The Speaker Quality of the iPhone 4

By , Jun 21, 2010

iphone-4-press-007_mediumAfter sifting through article after article of early iPhone 4 reviews, I still have one large question unanswered. We all know about the new high res display that Apple has touted around, and 3rd party reports have verified its beauty.

But what I’m desperately wondering is if the audio quality has been improved. Speaker phone quality as well as general media volume is very inadequate for such a premier device.

I wondered if maybe I had just been spoiled by my work phone, a Motorola Droid, but in my quest for an answer I actually came across several different forum threads on various Mac and gadget blogs where users have had the same complaints. As a device used to watch and listen to your media and share funny YouTube videos with your friends on the go, headphones are not always readily available.

I noticed how bad the speaker quality was when I tried to watch a funny YouTube video with a few co-workers out to lunch one day, and you couldn’t hear a word on full volume, and there was very little background noise.

The exact same video on my Motorola Droid however was easy to hear at 2/3 volume. I also enjoy listening to music sometimes without headphones, when I’m playing Madden on my Xbox or watching Sport Center late at night. With my current 3G iPhone, it’s just not possible.

So although it certainly wasn’t mentioned in Steve Job’s keynote, and has yet to be commented on in early iPhone 4 reviews, I still have my fingers crossed that there will be an improvement to the external speaker quality. But judging by the picture of the tiny speaker port above, I shouldn’t hold my breath.

Currently, speakerphone is also a joke, whether in the car, or sitting at my desk, it’s almost impossible to hear the other caller with any type of background noise. It would be nice to have speaker quality reflecting the technical advances in the rest of the device.

But when attempting to make a lot of advanced technology fit inside such a small, thin casing, something’s gotta give right? Chances are the speaker port is kept so small to not intrude on the aesthetics of the phone.

Either way looks like the jury’s out on this one until June 24, when the first real hands on reviews will start pouring in. Seems though if you were dreaming of higher quality audio in your new iPhone 4, chances are your going to be disappointed.

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  • Marky

    Oh, and one last thing. I was able to slightly improve the sound quality by altering the EQ settings.

    Go to Settings > iPod > EQ > select “Treble booster”

    Hope this helps.

  • Marky2

    Oh, and one last thing. I was able to slightly improve the sound quality by altering the EQ settings.

    Go to Settings > iPod > EQ > select “Treble booster”

    Hope this helps.

  • Plink

    @Mark, you do realise the left speaker is actually the microphone, yes?

    • cjeffery03

      OMG you saved me an embaresing trip! Thanks :)

  • Madrid

    I agree with Plink as the left speaker is for the microphone and the right for the speaker. You shouldn’t complain with the speaker as it gives good quality sound (for crying out loud! ^_^ ). Just early this morning, I tried covering the left side (which i thought was the speaker) and noticed that the sounds are not equal with the right side(speaker), so I became a bit nervous, seriously! With that, I’ve searched the iphone 4 site and totally they gave me a clearer side of things that both have different functions, left side would be the -microphone- and right side would be the -speaker-. Hope this helps.