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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.

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 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.


Write new comment:
  • thank you for article

  • Wear headphones?
    Make sure your case isn't covering speaker?
    Download a music app?
    Download an EQ?
    Root your phone?
    These are your tips and tricks? This is why you wasted my time on how to boost the sound from my android device? Whom do you think you are dealing with? a bunch of nimrod idiots?

  • 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?

  • Paul Trev 2 months ago Link to comment

    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. 3 months ago 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 3 months ago Link to comment


  • 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

    • look 'buddy' your grammar and writing is terrible... try using punctuation, and some respect

    • The only problem with your statement is "good speaker." Phones can not come with a good speaker. It has to do with physics.

  • I use viper4android and Poweramp most of the time to improve sound quality.

  • storm 4 months ago Link to comment

    Root your phone and use Viper4Android.

  • Angus P. 4 months ago Link to comment

    Dolby Atmos or Viper4Android, simply the ultimate sound experience..and additionally Poweramp is awesome.

  • Dave 7 months ago Link to comment

    Volume Booster GOODEV

    Thats the app i use to increase overall volume control. However, you need to be very careful as boost the levels too much & you risk frying your audio! Anywhere from 5-20% boost is normally safe yet if you start to hear any distortion, reduce the boost amount immediately.

    For playback, i use:

    MX Player
    VLC player

    The problem i find with a lot of these EQ apps is that sure, you can boost a certain frequency, yet the overall volume level seems to drop once you go past a certain level.
    So on that note, I'm still on the hunt for a decent one. For the time being, I'm using the stock effects through android settings on my devices.

    AND for rooting your devices?

    If it's still under warranty, DON'T.. You'll invalidate it & can easily be left with a hunk of plastic, metal & glass which will be your new door stop!
    ONLY Root if you know what you're doing & accept the consequences if you end up bricking your device.

  • Audi R8 10 months ago Link to comment

    Great I was unaware that you could do so many great things with the Nexus 5x, and as I have one I will put these tips to use straight away!

  • Mark G. 10 months ago Link to comment

    I bought a simple bluetooth receiver and hooked it up to my stereo system or will use a portable bluetooth speaker when outside etc, I have a dedicated bluetooth shower speaker in the bathroom.
    Let's face it any modification to the smartphone speaker won't do anything good, the size of the speakers limits anything to little tweaks. Use a proper sound system, with Bluetooth or wireless connection it makes sense.

    • Dave 7 months ago Link to comment

      This is probably the smartest reply on here. Think people forget that tablets/phones just don't have the accoustics for reproducing the "wow" sounds. whilst you can get some pretty decent sounds out of some, as you said, use a proper sound system. Either bluetooth, USB, or Wi-Fi the sound around.

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