iPhone Volume Too Low, with Partial Fix

I don’t remember noticing this issue in the first several months of owning an iPhone, but lately it seems that the volume is way too low. Even when I max the volume many songs and podcasts are difficult to hear well. I suspected the ear buds were at fault, but lately I’ve been thinking that it might be software. I played around a bit and found that going into Settings > iPod on the iPhone and setting Sound Check to Off (and disabling Volume Limit for good measure) makes things louder.

I’m still not thrilled with the ear buds, and am shopping for new ones, but the software fix was a big help.