There’s a pretty good chance you use your Android to listen to music. Some folks really get into it, but most of us enjoy a tune playing when we’re on the train, or at the gym or even just chilling. There are many ways to get music from your phone (or the internet) to your ears, because humans are musical animals.
A big part of enjoying your music is fiddling with settings to make it sound better. For some of us, that’s as simple as adjusting the volume. Other folks want to adjust sliders or enable settings that boost the bass or enable a pseudo-surround sound wrapper effect. Others also get a little more extreme and micromanage every setting they can find to tune their tunes. No matter which category you fall into, a good equalizer app will help you find just the right sound. Let’s take a look at what’s out there that fits the bill.
⇶Best Equalizers for Non-Rooted Android Phones
For starters, every single equalizer app you can download and install without having a rooted phone is basically the same. They all tap into the Android AudioEffects class to use the Equalizer, BassBoost, Virtualizer, PresetReverb and EnvironmentalReverb derived classes to apply audio effects to a specific instance of an audio session, and system-wide effects to the global audio mix are depreciated and no longer work. This means two very important things — the only differences between all these apps are the user interface and features, and that an equalizer app can’t control the sound from more than one app at a time. Experience tells us that this means every app won’t work with every music player, too.
None of this applies to apps with system-level permission, like the ones the folks who built your phone added (think Sony audio or the HTC Beats of olde), system wide audio effects provided by the operating system, like we see in the CyanogenMod AudioFX settings, or root-specific apps like Viper4Android.
Basically, every equalizer app you install does the same thing as the rest — moving a slider does the same thing, enabling Bass Boost does the same thing, and what matters is how easy it is to do it all. But that still doesn’t explain why I only picked three apps from a list of a hundred or more in Google Play. That’s because these are the three that don’t suck suck the least.
1. Equalizer & Bass Booster
Once installed on your phone, you see it listed as Bass EQ. Don’t be fooled by the name, because Bass EQ is more than just a bass booster. It leverages the API to provide a volume boost with 15 levels of adjustment, 12 settings for bass boost and 12 settings for sound virtualization as well as a five channel equalizer (60 Hz, 230 Hz, 910 Hz, 3.6 kHz and 14 kHz) is a spiffy “mini” ui that acts like a floating window. One really cool feature is a visualizer in both the compact interface as well as full-screen with pretty cool visual effects in time with the music. It’s a trippy throwback to WinAmp, minus the llamas.
A dip into the settings allows you to enable or disable a persistent notification (as well as use the notification to toggle the app on and off), vibration on a change so you know you’re adjusting things and the option to choose which screen — the volume booster or the equalizer — is shown at start up.
The free version has ads, and you will get a full screen ad from time to time — but always with a way to close it so you’re not a hostage to a shifty app developer. If you like the way Bass EQ works, the Pro version is ₹188 ($2.99) and kills the ads, as well as gives you the ability to use and store reverb presets.
2. Music Volume EQ
Another equalizer app with a nifty mini interface, Music Volume EQ would be my pick from this list.
You get the standard 5 band equalizer (60 Hz, 230 Hz, 910 Hz, 3 kHz and 14 kHz), bass boost and virtualizer settings and a master gain control with a vu meter that has green-to-red indicators — exactly what you’re used to from a hardware eq. Pretty standard stuff, but what I really like is what you’ll find in the settings.
Jump in and you’ll see a quick toggle between a standard stereo-looking skin and a material theme, a full screen mode setting, transparency options for a static widget and some settings to control the behavior of the app. You can lock the system media volume setting so that only the gain slider in the app controls audio output levels, and set the background service to stop if you set the volume to zero. These are both pretty cool options for when you’re using your phone to do nothing but play you some songs.
The app is free with an ad banner at the bottom of the main screen, and there’s no paid option to kill it off. But you are given a choice to opt-out of usage analytics, which makes me want to enable them and help the developers out. Good show, devs.
This is probably the most full-featured equalizer app in Google Play, and one of the first. I’ve used in on and off through several Android versions, and it works exactly (almost) as stated and does it without being silly with permissions or scammy ads.
It has the standard settings — a five band equalizer with presets, a bass booster, virtualizer and reverb presets. The user interface is simple and easy to understand while being unique and not looking like the old Blaupunkt stereo I had in my VW bus. Equalizer also can hook into certain music apps (Google Play Music and Omich Player are two examples) and automatically enable itself when you start playing a song, then go back to sleep when you’re done. That’s a nifty trick. It claims to be a global equalizer, and probably was at one time (I think it was) but that’s part of the reason it’s not my top pick — it’s in dire need of an update.
You have skins for both the app and the widget, but the service that hosts them is no longer running and you get an error when you try to find them. I don’t mind the interface the way it is, and I don’t need an equalizer widget so this isn’t that big of a deal, but if you haven’t updated your app since 2014 and have let hosting services disappear, I can’t say you’re the best.
Equalizer is free, but you can buy an unlock key for ₹120 ($1.99) that lets you save custom presets, delete, edit and rename presets, put a preset shortcut on your home screen and backup or restore settings from your phone storage or SD card. If you don’t mind using an app that may have been abandoned, it works well and the unlock key is worth the two bucks.
⇶ Best Equalizers for Rooted Android Phones
When it comes to the audio side, our droids are not so well configured in stock. It is obvious that we go for audio mods. But again the confusion , whats best? isn’t it?
So I decided to make it easy for all of you to choose the best mods according to your need. There are several MODS available either official or unofficial which have their own specialties and even their output quality may differ with every second device. But nowadays almost all devices come with onboard audio chipsets which give extremely high performance if configured correctly and for this configuration these MODS help well. As always first some facts and guidelines about these mods :
- Firstly and obviously you must have a rooted device with a custom recovery installed as you have to flash the .zip file of the mod. However you also have some mods for unrooted phones but they won’t give you that experience which these core-patched mods will give.
- You must have a full backup (NANDROID backup) before applying any mod because there is no other way to fully remove them.
- Few mods require to install additional drivers which come inbuilt with the .zip file and also need BusyBox (avoid stericsons busybox).
- If you have any other audio mod installed, then disable it before applying new mod.
- And at last as i said before may give different audio quality on very device and every headphone or music system you use but if you want to get unique user experience then you must use a quality headphone or speakers.
Ok assuming that you have read and followed all the guidelines lets move to the comparison between the best audio mods available for android.
DISCLAIMER : In no means we are responsible if you brick your phone or your SD card dies or your phone behaves abnormally. It is your sole and your own responsibility to install the mod zip files on your phone. If you’re unaware of flashing zip and its bugs then please do not go any further
Wooh.. the most powerful and most feature-packed audio mod for android is V4A. It looks very similar to the settings of any app but has so many tweaks and presets with 3 modes of UI- Beginner , Moderate and Expert. Same as Audio FX it has support for all audio output options and it does configuration for all audio apps even for ringtones and notifications. It has every option which you can tweak and make your phone sound extreme. V4A is something what every music device must have. The best feature worth mentioning is its big list of dedicated headphone tweak. It gives the best out of your phone. I mean expressing it in words is not possible. So just go and check it out. It supports all devices if installed correctly.
Best Configuration to get best sound
- Open ViPER4Android
- Menu > Show Notification (block if desired by long pressing notification)
- Menu > UI Setting > Expert
- Menu > Save Effect Profile > New Effect Profile > “Stock” (this will help you find your working v4a directory)
- Begin playing audio file
- Open ViPER4Android
- Uncheck Enable ViPER4Android
- Check Enable ViPER4Android
- V4A-FX > Enabled
- ExtremeBeats™ Perfection EQ Preset > 3.5, 4.5, 5.0, 3.5, 1.5, 1.0, 3.5, 4.5, 5.0, 3.5 (Enabled when needed)
- Impulse Response > DFX Hip Hop Modern.irs or DFX Metal Rap Big Bass.irs
- Convolver > Enabled
- Cross Channel > 0%
- Dynamic System > Enabled (Headset only, when needed)
- Listening Device > Common Earphone v2
- Dynamic Bass > 14%
- ViPER Bass > Enabled
- Bass Mode > Natural
- Bass Frequency > 40hz
- Bass Boost > 10db
- ViPER Clarity > Enabled
- Clarity Mode > Natural
- Clarity > 6db
- Go to Menu > Save Effect Profile > Stock
2. Dolby Atmos
This is usually seen in Lenovo phones as well as some amazon devices. Anyways Dolby is the biggest player of audio enhancement and now it’s rocking on mobile devices too. Dolby atmos mod works very well in Lenovo phones and phones having a dedicated audio chipset. It comes with some unique presets which no other mods have.It is based on what you are viewing like Game , Movie and Music and Dolby is more focused for theater experience and not audio enhancement. It also has a auto-equalizing equalizer which configures your custom presets to become as smooth as possible. However Dolby still needs to improve some points like headphone audio and headphone surround sound as personally I didn’t got a nice Dolby like quality even on high-end pair of headphones but it gives great results if connected to a sound system and especially one with 5.1 surround sound speakers. Dolby atmos has slightly more tweaks than Audio Fx and a classic electro blue UI but some phones may not give you a real dolby experience due to lack of audio chipset.
Dolby Digital Plus
3. Audio FX or MAXX audio
This is a very popular mod among the cyanogenMOD users as it comes pre-installed in the ROM itself but New Audio FX has a slightly different interface from original MAXX audio mod with 10 band eq. . This a very powerful mod with very easy user interface and a variety of presets and easy to use material design equalizer. It is pretty basic kind of app which gives a very nice audio output as compared to the stock sound. It has different options for selecting what output device you are using such as speaker , headphone , Bluetooth and USB but provides very little tweaks and suits very well for a person who just need and is OK with bass and treble optimization. Audio Fx performs very good with all music player apps but some other apps like YouTube and MX player may not use its configurations and give the same stock sound.
There is no official single zip to install the mod so you have to search a suitable port for your device.
These were the three most prominent audio mods among the android power users which i thought must be covered for a review. The winner obviously is V4A , thanks a lot to its developer Viper520 and Zhuhang.
Other than these mods you can also try some other tweaks like Audio FX zerene , Audio FX Lenovo and eXtremebeats according to your choice.
⇶BONUS: Mixture Mods
As a bonus I’m giving you some mixture of different audio effects. It has been made into a single flashable zip by XDA Senior member theroyalseeker. You can switch to different audio mods and select your favourite accordingly. Flashing this will give you a better sound experience in your android device. It is only Compatible with Lollipop & Marshmallow roms.
The official development links to all mods are provided above. Head over to those threads to read the information, requirements, F.A.Q, etc. Use only one mod at a time. Otherwise, it may freak out your device.
1. VIPER4ANDROID with DOLBY ATMOS
This sound mod includes Viper4Android and Dolby Atmos.
2. VIPER4ANDROID WITH SONY AUDIO AND BEATS AUDIO
This sound mod includes Viper4Android, Beats Audio and Sony Audio.
3. VIPER4ANDROID WITH DOLBY ATMOS , SONY AUDIO AND BEATS AUDIO
This sound mod includes Viper4Android, Dolby Atmos, Beats Audio and Sony Audio.
4. VIPER4ADNROID WITH DOLBY DIGITAL PLUS
This sound mod includes Viper4Android and Dolby Digital Plus.
5. VIPER4ANDROID WITH DOLBY DIGITAL PLUS , SONY AUDIO AND BEATS AUDIO
This sound mod includes Viper4Android, Dolby Digital Plus, Beats Audio and Sony Audio.
Any Android Lollipop and Marshmallow PhonesWith Custom Recovery Root
Custom Roms :- Support CM 12.1, CM 12, Resurrection Remix, MIUI 7, MIUI 8, EMUI 3.1, EMUI 4.1, Oxygen Os, Vibe UI, Nubua Ui, etc