If you have a Google Pixel smartphone, chances are you’ve heard of Adaptive Sound and wondered how to enable it. For clarity, Adaptive Sound is a Google Pixel smartphone-exclusive feature. Summarily, it utilizes the microphones on your Google Pixel smartphone to analyze the user’s acoustic environment.
The purpose of that is to adapt audio coming from the speakers on the EQ side to better match that environment. And, of course, the microphone data is processed locally and deleted “shortly” after it’s used.
The results, conversely, are better-sounding audio. With a more noticeable effect in some environments than others and also at lower volumes. With diminishing returns as volume increases. It also doesn’t work with headphones. Instead, it’s designed to work only with built-in speakers. So you’ll need to look for a dedicated EQ app if you want to adapt the sound in those instances. Or headphones with dedicated EQs, as some of the best bring to the table.
But, with the feature enabled, you won’t have to crank up the volume to hear the details in whatever you’re listening to via speakers, in the first place. At least in some cases. And, in those cases, the audio quality itself is improved.
Now, Google hasn’t necessarily made Adaptive Sound the most intuitive feature to find on its self-branded handsets. Although it certainly isn’t hidden, it may not be where some users expect it to be. And that’s what this guide is here to address. Following this guide will show you exactly how to enable Adaptive Sound on your Google Pixel smartphone. Read on.
Here’s how to enable Adaptive Sound on your Google Pixel phone
It goes almost without saying that, since this is a Pixel-exclusive feature, you’ll need a Google Pixel handset to use it. In fact, more precisely, you’ll need either the Google Pixel 5 or the Google Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro to use it. Since Google had previously set this feature up as a Google Pixel 5 exclusive.
The Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are Google’s latest offerings, conversely. Meaning that if you’re here reading about this, you’ve likely got one of those handsets. But this guide will also work for the Google Pixel 5, for those who are still using that older device. In any case, finding the feature is fairly straightforward, once you know where to look
Start by opening up the Settings app via one of the available methods
- Swipe down once from the top of your Google Pixel display to expose the notification shade. Then swipe down again to reveal the Quick Settings tiles, as well as the edit, power, and settings buttons. Press the gear-shaped Settings icon at the bottom-left-hand side of the UI to open the Settings app
- Swipe up from the bottom portion of your display to reveal the app drawer. You can now scroll through the available apps, typically sorted in alphabetical order, to find the Settings app and icon. Conversely, at the top of the UI, using the search bar to type “Set” will reveal an option to access the Settings app. Unfortunately, the search UI in the app drawer allows easy access to some settings but cannot navigate directly to Adaptive Sound. At the very least, it wouldn’t allow it on our own Google Pixel 5 handset
Navigate to and enable Adaptive Sound
- Once Settings is open, there are two methods for getting to the Adaptive Sound setting. The first, and easiest, will be to use the search bar at the top of the Settings app to look for “adaptive sound.” That will take you directly to the setting itself.
- Conversely, you may also scroll down the page, as shown in our example images, to the “Sound & vibration” category. Tap or click to open that option
- In Sound & vibration scroll down the page to the option labeled “Adaptive Sound.” That will be accompanied by an indicator to denote whether it’s on or off. Tap to open the Adaptive Sound setting page
- Whichever method you used to reach the setting, within Adaptive Sound, tap on the “Adaptive Sound” toggle to turn it on if it’s off. Or, of course, to turn it off if it’s already on but you don’t want to use it any longer. When turned off, the toggle will be switched to the right and will be a dimmer color. The toggle point itself will also be greyed out. When turned on, the toggle will brighten up so that it presents a slightly different accent hue and the toggle itself will also be colored
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