I’ve moved from an Apple iPhone to a Google Pixel 3a running Android and can’t find the EQ settings anywhere! It was in Settings in iOS12, where is it in Android OS?
While the features Cold War of Android vs iOS has proven really beneficial for users, there are some instances where a feature in one OS is completely missing in the other. Confusing, but especially so to people who use both platforms or are migrating from one to another. One of the big missing parts on the Pixel line from Google is that music EQ that you’ve been seeking. On the iPhone it’s easy to find, Settings > Music > EQ but on that Pixel 3a phone? It’s a no show.
Seems pretty dire to have Google just omit the music equalizer, particularly for people who like tons of bass, prefer a brighter high end on their music or just want to shift the frequency response for voice to make it easier to understand podcasts and audio books! Don’t panic, however, because some apps have just pulled equalization into their own settings because the feature’s still part of the Pixel hardware, apparently, it’s just not accessible in Settings. Might that change in the next release of Android, Android 10 (aka Android Q)? I hope so.
For now, let’s just jump into Spotify and see how to access your Google Pixel equalizer settings from within that popular app. To start, tap on the gear icon on the top right of the main screen:
A tap on the gear icon and you’ll see the main group of settings for your Spotify app. If you’ve ever adjusted settings in Spotify on your iPhone, this is a pretty different setup and display (surprisingly so considering the main functionality is identical). Here’s what you’ll see on the Pixel:
You have to dig around on the iPhone for Storage info, it’s really nice to have it front and center like this. But that’s not what we seek; tap on “Equalizer” to proceed to the Spotify music EQ feature:
That’s a bit weird! I guess there are some Android phones that just don’t like third party apps messing with the audio settings, hence this warning. Nothing you need to worry about with the Pixel line, however; they seem to be quite compatible with the EQ feature from the testing we’ve done on the device.
Ready to proceed? Of course you are! Tap on “OK” to get to the equalizer.
You’ll find that it’s disabled by default:
Slide the control on the top right and you’ll be able to fiddle and adjust to your heart’s content. In fact, tap on the “FX booster” because that’s a menu of presets:
What’s great is that you can step through the different presets and hear how they affect the music you’re currently enjoying. Flat is a reference preset so you can hear the default balance from the music source, but I enjoy “Jazz” as a good compromise between pushing the bass too much and still being able to hear the other frequencies in the music. Your playback device will determine some of what’s best.
Once you’re done trying presets, you can then tap and drag to fine-tune your settings too:
That’s why you see “User” on the top left, btw: because I’ve manually tweaked my settings from a preset. Once you like what you have, just go back to the main Spotify screen and enjoy!
Pro Tip: I’ve been writing about Android for years. Please check out my Android help while you’re here, and go #teampixel too, for that matter: Google supplied me with my Pixel 3a for testing purposes.