Speakerphone being weird; Is this a feature or defect?

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Senior Member
Feb 13, 2011
I was using my Note9 on a phone call today with speakerphone on. I noticed some odd behavior where the earpiece and bottom speakers were both acting as speakers, but randomly, the earpiece would become quieter and only the bottom speaker would be loud. After some investigating, I realized that the earpiece became quieter ONLY when I either put my phone near my head (approximately 1 foot away or closer), or when my hand went near the screen. Note though, that the earpiece never gets muffled physically.

I'm trying to see if my phone is defective or if this is actually a phone feature. A safety feature, to be precise. I THINK that this is a feature to prevent you from accidentally putting the earpiece up against your face and blowing out your eardrums (exaggeratedly speaking), but I can't be certain.

Can anyone chime in if (A) they know this is in fact a feature, or (B) if they are able to also repeat the symptoms by doing the steps below? I'd greatly appreciate it. I still have time to do an exchange (only had the phone for 3 days now) and need to take advantage if my phone is broken or defective.

How to repeat the issue:
1) Make a call
2) Put phone on speakerphone
3) put phone on flat surface with nothing on top of it.
- - earpiece should be acting like a speaker
4) Hover your hand about 1 or 2 inches over the earpiece. Do not physically muffle the earpiece though.
- - earpiece should become quieter
5) remove hand from over the earpiece
- - earpiece should get louder again
6) Pick up phone and move it to your ear
- - earpiece should stay loud until it gets close to your head

Again, I appreciate any feedback.


Senior Member
Jul 25, 2011
Mine does it too. I'm guessing it may be intentional, to keep the speakerphone from blasting into your ear if you put the phone to your ear as if for a normal call.