Tip & How-To about Garmin nuvi 350 GPS Receiver

No Sound Issue on the Garmin Nuvi Series

I've seen many posts of "No Sound" or "Garbled Sound" for the Garmin Nuvi Series. This is a common problem with the Nuvi.

In order to troubleshoot this problem, we need to determine if it's a hardware or software issue or a setting issue.

No Sound:

1. Try the obvious. Is your volume setting turned up?

2. Is the sound muted with the mute button?

3. If your Nuvi has a FM transmitter, is it selected to "FM" or "Speaker"? The "FM" setting will mute the internal speaker. Setting it to "Speaker" will send sound to the speaker.

Garbled Sound:

1. Does the sound seem to be better at lower volume settings?

If you still can't hear audio or if the sound is garbled, then we now have to determine if the internal speaker is defective. The easiest way to do this is:

1. Plug a set of headphones into the headphone jack. Now try listening to the sound. Listen for the touchscreen beeps, MP3 audio, voice directions, etc. Try adjusting the volume using the headphones. If you can hear sound through the headphones and it's clear and not garbled, then your internal speaker is defective.

The headphone jack is not only a jack but it's also a switch. When you plug in your headphones, the audio amplifier of your Nuvi is switched from the internal speaker to the headphone jack. When you unplug the headphones, your Nuvi's audio amplifier is reconnected to the internal speaker.

Now, if you can't hear audio through either the internal speaker or the headphone jack, you may have a different problem.

1. The internal audio amplifier (hardware) is defective.
2. There is a software problem. You could try resetting your Nuvi with the reset button or perform a factory reset. The software problem is more likely if you can hear MP3 audio or touch screen beeps but not speech.

The internal speaker has a voice coil. The voice coil is nothing more than a thin piece of long wire, wrapped around a magnet, numerous times. If you can't hear any sound, it is very likely that this coil is "open"; meaning that the wire has broken inside. If the sound is garbled, this is an indication that the speaker is mechanically defective and not reproducing the sound as it should. The speaker has a "diaphram" that moves in and out as it reproduces sound. If the diaphram has been damaged, it can't move in or out like it should and reproduce the sound clearly. There is also a possiblity that the voice coil has shorted windings, meaning that instead of it being a long piece of wire, it's now shorted to its adjacent windings and is electrically shorter now. Again, this can impact the reproduction of sound.

So, why did your speaker go bad?

1. It's possible it was defect in the manufacturing process and failed prematurely.
2. You might have had the volume up too high. I recommend using the lowest volume level possible. High volume levels put greater stress on the diaphram and may overheat the voice coil.
3. A speaker is an electro-mechanical device. It's subject to being damaged if you happen to drop or jar your Nuvi and/or operate it outside of its normal operating parameters.

What's the Next Step?

If your Nuvi is under warranty, I strongly suggest that you contact the manufacturer and tell them what happened. Tell them all of the steps you have gone through to confirm that the speaker is defective. If the warranty is still in effect, they should repair or replace your Nuvi.

If your Nuvi is out of warranty, try calling the manufacturer anyway. You have nothing to lose. Maybe they will replace it anyway.

If you have no sucess with the manufacturer, you will need to take your Nuvi to someone who is qualified in repairing your Nuvi.

I hope this tip has been helpful to you. Feel free to contact me if you have further questions or require further assistance with this problem.

Best wishes,
- Jim

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2 Answers

No Sound or Garbled Sound on a Nuvi Series GPS

I've had the volume up to 100% for the five months I've been using the Nuvi.   Thanks for the tip about keeping volume lower. Gamin is replacing it.  They'll send a new one, charge me, then refund when I send back this one.  Good service! (Until now, phone service has been terrible, with long waits and disconnections.)

Oct 01, 2008 | Garmin Nuvi 350 Car GPS Receiver

1 Answer

Nuvi 350 Garbled voice

How is the other sound? Like MP3 sound? Is it garbled there? Try using headphones. If the sound is good there, then your internal speaker is bad.

Email me at ks3r at sharc dot net if you are interested in me fixing this for you.

- Jim

Sep 10, 2008 | Garmin Touch Screen GPS Receiver

1 Answer

audio problems


1. Make sure battery is charged. Go to Step #2.
2. Press reset button and try it again. If still bad, go to step #3.
3. Try using headphones.

By using the headphones, you are bypassing the internal speakers, which might have failed. If the sound is still missing, the mostly like problem is a defective audio output stage on the motherboard.

Since this unit uses surface mount technology it will have to be sent back to the manufacturer for repair.

If the sound works with the headphones, the speakers have failed. I have seen several postings of speakers failing in the Nuvi 350.
In either case, you will need to send the unit back for repair. Be sure to have your serial number handy. Register it online https://my.garmin.com/mygarmin/marketing/register.htm
if you haven't already done so.
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Central time (closed holidays)
1-800-800-1020 (U.S.)
1-866-429-9296 (Canada) or (913) 397-8200

Good Luck,
- Jim

Jan 14, 2008 | Garmin nuvi 350 GPS Receiver

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