While we do appreciate smartphone speakers on the whole, they're not exactly the bee's knees for listening to music unless you happen to be in a completely noise pollution-free zone. This comes down to physics and hardware, which is why software can only go so far in improving your acoustic experience—unless, of course, it's actually software that's preventing the device's hardware from giving an optimal performance. This is where Volume+ (Sound Boost) comes into play. Find out more in today's review!
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|Reviewed version||Latest version|
|188.8.131.52||Varies with device|
Features & Use
Test device: Motorola Defy with CM 7.1
App: will run as of 2.3, but please note that the developers recommend using CyanogenMod or MIUI. Some of the app's features require root.
Volume+ (Sound Boost) is a tool that automatically improves and amplifies the sound emitted by the speakers or headset. In order to do so some standard software restrictions are deactivated; the developers warn users that this may cause damage to the hardware.
Volume+ can differentiate between internal loudspeakers, headset and Bluetooth headset. A separate profile is available for all these types via which you can make certain modifications, though the modification options are the same for all types. Here's an overview:
- Volume+, as the name indicates, can increase the volume beyond what the device's volume dial permits. This works out especially well on external loudspeakers and/or headsets as these generally can't be dialled up to the extent that you begin to hear white noise. You will experience a lot more static and white noise when trying to boost up the volume on the internal speakers. That said, the overall sound quality is improved even when using the internal speakers.
- There's also a built in bass enhancer that does a pretty good job and certainly trumps any normal player equalizer. Just don't expect bombastic bass effects from this tweak.
- The Virtual Room effect is a fun albeit not very useful gimmick that tries to emulate sound bouncing off the walls. The outcome isn't a very pleasant or or authentic.
- For all those fine tuners, check out the 5 band equalizer; those who prefer to let software take over have a look at the equalizer presets. Both equalizer types did improve the sound quality when playing music on the standard music player, though I couldn't detect any noticeable improvements when running Poweramp on the Defy.
Root is necessary in order to try to improve the sound quality of the call speakers.
Volume+ (Sound Boost) is a useful little tool to have around, and I can see myself falling back on it in the future. It can boost up both the volume and bass sounds, surpassing what the standard player equalizer is capable of.
Screen & Controls
The Volume+ (Sound Boost) UI is nice and sleek, though certainly not fancy.
Unfortunately, the controls and set-up aren't quite as intuitive we'd like. For instance, it's unclear which profile is related to which type of loudspeaker when you're in the middle of making modifications to a certain loudspeaker's parameters. In order to see which changes have been made to a given profile you have to reopen the list in which you made the changes, which can lead to some confusion.
Speed & Stability
Volume+ (Sound Boost) did well in the sense that it runs pretty fluidly and sound adjustments were good. That said, the application crashed a few times, though it did continue working regardless.
Volume+ (Sound Boost) can be downloaded for 1.21 € from the AndroidPIT App Center as well as the Android Market, and the value you get for your money is okay. A free version with fewer functions is also available.