This hidden Samsung feature could get even better with the Galaxy S24 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra camera tips and tricks.
(Image credit: Future)

Even in the face of newer phones, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra remains my favorite camera phone. I’ve tested nearly every flagship phone released after it, like the iPhone 15 Pro Max and Pixel 8 Pro, but they simply can’t match the level of utility I get from the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s cameras. That's why I'm excited for the Galaxy S24 Ultra and the kinds of camera improvements it could introduce.

Just recently, I’ve discovered a hidden S23 Ultra feature that flew under my radar. I’m referring to the hidden feature of the Galaxy S23 Ultra that lets you capture audio from wireless earbuds as an audio source while recording video. One of my readers, Milan Rakić, actually pointed out this feature that I didn’t know existed to me.

As a videographer that frequently uses the Galaxy S23 Ultra as a backup camera for professional shoots, I was surprised to learn about this feature. After trying it out, I think Samsung could tweak it in such a way to make it even better with the Galaxy S24 Ultra. Here’s how.

Adding an audio mixer utility

Screenshot of Galaxy S23 Ultra hidden feature Bluetooth earbuds audio recording.

(Image credit: Future)

The Galaxy S23 Ultra offers more audio recording controls for video than the average smartphone. In addition to isolating audio recording to just the front, rear, or all throughout the phone, there’s an option in the camera interface to capture audio while recording video with a pair of wireless earbuds.

Currently, there’s an option that lets me combine the audio from both the phone's mics and wireless earbuds — but the problem with this implementation is that you can’t separate the two sources as recordings for left and right channels. I think the Galaxy S24 Ultra could benefit from giving users more options in how audio is recorded.

Samsung could simply add an audio mixer utility that could let users choose how the audio is saved and stitched together. I personally would love to get two separate audio files: one from the phone, the other from the earbuds. That way, I can go back and combine the audio the way I think it should be stitched together.

This would also make for a great backup option in the event the wireless earbuds fail, whether it’s from a poor connection or turning off due to low battery. I've had my fair share of nightmare situations when my microphones have died mid-shoot, which is why this could be a great backup option for the S23 Ultra.

Better noise cancellation in video

Taking a photo on the Galaxy S23 Ultra

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Google injected a slew of new AI-assisted features with the Pixel 8 Pro, making it a formidable phone for videographers such as myself. As a result, features like Audio Magic Eraser show how much better videos could sound with the help of AI.

Samsung could conjure up its own interpretation with the forthcoming Galaxy S24 Ultra, but it could be made better due to how the S23 Ultra blends audio sources. I’ll be the first to admit that Audio Magic Eraser isn’t always spot-on with how it minimizes background noise. More often than not, the person speaking in the video tends to be over-processed, especially in complicated situations when there’s an abundance of background noise.

The S24 Ultra could do a better job of canceling out noise by extracting the audio from the phone and wireless earbuds, and then carefully processing the two sources with the help of AI to better discern what’s background noise and what’s not. Canceling out noise becomes more problematic with the Pixel 8 Pro the farther away you’re from the phone while speaking, which wouldn’t be as much of an issue for the Galaxy S24 Ultra with it potentially offering dual audio recording.

Monitoring audio levels

Sony Inzone buds in held in out stretched hand

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The last way the Galaxy S24 Ultra could improve this feature would be to give users the ability to use a pair of connected wireless earbuds to monitor the audio levels coming from all the different audio sources. I frequently attach a pair of wired earbuds to my Panasonic Lumix S5 mirrorless camera to listen to the audio levels from my wireless microphones.

This would be a complex feature to achieve with the Galaxy S24 Ultra because of the latency between the audio sources and what you actually end up hearing could be delayed. The Galaxy S23 Ultra uses Bluetooth 5.2 currently, but it’s unclear if the Galaxy S24 Ultra will make the upgrade to the newer Bluetooth 5.3 standard.

There would be some additional work needed to sustain monitoring audio levels on the Galaxy S24 Ultra in real time using a pair of wireless earbuds. But hey, we could be in for a surprise that could allow the S24 Ultra to continue Samsung’s reign of having the best camera phone around.

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John Velasco
Senior Channel Editor for Phones

John’s a senior editor covering phones for Tom’s Guide. He’s no stranger in this area having covered mobile phones and gadgets since 2008 when he started his career. On top of his editor duties, he’s a seasoned videographer being in front and behind the camera producing YouTube videos. Previously, he held editor roles with PhoneArena, Android Authority, Digital Trends, and SPY. Outside of tech, he enjoys producing mini documentaries and fun social clips for small businesses, enjoying the beach life at the Jersey Shore, and recently becoming a first time homeowner.