Does Android have an equalizer?

Android is a mobile operating system based on the Linux kernel and developed by Google. It was first unveiled in 2007 along with the founding of the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of hardware, software, and telecom companies devoted to advancing open standards for mobile devices. Android is open source, allowing device manufacturers to modify and customize the OS for their products.

Some key features of Android include support for touchscreen mobile phones as well as apps that can take advantage of advanced smartphone hardware. It contains a suite of Google apps out of the box like Gmail, Maps, YouTube etc. Android also has a large app store called Google Play with over 3.5 million apps. Overall, it is designed to be an operating system for the smartphone era with an emphasis on unique mobile experiences.

According to History of Android OS, the first commercial version of Android was launched in September 2008 with Android 1.0 on the HTC Dream smartphone. Since then, it has grown to become the most widely used mobile OS globally, powering over 75% of smartphones as of early 2022.

What is an Equalizer?

An audio equalizer is a software tool or device that allows users to adjust the balance of frequency components in an audio signal (EasyTechJunkie). The main purpose of an equalizer is to give listeners more control over how their music sounds by boosting or attenuating frequencies at different points along the audio spectrum.

Equalizers enable users to customize the frequency response of audio playback to suit their preferences and compensate for limitations in headphones, speakers, or the source recording. For example, some listeners may prefer amplified bass, while others want more prominent mids or highs. An equalizer provides the ability to sculpt the sound signature through multiple adjustable frequency bands.

In a basic equalizer, the audio spectrum is divided into several bands – low, mid, and high frequency ranges. Each band will have a slider or knob to cut or boost the volume within that particular frequency band. More advanced graphic equalizers may have 7, 10, or 31 bands for more precise tuning.

When used properly, an equalizer can make music, videos, and other audio sound much better. This makes equalization an essential audio enhancement tool in music players, media software, smartphones, home stereo systems, and more.

Equalizer Support in Android

Android has built-in equalizer support through the official Android Open Source Project (AOSP), but implementation varies across devices. The AOSP includes an audio effects framework that allows applying equalizer presets and custom settings to audio output [1]. However, equalizer support depends on device manufacturers and requires integration in both the Android OS skin and music apps.

The stock Android music player app, now called Google Play Music, included a system-wide equalizer called MusicFX that could be enabled in settings. MusicFX provided presets like Dance, Hip Hop, Jazz, Rock, and more across audio outputs [2]. However, Google removed MusicFX in Android 6.0 Marshmallow. As a result, the latest versions of stock Android no longer have a built-in equalizer.

Other Android skins like Samsung’s OneUI, LG’s UX, and Xiaomi’s MIUI add their own system-wide equalizers. These allow applying equalizer presets and custom settings to wired headphones as well as Bluetooth audio devices. However, the equalizer implementation varies across manufacturers and even across devices from the same brand.

Stock Android Equalizer

Stock Android includes a basic 5-band equalizer since Android 2.3 Gingerbread. The equalizer has presets for normal, pop, rock, jazz, and classical music. It allows adjusting bass, mid, and treble ranges up to +/- 10dB. The equalizer is enabled when headphones are plugged in and affects global audio output (Source).

The stock equalizer has limited bands and presets compared to advanced equalizers. However, it provides basic audio tuning for free without installing additional apps. The equalizer does not work with Bluetooth audio devices on some devices (Source). Overall, the stock equalizer gives basic controls that may suit casual listeners.

Equalizers in Manufacturer Skins

Many Android phone manufacturers add enhanced equalizer functionality and customization to their skin overlays. For example, Samsung has long included an advanced equalizer in their proprietary music apps. According to this Quora answer, the Samsung Music app supports “good EQ settings” with presets like Bass Boost and Pop. There are also options to customize the equalizer bands.

LG is another manufacturer that often includes more robust equalizer options. As described in this Reddit thread, LG phones allow quick access to an equalizer through the sound profile quick settings tile. Users mention appreciating the enhanced equalizer compared to stock Android.

So while stock Android lacks an equalizer, major manufacturers like Samsung and LG provide their own equalizer implementations through skins and apps. For users of these devices, more customization and audio tweaking options exist.

Top Third-Party Equalizer Apps for Android

While Android’s stock equalizer options are limited, there are a number of excellent third-party equalizer apps available on the Google Play Store. These apps give you enhanced control over your device’s audio output, often with more bands and customization than what’s built into Android. Some of the top options include:

Poweramp – One of the most popular and full-featured equalizer apps, with support for playlists, tag editing, themes, and a 10-band equalizer with presets.

Neutron Music Player – Designed for audiophiles, with high quality 32/64-bit audio rendering and a powerful parametric equalizer.

– Equalizer FX – A simple but effective equalizer with bass boost, surround sound, presets, and a customizable 5-10 band equalizer. Great for basic audio tuning.

– Wavelet – An advanced equalizer using auto-generated frequency response curves for hundreds of headphone models. Provides a tailored listening experience.

These third-party equalizer apps provide much more customization and audio tweaking options compared to the stock Android equalizer. They allow you to truly personalize and optimize the sound from your Android device.

Equalizer Support in Music Apps

Many popular music and streaming apps on Android have varying levels of equalizer support. Apps like Spotify, Pandora, and Google Play Music all handle equalizers differently.

For example, Spotify has limited built-in equalizer support on Android. There is a basic equalizer in the settings, but it doesn’t allow for deep customization. Spotify also restricts the use of third party equalizers when using the headphone output. However, some users report third party equalizers working with Bluetooth output [1].

Pandora similarly has no built-in equalizer, but some users have success using third party equalizer apps along with Pandora [2]. The functionality seems inconsistent across devices though.

Google Play Music perhaps has the most robust equalizer support on Android. The app includes a built-in 5-band equalizer with presets and the ability to customize each band. Third party equalizers can also be used to enhance the built-in equalizer.

So in summary, equalizer support varies across top music apps on Android. While Spotify and Pandora have limited options, Google Play Music sets the standard for integrated equalizer functionality.

Equalizer Support in Rooted Devices

Rooting an Android device gives users more control over the operating system and allows installing apps that can access deeper system functionality. This access opens up more advanced equalizer options.

By rooting an Android device, users can install system-level equalizers like Viper4Android that can control audio at the system level before it is sent to the speakers or headphones. Viper4Android and similar root equalizers allow for more bands, presets, and customization than equalizers in non-rooted stock Android.

Root equalizers can also apply audio effects like reverb, bass boost, and virtual surround sound. In addition, they can be used with any audio app on a rooted Android device. This allows for consistent equalization across music players, streaming apps, games, and system sounds.

However, rooting does come with risks like potential security vulnerabilities or device instability. So users have to weigh the benefits of access to more advanced root equalizers versus the risks of rooting their device.

Workarounds for Lack of Equalizer

For Android devices that do not have a built-in system-wide equalizer or support from third-party apps, there are some workarounds to help adjust the sound.

One option is to use a Bluetooth speaker or headphones that have their own equalizer controls. This allows you to tweak the sound profile externally rather than relying on the phone itself. Popular Bluetooth audio brands like JBL and Sony often include an equalizer in their companion mobile apps.

You can also adjust software volume levels for clarity. Go to Settings > Sound/Audio and manually increase volume for media, alarms, and ringtones as needed. Turning off audio effects like Dolby Atmos can reduce muffling.

While limited, some audio improvement is possible via the native Android Sound settings. Enable features like Adapt Sound to personalize audio output to your hearing abilities.

Alternatively, consider apps like Volume Booster & Equalizer that can maximize volume beyond the system limit and provide some equalizer-like presets.

If you mainly listen via headphones, try different headphone tips like comply foam or triple flange. The improved in-ear seal can amplify bass and isolation.

Lastly, upgrading to high-fidelity Bluetooth headphones or speakers results in a noticeable audio boost. The hardware and drivers make the most difference in sound quality.


In summary, while stock Android does not include an integrated system-wide equalizer, many Android devices do offer equalizer support through manufacturer skins, third-party apps, or on rooted devices. Music and media apps may also include their own equalizers. However, support varies greatly depending on your specific device and software version. There are workarounds like using a Bluetooth speaker with EQ controls for devices without system-wide equalizers. But for full equalizer capabilities across all audio sources, rooting your Android phone is generally the best option. With the proper apps and tweaks, rooted Android devices can enable powerful system-wide equalization.

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