Voiceover issues on my Mac

Hello all,
I have noticed some issues with Voiceover on my Mac. First Voiceover is randomly changing its volume. This will happen in different apps. I will be navigating and Voiceover will get softer than after a second or two it goes back to normal. Is anyone else seeing this?

Next I am noticing an issue in Safari. If I have hints turned off in Voiceovers verbosity settings, I am not told if an element I move to is a heading, a button an edit field or the like. Is this normal behavior?

Greg Wocher


Check if audio ducking is on

check under voiceOver settings and sounds to see if audio ducking is enabled.
If so, turn it off, and that should fix your issues.


I'm not sure, but I believe this is the same feature which turns down audio while voice over is being used. I like it a lot. It will turn down music while I am reading something. It will turn down the volume on some stupid add while I'm trying to browse a page. It get mixed up when I am using a blue tooth speaker.

Yep turning off audio ducking

Yep turning off audio ducking will solve the problem.

This however does not solve your issue because this extremely ridiculous issue * is not * yours, it is ratter Apple's issue and they doesn't seen to be able to avoid those simple bugs.

About the type of item not being spoken take a look at the verbosity level of your mac. If it is not set to basic perform this change and check if it comes back to the normal behaviour ... and if it is you can let it at the basic level and turn of only the hint latter.

Hints, and audio

Hints do not affect whether you are told the type of element you are on. I agree with one of the posts above: check your verbosity settings for that.
Regarding the audio, it seems to be an issue using the internal speakers. It's not VoiceOver's issue at all, and it seems to be related to the built-in dynamic range compression that the internal speakers always seem to have. I've never seen this issue with headphones or other external speakers. I do agree that turning off audio ducking is a good idea, but probably not related to what you're seeing.


I have noticed something od. As long as I move to elements using either first letter nav or commands like VO plus command plus h elements are being spoken fine. It will tell me if I move to a heading and so forth. However if I just arrow up and down on a page headings are not read out. They appear as just text or they might appear as a link if the heading is also a link.

Greg Wocher

It is indeed a VO issue

It is indeed a VO issue because:

1- It only happened in the very last OS update.

2- Turning off audio ducking does solve the issue.

3- I have used it with normal headphones and I can reproduce this issue.

I can say for sure that this issue did not happen in privious OS X 10.11 versions

I believe if you navigate a

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

I believe if you navigate a webpage using the up and down arrows as if you were reading a document, the type of element is not spoken.

Announcing Elements

I could be wrong, frequently am, but I believe that what Elements VO announces will depend on whether you have Quick Nav enabled. Or not.
I navigated up and down this very page, using the up and down arrow keys with quick Nav disabled and what VO announced was very different from when I scrolled up and down this same page, using left and right arrow keys, with Quick Nav enabled.

With Quick Nav enabled, VO was considerably more verbose in announcing the attribute I was scrolling past.



In that case

In that case we see two separate issues which display the same symptoms. I've seen the DRC issue for ages, and with any app whatever audio it plays if the internal speakers are used.

The issue we are finding is

The issue we are finding is that vo will change randomly its volume with no other audio playing together.

While reading long texts for example it will very often change volume in a random way.

VO issues.

I have a request for the people who are bata testing for the new Mac OS. Please try to reproduce this and file a bug report.