How to Adjust the Audio on Your Android Device

By Dan Gookin

Yes, your Android makes noise. Incoming calls ring; you hear music, alarms sound; and games go “beep,” “bleep,” and “blort.” The Settings app is the place to go when the sound needs fine-tuning.

Setting the volume

The Volume key on the side of your Android sets the volume as sound is generated. To preset the sound levels, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Choose Sound or Sound & Notification.
    Samsung devices may label this category Sounds and Vibration. Also, on your Samsung gizmo, choose Volume to see the sound sliders mentioned in the next step.
  3. Adjust the sliders to set the volume for various noise sources.
    The common volume sliders are:

    • Media volume controls the sound for movies, videos, audio in the web browser, and so on.
    • Alarm volume sets the intensity used for the Clock app’s alarm.
    • Ring volume sets an Android phone’s ringtone volume. This category includes incoming calls and notifications, although some phones may feature a separate slider for notifications.
    • Notification volume sets an Android tablet’s volume for notifications. Other sliders may appear, such as System to adjust any volume not covered by the other categories.
  4. Slide the gizmo to the left to make a sound quieter; slide to the right to make a sound louder.
    When you lift your finger, you hear a sound preview.

If you’d like your phone to vibrate on an incoming call, enable the Also Vibrate for Calls setting. This item might be titled Vibrate When Ringing, and it may be found on a separate Vibrations item on the Sound & Notification screen.

Selecting a ringtone

The term ringtone applies to any sound an Android uses for certain activities. Yes, on an Android phone, the ringtone sounds for an incoming call. The device also features a notification ringtone. The Clock app also uses a ringtone for various alarms.

To review and set the various ringtones, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Choose Sound or Sound & Notification. The item may be titled Sounds and Vibration.
  3. Choose Phone Ringtone or Ringtone. You may be confronted with a Complete Action Using card. Choose an app, such as Media Storage.
  4. Select a ringtone from the list. You hear the ringtone’s preview.
  5. Tap OK to set the new ringtone or tap CANCEL or the Back navigation icon to retain the current ringtone.

Repeat Steps 4 and 5 for the Default Notification Sound and Default Alarm Sound items. You may need to tap the Advanced item (tap the chevron) to view these two items. On Samsung devices, choose Notification Sounds instead.

  • Various apps may set their own ringtones, such as text messaging ringtones and alert sounds for Facebook. These ringtones are set within the given app: Look for a Settings action in the app, either found on the navigation drawer or accessed by tapping the Action Overflow icon. The ringtones might also be set from the Settings app.
  • To disable a ringtone, choose None in Step 4. Do keep in mind that it’s possible to temporarily disable sound on your Android.