How do I use audio manager on Android?

What is the AudioManager in Android?

The AudioManager is a system service that provides access to volume and ringer mode control in Android. It allows applications to manage audio streams and audio focus. The AudioManager is available through the Activity.getSystemService() method.

The key capabilities provided by the AudioManager include:

  • Getting and setting volume levels for different audio streams like music, alerts, ringtones etc.
  • Muting or unmuting audio streams
  • Vibrate control for ringtones and notifications
  • Switching between ringer modes like silent, vibrate etc.
  • Playing system sounds for actions like clicks, dialpad tones etc.
  • Managing audio focus when multiple applications want to play audio
  • Routing audio output to speakers, headphones, Bluetooth etc.

In summary, the AudioManager API allows fine-grained control over multiple aspects of audio in an Android application. It is an essential component for building music/media apps, games with sound effects, or any app that needs dynamic audio capabilities.

Check the current volume

You can check the current volume level of different audio streams using the getStreamVolume() method of the AudioManager class.

The getStreamVolume() method takes an integer constant representing the audio stream type, such as STREAM_MUSIC, STREAM_RING, etc. It returns the current volume index set for that stream type, ranging from 0 (mute) to the maximum volume level.

For example, to check the current media volume level:

AudioManager audioManager = (AudioManager) getSystemService(Context.AUDIO_SERVICE);
int currentMusicVolume = audioManager.getStreamVolume(AudioManager.STREAM_MUSIC); 

Similarly, you can check the volume levels for other stream types like call, ring, alarm, etc. This allows you to programmatically obtain the volume levels set by the user for different audio types.

Knowing the current volume index is useful for adjusting the audio playback level accordingly or restoring it later. Just be careful not to accidentally blast sound if the user has volume turned down!


Adjust the Volume

The AudioManager class allows you to control the volume of audio streams in Android. You can use the setStreamVolume() method to set the volume for a specific stream.

For example, to set the volume of the music stream:

AudioManager audioManager = (AudioManager) getSystemService(Context.AUDIO_SERVICE);
audioManager.setStreamVolume(AudioManager.STREAM_MUSIC, volume, 0);

The streams available are:


The volume parameter is an integer between 0 and the max volume. The third parameter indicates whether to play a sound when changing the volume.

You can also adjust volume of audio played through AudioTrack or MediaPlayer by calling setVolume() on those classes.

Setting the volume per stream allows you to separately control the volumes of music, notifications, alarms etc. This gives users more granular control over audio levels.

Get available volume settings

The AudioManager class provides the getStreamMaxVolume() method to get the maximum volume level for a particular audio stream. This is useful for determining the allowed volume range you can set for a stream.

For example, to get the maximum volume for the music stream:

int maxMusicVolume = audioManager.getStreamMaxVolume(AudioManager.STREAM_MUSIC);

The getStreamMaxVolume() method takes an integer constant representing the audio stream as a parameter, such as AudioManager.STREAM_MUSIC. It returns the maximum volume index for that stream.

Knowing the max volume allows you to map a desired volume level to the allowed index range when setting the volume. This prevents you from trying to set the volume out of bounds.


Change ringer modes

The AudioManager in Android allows you to control your device’s ringer modes using the setRingerMode() method. This method lets you switch between silent, vibrate, and normal ringer modes.

To set your device to silent mode, call:


This will mute all sounds except media/alarms. To enable vibrate mode, use:


In this mode, the device will vibrate for incoming calls and notifications instead of ringing. Finally, to restore normal ringer mode, call:


This will make your device ring for incoming events. So setRingerMode() provides a simple way to quickly switch between silent, vibrate, and normal modes as needed in your Android app.


Play system sounds

The AudioManager allows you to play various system sounds and sound effects using the playSoundEffect() method. This is useful for adding sound effects or feedback sounds in your app such as dial tones, clicks, or other alerts.

For example, you can play a dial tone when a phone call starts:

AudioManager audioManager = (AudioManager) getSystemService(Context.AUDIO_SERVICE);

The playSoundEffect() method accepts a constant representing the sound effect you want to play. Android includes several built-in sound effects accessible through AudioManager constants like FX_DTMF_0, FX_FOCUS_NAVIGATION_UP, FX_FOCUS_NAVIGATION_DOWN, etc.

By using these system sound effects, you can add intuitive audio feedback to actions in your app. But be careful not to overuse sound effects as that can become annoying to users.

Set audio focus

Before playing audio, your app needs to request audio focus so it doesn’t interfere with other apps that may also be playing audio. Android provides the AudioManager class to manage audio focus.

To request audio focus, call the requestAudioFocus() method on AudioManager, passing in an AudioFocusRequest object. The AudioFocusRequest specifies details like the audio usage (music, game, etc.), whether you want permanent or transient focus, and what to do if focus is lost or gained. For example:

AudioManager audioManager = (AudioManager) getSystemService(Context.AUDIO_SERVICE);

AudioFocusRequest focusRequest = new AudioFocusRequest.Builder(AudioManager.AUDIOFOCUS_GAIN)

int result = audioManager.requestAudioFocus(focusRequest);

This requests audio focus for playback, providing the audio attributes to use. It specifies to accept delayed focus gain, and sets a listener to be notified of focus changes. The requestAudioFocus() method returns a result indicating success or failure.

Your app should check the result before playing audio. And be sure to abandon focus once playback is complete by calling abandonAudioFocus().

React to audio focus changes

One important aspect of managing audio on Android is properly handling changes in audio focus. The AudioManager allows activities to register an OnAudioFocusChangeListener to receive callbacks when focus is gained or lost.

For example, a music player app would implement OnAudioFocusChangeListener to pause playback if it loses focus to another app. It could resume playback once it regains focus. The callbacks received are:

  • onAudioFocusChange(int) – Called on focus change.
  • onAudioFocusChange(int, int) – Called on routing change.

The first parameter of onAudioFocusChange() provides the type of focus change event. These constants are defined in AudioManager:

  • AUDIOFOCUS_GAIN – Gained audio focus.
  • AUDIOFOCUS_LOSS – Lost audio focus permanently.
  • AUDIOFOCUS_LOSS_TRANSIENT – Lost audio focus temporarily.
  • AUDIOFOCUS_LOSS_TRANSIENT_CAN_DUCK – Lost audio focus temporarily, but can duck.

Based on the event, the app can respond accordingly – like pausing playback for temporary focus loss or reducing volume if it can duck.

Proper audio focus handling ensures apps play nicely together and provide a good user experience.

See the OnAudioFocusChangeListener example on Program Talk for a sample implementation:

Manage audio output

You can control where audio is routed from your app using the AudioManager’s setSpeakerphoneOn() method. This allows you to send audio to different outputs like the speaker, earpiece or Bluetooth device.

To route audio to the speaker, call setSpeakerphoneOn(true). To route to the earpiece, call setSpeakerphoneOn(false).

For example:

AudioManager audioManager = (AudioManager)getSystemService(Context.AUDIO_SERVICE); 

// Route audio to speaker

// Route audio to earpiece  

You’ll need to request the MODIFY_AUDIO_SETTINGS permission in your AndroidManifest.xml to use this method.

See the StackOverflow post and Java2s code example for more details on usage.

Adjust Audio Profiles

One of the most useful features of the AudioManager is the ability to easily switch between common audio profiles like silent, vibrate, and normal modes. This allows you to quickly adapt the phone’s sounds to different situations.

The AudioManager class provides two key methods for adjusting audio profiles:

  • setRingerMode() – This switches between silent, vibrate, and normal ringer modes.
  • setStreamVolume() – This sets the volume level for a particular stream like music, ringer, notifications, etc.

For example, to switch to vibrate mode you can call:


To mute music playback:

audioManager.setStreamVolume(AudioManager.STREAM_MUSIC, 0, 0);

There are also helper methods like setRingerMode() that handle common use cases like entering/exiting vibration mode when a call is active.

Using these AudioManager functions, you can build customized audio profiles to automatically adjust volumes and ringer modes based on time of day, events, locations, or other triggers. Several Android apps like Audio Profiles and Sound Profile provide user interfaces to manage audio profiles.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *