I attacked my iPhone
..With a needle. Yes, I finally tried the ‘Volume Boost’ of sticking a needle into/through the holes of the iPhone speaker grille. Firstly, the actual speaker is located further inside the body of the phone, and is ‘channeled’ to the bottom of the iPhone via a kind of plastic funnel. This means that when you stick the needle through the holes, you are not puncturing the speaker itself, only the (stupid?) plastic covering behind the speaker grille. Why Apple decided to use this thin plastic cloth is beyond me, as it clearly is not ‘acoustically-neutral’, and dampens the sound a LOT.
After sticking the needle through 2-3 holes, the increase in volume and most importantly, clarity, was incredible. All my minor niggles with the speaker’s sound have been resolved now. It is LOUD and punchy.
As for dust getting inside via the holes, bear in mind that these holes are in actuality less than 1mm across, so the chances of having loads of fluff/dust gathering behind the grille is really minimal. Also, as far as ‘invalidating warranty’ is concerned, after punching the 2 holes, you cannot see any difference in the bottom grille, and I defy ANY Apple store guy to actually notice this upon inspection (even with a magnifying lens, I could’nt see any physical difference between punched holes, or non-punched).
All in all, I personally think it was worth the ‘risk’. I now have a much more satisfying sound from the speaker port, especially if using the phone in speakerphone mode.