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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.

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7 Soluções

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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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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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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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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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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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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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