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Repair information and guides for the iPhone 6S released by Apple on September 25, 2015. Models: A1688, A1633

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Sound up & down when recording video

Hi,

I noticed that the sound volume of any recorded video in my iPhone 6s starts low and then increases/ decreases with no obvious reason.

The sound result is like switching microphones front/rear, however I am not an expert and this is just a wild guess to describe how it feels like.

When I play the video in my computer, the sound issue is still there, so it should be a microphone hardware or software issue?

I haven't exposed the phone in any humidity sources nor having dropped it.

For the record I have tried to tackle the above issue by:

- testing the iPhone's stock camera app vs. other video recording apps and the issue persists.

- restoring and set up as new

- resetting options etc

with no good results.

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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My god, can’t they just add an option where it just uses the one microphone? It’s an absolutely nightmare trying to edit the sound to make it sound consistent throughout.

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I am having the same problem. But I used my memo app and test the audio and it doesn’t seem to happen when using the memo application... but I don’t understand why when I use the camera the problem persists

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I have this problem too... SWITCH OFF 'Phone Noise Cancellation" solves the problem... (in SETTINGS | accessibility)

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This does not fix the problem everyone has with iphones

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This does not fix the problem. Not any of of my iphones. If you search the whole internet you get results for this stupid website that is always titled “SOLVED” so you click and see that the issue is actually NOT solved.

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21 Answers

Chosen Solution

There are 3 microphones in the iPhone.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203792

  • The bottom microphone is for Voice Memo and phone calls. The other microphones serve as error cancellation
  • The (top) front microphone is used for FaceTime calls, Siri and selfie videos with the front camera (FCAM). The top back microphone serves as error cancellation
  • The (top) back microphone is used for videos with the rear camera (RCAM). The top front microphone serves as error cancellation

Make sure you update your device to the latest version of iOS and then try to isolate which microphone is not working properly by trying each individual microphone with the related apps above. If the issue affects more than one microphone, then it could be the Audio Codec IC on the logic board.

Anything at the logic board level will require micro-soldering so you would need to find a repair shop that offers those services.

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Thanks for your quick reply!

Could you please inform me if you know any app that tests the individual microphones?

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I don't know of any diagnostic app (perhaps others can chime in), if that's what you mean. Just run the apps I highlighted above to test each microphone. Make recordings or calls to voicemail and play them back. Don't forget to test the headphone microphone also.

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That’s not what’s going on theirs a compressor or audio limiter on the audio mic. Mac needs to give us the option to turn it off or the sounds just going to continue to make video useless for everyone.

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I also had this problem!!! All my videos volume was very low for the first 10 seconds and then suddenly got louder. The sound was not at a consistent volume like it should be and kept going in and out when playing back video recordings.

Then I went into settings, camera, and turned off “Record Stereo Sound” and I THINK it fixed it for me! Give it a shot and let me know if it helps with your issue also!!

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Same here Heather and I have no idea what the other posts are saying but your suggestion made it work. Thanks so much!

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Hey everybody, I’m not sure of what the actual material is that you are recording but I’m wondering if you are recording music?

Are you shooting video of live music?

If you’re hearing audio discrepancies in this situation, it might be related to the automatic compressor/expander function that is built into the audio system of the video camera. This is actually A FEATURE designed to help avoid distortion in your audio. But as well intentioned as it is, certain signals are not treated so well, bass heavy music in particular. You can’t turn this off BTW.

If you’re shooting a music act that is playing soft music, the audio on your iPhone camera will sound natural. But if this music is punctuated by loud LOW FREQUENCY energy, aka BASS & DRUMS, the phone’s compressor will kick in to prevent distortion of low frequency energy and all the upper frequencies above 200-300 Hz will suddenly sound SQUASHED. And yes, this can be maddening.

Professional video cameras don’t have compressor/expanders built into their audio recording systems, or at the very least it can be switched off and on at will. The pro camera would then basically have a “volume” control to set the camera input sensitivity to record a signal that is way too loud. If there are soft moments in the video sound, you would fix it in video editing software during the “post production” phase of your project by raising up those portions manually when editing.

But the iPhone video camera is not a professional video camera, it uses this audio compression/expansion system to try it’s best to be all things to all people in almost all situations with minimal thought involved. Most other video apps are the same, you can’t turn off the automatic compression/expansion system.

Making this feature switchable would be a problem for most people. They would forget wether it’s off or on and wonder why their sound is ruined when recording something with varying loudness.

The only solution (and you’re not gonna like this) is to have a separate audio recorder with a recording resolution of 16bit @ 48kHz with it’s input adjusted for the varying sound, then sync the sound to the video sound in “post production” afterwards within video editing software.

What normal everyday person has time to get involved in this process? Only experienced professionals and hobbyists. That’s why the audio compressor/expander function always stays on, in your iPhone video camera app.

I’m trying to figure out a way to UNDO the effects of the audio compression/expansion in video that I record at music events. That’s how I found your post. I’m looking for answers. But this is very difficult and time consuming to do. Professional multi frequency EQ compressor expander software might be the fix… The results may improve the sound, but nothing is better than just having an adjustable input for the microphone sensitivity and setting it to low, with no automatic compression/expansion, then fixing the volume in post production afterwards.

FYI, this problem is sometimes also known as “companding,” a mashup of the words compression & expansion.

You can hear the problem in this video that I shot, There are moments where the drum and bass kick out. Suddenly the music level opens up and sounds fuller and richer, then when the bass and drums return, it gets a bit squashed down. The sound was mostly very good at this show and wasn’t too bass heavy in the mix. This is why the video sounds mostly pretty good. But it is still slightly squashed, and you can’t really tell till the bass and drums come in and out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8PMp1OW...

Sorry, I know this is really no help. But it just might be the proper explanation.


If you have a spare old iPhone, you can convert it into a professional audio recorder using the SHURE MOTIV microphone in addition to the iPhone that you are shooting video with. This has the features I discussed above. Compression & Expansion that can be switched OFF or ON. It employs a mic that can be plugged into the lightening port of the phone. You only have the control options of changing compression & expansion when you have the mic plugged in. It’s app is separate from the Video App. I’ve never tried running the camera and the Shure mic App on the same phone, imaging it would be too taxing on it’s CPU. Maybe that is worth a try, but it will still result in two separate files that will need to be synced in post using edit software. I’m not sure how well a really long file will sync, but starting with a 48kHz resolution preferably 16bit is important to the process.


http://www.shure.com/americas/motiv/over...

Best of luck.

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UPDATE! SHURE has released MOTIV app with VIDEO FEATURE - THIS IS THE ANSWER!!! Now you can record video with switchable compression/expansion and turn it OFF all on ONE Device!

https://www.shure.com/en-US/products/mic...

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Also, I've been able to save audio that was totally messed up by the troubles listed above with the "Too Much Expansion" setting - using the WAVES audio "C4" Multiband Compressor inside Mark of the Unicorn's "Digital Performer 9."

Probably more trouble than it's worth for most people, but this stuff is my hobby and occasional profession, so love exploring and trying new stuff....

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The reason this happens is related to the iPhone software (firmware), not the internal microphone hardware.

The iPhone is getting confused as to the location (direction) of the sound source, which is why it is constantly switching microphones during recording. The software tries to determine the location of the sound source and thus switch to the most appropriate microphone.

If if you are using a stand (tripod, case, etc) that covers one of the microphones (usually the rear), then this could be causing a problem. The sound vibrations off the stand/tripod are causing the iPhone to think the sound is coming from a different direction, hence the switching of mics during recording. This is especially true when using the selfie camera during recording, with something covering and vibrating against the rear mic.

The best, and possibly only, practical solution is to plug in an external microphone into the lightning (charging) port of your iPhone. You can use a camera adapter (or other AV adapter) so that you can plug in a USB microphone and charge your phone via a lightning cable at the same time.

After having the same problem and reading around the issue on the net, I’ve realised that this is what I have to when making tutorial videos.

Hope this helps.

Tony UrbanSmash

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Perfect Mr. Urbansmash!

I’m sure that’s it!

I was turning the phone in every direction while filming and I certainly was confusing the signal.

Thought I was gonna have to shell out bucks that I really don’t have unless I dip into meager savings......... during this layoff, ..... not cool, so Thanks!

Remember........safety first out there.

Be well.

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Shutting off record stereo sound in preferences for camera fixed the issue for me. I think it is a software glitch-hopefully one apple will solve, since so many are having the problem.

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My iphone is an iphone 7 plus and doesn't have the option to turn off 'record stereo sound' in the camera settings. Any idea what can be done if this is not an option?

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Same on my Iphone 6S - DOES ANYONE Have A SOLUTION FOR THESE OLDER PHONES FOR THIS PROBLEM? I’ve read everything in here and did not find it? Please help- doing Live Sales show and this problem has reared its ugly head causing me to have to use someone else’s Android!

Thank you to anyone and Heather for posting the fix for the latest generations-

Gamaboop1

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you saved me thank you

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Wow! It worked!!! It took me a week to finally correct this issue. Been googling a week for a possible solution to this glitch. Finally!!!!!

Million thanks!

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Ahhh thank you!! I was losing my mind over this!

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Having the same issue I’m afraid. When recording on the selfie camera the sound dips in and out. very quiet in parts, and always quiet for the first few seconds of any video.

Very frustrating and not sure how to overcome the issue.

Some people recommend going to settings - camera — turning off ‘record stereo sound’ however this is not an option on I phone 7 plus.

Any more help would be appreciated!

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To solve the problem of your volume going “up and down” or going “in and out” during playback of a video on the iphone:

Go to Settings > Camera > Toggle off “Record Stereo Sound.”

I posted this resolution months ago in the comment section of one of the answers provided above and it seemed to work for many people having the same problem.

hopefully this will help you out too!

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4 Comments:

i’m not getting the option “Record Stereo Sound” on my iphone x :(

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Worked for me

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I have the same issue, also iPhone 6 Plus.... there is no option in camera settings to toggle on or off Stereo Sound?

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I don't have that option on my iPhone 7, help????

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This problem only happens when I record video. Not voice memos and it only recently started happening, maybe 6-7 months ago. That is a LOT of audio editing post filming. It is clearly switching mics as the sound is loud then soft then loud with zero consistancy. I have tried covering the mic(s) and it still doesn’t work properly. At $1000 a phone, I am not willing to run out and purchase a new one when it seems it was an update that caused this to start occurring. It seems the giant has found another way to force users to buy new products. Also, I am a lefty. Read some stuff on that but I don’t think that has anything to do with it. ??

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I am having the same issue with my iPhone 8. Only when recording in the selfie mode does the phone volume goes in and out. It is clear one second and the next it’s muffled and significantly lower. I used selfie mode in Snapchat and no problem. I used the voice recorder on the voice memo, no problem. The problem only occurs when recording directly to iPhone library. Did you find an answer?

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Well then; I might stick to my 4s IPHONE. These new ones not good. What yuh think.

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I solved my phone issue, had this exact same problem. Testing all the mics, my lower mic was fuzzy, my selfie mic volume level would go up and down, and my front camera mic would work perfectly. I changed the bottom mic first because I was having issues talking on the phone with people. But it didn’t change. Then John my phone doctor changed the netting on the top selfie mic (did not change the mic), problem solved!

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My phone is having the SAME issue! Trying to film reviews of products and it keeps doing this but no issue on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, voice memos, etc! I’m going to try the above solution to try and save my already filmed video but am going into the Apple Store on Sunday so hopefully they can tell me how to fix it. Soo annoying!!

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Hi Grace, did you ever figure out what the problem was with the volume on the iPhone?

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Hi

This problem generated for silent mode. If you actiavte silent mode the recorder videos are normal sound. If you desactivate silent mode the videos audio is down in intial 10 seconds then sound is normal.

The test is was done in stereo mode

Trash and disappointed with iphone

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No! Turn of the record stereo sound then you will have mono recording. That is not the way to solve the issue. iPhone has added the record in stereo since iPhone X , it’s a great feature in addition to mono.

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I have the same problem. No problem in voice memo but In video the sound comes and goes

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Same issue. Only happens when recording video. iPhone 8+

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I have the same issue and the same generation of iPhone. Did you find a solution?

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My phone is having same problem sound not hear me some time up and 0% down and ceeeee sound in video recording time

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I have restore to factory settings, restored my iphone from backup, reset all settings, cleaned all microphones, spoken to Applecare (who know less than this forum on the issue), waited for hours at a Genius bar, and they kept telling me to do all the things I’ve already done again. Nothing has fixed it. The mic only fails for the first ten seconds of Camera app. All other apps work fine.

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I’ve got the same issue in an iPhone 7 Plus. Is this an issue on all iPhone 7 Plus handsets???

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if you place your iphone on desk, the issue cannot be solved.

you should hold your iphone with hand to record video and the issue will be solved.

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It’s the opposite for me. If I lay the phone down flat, it’s the only way I can record with regular audio

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Oh, awesome. So when I'm recording videos of myself playing guitar, I'll just fret with my left hand, strum with my right hand, and hold the phone with the hand growing out of my @$$.

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I thought I was the only one with this problem. It started after updating to ios 13.5 on my iPhone 7 Plus. It’s really annoying that now I can’t record front camera videos coz the volume keeps changing. I even restored my device, the problem is still there and worse I lost 3D touch for good. I wish I hadn’t updated my device. Now clearly there’s nothing to be done to solve this.

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I just changed my tempered glass and, apparently, my previous tempered glass came with an anti-dust mesh that covered the ear speaker, thus affecting the audio quality. After changing my tempered glass (since it got cracked after a drop) and removing the mesh, the audio works completely fine when I filmed on camera!! I could even hear music and voices from the ear speaker clearly now!! Turns out the main prob was just the anti-dust mesh which I wasn’t even aware of til I checked the box of my previous tempered glass.

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I have the same issue, the answers in here havent fixed them. I need to record for work. My iphone is X Plus

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Guys i had the same prob and here is the fix. Settings>Camera>Turn off record stereo sound. You are good to go.

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I don't have this option in my settings, only options related to image, nothing related to sound. What's your iOS version?

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