Where is the Speaker On iPhone 7? Breaking Down its Construction

Recent reports suggest that the average user in the digital age consumes 34 gigabytes of content and 100,000 words every single day, and the vast majority of that comes from staring at a tiny screen on a hand-held device: your phone.  

It’s easy to take for granted the amount of technological advances and innovations that allow for you to at a flick of your fingertips or less find the answer to any question in the history of human knowledge.  

And yet despite the miracle of the device, every year, companies push out newer and newer versions of phones, with greater screen resolutions, more processing speed, better photo sensors, and, presumably why you’re here, better audio capabilities.

When looking at these tiny computers it's not uncommon to ask, "where is speaker on iPhone 7? But first, more on the iPhone 7.

One of the biggest changes with the iPhone 7 was the removal of the headphone jack, replacing it with Bluetooth and wireless technologies.  Why be tethered to your device unnecessarily?  

Subtly related to this change were key advancements with the built-in speakers as well.  Newly available in the iPhone 7 are a set of powerful stereo speakers.  This is in contrast to the iPhone 6’s mono speaker.  

The distinction is that two speakers provide a more robust sound, allowing different channels of audio to funnel from each speaker.  In addition, the speakers themselves are much more powerful than previous iterations.

About the iPhone 7

There are two main ways to hold your iPhone.  If facing the screen of the phone, “portrait mode” is when the home button is at the bottom, and the part where you put your ear is at the top.  

In contrast, if facing the screen, “landscape mode” is when the home button is in the same plane as the place you’d put your ear.  This distinction is important because the type and quality of sound you get from your iPhone 7 speakers differs depending on how you’re holding the phone.

Though there are two speakers, when holding the phone in portrait mode, both speakers play the same audio content.  What’s known as the left and right channels are commingled and played together.  

iphone 7

In this context, while the audio comes out as more powerful than in previous iPhone versions, the audio is still played in a mono format. It makes sense why this is the case once we’ve addressed the question: Where is the speaker on the iPhone 7?

In contrast, when you hold your iPhone in landscape mode, you get true stereo audio quality.  One audio channel plays from the left side of the device, and another distinct channel plays from the right side of the device.  

The left and right channels need not be the same, and this creates a true stereo performance.  If this seems confusing, a reference point might be considering surround sound systems at home or in the movies - the more speakers placed around your head, the “fuller” the audio quality as we perceive it.

For completeness, it’s also important to note that the iPhone 7 Plus is also designed similarly.  The biggest differences between these two devices are the cameras and screen size and resolutions.

iPhone 7 Speaker Cleaning & Replacement

Cleaning and replacing iPhone 7 speakers are very different beasts as one might expect. But either way, you might be asking yourself, "where is speaker on iPhone 7."

iPhone 7 Speaker Cleaning

There are three widely known ways of cleaning your iPhone 7 speakers.

First, similar to how you might use compressed air to blow dirt out from your keyboard, you can use the same compressed air to blow dust and lint out from your speakers.  

Compressed air is oxygen that comes in a pressurized can.  Usually, the can will have a long nozzle that you aim at where you want to blow the air, and a lever you would depress to commence the blowing.  

There’s no need to let out a lengthy release of air, as often quick bursts aimed at the speakers will sufficient remove any debris.

If you don’t have any compressed air lying around, another option is to use painter’s tape.  There are a lot of different types of tape, so it’s important to find out specifically painter’s tape, as it’s the right level of stickiness for our purposes.  

Painter’s tape is typically blue and generally used for marking areas when painting walls.

To use the painter’s tape, cut off a small piece and roll it out into a cylindrical form, with a width of about your index finger.  Slide the cylinder over your finger, and then rub it along your iPhone speakers.  

Any dirt accumulated on the speaker will glue to the tape and get removed.  Perhaps obviously, if you see a lot of gunk on your tape, cut off another piece and give it another go.

Lastly, you can use a soft brush, such as a soft-bristled toothbrush to wipe away dirt from the speaker ports.  If you’re dealing with an especially ugly situation, you can dip the brush in rubbing alcohol.

iPhone 7 Speaker Replacement

Replacing the iPhone 7 speakers is much more involved, involving thirty-three distinct steps and can take up to two hours.  It requires patience, a special toolkit, and replacement parts.  

The toolkit includes such devices as a P2 Pentalobe Screwdriver for the tiny screws in the iPhone, an iOpener which is a special tool for specifically heating up the adhesive that holds the iPhone together, a suction handle designed to help pull the segments of the phone face apart, and a spudger which is like a tiny wedge for prying things open.  

In terms of parts, you’ll need replacement iPhone 7 Loudspeakers, iPhone 7 Loudspeaker Gaskets, and replacement Assembly Adhesive for reattaching the phone faces.

What follows here is a brief summary of the steps involved:

  • Discharge your iPhone battery.  This is really important.  A charged battery can explode or catch fire.
  • Turn off your iPhone and remove the tiny screws on the bottom edge.
  • Use the iOpener to soften the adhesive in the lower edge of the phone.
  • Combine the use of the suction cup and the spudger to pull the two phone faces apart, working your way with the spudger around the perimeter of the edge of the device.
  • Pull up on the suction cup every so slightly, no more than 10 degrees, then remove the suction cup from the phone.
  • Continue carefully detaching the two phones faces from each other, being sure not to pull them too far apart as there are connectors holding them together still.
  • Remove the four tri-point screws securing the lower connector bracket, that holds the battery in place.
  • Remove that bracket and then remove the battery underneath.
  • Use a spudger or a fingernail to disconnect the two lower display connectors by prying them up from the logic board.
  • Remove the two 1.3 mm Phillips screws that hold the bracket on top of the front panel’s sensor assembly connector, then disconnect that connector.
  • The display assembly should now be fully detached and can be removed.
  • Remove the two screws at the bottom of the phone.  These hold the 
  • barometric vent to the rear case, then remove that vent.
  • Use the spudger to disconnect the Taptic engine connector - this is what controls the tactile feedback provided at the home button.
  • Remove the screws holding the Taptic engine to the rear case and then remove the engine itself.
  • Remove the three screws to the right of the Wi-Fi antenna.
  • Lift the two antenna cable connectors off the logic board and then use tweezers to disconnect the cables themselves.
  • Slide the speaker assembly towards the logic board, and then off the board entirely.
  • Carefully remove the antenna from the speaker where it’s attached by a clip.
  • On the speaker, there’s a tab which you need to remove by gently lifting it up with tweezers.
  • Remove the Wi-Fi antenna.

If you’ve managed to follow the above advice, you can now insert your new speaker components, and reverse the instructions to replace the parts and rebuild your phone.  

Word to the wise: whenever you remove a screw, be sure to note exactly where it was, and keep them organized as you place them away from the disassembled phone.  When reassembling, if you’re reusing adhesive, you will make use of that before putting the two faces back together.  

As fair warning, the summary here is a guide for speaker replacement, and it would only be helpful to supplement this guide with watching a video of someone who successfully accomplishes this task.

But Where is Speaker on iPhone 7?

Perhaps at this point it’s no secret: one speaker is at the top of the iPhone 7 where you’d normally have your ear when on a call - you’ll see a small slit above the screen, and this is the speaker; and the second speaker is on the right side of the bottom edge, behind the grille.  

The speakers are about as far apart as they can be so that when the phone is held in landscape mode, there’s enough distance apart to generate that stereo sound quality.

Conclusion

Hopefully you now have all you need to appreciate the marvel of stereo sound in your iPhone 7, and more importantly, you can answer the question of: Where is Speaker on iPhone 7?

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