Do you want to maximize your iPhone’s audio features to get better quality sound? Do your phone speakers produce sub-standard audio that turns songs, film soundtracks and game effect sounds into thin or crackly sounds? Do you still get poor quality sound even if you are already using high-quality headphones or external speakers?
This article focuses on identifying and troubleshooting some of the major causes of your iPhone’s poor audio quality and further helps you to obtain best iPhone sounds.
Improving iPhone Sound Quality: Choose the Right Audio File Type
One important factor to consider when purchasing, saving, compressing or transferring audio files is to understand the nature of the file types. The following are the available audio file types that you can choose from on your iPhone (arranged from best to worst):
AIFF: This is an uncompressed file format which is strongly recommended. However, this audio file type requires large storage capacities because of its huge file size. If you have a small storage space on your device, you should go for the ALAC audio file type. If storage space is not an issue, then stick with AIFF.
WAV: This is an uncompressed file type by Microsoft. It differs from Apple’s AIFF file because of the arrangement of data. Moreover, WAV files do not let you save the audio’s cover art and other useful information – that is why they are considered second best.
ALAC: Also known as Apple Lossless, this audio file type uses a lossless compression formula to save storage space. ALAC file size is about half as big as AIFF file type, yet ALAC has some minor loss in quality.
FLAC: This type of audio files also use lossless compression technology, but the major drawback is that iOS devices cannot play them! You don’t have to worry because there are applications in the market that will let you use this file type. FLAC audio quality is also good in general.
AAC: The compression scheme utilized by this audio file type is characterized to be lossy. Therefore, its audio quality is weaker than that of an ALAC file type.
MP3: The emergence of this mp3 audio file type allows formatting portable music libraries possible. Nevertheless, its audio quality will not pass master audiophiles so this is least recommended.
Improving iPhone Sound Quality: Rip CDs at a Higher Bit Rate and Select an Appropriate Audio File Type
Another way that you can improve iPhone sound quality is the way you rip CDs. Follow these straightforward steps in ripping CDs using iTunes:
- Open your iTunes application and go to the iTunes dropdown menu.
- Choose Preferences or alternatively, press Apple + on your keyboard.
- Choose Import Settings under the General tab.
- If you have enough storage space, it is advisable that you rip your tracks using the AIFF file type. Select AIFF Encoder from the Import Settings Using dropdown menu.
On the other hand, if you prefer to have AAC compressed files then make sure you set the bit rate to the highest possible option (this feature is not available with AIFF or ALAC). To accomplish this, follow the instructions below:
- In the Import Settings screen, select AAC Encoder option from the Import Using dropdown menu.
- Click the Setting dropdown menu and choose the Custom option.
- In the AAC Encoder screen, click the Stereo Bit Rate dropdown menu and choose the highest possible option (320 kbps).
Improving iPhone Sound Quality: Buy the Right Headphones
It may seem that earphones or external speakers are just iPhone audio accessories. But if you look closer they could also contribute to improve the quality of sound produced by your phone’s built-in speakers. Always remember to buy earphones or external speakers – you will get what you pay for! If you decide to buy earbuds, try to pick those with high-quality ear-canal models that will ensure superior insulation and sound transmission. Those earphones with large over-ear canal models may render good audio but they will not be that portable (better for home use only).
Improving iPhone Sound Quality: Connect Your Device to a Home Stereo Using a Patch Cable
Let’s accept the fact that iPhone’s built-in speakers are just good enough for normal listening. However, you will always want more! Such speakers are not the loudest nor the most audible ones available, just like any internal speakers of laptops and iPads. But do not worry, there is a solution to that problem – simply use a patch cable. This patch cable is the bridge between the headphone jack of your phone and the “auxiliary input” jack of your home stereo system. This is the same “auxiliary input” jack found on any external speaker, AV receiver, boom box, sound bar or even a television! Patch cables are almost accessible from any shop and can be bought for as cheap as $10! You just have to know whether you are required to connect to a minijack that is 3.5mm in size or to the analog jacks, which are usually the red and white points found on larger electronic devices.
Improving iPhone Sound Quality: Stream Your Device to Bluetooth Speakers, Stereos or Headphones
If you have purchased a sound bar or an AV receiver recently, it must have a built-in Bluetooth feature. Bluetooth is one of the current technological standards for connecting wireless audio devices. It is less complicated to stream devices with one another – no more messy physical cables to connect to speakers or headphones to electronic gadgets such as smartphones, laptops, computers and tablets among others. Bluetooth technology has been developed for a long time. However, the latest version of these products are less complicated to use, more reasonably priced and sound better than the earlier models.
Most electronic devices in the market now (other than iPhones) are expected to be Bluetooth enabled. These include current models of iPod touch, iPads, Mac books and more. All you need to do is to match a compatible audio accessory, whether it is just a headphone or a complete set of home stereo system. The price of a portable Bluetooth speaker ranges from as low as $30 up to more than $300. In addition, you can choose from thousands of familiar models and brands in the market.
Follow these steps in “pairing” or connecting your iPhone with a Bluetooth device:
- On your iPhone, go to Settings.
- On the Settings screen, select the Bluetooth option and turn it on.
- Check if your speakers, stereos or headphones are in pairing mode. In most portable speakers, the pairing mode is turned on by pressing and holding the power button. However, every device will have its own settings so it is best to check your user’s manual.
- Once you have turned on the pairing mode, the name of the device should show up in the Bluetooth settings of your iPhone. To connect, simply select the Bluetooth device from the list. The music on your iPhone will play.
Improving iPhone Sound Quality: Buy the Right Speakers
Last but not the least, if you really want state-of-the-art iPhone sounds, why not invest on high-grade audio hardware? It is true that wireless speakers are now in trend, because less wires means less fuss for most customers. But you should bear in mind that a certain amount of quality is lost during sound translation when using Bluetooth audio devices.
You might also want to improve the sound quality by boosting the sound volume.