How to Listen on Double Speed with an iPhone or iPod

Andy Naselli —  April 9, 2013 — 8 Comments

I listen to a lot of audiobooks, lectures, and sermons on my iPhone. And I almost always listen on double speed. Here’s how to do it on an iPhone or iPod.

1. Import the audio into iTunes.

You can do this by simply dragging and dropping (i.e., copying) an audio file (like an MP3 file) into an iTunes playlist.

2. Change the “Media Kind” from “Music” to “Audiobook” in iTunes.

  1. Click to enlarge

    Click to enlarge

    Right-click the track(s) in iTunes.

  2. Select “Get Info.”
  3. Select the “Options” tab.
  4. Next to “Media Kind,” change the category from “Music” to “Audiobook.”
  5. Select “OK.”

3. Sync iTunes with with your iPhone or iPod.

4. On your iPhone or iPod, select 2x speed.

This works differently for a touch screen (iPhone or iPod Touch) than with the classic iPod.

For an iPhone or iPod Touch

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Play the track using the Music app. If you don’t see detailed info, tap the screen once. Then you should see an icon that gives you three options for the playback speed:

  1. 1/2x speed
  2. 1x speed
  3. 2x speed

The default setting is 1x speed. Tap “1x” once to change it to 2x speed.

For an iPod

  1. Go the the main menu. (The word “iPod” should be at the top of the screen.)
  2. Select “Settings.”
  3. Select “Audiobooks.”
  4. Select one of three speeds: (1) Slower, (2) Normal, (3) Faster.

(This is how it works for my iPod, which is about seven years old.)


  1. iPhone Resources
  2. iPad Resources
  3. I also listen to audibooks from Audible using the Audible app, which offers seven speeds:
    1. 0.75x
    2. 1x
    3. 1.25x
    4. 1.5x
    5. 2x
    6. 2.5x
    7. 3x

8 responses to How to Listen on Double Speed with an iPhone or iPod

  1. Thanks for this, I do the same and it makes a huge difference.

    Changing teaching to an audiobook also allows you to ‘jump back’ 30 seconds when you miss a particular point, and it helps keep the ‘music’ section of iTunes nice and tidy!

  2. Andy,

    I love the app Downcast for iOS. I use it for podcasts and sermons. You can listen at 1x, 1.5x, 2x, and 3x.

    I find that 2x sounds unnatural for some speakers, but almost everyone sounds fine at 1.5x.

    • Tim, does that app work only for podcasts? Or does it work for spoken audio that you import into iTunes as well?

      • Not automatically, but you can import non-podcast files into Downcast from the web, from your computer, or from the iTunes library on your device. I’ve gotten to the point where if files aren’t in Downcast (or Audible), I never get around to listen to them. So I import non-podcast things (e.g. Mars Hill Audio and audiobooks from

        Also, Downcast lets you set very granular settings for each podcast. Certain shows I have play at 1x by default, and others at 1.5x or 2x.

        It’s been a very satisfying experience for me (and I probably listen to 2-3 hours of content a day).

        Hope that helps.

  3. I had no idea I could do this. I love the 1.5 speed feature in my iPhone’s Podcast app, and always wondered why this feature wasn’t in the Music app.

    So I just converted all the files in my “lectures” playlist to Audiobooks, but when I synced, the whole playlist disappeared from the Music app. I converted everything back to Music, and it’s in the process of syncing back onto my phone.

    Sounds like you guys didn’t have that problem. Any idea what’s going on? Maybe Downcast is the solution.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

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