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6 min read 417 Shares 60 comments

How to improve sound quality and increase volume on Android

Update: New tips added

Not all smartphones have the speaker quality or volume levels to make your stereo envious. These two issues – along with poor speaker placement – are the biggest factors getting in the way of you enjoying the sound coming from your smartphone. Here are a few tips to help you improve sound quality and increase volume on Android.

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Check your settings

You could optimize your Android audio experience through the settings. Not all Android UIs have this feature, however, so it won't work for everyone. If your device has it, the procedure is easy, though. And once you've done it for the first time you will be able to quickly enhance your audio settings in the future.

For TouchWiz, you need to plug in whichever audio device you want to use (if you're using one). Then, hop into your Settings and tap Sound. From there hit Audio settings. You should have a series of options to enhance your audio experience. 

MIUI from Xiaomi, has an enhancer for headphones. Just toggle it on and pick the type you're using. You should have the choice between in-ear and normal headphones.

Xperia UI allows you use the ClearAudio setting and has an equalizer. You can get to it through the settings. With Sense UI you can toggle BoomSound but there's really no reason to turn it off, as the audio is terrible without it on. You can't optimize your audio settings from Oxygen, Optimus or Stock Android.

AndroidPIT sony xperia x performance 1180
Get the most out of your Android audio experience. / © AndroidPIT

Download a new music app

You have the option of replacing the stock music app with one that includes more audio control. We recommend Poweramp or Equalizer+. Both are jam-packed with audio tweaks, presets, bass boost and more. Just make sure your music folders are checked in the app settings.

Equalizer+ provides a five-band EQ, while Poweramp offers a 10-band EQ for serious tuning. You'll have to pay a couple of bucks to access all the best features but once you do you'll never look back. Check out our article for more music player apps.

Poweramp
Sometimes all you need is a better music player app. / © ANDROIDPIT

Download an EQ

The default audio controls on most phones, with the exception of Sony phones and the OnePlus 2, are not exactly comprehensive. Some include a basic EQ but it often only works within the default music app and provides no control over audio not played through the music player.

It's important to note that no app works miracles when the hardware is not working properly but with a couple of simple adjustments your sound quality can be improved significantly. So hit the Play Store and get yourself a decent EQ. We can recommend both Music Volume EQ and Bass Booster.

Music Volume EQ + Bass Booster Install on Google Play Bass Booster Install on Google Play

Know your speaker placement

It may seem silly, but the first thing you need to know is where the sound is coming from on your smartphone. Lots of phones have twin speaker grills, but often only one of them produces any sound. If your speaker is blocked then the sound quality will be low or non-existent. 

Test out where your sound is coming from by playing some tunes and covering the various holes on your phone until you know exactly where the audio is coming from. There shouldn't be too many places for a speaker to hide and, once you've found them, you can get started on finding the problem.

Once you know whether your speakers are front-facing, bottom-mounted or on the back, you can make more intelligent decisions about how to position your smartphone to give speakers the best chance to shine. Don't block them when holding your phone (a common mistake when gaming with bottom-mounted speakers) and point the speakers towards you, not away from you.

Check if your case is blocking a speaker

If your phone has a protective case or cover, it will affect the quality of the sound you get from the speakers. All those vibrations coming from inside your phone will be muffled by the additional layer of plastic or rubber that the manufacturer won't have taken into account when designing its speaker system.

Not all case makers understand the subtleties of your device. Some cases block essential parts of the phone like the audio jack, microphone or speaker. Before you buy a case be sure that you check to see that it won't block anything.

htc speaker
Not all phones have speakers this good, so don't muffle them with a case. / © AndroidPIT

Use headphones

The simple fact is that most smartphone speakers are simply not good enough to get decent sound quality out of, even with a fancy music app or EQ. This is where a decent pair of headphones can help (some audio settings in your phone won't even work without headphones plugged in).

Check out our list of the best headphones and see how much of a difference a serious set of headphones can make to your smartphone audio. Not all headphones are created equally and there are different types for various situations. Make sure you look through and find the one that best suits you.

AndroidPIT Headphones eardrops 2
Buy some good headphones or even just use the ones that came with your phone. / © ANDROIDPIT

Boost speaker volume

If you are rooted, there are plenty of app options out there that can bypass the max volume of the Android system with a few simple tweaks. Check out our ultimate guide on how to root Android for more details. If you don't want to root your phone or simply aren't convinced by the distortions that most volume-booster apps in the Play Store end up producing, then there are still a few things you can do.

Get to know a little about sound waves. If you position your phone in a corner and fire the speaker output towards it, you'll get a louder, 'bassier' reverberation than if it was just shooting out into the room. The same logic applies to any object: put your phone in a box, against a bowl or in a glass (empty, of course) and you might be amazed to hear how much louder your speaker suddenly is.

How do you improve sound quality on your phone? Have you found any reliable volume booster apps? Let us know in the comments.

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  • alexwild 3 months ago Link to comment

    i haven't found an equalizer that actually works with my Samsung J7 only things that do work are bass boost & virtualizer. Does anyone have suggestions of any that actually work please ?


  • Mark G. 4 months ago Link to comment

    Without doubt the best music app is the excellent Playerpro - it has an additional add on DSP pack which provides enhanced audio features - resampler 48khz - dithering method - 32 bit output - full high end equaliser - bass boost/virtualizer - reverb effect gain - reply gain - pre-amplification - clipping prevention.
    It provides a high quality music player with Artist/album artwork (fully customisable) - fully editable ID3 tags - download skins - lyric finder (musixmatch/Internet/quick lyric) - lock screen & widgets.

    I don't normally promote one app over the next, but if you are a music fan and enjoy high quality then I highly recommend Playerpro.

    Peace 🖖🏼


  • Volume booster Apps in Google play store do nothing for unrooted devices, and in rooted devices God knows.
    Only waste the time and finishing your battery.


  • Ever since i found my best music application on Android,i have been using PlayerPro,which offers a Dsppack,which really helps you set the volume on this Super music player,it so easy to set up,and offers you searching on the internet to Find the correct Album image for any music you add to the player,but the reason i do like Playerpro as it offers the Exit function once you finished using the music player


  • What a stupid Google search response I've got? I mean dang, my phone is rooted, and I amplifications from apps! Now, I want to go into my system settings and make no limit to volume control. This dude who wrote this article should be shot


  • Stoff 9 months ago Link to comment

    I invite you to try my new Volume Booster for Android devices. Just add the following to google play url (/store/apps/details?id=mobapps.tool.sound.speakervolumeboosterpro)


  • I like listehning to music while in the shower & Ive no fancy
    N toys at the moment nor money to even think about toys that'd make the output volume louder I tried THE v Bobbie and Zsa "put your phone in something" method & found that setting phone speaker down in the EMPTY sink works well


  • Käb Dâw Sep 26, 2016 Link to comment

    thank you for article


  • My headphones sound just fine with my pc and my zune but when I use them with my sky android phone the sound quality is crap. Is there anything I can do to tweak it or am I just unfortunate?


    • Use Poweramp for 4.99 this EQ tuning your headphone and speaker clearer but note speaker are always going to sound loud!
      headphone is still recommend or bluetooth speaker" Recommend the Sony XB20 at 69.99 sale

      but still recommend using EQ app to make it sound High Res


  • Vlc player increase the volume with a good equaliser


  • The point you made about the placement of your device is very helpful, the effects of an alternative music player to your stock one can only really be had through earphones however, with only any any real benefits being had through attaching a portable speaker, or to your home system. This is obviously not ideal if your out and about, however with a good set of headphones and a portable sound amp for a best personal experience, and a separate speaker if there is a few people to enjoy music or a movie, you can even use a pass-through if your headphones allows for it. But until some major technological breakthrough in phone speaker build, these I find are the best alternatives.


  • interesting


  • Good article!


  • CQ P. Jul 5, 2016 Link to comment

    Poweramp is great but not likely to include GooglePlay Music when scanning device. Download Music Mate (formerly Cloud Music Importer), select music to download/transfer from your personal GooglePlay playlists and problem solved.


  • Reyn Jul 5, 2016 Link to comment

    informative.


  • VLC has a EQ inside it that really makes phone sound Good. I like it alot. Just recently discovered it. I thought it was just to play videos but it does so much more!


  • look buddy if a phone comes with a good speaker it will produce good sound if not thn do watever tricks it cant produce good sounds

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