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I have my S4 since May 2013 with no issues. Thursday, Jan 9 I got a call but couldn't hear the caller nor they me.
1) Rebooted and it didn't help. Tried again and it did until I accessed any app that uses the microphone or speakers.
2) Cleared cache partition and this seemed to help for longer but eventually died out again. For example, I tried to record a voice recorder file and although the timer on the recording was rolling, it did not record any sound.
3) I did a factory reset after backing everything up. To my surprise It seemed to be working for a while but then I realized that this did not fix the issue entirely. It had slipped into NO sound mode again.
I would say its a hardware issue, but why would it even fix for a short amount of time? And if its a software issue why wouldn't clear cache partition and factory reset resolve it permanently? Any help would be greatly appreciated!