Trouble hearing caller or caller hearing you

You make a call and it connects. But you can't hear the person on the other end, or they can't hear you. What can you do?

First, pay attention to whether the problem only happens with certain calls to specific numbers. If so, try these troubleshooting tips.

If, however, the problem occurs on all calls and all phones, start by checking your phone equipment.

Check your equipment

Damaged phones, worn cords or faulty jacks can cause reception problems. If calls are ringing through on your line, but then you're having trouble hearing, try these troubleshooting tips for your equipment:

  • Try turning up the volume on your phone, or if the caller is having trouble hearing you, suggest they do the same.

  • If you have a cordless phone, try changing the batteries in the handset. Read more ideas for improving cordless phone performance.

  • If the problem only seems to happen on one phone, try plugging a different phone into that same jack. Then make another call. If you can hear okay, you know the problem was with the phone. If you still can't hear, there could be a problem with that jack.

  • How many things do you have plugged into your phone jacks? Each line has a maximum load capacity. Unplug all your equipment and then plug in each device one by one, testing your calls after each. When the problem starts again, you've reached the full equipment capacity for that line.

  • If you have DSL internet service, you may need to use DSL filters on phone jacks that connect to devices other than your modem. When DSL filters aren't used or installed correctly, you may experience static or a hissing sound on your line.

  • Check for a clear dial tone on all jacks. If the dial tone on one or more of the jacks is faint, unclear or intermittent, you probably have an inside wiring problem. You can hire any professional to make the repairs. If you subscribe to a Brightspeed maintenance protection plan, repairs are done by a Brightspeed technician for the flat monthly plan fee.
Phone plugging into filter (diagram)

DSL filter on cordless phone

Test your service at the phone box

If you've checked all your equipment and don't hear a clear dial tone using any of your phone jacks, your next step is to check your network service at the telephone box (NID) on your property, using a standard landline phone.

Note: If you live in an apartment, ask your building manager for assistance.

If you DO NOT hear a dial tone when testing for service at the network box, or if the tone is faint or intermittent, then the problem is with our equipment. Request a repair visit through Troubleshooter, and we will send out a technician. You will not be charged for the technician's visit.


If you DO hear a dial tone at the network box, that means the service is fine and there must be a problem inside with your wiring or equipment.

Check your service online

The Troubleshooter will search for outages and problems with your individual line. If it doesn't find any known issues, it will walk you through some common scenarios. Select Phone Problems and follow the prompts. From there, you can open a repair ticket or chat with a support representative if needed.

Check for outages and troubleshoot problems with your home phone or internet service.

Need to change or cancel a technician appointment?

Was this page helpful?