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Next up…..the HTC / WP7 Mute Bug



Err, Houston, I think we have……another problem. What I thought was a one off freak thing that happened on a phone call a couple weeks ago seems to be a genuine bug, sigh, at least on HTC WP7 devices. I was on my Surround with my nephew (and his iPhone) about two weeks ago and in the middle of the conversation suddenly he could not hear me.Throughout the call the reception was perfectly crisp and clear. Being a new phone, I immediately assumed I did something wrong, so while he was at the other end doing the, hello…hello thing, I toggled the mute button on/off, I tried turning speakerphone on/off and I even cycled the volume up/down. But nothing. We were in the process of building him a new MacBook online so we needed to continue the conversation. I hung up and called him back but when he answered, he still could not hear me. Via text, I instructed him to call me and when I answered, same problem. My end of the conversation was muted. I finally powered off and on and when I called him back, everything was fine for the next 20 minutes of conversation. I am not a big phone call person, maybe one a day average, but I have made and received more calls with this new phone, averaging maybe 15 per week since launch day, and this is the only call that has exhibited the unusual loss of microphone. During other calls I have toggled speakerphone on/off, looked up dates on my calendar and done other things, none of which affected the conversation in any way. So with all these other successful calls I wrote this one incidence  off as an anomaly, that is until today.

In another MD thread here discussing dropped calls, or more specifically the lack of dropped calls with WP7 devices, a couple users have acknowledged issues regarding mute.

sm0keydabandit wrote:

I’ve got a surround and i haven’t had any dropped calls but my goddamn microphone keeps randomly shutting off until i do a battery pull, probably like once every week. I’m not the only one this happens to either. great call quality but that doesn’t help me much when they cant hear a word i say…

and Charles followed up with:

For the user with problems with the mic getting muted, there is a similar known bug on the Focus in which the mic gets muted after you unplug standard headphones. To fix it, plug them back in and out. The issue does not happen with the phone factory “hands free” headphones+mic.

So is there a bug involving mute and dare I say, HTC phones, or at least the HTC Surround. I did experience something similar to what Charles is referring to above yesterday when I plugged in wired stereo headphones for the first time. Sometimes, while listening to a song,  if I plug in the headphones the volume will go down to 0 and the phone will set to vibrate. Turning off vibrate and raising the volume restores the sound. And when I unplug the headphone the music will pause requiring me to to tap play again to resume the song. But I am not aware of the phone muting when unplugging the headphones. After last night’s experience I had a 40 minute conversation today with no muting (and no soft resets this week). I also just tried plugging/unplugging my stereo headphones repeatedly and then using TellMe to verify my mic was working and I had no issues. so not sure if the two issues above are related.

I am suspecting that the mic dropping out during a phone call is another “HTC exclusive”. I would like to investigate further, but HTC’s Support Forum’s have been down for many days, at least from any of my machines. Makes you think they don’t want anyone talking about these issues. Well that’s not gonna happen. So, while I know everyone wants to wildly defend their new shiny WP7 phone, if you have experienced muting on your phone during a call or otherwise, please share your experience here so we can do more work for the WP7 Test Team and get this bug stamped out. As usual it would be helpful providing the normal stuff; phone model, start or middle of conversation, frequency and how you resolved the issue.

UPDATE: HTC Forums and Customer Service are back up. Sent a request to CS and they replied with a pleasant, meaningless message telling me to soft reset if it happens again. Thanks for nothing. Read through the HTC Forums and found at least one other Surround user who had the mute issue so I started a new thread explaining the bug and pointing to Mobility Digest for more details. Nothing yet.