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[ The PC Guide | Troubleshooting and Repair Guide | The Troubleshooting Expert | Troubleshooting Specific Components | Troubleshooting Modems | Operation and Connection Problems ]

I cannot hear the phone number being dialed when I try to dial out, so I suspect that the speaker on my modem doesn't work

Explanation: You cannot hear anything on your modem's speaker, making it difficult to troubleshoot dialing or connection problems.

Diagnosis: First of all, you need to make sure that the modem actually is dialing or performing other tasks, before you can conclude that the problem is silence from the modem speaker. It is possible that the modem simply isn't working properly and if it isn't doing anything, there won't be anything to hear in any event. A common reason why the speaker won't make any sound is that the AT command to disable it has been used. Finally, some modems don't have a built-in speaker; sometimes these are "voice" modems that use a connector on the back of the modem intended to be fed to a set of external speakers.


  • Check to make sure that the modem is actually responding to the command you are sending, for example the command to dial a number. (Obviously if you can already get a connection, none of this applies to you.) If you hear the single "click" of the modem going off-hook, then you should be able to hear the tones of the phone number being dialed. If you don't, then try to issue a simple "AT" command to the modem. If it doesn't respond, your problem is more than just the speaker not working; continue here.
  • Make sure that your modem actually has an integrated speaker. Some modems do not; you must connect an external speaker to them, next to where you connect the phone cord.
  • Try issuing the following command to the modem: "ATM1L2". This will turn on the speaker and set it to medium volume on the typical modem. If this works, then the problem was that your software had been issuing the command to the modem to turn off the speaker volume. Usually this command is "ATM0", but it might have been buried in another command or initialization string. Look through your software for "M0", if possible, and remove it if you don't want the speaker turned off.

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