some phones weren't as perceivable.  When it is present in a phone, it's very perceivable and consistent.   All 8 phones were configured and operated the same way in the same locations.  Only my temperament changed.

3. DATA Suffers more than Voice Quality with MJ4's update. The Data signal comes in and frequently drops (Sprint Optimizer turned off). Also, the reception icon fluctuates between 2 and 4 bars.  Sometimes there are 4 bars with the 3G icon displayed, yet 3G won't actually be working nor accessing requested input. Prior to the MJ4 update (MI3), DATA was fast and consistent. Some phones were worse than others in this respect.  Phone number 8 was/is the worst with 3G popping I and out. The Sprint Optimizer is turned off (and shouldn't even be on this model phone which had antenna issues to begin with.  Even Sprint tells you to uncheck this option). In all 8 phones, the network 4G mode capability is cauterized, changing the mode to CDMA (3G) only.

4. The call quality is horrible.  There is a fuzzy and often muffled sound to the received voice. Sometimes it sounds like rustling paper in the background. There's also an infrequent garbled fluctuation. I preferred the snap, Crackle and Pop with frequency shifting highs and lows of the MI3 software over the constant MJ4 Static and syllable dropping.  At least between the MI3's horrible popping, the voice was clear and natural. The MJ4 update turns received voices into an underlying hiss and unnatural computerized Android voice.

Other issues:


In all phones pre and post software update, the Swype and Swiftkey keyboards leave phantom characters when backspacing over characters to delete them. These remaining characters: stay to the right side of the cursor and cannot be deleted. You must exit whatever you're editing at that time, and then go back in to be able to delete those hodgepodge characters. This is most evident in the SMemo app. The Samsung keyboard does not exhibit these Phantom characters.  Also, Web Form text input had various abnormalities with the Swype keyboard, often sending text editing input back up to the beginning of the message body and typing over initial message text. Also, quickly tap a long word out, and the native keyboard will break up the word into many unrelated words.

Battery: In all MJ4 updated phones, I noticed a 15 to 20 percent battery capacity drop.

All phones, regardless of settings, something within the phone's hardware or software interrupts the 3G DATA stream to look for a WiFi connection, to inform you via a box in the middle of the screen that a wireless network connection could not be found (as well as keeping this notification in the notification drop down screen). This occurs even with all wireless and location setting off. Irritating! "


Hi, John

Even though I decided to get my Note 2 because of all the bad reviews about the Note 3, I'm still following this forum. Also, my email is somehow connected and I get all responses to this thread. I feel somehow attached to this forum now. I'm really hoping you and everyone else can get some help and resolution. I'm rooting for all of you. My next Note will probably be the Note 4. I am so hoping it won't have the same problems the Note 3 has had.

In answer to one if your recent comments about screen protectors, here's my 2 cents worth. I've done alot of reading on screen protectors (I know how one always wishes they didn't have to have one on because they don't feel the same as the lovely glass, but Notes are very delicate with their large screen size). I decided on a Tempered Glass Screen Protector for my Note. It is real glass and feels wonderful to your fingers or with use of your S Pen. It is about .33 mm thick I think. It's thick enough to absorb drops. The idea is that it will shatter and not your phone's glass if you drop it. It is also splinter proof.

You do not have to buy the expensive Spiegen brand. Ebay and Amazon have non brand name ones that are very inexpensive. You can just type in tempered glass screen protector in the search bar. I really like mine I got from ebay. However there's always something isn't there? The protector is too thick for some of my cases to fit properly. I actually bought a Just Like Glass Protector because of this problem. It is highly recommended for Notes (S Pen is suppose to even work better on it than on glass). Also provides some shock protection and is supposed to feel as is says Just Like Glass. I have not put it on my phone yet though, finding it hard to part with the tempered glass one. It is so awsome. It just won't work with a couple of my cases. Decisions, decisions. You would probably love either of these protectors!

Screen Protectors have come a long way. I hated the one on my old phone. Sticky and not good at all. It was a Zagg. Hope this helps! You Tube has step by step directions on applying the above mentioned protectors.

By the way I did the update to 4.3 Jelly Bean on my phone. It kept bugging me to do it, and even though I was afraid, I finally did it. I had some problems after the update with my signal bars not working right with my air rave unit but troubleshooted the problem and for the most part seems O.K. I do really love the update. I can finally save Apps to SD Card. That saved me one GB!

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