MP3 export garbled on iPhone speakers

I’ve got an interesting problem here. I record and export my church’s sermon every week using Audacity. I’m using a generally low bitrate, because it’s just spoken word audio. This audio sounds great everywhere except through the iPhone loudspeaker. To be fair, I haven’t tested this on an Android, so maybe there’s a problem there too, but I doubt it. I’ve used many different podcasting clients (downcast, castro, the apple one), and whenever I play the audio out of the actual loudspeakers in the phone, it sounds like it’s garbled (kind of underwater-ish). You can understand it, but it’s bad. Then you go to plug headphones in, or play via bluetooth in a car, or jack into any other system with the headphone jack, the audio sounds great. I just tried exporting to AIFF, and then doing the “Create MP3” option from within iTunes. Same result. I’ve tried various bitrates, but I know some of the podcasts I listen to are recorded at a low bitrate and they sound fine through my iPhone’s speakers.

Has anyone run into this problem, and what did you do to solve it? I’m kind of at a loss.

You are kind of in the position of trying to describe “blue” as a text message to someone whose never seen it.

Record the phone doing that. Record on the built-in microphone on your Mac and deselect [_] Ambient Noise Reduction in System Preferences. Post the sound capture here. Do two. One good and then your problem.


OK, I have recorded a clip of the audio file as it comes out of the iPhone speakers (garbled) and also as it comes out of my computer (sounds normal).

What happens if you power the iPhone from computer or mains?


Sounds to me like the mpeg decoding is getting messed up or confused somehow. Maybe the compression settings, sample rate, or some other parameter is beyond what the iPhone software expects to handle.