Need help when calling out with Siri on iPhone

Using iPhone SE gen 2 and IOS 17.3.1. When I press TouchId to make a call, Siri’s response while making the call is barely auditable, the green bar is shown at the top, and just when the call is connected does the main phone panel show-up and now the sound is fine. However I now have to fumble around to choose the speaker option before I can start talking. It didn’t do this before.

Clarification.
You can make and take phone calls on your MBP. I have a 27" monitor and the Apple menu (far right) with the Siri icon displayed.
I also show the Sound icon (set in preferences) on this menu to set a baseline audio output for my speaker.
Another “change” is that when I receive a call on the monitor (Siri answers). The audio could be changed with Cmd + < or > does not change as it did before using these same strokes to control the volume on the Music mini panel. I have to find the speaker icon in the Apple menu to control the audio manually. Didn’t need to do that before. (note: Music can be muted and the phone call continues.)

Which one of the 500 iPhone settings isn’t working? (Oh, still stuck with Big Sur if that makes a difference.)

All ideas accepted. TIA, Mike

My understanding of volumes on the iPhone is that they are all separate and you have to change them as they are sounding. So start a query with Siri (not a phone call - just ask about the weather tomorrow or something) and as it answers start turning up the volume until it’s where you want it to be.

However I now have to fumble around to choose the speaker option before I can start talking. It didn’t do this before.

I’m not sure about this one. I never use Siri to initiate calls and I very rarely use the speaker.

Another change is that when I receive a call on the monitor (Siri answers) but the audio does not change as it did before the same strokes to control volume on the Music mini panel…

…(Oh, still stuck with Big Sur if that makes a difference.)

Now I’m confused. You have a monitor on your iPhone? Are you asking about the iPhone or about the Mac?

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I frequently use Siri to initiate phone calls when driving. I always have to explicitly enable the speaker.

Fortunately, you can tell Siri to do this. I often give commands like “Hey Siri, call Jim at work on speaker”.

That last “on speaker” phrase tells Siri to put the call on speaker. Otherwise it will assume I want it hand-held (or via Bluetooth, if it’s paired with the car).