1. Suzannesstud's Avatar
    I have several pieces of audio which I have converted to M4R format to use as a ringtone. The program I am using allows me to convert these using a bitrate of up to 512Kbps, so I have converted these using a high quality. The original recording was high quality. They play great on my computer, but once they are on my iPhone 4S, the quality is poor. I have tried converting from both high quality MP3 and WAV formats to MP4 format. All of them I have done so far sound like being heard on an AM radio and sound very muffled. Am I doing something wrong or does conversion to this format just automatically cause a loss of quality?
    Last edited by suzannesstudd; 02-05-2012 at 12:57 AM.
    02-05-2012 12:52 AM
  2. Alli's Avatar
    What program are you using?
    02-05-2012 09:54 AM
  3. Suzannesstud's Avatar
    I am using Wondershare converter. I first tried the method I saw several people where you take your audio and create an AAC version in iTunes then copy it to desktop and change the extension from M4A to M4R and drag it back to iTunes then sync it to your phone. When that had the same poor quality, I searched for a program that would directly convert from MP3 and WAV to M4R and tried that. That one lets you select the bitrate to use for the conversion which can go up to 512Kbps, but also supports 256, 128, 96, 64, etc. Nothing I have done so far seems to help. The ringtones that came with the phone sound fine, so I don't think anything in the phone is bad. I use my phone with Bluetooth in the car, and it sounds the same when it comes across the car speakers. Just sounds like a very low quality audio. This is my first iPhone, so I have not had prior experience in understanding the differences between audio quality on Apple devices versus original recordings done in MP3 and WAV formats. I also noticed that if I play the ringtone through the iPod music app player on the phone, it sounds fine. The problem only seems to occur when it is actually playing as a ringtone when a call comes in or when it is used as a text or email tone. I can only assume, at this point, that there are differences in playback between the music app versus whatever mechanism is playing it back when it is playing as an actual ringtone.
    Last edited by suzannesstudd; 02-05-2012 at 03:51 PM.
    02-05-2012 03:47 PM
  4. Alli's Avatar
    If you're on a pc, I'd just get iRinger. The ringtones come out sounding clean and sharp. No complaints with anything I ever made with it. And if you have a Mac, just use GarageBand.
    02-05-2012 07:22 PM
  5. draztikrhymez's Avatar
    I use ringtonium and quality is good
    02-05-2012 08:17 PM
  6. Suzannesstud's Avatar
    I tried using iRinger as recommended. Very easy on the conversion, but still not sure how to get around the quality issue. It still sounds the same. Sounds like it is in the bottom of a hollow barrel and has echoing in it. Not knocking the iPhone, but that is the best way I know to describe how the audio sounds. I have confirmed in iTunes under Get Info for the tone that it shows the bitrate as 256K VBR. I know the quality of the original is good because I can put it on my wife's Android and it plays like the original, but it does take the original MP3 and WAV formats directly though without having to convert formats. I am going to assume at this point, since it plays fine from the music app on the iPhone that it specifically has something to do with the way the iPhone interpets or plays it back as a ringtone since the bitrate is 256K and that is better than the recommended 128K for it to be considered high quality. I wonder if maybe there is a limitation when it plays a piece of audio back as a ringtone that it won't play above a certain quality or bitrate even if the original has a better quality or bitrate?
    02-05-2012 08:32 PM
  7. Bias X's Avatar
    I can't say I've ever had a problem with this. I usually convert things into apple lossless with itunes and then change it to m4r, just because I'm an audiophile like that.
    02-05-2012 10:29 PM
  8. Suzannesstud's Avatar
    I know. I am clueless on this one, and I usually do good with this kind of stuff. I can say I did try simply playing the M4R formatted files directly out of iTunes, and I used a good set of headphones so I could compare against the originals, and the audio sounds fine, so I have narrowed the problem down to just playback as a ringtone on the phone. That is the only time it happens. I just got my iPhone 4S when it came to Sprint, so it is pretty new, so I am not sure I am ready to say the phone has a defect, but there is something I am evidently missing somewhere, and I am totally clueless on this one. Thanks for everyone's help so far! I am trying everyone's suggestions to see if I can make it work.
    02-05-2012 10:58 PM
  9. Alli's Avatar
    How is playing any other music on your iPhone? Do you think there could just be a problem with the phone?
    02-06-2012 06:42 AM
  10. beemir's Avatar
    I've noticed that when you play a ringtone through the Ringtones section (Settings > Sounds > Ringtones) it sounds flatter or cheaper even than when compared to the same sound sampled through Text Tones, or New Voicemail, or in fact any other category other than Ringtones.

    I tested with custom ringtones at first, but then I chose an old favorite, Marimba, and alas I was able to confirm the same applies to stock ringtones as well. Marimba sounded flatter/distorted/of poorer quality when sampled under Ringtones versus when sampled through any other category.

    Running iOS 5.0.1 on a iPhone 4S.

    It's really sucking the fun out of using the phone I've even found a thread of a whole bunch of people with the same exact 'issue' as I have observed.
    03-06-2012 12:17 AM
  11. reltm's Avatar
    Sounds to me like something in the source file isn't getting transcoded properly. What happens if you try a come rely different source and transcode that? If you can get one source to transfer successfully, at least you know it's not likely to be the phone.

    I've made about two dozen custom ringtones using the convert to AAC and then change the extension to M4R and I've had varying results -- some are ageless and others are quiet or muffled. I always just thought it was the source file getting transcoded too many times (some file formats will be more resilient in this regard than others).
    03-06-2012 02:15 AM
  12. beemir's Avatar
    I hear what you're saying, but this is why I tried the standard stock tones for comparison purposes. I'm not quite sure what to make of all this. I'll be comparing with other iPhone 4s users in a day or so hopefully I'll have a more meaningful update for everyone.
    03-06-2012 03:40 PM
  13. reltm's Avatar
    Ah I see-- I didn't get what you were saying before. That is weird. So you are saying testing any ringtone through the ringtones menu sounds flat or muddy? I will try it on mine sometime (can't right now -- kids are asleep).
    03-06-2012 11:32 PM
  14. jsprings03's Avatar
    I've noticed that when you play a ringtone through the Ringtones section (Settings > Sounds > Ringtones) it sounds flatter or cheaper even than when compared to the same sound sampled through Text Tones, or New Voicemail, or in fact any other category other than Ringtones.

    I tested with custom ringtones at first, but then I chose an old favorite, Marimba, and alas I was able to confirm the same applies to stock ringtones as well. Marimba sounded flatter/distorted/of poorer quality when sampled under Ringtones versus when sampled through any other category.

    Running iOS 5.0.1 on a iPhone 4S.

    It's really sucking the fun out of using the phone I've even found a thread of a whole bunch of people with the same exact 'issue' as I have observed.
    I realize this thread is over three years old, but is anyone still having these issues? I've downloaded two songs from the official iTunes Ringtones store and am having this exact same issue! The tones sound absolutely fine as Text Tones, Voicemail Tones, etc. but sound horrible as an actual Ringtone.

    I have an iPhone 6S Plus running iOS 9.1 on Sprint.
    11-09-2015 12:38 PM
  15. Andrei Mircea's Avatar
    Yup, same problem on my 6s, running iOS 9.2
    01-26-2016 04:59 PM
  16. asaf1's Avatar
    How about iTOOLS?
    01-26-2016 05:19 PM
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