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How to improve sound quality and boost volume on Android

How to improve sound quality and boost volume on Android

Not all smartphones have the speaker quality or volume levels to make your stereo envious. These two issues—along with poor speaker placement—can get in the way of you enjoying the sound. Here are a few tips to help you improve sound quality and increase volume on Android. You can try a speaker booster or volume booster app, but plenty can be improved with a little audio know-how.

Jump to a solution:

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 Samsung devices you need to plug in whichever audio device you want to use (if you're using one) and do the following:

  • Enter Settings and tap Sounds and vibration.
  • From there hit Sound quality and effects. 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 a choice between in-ear and normal headphones.

Xperia UI allows you to use the ClearAudio setting and has an equalizer. You can get to it through the settings.

With HTC's 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, LG UI 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 PlayerPro as our top music apps for Android. Both are jam-packed with audio tweaks, presets, bass boost and more. Just make sure your music folders are checked in the app settings.

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.

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

Several of our readers have also recommended PlayerPro as an alternate music app. The software offers advanced audio configuration options as well as many ways to customize the visual experience too. PlayerPro costs $3.99 but there's also a free trial version available for the curious.

For more options on the best apps for your favorite jams on Android, check out our article for more music player apps:

Use a speaker booster/volume booster app

Music player apps like the above are great, but of course, it only works from within the app. So what if you want to boost speaker sound overall? This is a little controversial because the fact is that even though there are many apps on the Play Store that claim to do this, compatibility is iffy, and using an app to force your speakers past their default max can actually damage your phone's hardware.

So while you may find the right volume booster app for your device and OS, it may take some digging, and while testing this, don't crank it all the way up straight away!

Download an Equalizer app

The default audio controls on most phones 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.

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.

Razer 2 11
Multimedia-focused devices like the Razer Phone 2 have big, loudspeakers. / © AndroidPIT

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 the speakers 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 equal 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

Use a smart speaker

Headphones are great on the go, but what about at home? Nowadays many prefer to put the phone down when they get to the house and use a voice assistant to manage their daily tasks and that includes entertainment such as music. Now accessing your favorite playlists is as simple as asking into the air.

Not only do the original smart speakers such as Google Home and Amazon Echo also double as music speakers (at least, the larger ones), but audio specialists such as JBL and Sonos are offering their own smart speakers with Alexa or Google Assistant for audiophiles who want to go with their favorite brand.

Check out our reviews to see which smart speaker may be best for you:

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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70 comments

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  • The volume boosters I have tried are snake oil. An equalizer does the trick


  • There is no easy (=cheap) way to boost sound quality on a smartphone.
    -Buy an external DAC/Amp, like Creative labs Super X-fi AMP or Dragonfly.
    -Buy a good headphone set, I chose Beyerdynamic DT 770 pro 80 Ohms
    -Buy the best android player app, USB Audio Player pro.
    We are talking about $250 here, but it's worth the cost.


  • The volume boosters I have tried are snake oil. An equalizer does the trick


  •   16
    Deactivated Account 11 months ago Link to comment

    for anyone with root and unlocked bootloader, the only way to go is ARISE sound mod. totally modular and contains every sound mod you could ever want. it takes a bit of getting used to when installing, but once installed can totally change the way you view (hear) your device.


  • One way of ruining your phones speakers is to download an app which supposedly boosts sound?


  • I use an LG tone wireless headset and like it. But for true sound quality I love using my wired Sennheiser on the ear headphones.


  • This comment is for people that root. Watch out for some rooted apps, if you’re rooted. A combination of two sound apps in magisk(plus deep buffer remover), made me have to flash back to stock(my one and only time on this phone). Do your homework first, get info on possible problems, just like you’d do with medicine, or your phone will get very sick!


  • No real problems with sound output, though had a headscratcher once where the media slider was off while others were working - couldn't find it. I almost never listen to device speakers - outdoors its some good but not extravagant headphones, they just keep breaking and ambient city noise fuddles acoustic snobbery. At home a "male / male" input cable connects devices to either the living room stereo "Aux" jack, or decent peripheral speakers attached to a PC. Much better to listen to streaming services or Youtube videos that way or via chromecast: more comfortable and far better speakers and screens.

    Update 180911 - My new (Lenovo) tablet came with Dolby sound preinstalled, surprisingly configurable and effective. Worth checking for.


  • 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 ?


  • 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 🖖🏼


    • Thanks for the app recommendation Mark G. I'll have to look into it.


      • I must admit there were certain settings and features that I was unsure about, if you get the mixture wrong you'll certainly know about it, but after reading one or two articles it becomes clearer. I would certainly recommend playing around with it to suit your own audio preferences

        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 Jan 10, 2017 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


  • 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


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


      • do you really care that that guy didn't use good grammar... don't you think there's a lot of other matters probably closer related to your own life that affect you more directly and I got news for you why don't you go tell that to Jack Kerouac who in case you don't know wrote on the road on a scroll of paper about a mile long with absolutely no punctuation I guess he figured the people he was catering to we're smart enough to get the communication across as you can tell I purposely use no punctuation to stand strong against people trying to pick a fight or belittle someone for no reason that can be seen except maybe to feel that you have ascended above somebody else by reprimanding them in a condescending manner that has nothing to do with the article at hand which I'm sure you could figure out what he was saying I mean like what are you a hall guard or a monitor of past grammar school days who miss it lighten up


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


    • Thats true! Must Poweramp or use a EQalizer app with your bluetooth speakers!


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


    • mike p Dec 27, 2016 Link to comment

      If your phone is rooted there is a file on your phone that u can mod its in system/etc mix path but u have to be rooted and know what ones u need to change and u can make it as load as u want it


  • storm Jun 7, 2016 Link to comment

    Root your phone and use Viper4Android.


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


  • Dave Feb 27, 2016 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.


  • 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!


  • 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 Feb 27, 2016 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.


  • I have tried each and every possible way to give justice and life to my music library on Android but in vain. Yo need to buy a dedicated music player for those needs, i would highly suggest buying from apple ipod range. they are super cheap and worth every penny. Lastly i would say , Panasonic or Philips portable musics will also work fine, they look like a thumb drive and you can find one in stores as cheap as $15. I also own one for gym , it works like a charm and battery lasts really long


  • As a powerful video editor and converter, Avdshare Video Converter will easily increase the sound volume of Video or Audio with simple settings.


  • people-people have u picked ur ears yet? u must clear ur ear holes before complaining about sound of our phone! this really effects the quality of the soung heard from the phone....


  • These apps do not work, they lower the volume instead of boosting the volume, test your sound without theses apps and your sound is louder and better quality. You will have to use either Bluetooth wireless speakers or headphones to increase your volume and quality of sound on Android tablets period. No app works for increasing volume or quality.


    • You are spot on.I've tried all apps/all phones.never found an app to increase volume.lower it more like..what a con it all is .ie constant app updates to use data ....


  • As Dona Dino stated, Root ur phone and use Viper4Android, by far the best music improver. Made mine sound better than CD quality, and don't use anything less than 192kbps mp3s


  • I use music volume eq on my htc and it dramatically improves the quality of my sound. its amazing!


  • For rooted smartphone, i suggest Viper4Android...it is one sick sound equaliser, with too many sound variables to be adjusted to suit your style. :)


  • im yet to find an equalizer that actually works with my Nexus 5 only things that do work are bass boost & virtualizer. any suggestions of any that actually work please ?


  • There are a lot of apps which you can install to better the technology and entertainment of your smartphone. All of them are claiming to be the best and it's up to you to choose what's the best.


  • Does anyone know if there is a small corded speaker that could be plugged in and placed on the front of a Note 2? It would have be about the size of a hearing aid. I do not know where to look any suggestions would be helpful. I have an Otter box and work in a very noisy environment. I bought the Note 2 for the big screen but hate the low volume.


  • I've seen a 'little' cellphone case, foam padded with a zipper, that also has two speakers, an amplifier and Lithium battery. It even had a headset jack right next
    to the USB charging port. HARDWARE is the solution.


  • My1 Mar 1, 2014 Link to comment

    For music I rather use poweramp, best eq ever and the ability to push 10 + or - depending on whether it's too loud (silent environments) or too quiet...


  • the speakers won't give you more than they give you and if you force them for more, first will distort the sound and after a while it will leave you in silence 'coz they broke, pfffft, you all should know that and even with earphones, if you don't know the ohms that the device has as output, you won't hear better, in here depends on what kind too, i usually use the inside ear earphones which makes you think that are louder for taking away the surrounding sounds...


  • For videos I use MX player, using the H/W+ or S/W codec you can push your volume up to 30 instead of the standard 15, it really does get louder, maybe not double though.
    It has an ooption for audio but Havent tried that, I only listen to audio with my headphone, I find that the quality of the headphones then make the most difference.


  •   7
    Deactivated Account Feb 28, 2014 Link to comment

    The best way is by tying *#*#364663349#*#* in the phone directory. Go to 'Hardware Testing' section, tap on 'Audio' and on 'Normal', 'Headset' and 'LoudSpeaker Mode', go to 'Max Vol' and set to 160(highest value).


    • Hey Bryan,
      I have a galaxy note 2. I typed that in and nothing. Don't some phones have different codes to access the system? Or is this, as with most technical problems, user error?

      Thanks in advance for your help.


  • I think Doug drinks ! Loie !


  • I installed the free version on my kindle fire hd 8.9 for some time and I have been loseing my hearing without any rapper CRAP music mind YOU .


  • The BEST way to double or even triple the sound of ANY smart phone such as a Samsung is just simply place your phone OVER or into a dry ceramic bowl..cereal bowl..shallow glass..or if that's not available use a glass or ceramic plate..so simple..so obvious.. you don't need an app..
    sometimes..common sense is the best info..
    INSTANTLY DOUBLE THE SOUND ..
    AND IT'S FREE..
    Your welcome!


    • Interesting method C. Mike, though I don't think I would walk around with my smartphone in a bowl :) Perhaps at home though!


    • So you walk around the city with your phone over a bowl, glass or plate?! Yep, common sense right enough!


      • Most people have these common things around them most times...just hold your hand cupped under your phone...
        If you had some common sense,, you could have answered your own question..
        Your just a hater..who is apparently a troll.


    • Old ways


  • These apps are crap, a total waste of time!

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