Audio IC Problems in iPhone 7 and 7plus:
As the iPhone 7's begin to age, a few problems are starting to emerge. At the top of the list are problems with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus audio system.
You may notice any or all of the following list of symptoms:
- Callers can't hear you
- Voice memos are greyed out
- Sound doesn't record on videos
- Siri can't hear you
- You hear static on calls
- Speakerphone doesn't work
- Phone takes a very long time to boot
The hidden problem: C12 pad at audio ic
If you have some of these symptons or all of them, your iPhone 7 has an underlying logic board problem---a thin metal pad under the audio chip has separated from the logic board. The audio IC can no longer communicate to the logic board.
Interestingly, it is almost always the SAME PAD--board location C12 pad. This part of the logic board is a spot that serves connection between the master clock line and the audio integrated circuit (IC) chip. C12 pad loosens and breaks the trace in the board to a nearby inductor.
Why is it always the audio ic C12 pad that fails?
Although it could be a defect in the manufacturing process, most in the iPhone board repair business believe it's the same underlying problem that plagued the iPhone 6/6plus that would lose touch after the phone got some age. In touch disease it is the M1 pad under the meson touch ic chip that separated from the board breaking the trace killing communication between the IC chip and processor. The theory is when you screw a thick logic board peppered with delicate circuits into a large housing that experiences significant flexing as it goes in and out of pockets all day---over time the structure of the board becomes weak, similar to bending a paper clip back and forth enough times. In the iPhone 6 plus, the weak spot primarily affected is the M1 pad under the touch IC chip.
Here in the iPhone 7 and 7plus we are seeing the exact same underlying problem. In these phones, we call the weak spot "the fault line" and it can affect either edge of the logic board along an open spot near the audio ic and baseband chips. This open spot acts like a crease so that the normal flexing the logic board experiences through the case is transmitted to the fault line---much like kids jumping on a diving board. Along the fault line is the audio ic---a relatively large square chip that is adhered to the logic board by an array of solder balls sitting on companion pads stitched to the logic board.
It is repairable!?
The good news is that there is a solid repair for this problem! Just as we did for touch disease in the 6 plus, we are able to lift the audio ic chip, and add a micro-gauge wire to strengthen the attachment of the master clock line at C12 to the audio ic. We leave a slight amount of "play" in the reinforcing microjumper so that the board can handle the normal flexion of this area. As a result, we not only cure the speaker and microphone issues common to this signature problem, but we immunize the phone so that it can't occur again in the future.
Do you have a phone suffering from audio ic disease?
Give us a call at 219-325-9734 or send message us on Facebook and tell us all about the history and symptoms of your phone. Our technicians have plenty of experience and qualified to perform this type of repair saving your iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus from costly replacement.