We bought this toy as we thought our 11 month old daughter would enjoy the flashing lights and sounds and eventually learn use the phone with its interactive commands 'ie, press the red circle' etc.
All I can say is that when the phone is taken out of its packaging and the plastic tab removed from the back it becomes SOOO quiet it's impossible to hear what is being said while looking at the front of the phone, as it's an interactive toy how can my child learn to interact with it when she can't hear it!
After reading a number of posts here it became clear that removing the plastic tab reduced the sound level hugely, hey presto problem solved. Just cut out a strip of cardboard 3 or 4mm wide (I used a piece of Christmas card) and push it into the slit the plastic tab come out of. It's a tiny slit just above the battery compartment. I pushed in the card until the sound returned to its shop bought level then snipped off the card so nothing protruded. Result is the toy can be used normally and my Daughter LOVES this phone now... Hope this helps