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Sound Check feature on iOS 5

30843 Views 126 Replies Latest reply: Nov 15, 2012 9:20 PM by torpidlittle RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • b-gee Calculating status...
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    Apr 7, 2012 5:19 AM (in response to ltcarneiro)

    I submitted the following feedback at


    Sound Check Defects Play Audio at Unexpectedly High Volume


    The Sound Check feature in iOS's Music app has suffered defects since release 5.0. The following defects have been observed using iOS 5.1 with various iTunes releases, including 10.6.1. Both defects have been observed to play audio at unexpectedly high volume.


    1. Sound Check sometimes stops working after tapping the Music app's "Next" button. This defect causes the Music app to suddenly, unexpectedly and continuously play audio at the volume that would be expected when Sound Check is off; in some cases, this is unexpectedly high volume. So far, it has been impossible to predict when this will happen. When this defect appears to occur, it can be verified by changing the "Sound Check" setting in Settings > Music from "On" to "Off" and noting that volume does not change, then changing the setting back to "On" and noting that the volume changes to the expected Sound Check level.


    2. Sometimes the first 1/10 second a tune is played at unexpectedly high or low volume. So far, it has been impossible to predict when this will happen.


    Message was edited by: b-gee

  • b-gee Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 7, 2012 5:24 AM (in response to ltcarneiro)

    Two questions for everyone in this thread:


    - Is there anyone who has NOT used a tool that changes volume settings, like iVolume?


    - Has anyone found a workaround that works long-term?


    Thanks to everyone for posting!

  • Durgesh S Kumar Calculating status...
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    Apr 28, 2012 6:52 PM (in response to adtr2t)

    i've noticed, when sound check option is kept on, while on my way to office, the songs sound low, as the ambience before leaving, at home is quiet. it adjusts volume output based on that, is what i assumed.

    as soon as i receive a message or a notification, the volume turns up again and stays. Apple engineers may know this and if it's really an issue, shall patch up in next iOS release.

  • b-gee Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
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    May 5, 2012 8:42 AM (in response to b-gee)

    This problem does not appear to be related to the use of iVolume. I tested a playlist of tunes that had not been adjusted by iVolume or any other third party tool (i.e., I only imported these tunes into iTunes, then sync'd them with my iPhone). I still experience problem 1, where Sound Check stops working after tapping the Music app's "Next" button.


    And now this happens every time I tap "Next," not just intermittently.


    There does not appear to be any workaround that helps on my iPhone. Reviewing the workarounds described in this thread:

      - A post by tjesis states that Sound Check volumes can be obtained by skipping back to the previous song, then skipping forward again. That does not work on my iPhone.

      - A post by Jonny_Chaos states that enabling "Manually manage music and videos" in iTunes solves some problems. That does not help with my iPhone.

      - A post by ltcarneiro states that enabling "128k" in iTunes solves some problems. That does not help with my iPhone.

      - A post by brendafromwoodlandhills states that restoring iPhone to factory default (not saved settings) might help, at least temporarily. That does not help with my iPhone.


    I also tried these workarounds:

      - Quit the iOS Music app, or quit both the Music and Settings apps. Neither helps with my iPhone.

      - Powering off the iPhone. That does not help with my iPhone.

      - Hard reset iPhone (hold power and home buttons until Apple logo appears). That does not help with my iPhone.

  • ltcarneiro Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    May 5, 2012 9:34 AM (in response to b-gee)

    I iagree with b-gee.


    There's no workaround this problem, and, with my iphone, sometimes the volume goes up or down like before, without skip any music on my playlist. It happened a few times after the upgrade to 5.1.

    I think this is a relly annoying problem, and this is a very basic funcion of a iOS device. Can anyone imagine an ipod without a proper music app?

  • Is there a vet in the house? Level 1 Level 1 (145 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 6, 2012 4:49 AM (in response to ltcarneiro)

    Does anyone have AppleCare on their iPhone? To quote from the spiel: "Just one phone call can help answer questions related to the iPhone OS, Apple-branded iPhone applications…" It would be good to know if Apple were aware of this problem and were doing something about it.

  • b-gee Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
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    May 8, 2012 3:46 AM (in response to b-gee)

    iOS 5.1.1 does not address these issues.

  • CharlesDayton Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    May 14, 2012 10:10 AM (in response to b-gee)

    In my case the problem actually started when I upgraded to iOS 5.1.1



    I sent a bug report to Apple with the link to this thread.  I hope they read it and fix this soon.  The soundchek feature is working properly for me on iTunes and ipod Nano,  the problem is only on iOS devices.


    PS:  I encourage other people in this thread to submit this and any other bug you find to Apple:

  • Anthony.W Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    May 22, 2012 10:21 PM (in response to b-gee)

    I too have this problem on my iPhone 4S, iOS 5.1.1.


    Just wanted to make one clarification: it works fine when manually going to the previous track but not when manually going to the next. If I let the music keep playing on its own, soundcheck works. If I manually select a song, it works then too. And it works fine in iTunes as well.


    So the only fix I've found is skipping to the next song, and then going back to the one I want to play. A pain in the a** after a while...

  • Jason Sims Level 2 Level 2 (180 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 31, 2012 12:15 PM (in response to adtr2t)

    This issue was definitely NOT fixed by iTunes 10.5.2, nor any of the updates for iOS. I'm still having this problem with iOS 5.1.1 on an iPhone 4S, using the latest version of iTunes (10.6.x). Sound Check is not adjusted when switching tracks. Skipping ahead to the next track and back to the previous one results in a wildly different volume level. I can reproduce this over and over on any track. Force quitting the music app or restarting the device has no effect.


    Bottom line: Sound Check is broken to the point of being completely useless in every version of iOS 5. It's ridiculous that this bug has persisted for over 8 months without being fixed.


    This is perhaps a separate issue, but Sound Check also behaves very erratically in iTunes as well. After adding new songs to the library, I find I need to play at least one track from each album and change the name of the song while it's playing. This causes iTunes to rewrite the actual file on disk, which for some reason triggers a re-reading of the Sound Check value. Immediately after doing this, the volume level jumps noticeably on any tracks that have a larger Sound Check value (anything over +/- 3 dB, which represents twice or half the perceived loudness, respectively, is very noticeable). For whatever reason, it doesn't seem to be necessary to do this for each track on an album; doing this on one track seems to get Sound Check working for the whole album.

    Really wish they would sort this crap out once and for all. Sound Check is an essential feature for digital music libraries.

  • Calculating status...
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    Jun 8, 2012 12:30 PM (in response to adtr2t)

    That's what I found out:

    In iOS 5.0 Sound Check was wrong when a new song begins; maybe it's just not updated to the new value. Workaround was to stop and restart the song.

    In iOS 5.1 and later (or 5.1.1, I can't remember exactly) Sound Check is now correct when a new song begins automatically. But there are new bugs: when skipping manually to the next song, Sound Check is off. The Stop/Start workaround does NOT work.

    But: Skipping to the previous song makes Sound Check work correctly again.


    So I've got the following workaround: If you want to skip to the next song, just skip TWO songs forward and then skip one song backwards again. Seems to work fine.


    Apple should really fix the Sound Check issues in iOS 5.x. It worked fine in iOS 1 to 4 (and on iPods and iTunes).

  • CharlesDayton Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jun 8, 2012 3:05 PM (in response to

    Thanks.  the skip two forward then back trick works for me too.


    Apple definitely should work fas on a solution for this now and don't wait for iOS 6.  Music playing is the most essential function for iOs specially on iPods  and on iphone secundary only to phone function.


    Remember to report your findings to Apple.  If enough people report the bug and details of it the developers will fix it:


  • amusebouche Calculating status...
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    Jun 18, 2012 6:12 AM (in response to adtr2t)

    I have the same problem!!!!

    anyone update IOS 6 beta?

    did they solve the sound check problem?

  • n808n808 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 27, 2012 2:12 PM (in response to CharlesDayton)

    For me, this problem started with 5.1.1, and was not present in 5.0.1. However, the skip two songs and one back tricks works great. Thanks!


    However, it seems Sound check is completely ignored on some of my Purchased AAC content, at least for songs directly downloaded to my iPhone. But it works for some. Perhaps I need to remove and re-add the content to my iPhone, or worse, remove from iTunes and re-add there (losing ratings and play stats).

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