Smartphones are tricky things. They essentially cram an entire computer into a tiny chassis you can carry around in your pocket, which is pretty convenient. But for music fans, sound quality can suffer as manufacturers cut corners with the audio electronics in the interest of saving space and money.
On top of that, the Android operating system has been plagued by audio issues that can cause pops, clicks, delays, skipping and other issues. Google’s upcoming “Jellybean” update promises significant improvements to audio performance for Android, but not all Android handsets will be getting the jelly-beany goodness. Fortunately, you can improve the sound of any Android phone using apps that optimize or let you tweak your sound. (iPhone people can find their version here.)
First, it must be said that to get the best sounding audio out of your Android (or any other) device, the most important factor by far is the headphones or speakers you’re using. They make the biggest difference in sound quality, and the stock earbuds that come with gadgets tend to be fairly awful. However, if you’re happy with your headphones, the following apps can optimize the audio quality of your Android phone.
Note that Android devices with the “Froyo” OS (2.2) or older won’t let you edit the settings across the entire device, so if you have one of those, you’ll need to choose a music player with equalizer and/or sound optimizer built in. Let’s start with those.