Ed Oswald at BetaNews reports that after conducting several tests, they’ve learned that the speakers aren’t playing stereo audio—which really, is simply sound equally divided out of two speakers—so much as they’re playing STEreo AUdio. They’re messed up, yo:
Tests conducted by BetaNews on several phones — including several on display at a local Apple Store — show that the device plays sounds intended for the right speaker at a volume two to three times higher than those playing on the left, resulting in distorted audio. It is not known whether this is an problem with the actual speaker itself or a software issue in how the 4S processes stereo signals. A stereo track played correctly in tests on an in-house 3GS with iOS 4.3.5 installed, whereas on the 4S the unbalanced audio was obvious. BetaNews has sent a request to Apple for comment on the matter, however, the company was not immediately available as of press time.
Apple is not only fighting this stereo bug, but another that affects audio when in a call. A discussion thread on Apple’s support forums details an issue where the person cannot hear the other caller.
Mashable also took note of the audio problems popping up all over Apple’s support message boards as well. And wow, great timing, right? Especially considering Consumer Reports just reccomended an iPhone for the first time in two years.
Erm, David Pogue, time to get out your Ouija Board.