The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro have now been in the hands of buyers for a few weeks now, and in that time, an overheating bug was identified and fixed. The phones still have some other issues, though, including a camera setting that can cause distorted voices in video recordings. Thankfully, fixing it just takes a few taps in the Settings app.
Several iPhone models can record stereo audio during video recordings, which uses multiple microphones (mostly located at the bottom and earpiece of the phone) to capture more realistic sound. This also changes the sound when you zoom in an out of the camera, to simulate you physically moving the camera and its microphone closer or further away. The intended result of this is that audio from the zoom target is amplified, but it doesn’t always work well, especially if you’re talking from behind the iPhone while zooming the camera.
YouTube creator DankPods highlighted the problem in a recent video about his experience recording video on the iPhone 15 Pro Max. The video demonstration, embedded below (jump to 5:07) shows how the effect falls apart when you are talking while recording. In this mode, the volume of your voice changes significantly between different zoom levels.
Apple is probably trying to simulate the audio that a camera would have when physically moving back and forth, and it generally works well if there is no audio coming from behind the phone, but it just doesn’t handle narration all that well. I was able to replicate the issue with test recordings on my regular (not Pro or Pro Max) Apple iPhone 15.
Thankfully, you can turn off stereo sound capture in the settings, which stops the zoom sound effect. Open the Settings app on your iPhone, then navigate to Camera > Record Stereo Sound, and switch it off. Search for “Record Stereo Sound” in the Settings app should also take you to the right place.
DankPods also explained a few other default camera settings that were producing less-than-ideal results, such as the Auto FPS feature and automatic lens switching. Those features generally make more sense; 60FPS recording isn’t the default for video recordings, and the only downside with lens switching is poor image stabilization on the ultra-wide lens. Still, depending on how you record video, those might be worth experimenting with.