9 Ways to Improve Your Android Phone's Sound and Volume

Speaker and headphone volume boosters are part of the solution

If your Android phone's volume is too low, or the sound is completely muted, you can try several ways to fix your phone's speakers or headphone. There could be a few reasons why your Android phone's sound isn't working.

Instructions in this article apply to phones running Android 7.0 (Nougat) or later. All steps are the same regardless of your carrier or who made your phone.

Causes of Problems With Android Phone Volume

Several issues can cause problems with Android phone speakers:

  • Your phone is tethered via Bluetooth to another device that plays sound.
  • An app is running in the background that controls the overall volume.
  • Do Not Disturb Mode is active.
  • The speakers or headphones have hardware problems.

If your phone's volume is still too low after ruling out the above issues, there are sound boosters and equalizer apps you can try to improve your device's sound performance.

How to Improve Android Phone Volume

To make sure the volume on your phone is working properly:

  1. Turn off Do Not Disturb Mode. Along with silencing your ringer, Do Not Disturb mode also mutes all speaker and headphone volume. To deactivate it:

    1. Open your phone's Settings and tap Sound and vibration.
    2. If Do not disturb is On, tap the toggle switch to turn it off.
    How to turn off Do Not Disturb on Android
  2. Turn off Bluetooth. To untether your phone from Bluetooth devices, swipe down to reveal the Quick Settings, then tap the Bluetooth icon so that it turns gray.

    You can also deactivate Bluetooth by going to Settings >​ Connections and switching off the toggle beside Bluetooth.

  3. Brush the dust off your external speakers. If your speakers aren’t putting out what they used to, try cleaning them out. A compressed air can works best if you have it, but a clean brush can do the trick too.

  4. Clear the lint out of your headphone jack. Lint can get trapped in your headphone jack and compacted down further when plugging in headphones. You can use a sewing needle or safety pin to skewer bits of lint and scoop them out.

  5. Test your headphones to see if they are shorted. If your headphones are fairly old, heavily worn, kinked in places from repeated spooling and unspooling, or have gotten wet more than a few times, they're more likely to die on you from wiring coming undone or shorting out. Try out a different set of headphones and see if your sound comes back.

  6. Adjust your sound with an equalizer app. If your audio is only faint instead of completely thwarted, it might be time to tweak it with an equalizer app, which lets you change the intensity levels of certain sonic frequencies in the audio emanating from your speakers or headphones. This is the best solution if your sound is imbalanced and you just need to amp up certain frequencies, such as if you need to make up for impaired hearing ranges or you have skewed background noise to cut through.

    If you’re not sure what adjustments to make, one notable standout is the Neutralizer app from Javeo Software. Instead of leaving the tweaking to the user, Neutralizer runs a diagnostic scan to determine which frequencies need boosting, and which need toning down. To equalize your phone's sound:

    1. Open the Neutralizer app and tap Plus (+) icon in the bottom-right of the home screen. You'll then be prompted to give your sound profile a name.
    2. From here, Neutralizer will play a tone that you can manipulate in intensity using the circular dial at the bottom of the screen. Once set to where you can barely hear the tone, tap the arrow in the lower-right of the graph and do the same for the next tone. After doing this for all tones, tap the checkmark in the top-right corner to save your settings.
    3. Toggle the switch in the upper-right of your profile to On to enable your custom soundscape.
    The Neutralizer app for Android
  7. Use a volume booster app. Many equalizer apps, like Equalizer FX, allow you to increase your phone's overall volume. On startup, the app presents a default profile which you can edit. To up your volume, go to the Effects tab, switch the Loudness Enhancer to On and move the slider to the right until you’re satisfied.

    For this or other equalizers to work, you might have to disable Android’s built-in equalizer in your Apps & notifications settings.

    The Equalizer FX app for Android
  8. Adjust volume from settings to circumvent a broken volume rocker. If your audio isn't muted and you still can't adjust the volume, it might be due to a malfunctioning volume rocker, the single up-down hardware volume button on the side of your phone that rocks back and forth. This may result from dust or grime accumulating under the rocker button and stopping it from depressing, or it's possible the connection between the rocker and the rest of your hardware has been broken. 

    To increase the volume without using the rocker, access your Settings and go to Sound and vibrations > Volume, then drag the Media Volume slider to the right. 

  9. Close any open audio-playing apps. Some apps that play audio and/or video have their own app-specific volume settings, which can alter the volume of your system while running in the background. The most common culprits are misconfigured or buggy equalizer apps. Since they're designed to take precedence over the system volume, they can suppress volume if set up incorrectly. To close them, bring up your open apps and swipe them to the side.

    If you suspect apps are still running in the background, try rebooting your device.

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