Skip to main content

What you need to know about the EQ settings on your Android phone

Galaxy S20 Plus Eq Settings
Galaxy S20 Plus Eq Settings (Image credit: Android Central)

An equalizer can be a great tool to make any music sound better. Having individual sliders to increase or decrease the lows, mids, and highs of your audio can even help make a set of poor quality headphones sound better! Android has supported audio equalizers since Android Lollipop.

Most every Android phone includes a system-wide equalizer. The trick is finding it.

Notice I said support; not every Android phone will have an equalizer you can see in your settings, and some phones don't include one at all. To further complicate things, each brand of phone will have a different equalizer. But don't worry, they all work the same way.

The first thing you need to know is how to find your equalizer. In most phones, like the Galaxy S20, you'll see it in the settings under a heading named sound or audio. All you need to do is tap the entry, and it will open. Other phones, like Google's Pixel line, don't have a setting that opens the system equalizer, but it's still there. You can use an app like System Equalizer Shortcut (opens in new tab) to open it. And you'll find most music players will also have a way to access the equalizer in their settings. No matter which method you use to get there, the equalizer you see will look mostly the same.

When you're using wireless Bluetooth headphones, you might find the company that makes them also has a companion app. Usually, you'll see an equalizer there, too, and it will work a lot better than the standard system equalizer will. All you need to do is search the name of your headphones in the Google Play Store to find it.

Equalizer s for Android

Source: Android Central Power Amp music player EQ (left), Soundcore Bluetooth EQ (middle), Samsung's system EQ (right). (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

Once you have your equalizer open, you'll see plenty of things to adjust. Some phones will include extras like Dolby Atmos or a Gaming EQ, and you should check those settings out and see if you like them. Every EQ will have sliders, and most people aren't sure what to do with them.

Adjusting the sliders in your EQ to find what sounds best to you isn't difficult once you realize what you're seeing. From right to left, each slider controls the amplification (think volume) of specific sound frequencies. On the left you have your low frequencies, and pushing those sliders up will give your audio more bass. On the right are the high frequencies, and pushing those up will boost the treble. In the middle is the mid-range that boosts things like vocals.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus

Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

You'll usually find some presets, too, and those can be a great starting point. Pick one that matches your taste, like Jazz or Rock, and see how it sounds. If you want a bit more bass, adjust the sliders to the right up. The mids and trebles work the same. It might take a second or two to notice the difference, so take small steps.

EQ presets are a great place to start dialing your own custom sound.

Finally, if your music player has a built-in equalizer, you should set your phone's own equalizer to be completely flat — put every slider right in the middle. Then use the EQ in your music player to adjust things to your liking. A little bit of tweaking can make a huge difference.

You don't need the best audio equipment to make your music sound good — you just need to use the equalizer!

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

4 Comments
  • Even though I try to avoid EQ, even the best headphones can benefit from subtle tweaking. I like the EQ in Power Amp, and although you do get a little bit of noise from the app itself, most people will not notice it. My primary player for high quality content is Qobuz, but it has no EQ, so I use the simple Music Volume EQ app to warm up my Sennheiser's a bit 😉
    I have Qobuz installed on my iPhones, but just for testing because hi-res content on an iPhone is a waste of time. They don't have enough power to drive HD 600's anyways.
  • Poweramp EQ is one of the best and I've tried many. I have to use hearing aids now and adjusting the music quality can be tricky but with Poweramp it's not a problem.
  • Best to fine tune your "Adapt Sound" settings on Samsung phones (it's like a hearing test) to maximize your hearing ability, especially if you know you have reduced levels. It's great that you can even save different profiles for different headphones. Definitely helps my bad ear hear so much more than without it.
  • Hmm, I wonder how HTC's sonar scanning would do in a case like that. I know it measures the ears individually and keeps calibration for the left and right ears separate in the profile, but I'm not sure what it would do with large differences.