After our initial use, we had a sneaking suspicion that Apple pumped up the volume on the iPhone 4S, so we figured that it would only be right to perform a test.

I happily headed over to iDB labs (my office) and put together a test that was as accurate as I could possibly pull off.

The results? Well, they speak for themselves. The iPhone 4S’s speaker is much louder than the iPhone 4’s, and this video proves that without a doubt…

There’s no denying the evidence; as you can see from the video, the iPhone 4S pumped out 6 more decibels than the iPhone 4 when at the same volume levels.

Don’t worry, I ensured that both devices were at the same exact distance from the external mic, and that none of the sound was modified in any way.

Check out the right side of the video during the actual test, and watch the sound levels for yourselves; they don’t lie.

If you think that the iPhone 4’s speaker is puny and frail, it’s yet another reason for you to consider an upgrade to the iPhone 4S.

What do you think about this test? And yes, I know the ringer volume has no bearing on the YouTube video volume, I was just in the heat of the moment at the time. Just want to clarifying that in advance.

  • Fdk8776

    Excellent, just another reason for me… Now, just have to wait until February.

  • Yasser

    Honestly thats a big selling point for me. I imagine they increased the volume specifically for Siri

  • Thanks for the test and the new info.

  • ic0dex

    It is louder and I love it. I think it’s because of Siri.

  • Luis

    It is… i notice it yesterday…

  • Kdkd

    Gj man I always liked ur videos. Simple and straightforward

  • Rudy New

    Good test, but is it equally louder in speakerphone mode? Speakerphone has typically been very weak in the past.

  • Woody dog

    Yeah I had to turn the volume down for everyday use. I use to keep it on full on my 3GS

  • Shaz

    wow. i was actually saying that the new phone should have better speakers.. now the next step is some basssss! need some BOSE technology in the iphone 5

    • QuarterSwede

      I think you mean midrange. “No highs no lows, must be Bose.”

  • t-mizzle

    Thanks for that info! I always hate that I never, ever hear my phone at work. It’s a noisy plant and I never feel it vibrate either.

  • Clutch Man

    IT is, I use it in the shower and I noticed it instantly since I max it obviously

  • Matthew

    Is the iPhone 4 straight out of the box *NEW*? If not, then this test is innacurate. Max volume decreases after time when used. Pull out a *NIB* iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S and THEN test out the db.

    • Tom

      don’t try to ruin it for everyone please

  • Ryan C

    Very nice job confirming what I already thought. I am really happy with the upgrade so far. All these minor upgrades really enhances the experience. Buy the 4s if you are undecided.

  • Henry

    Your website is super cool!

  • James

    Making the volume louder on the iPhone 4 is as simple as editing a plist file, Apple set the volume threshold stupidly low as standard on the iPhone 4 and in no way does slightly faster load times on webpages, faster load time on games, louder volume etc warrant upgrading to the 4S .. The camera is hardly any different in quality for both videos or stills in normal to well lit scenarios and for me there is nothing whatsoever to warrant shelling out for the 4S, when the next 1 comes out with a different design I might take a look.

    • Jordan

      And ur just a douche. I personally have a 3GS and it is totally worth while or me to upgrade. If one was to have an iPhone 4. Sure maybe it’s not worth it. Maybe it is.

      But what ur really says is if this phone just had a new outward design then it would be worth getting it.

  • Ryan C

    When you combine all that speed and man is it more noticeable than you might think, better call quality (a lot better), louder speaker, better camera (better than you think (macro, stabilization, 1080p,etc), hspa+, Siri and speech to text everywhere there’s a keyboard to use, and AirPlay mirroring, it’s a better upgrade than it first seemed. I admit at first I was skeptical in making the purchase but after selling my 4 for $350 and basically only shelling out $100 I think it was worth it.

  • xjust

    its LOUDER because siri is a ‘woman’ 😛

  • You should try 2 iPhone 4’s and 2 iPhone 4S’. Just to make sure it’s not a specific hardware problem that came through manufacturing.

    • It’s not. I have multiple of both, and they are the same. The 4S is just inherently louder.

  • Good video Jeff, I love your videos. Thank you for your good attitude always 🙂

  • BoardDWorld

    Speaker grills play a big part in muffling sound, obviously. What happens is they get dirty which continues to reduce the sound level. The only way to test is to open it up and clean the grill or get a new i4. I cleaned my 2G grill while fixing it one time and what a massive difference it was.

  • Binary-Stalker


  • Jj

    Yup. I noticed this the first day while watching Netflix. I actually had to turn it Down cause it was to loud. Something that had never happened with my 4.

  • Aaron

    I recently. Changed my iPhone 4 with apple for a new/refurbished model as my home button was spoiled and also noticed that my iPhone 4 was way much louder than the previous one. Anyone thinks apple is currently manufacturing the same iPhone 4s speaker for iPhone 4?

  • Erik

    I turn my volume to max on the IPhone 4s and can barely hear it … I have the ringer up to max??


  • Unfortunately the speaker distorts in the 440 to 700 hz range, which I am discovering as I am building a musical instrument app that sounds horrible on the 4s compared to the 4. I don’t know what to do about it, besides have the app detect a 4s and turn down the volume. It still distorts though at lower volume.

    • Anonymous

      Dude, I know, everyone is saying how great the new speaker sounds, but it does crack out on some audio. Although, my 4 did that on certain audio as well.

  • Callie O’Rourke

    That’s such a bummer, I just go the iPhone 4 and both my sister have the 4s and there volume is much louder, I want to get the upgrade but I’m not interested in paying the extra hundred