Built-in speakers can be a drag for most smartphone owners. The sound from those devices is almost never loud enough, and many times the audio quality is just as low. However, there are many different methods of improving both the sound level and quality of your phone, including headphone volume booster apps or even just pairing a solid set of headphones with your device instead of using more generic ones.

ReadBest smartphones for audio

In this article, we go over many of those methods. It’s more than likely that at least one of these ideas, or maybe a combination of several of them, will help boost the volume and audio quality on your smartphone.

Always check your volume and other audio phone settings first

You might be amazed at how many people who own a phone don’t go into their settings to see if they can tap a slider or other control to improve the audio. This simple move could help boost the volume. Just tap on the Settings app on your phone and scroll down to the Sound and vibration section. Tapping on that option will bring up more options, including a Volume selection. Then you’ll see several sliders to control volume for many aspects of your phone. The media slider is the one you really want to use to lower or increase the sound from audio and other media apps.

Android owners can also check out some extra audio adjustments in the Sound and vibration section of the Settings. Scroll down to the very bottom to check out the Sound quality and effects selection. Tapping on that will bring up Android equalizer, with several sliders that can be used to help improve the quality of your phone’s audio.

Note: Keep in mind that the exact path to these settings may differ depending on your device.

Use a Headphone volume booster app

super volume booster
SoulApps Studio

There are a number of apps that are available in the Google Play Store that claim to boost the native volume of your smartphone. Most of these work pretty well. A favorite of ours is simply called Super Volume Booster from developer SoulApps Studio. It will increase the overall volume on your phone by as much as 200 percent.

Read more: Best over-ear headphones

As we said, there are many volume booster apps in the Google Play Store, and you can browse through them right now to see if you can find one that will work on your phone. Be aware that increasing the volume of your phone’s speakers using one of these apps has the potential to actually damage the speaker’s hardware in the long term, so you might want to try another method, or use one of these booster apps in small doses.

Make sure your speakers have as little dust as possible

RedMagic 5G 14 usb port speaker

Many, if not the majority, of smartphone owners, put cases around their device to protect them. However, it’s possible that some cases might actually block some of the sounds that come out of your phone. If that’s what’s happening, you might want to look into getting a new case that has a big enough opening for your phone’s speaker.

You might also want to look into cleaning the speaker grills on your phone. There are a few effective ways to do this, such as using compressed air to simply blow particles and other items out of the grills. An even cheaper method is to take any type of tape and stick it on the speaker grills. You then remove the tap from the grill, and hopefully, a bunch of dust and particles will come off the speakers. A paint brush can also be used to just dust off a phone’s speaker grill.

Finally, if you use headphones to listen to music or your favorite podcast, you might want to consider cleaning out the headphone jack (unless, of course, it’s one of those newer phones that has ditched the traditional headphone port). This is pretty simple as well. Just take a dry Q-tip and put it in the jack very gently and then remove it to clean it out.

Try better audio and music apps

headphone volume booster

There are certainly no shortages of music and audio apps in the Google Play Store. Indeed, we have created a list of what we think are the best music apps available for Android users. Many of them could be installed and used to improve the overall audio experience. Some of our recommended choices include jetAudio HD, and MediaMonkey.

Read more: Xiaomi Sound Assistant – What is it and how to use it

While the settings in Android have their own equalizer settings, as we have shown earlier, there are also many other apps available for download that provide more advanced settings that could improve the audio quality of your phone even more. Keep in mind that these third-party equalizer apps may or may not work with your specific phone, so proceed with caution. Some of our top choices for headphone volume booster apps include 10 Band Equalizer, Equalizer FX and Music Bass booster.

Go to a higher quality setting on your music streaming app

Spotify menu on a smartphone on a bed of rocks

If you use a music streaming service like Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music Premium, or Amazon Music Unlimited, you might not be getting the best audio experience when you use one of its smartphone apps. That’s because many of them default to the lowest quality for streaming music. That’s usually to protect users with limited data plans.

However, if want to get a headphone volume booster for those services, just go into the settings section of their mobile apps. You should see sections dedicated to improving music quality over mobile networks. Change those settings to the higher quality options to get the best audio experience. You can also download songs from those paid services at the highest quality so you can listen to them without a network connection.

Find the best headphones

sony headphones wh 1000x m3 wear
Chris Thomas / Android Authority

This is perhaps the simplest way to get the best headphone volume boost from your phone. It’s also perhaps the most expensive. Purchasing a high-quality in-ear or over-ear headphone can be a pricey move, but if you get the right product, it may be worth it. There are quite a few to choose from, as you might imagine. Many of them are designed specifically to cancel out noise coming from outside the headphones, so you can be assured of the best audio experience.

Our sister site Sound Guys is the place to go to learn about, and ultimately choose, the best headphones currently on the market. Whether you want some small but powerful in-ear headphones, or to go the more traditional route and find some classic over-the-ear headphones, our experts can help you find the best one for you at the right price.

Connect your headphone to a portable DAC

choji mogo

For real audiophiles, connecting a good set of headphones to a smartphone may not be enough. Another headphone volume booster idea is to purchase an external portable DAC (Digital-to-Analogue Converter). They are not cheap, but they will increase both the volume and the audio quality from your smartphone to your headphones. Some of them will even connect to your headphones wirelessly. Two of our favorite portable DACs are the Chord Mojo and the Creative Sound BlasterX G5.

Connect to a Bluetooth or smart speaker

The gray Google Nest Audio speaker pictured on a white desk in front of computer screens.
Adam Molina / Android Authority

Another way to increase the audio volume on your smartphone is simply to connect it wirelessly to a Bluetooth or smart speaker. This actually might be preferable for some people who simply don’t want to use headphones or earphones, especially at home. People who just want improved audio are safe in using a Bluetooth speaker.

Our sister site Sound Guys is the place to look for the best Bluetooth speakers. Do you want a cheap Bluetooth speaker under $50? Maybe you simply want the best one, regardless of price. If you want to add some extra features, getting a smart speaker like an Amazon Echo or a Google Home would be a good choice as well.

There are plenty of options for someone who wants to boost their smartphone’s audio, and the odds are good one or more of them will work for you. Have you tried any of these ideas, and if so, which ones have worked for you? Have you used any other method to boost your smartphone volume that we haven’t mentioned here? Let us know in the comments!

Read next: The best phones with a headphone jack