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Pixel 5 will soon take audio output to the next level: Here's how it works

Google believes the feature will improve sound quality in all environments.

Published onDecember 2, 2020

Google Pixel 5 Grey Back
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
  • Google is developing an automatic equalizer adjustment feature for Pixels.
  • Dubbed Adaptive Sound, the feature tweaks audio settings based on environment acoustics.
  • The Google Pixel 5 will likely receive the feature in an update, but it’s unclear if any other Pixels will join it.

The forthcoming Google Pixel feature drop could include a new toy for music lovers. Dubbed Adaptive Sound, the feature was uncovered on a Google Pixel 5 by XDA‘s APK sleuths.

The feature confusingly shares its name with a Google Pixel Buds feature. But while Adaptive Sound on the Buds automatically adjusts the volume levels on the fly to suit the wearer’s environment, Adaptive Sound on Pixel phones will tweak the equalizer instead.

While playing music on a Pixel phone, Adaptive Sound may up the bass and treble in noisier environments, or drop both in quieter settings. The feature uses the phone’s microphone to “assess the acoustics near you,” Google explains on the settings page. It uses this info to tweak the equalizer accordingly.

Adaptive Sound doesn’t seem to kick in while the listener’s using headphones or earbuds, so this is purely a system to improve sound out of the phones’ loudspeaker. That’s a good thing, too. We list the Google Pixel 4 series among the smartphones with the best onboard speakers. It’s unclear if these devices will gain the feature alongside the Pixel 5 and likely the Pixel 4a 5G.

For those with privacy concerns, Google states that “all microphone audio is deleted shortly after it’s recorded. It’s processed locally and never leaves your device.”

The feature may make its bow next week bundled with the latest security patch push to Google’s phones.

Next: All the Google Pixel phones released thus far

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