iPad, Bluetooth speaker, and VoiceOver volume fluctuations.

Hardware and Accessories

Hi all! :)
I have a Bluetooth speaker (Beosound A1 2nd Gen) which allows for VoiceOver speech and sounds to be routed to the Apple device that's connected to it which is a great thing. I've used it for over a year with my iPhone, and overall I'm really happy with it, despite one little bug that sometimes makes the volume of VoiceOver and system sounds go all the way up for a moment. I believe that usually happens when VoiceOver speaks or makes sounds at the same time when some system sound or app sound is also coming through. So while it's a bit of a pain, because I tend to use the speaker particularly in the evening/at night, it was relatively easy to avoid or reduce the chance of such things happening.
Now, a few days ago I got a brand new iPad, and have also tried connecting it to the speaker. Except here the fluctuation problem is WAY worse and more unpredictable. When I use VoiceOver, the volume of both speech and sounds will go all the way up every few seconds and I haven't noticed any pattern or specific reason as to why it happens when it does, although admittedly I haven't been using the iPad with the speaker too much to be able to observe much due to the respect I have for my hearing. :D
I'm curious if any of you have ever had this weird problem and perhaps you have any ideas as to why it's so much worse on the iPad. I can just keep using the speaker with the iPhone and steer clear of using it with the iPad, which is no problem for me, but if you know of any ways to solve this, I'd highly appreciate any ideas.



Submitted by Pyro2790 on Thursday, September 16, 2021

This is a known bug and has been for quite some time. I am not sure what the cause of it is, but it is particularly worse on the IPad. The only time I do not encounter it is when using Air pods. It occurs when using blue tooth speakers, or non branded apple devices. Unfortunately, there isn't a solution I am aware of to get around this bug. It is only not present using a pair of air pods as the device for listening to music or content, until this bug is addressed some time in a future IOS update.

Submitted by Gloomy_apple on Thursday, September 16, 2021

It's interesting that it's not just a single case where it's so significantly worse on the iPad, but also that you mention AirPods as the only device with which this bug does not occur. I consider myself very lucky now, as I have non-Apple headphones (Beoplay H9) and have never had to deal with this while using them either with iPhone or iPad.

Submitted by Andy Lane on Thursday, September 16, 2021

I have had my ears blown out many many times by this. Its unacceptable we pay thousands of £ and $ for our devices and simple longstanding issues like this that would have mainstream users leaving apple in their millions are just left broken like a community of hundreds of thousands are just meant to put up and shut up. These issues are fixable but a decision has been made to prioritise these bugs lower than mainstream issues. Thats the only way to explain how it is they aren’t fixed years later. #WePayToo

It seriously sucks, and I especially feel for people who have to deal with this on headphones too, really not fun. I've only got my (first) iPhone last year so like late iOS 13 and the bug was there so I guess I don't even want to know how much longer before that it might have already been present.
I get that there always have to be some priorities and it's usually the case that the priority is what the majority considers important, but I believe this sort of thing, even if it doesn't affect the majority of users directly, should still be taken as a priority by a company like Apple, who seem to want to make the impression that they care so much about their users' health (including hearing) and this is SO glaringly against it, especially given that, in our case, we rely on this sense more than the aforementioned majority and thus any potential hearing problems that may develop from such a ridiculous thing have more consequences.

Submitted by Lee on Friday, September 17, 2021

Hi, When using the app that causes the issue i.e Apple music or spotify etc turn off sounds in the rotor. Not sure if this is exactly you're issue but turning off sounds means VO acts normally in that app. I set up an activity to automatically turn off sounds in all media apps that I connect externally.

Submitted by peter on Friday, September 17, 2021

Yes, I often connect my iPhone XR running iOS 14.8 (and previous versions) to my Echo device when listening to podcasts. The podcast comes out of the Echo device and VO speaks from my phone.

If I swipe or otherwise read what is on the phone with VO the volume will suddenly go way up and then way down again sporatically. Very annoying.

I'll try turning off system sounds, but we shouldn't have to do that. One doesn't expect terrible audio coming out of such an expensive device!


Submitted by kool_turk on Saturday, September 18, 2021

The same thing happens when using airplay.

Set your audio destination to the ios device when playing something over airplay and you also get the same volume issue.

I would really like to find a solution for this, because while it's fine during the day, at night is another story, especially when trying not to wake a sleeping household.

It's fine when voiceover goes through the speaker, but when you set audio destination back to the original source, that's when the problem starts.

Submitted by Lee on Saturday, September 18, 2021

I've let Apple know about this as has many others I suspect. Anyone know if this is fixed in iOS15 or are we being to optomistic.

Submitted by kool_turk on Sunday, September 19, 2021

Turn VO sounds off, that solved the issue for me with airplay.

I only have airpods, so can't test it with bluetooth speakers.