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Loud touch tone sounds during phone calls


Loud touch tone sounds during phone calls

Recently I started hearing what sounds like touch tone sounds during my conversations.  

At first I thought is was maybe the person on the other side accidentially pressing one of the number buttons.  

When that was ruled out, I asked and it was only present on my side of the conversation, the other party on the call could not hear the tones.

I thought it may have been my IPhone 5s so I changed to a Samsung Mega.  No change.


These are multiple tones taking place during a conversation of seemingly different pitch, all very short duration.  I just finished a call in which I could almost not understand the caller dur to the number of the tones.


I think I've done a lot of work on AT&T's behalf troubleshooting the issue.  There are several posts available by googling on other carriers having similar problems.  What is AT&T's solution and when can we expect to have it.  I use my phone for business and if i can't hear the caller it's not of much use to me.

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Message 1 of 20

Re: Loud touch tone sounds during phone calls

This seems to be a network issue rather than a phone issue.  I hear the tones when I talk to my mother.  I have a Verizon landline and my mother uses the AT&T Wireless Home Phone service.  I also hear the tones occasionally when I talk to one of my friends who is an AT&T Mobility customer on my AT&T cell phone.


I've seen theories on why these tones occur, but I haven't heard a solution yet.  As far as I know, the network technicians are working on it, but the exact cause and solution are elusive right now.

Message 2 of 20

Re: Loud touch tone sounds during phone calls



Thanks for the information.  


I guess what I'm asking for is this:  What seems to be identified, at least in some cases, as a root cause is some of the network switches that are inadvertently inserting the tones into conversation.


I don't think it's safe to assume that AT&T is working the problem.  GM usually doesn't issue a recall until they get sued.  I would like to know where we can see AT&T acknowledging the issue, and reporting the status of a fix.  Is the community forum a place for this request or should this be the subject of a complaint to the FCC?


Any AT&T customer service staff, please feel free to chime in.

Message 3 of 20
ACE - Master

Re: Loud touch tone sounds during phone calls

One of my former co-workers signed up for U-Verse Voice + HSI about a year before I did.  He has stated to me several times that he occassionally gets those tones in his phone converstions with his wife (him on cell, her on UVerse VOIP).  I've had my U-Verse Voice+HSI for 2-3 years now and I've never had that issue with my line.


I do not know if the problem is related to the RG is use, the phone in use on the U-Verse side, or what.I have seen some people report that they have resoved this by changing phones, and others where that didnt help them.  One theory I have seen is that one person on the phone conversation manages to say something in a tone/frequency that causes the RG to think it's a DTMF tone, and it converts it to that for sending to the remote end.

Jerry B.


*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 4 of 20

Re: Loud touch tone sounds during phone calls

To expand on what Geekboy was talking about:


It's described as "DTMF talk off", in case you want to Google more info. It's said it happens when an IXC tries to detect a DTMF tone and regenerate it at the highest volume. Apparently some VOIP systems need this because DTMF is degraded by their compression. Unfortunately, high pitched voices are triggering the DTMF detector.


This is definitely something AT&T should be working on fixing. It's a very jarring sacrifice of voice call quality that should have never been more than a temporary kludge. However, it's been going on for years now.

Message 5 of 20

Re: Loud touch tone sounds during phone calls

I just spoke with a TECH support agent at AT&T, and with all the latest new digital voice calling, High Deff technology for clearer call quality it has something to with those tones. Essentially the phone's network is suppose to do that automatically in the background when you connect the call. Its not suppose to generate any audible noise on our end. The tech was able to disable that feature on the line and said there isn't a fix for this problem as of yet. They are working on to get the problem solved, so we are not alone in this matter as of 02/22/2016. 

Hope this makes some what sense and I didn't confuse anyone. 

Message 6 of 20

Re: Loud touch tone sounds during phone calls

kojak286 -  I was excited to see a recent post about this issue.  I can't believe people have been complaining about this issue since 2009 and it still comes up in forums.  I have a Samsung Galaxy Note Edge with AT&T and deal with the same, annoying dial tone beeps at random.  You said a Tech was able to disable this feature and that there is no fix.  So....did he/she disable something on your personal phone line and did that resolve the problem for you?  If so, can you tell us more specifics so we can ask a Tech or customer service to do the same?


Does this happen to Verizon customers?  I'm ready to go back to them, but It sounds like this problem is with ALL carriers and phones.  Thanks for a recent update!!!

Message 7 of 20

Re: Loud touch tone sounds during phone calls

We just received a brand new Cisco-AT&T microcell dph-154 unit because we had zero signal. When I call my family locally or out-of-state from my AT&T Galaxy to their iPhone 6s, they can hear a very loud touch tone or series of touch tones at the beginning of the call.  They say it hurts their ears.  On my end, I can hear very loud tones as well when I make the call, and sometimes right in the middle of the call that causes me to have to hang up and use my landline.  


If this was a problem with the old "white" microcell, it's a similar or same problem with the new one...and this would indicate to me that it is a network issue and not a problem with a defective microcell.  If it is a network problem, it could have something to do with the "handoff" from cell tower to microcell, or a network problem that pre-existed the new microcell that would cost too much for AT&T to implement a network.  The tones are very loud and jarring. When we are near actual cell towers out of the influence of the microcell, we never hear these tones. It's already mid-May 2016 and no cure for this yet?

Message 8 of 20

Re: Loud touch tone sounds during phone calls the same boat in San Diego.  Pathetic it's gone on this long and without accountability.

Message 9 of 20

Re: Loud touch tone sounds during phone calls

I'm having the same issue with my Galaxy 5 and I have AT&T and I'm in Atlanta. I was told to try disabling the LTE button. I will try it and update you all afterward. Hopefully it works! The button pressing sound is irritating.
Message 10 of 20

Re: Loud touch tone sounds during phone calls

I'm having the same issue with my Galaxy S5 on the ATT network. I went to the AT&T store because the frequency of the tones made my calls almost impossible to bear. I spoke with a friend on the phone for about 45 minutes and the tones came through probably 30 or 40 times, each for about 2-5 seconds.. and they're excruciatingly loud.


This is unacceptable for me as I frequently use my phone for work and this is putting an extreme damper on communications. If there is no solution.. the only solution would be to switch carriers.


Edit: In the Detroit Metro area.

Message 11 of 20

Re: Loud touch tone sounds during phone calls

I have the exact same issue when talking to my wife, and only my wife. I have a Note 4, and she had a S5 Active, but has since switched to a dumbphone and it still happens. In the span of a 6 minute call just now, they went off at least 15 times. It has never happened to her talking with anyone else, nor has it happened with me talking with anyone else, just each other and only on my end. This has been going on ever since I switched to the Samsung in October of 14. No explanation. Most annoying.

Message 12 of 20

Re: Loud touch tone sounds during phone calls

I have the Galaxy Note Edge on At&t & it happens to me all the time. I hear keypresses while Im on the phone all the time. Its so frequent im paranoid someone is listening to my phone calls and private conversations with my husband and family. Or recording my calls. I cant eat I cant sleep. Its really aggrevating to hsve this happening. And its not the phone as Ive switched 3 phones and its still happening!! AT&T please fix this!!!!
Message 13 of 20

Re: Loud touch tone sounds during phone calls

I have a Galaxy Note 5 Edge, AT&T.  Those same tones are heard on my end, not on the other caller's end, no matter if that caller is on a cell phone or land line.  It happens when holding the phone to my ear, speakerphone or Bluetooth.  So desperate for a fix, I factory reset my phone.  The same obnoxious tones were heard on my first call after.  I also turned off "Enhanced 4G LTE services", which didn't help.

Message 14 of 20

Re: Loud touch tone sounds during phone calls

I have been having this issue every since I switched to AT&T. It's loud and annoying. [Per Guidelines:  Keep it Relevant and Appropriate]. How many customers have been lied to by customer service/ TS. All the wasted time and money on factory resets, device exchanges or even a new device. The customer is the one paying the price as usual .This has nothing to do with the device. This is a network issue. The fix needs to be on their end not the customers.

Message 15 of 20
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