The best way to describe the sound is a light ticking or crackling. Very faint but noticeable in relatively quiet environments. I've tried turning off wifi to see if its some sort of interference but that didn't solve the issue. The noise does go away at times but I can't pinpoint why or when it does so.
I'm experiencing the same issue with my phone as well (iPhone 4s in white). I received mine on 10/14 as well and been on about 4-5 calls. Each time I hear a very faint crackling/static, almost like a scratching noise coming from the receiver. Sort of like a transmitting crackling type noise. I will also hear it when I'm not even on a call, but just holding the phone to my ear. Seems to be more prominent when I'm on a call though. It doesn't really interfere with the call, but is still distracting and annoying.
I brought up this issue to a Verizon store today and the guy who helped me couldn't hear what I was talking about, but he had me test one of the iPhone 4s on display. I coudln't really hear the crackling noise as much on that one. He said they can't even give me a replacement right now because they are all sold out and expecting shipment in a week or so and to try back then. I was thinking about trying to bring up the issue to someone at the Apple Store.
Have you tried contacting your carrier or Apple Support about this issue?
That's exactly the noise. Doesn't truly interfere with the call and its not even that loud, but its definitely there. Mine doesn't make the sound if I'm not on a call though. I may just wait it out until the first firmware/software patch to see if that solves it. My phone is otherwise flawless and this issue is so minute that I'd hate to swap it out for a potentially worse one at this point.
Yes, I agree there'd be a high risk of running into the same issue with a new replacement now. I was told that they will give you a brand new replacement if it's within 14 days of was shipped to you/or when purchased in person, but anytime after that they will give you a refurbished one since it's under warrantly for 1 year. Probably is best to wait it out til the next firmware update, and if that doesn't work, then at least once they address the issue to ensure replacement phones will not have it.
Thanks a bunch for linking me over the other theads. So relieving knowing I'm not the only one facing this issue!
For what it's worth, the ticking noise seems to diminish and sometimes go away depending on where I am. When I sit at my computer desk it's fairly prominent. If I'm out in the living room its definitely quieter and sometimes completely gone. I'll have to do some more testing to see if it varies while I'm out and about as well. This all leads me to believe its interference. From what I have no idea though.
Did some testing of my own. By the way, my issue is on a 4S 32GB White. I can't tell the difference proximity sensor on/off. I can't get my ear close enough to hear when the proximity sensor isn't engaged. What I CAN say though, is that if I use skype it's still there. If I use skype on airplane mode, but with wifi back on, it's not there. AND if I put my fingers over the two black bands on top of the antenna array, it doesn't happen. IMO, the top antenna of the new dual antenna system is causing interference. When you short it out, the fancy new adaptive antenna switching switches to the lower one and the interference disappears. Definitely a design fault, whether or not its firmware fixable without causing signal strength issues is another story.
I confirmed I also no longer hear the static/interference when I turn it on Airplane Mode. Pretty disappointing since everything else on the phone is great. Really hoping Apple will address the issue soon especiallly since it seems more and more people are experiencing it...