Disable absolute Bluetooth Volume in Android Phones
Sound Technology

How To Reset or Disable absolute Bluetooth Volume on Android Phones

If you are looking to disable absolute Bluetooth Volume then this post might be helpful to you.

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Many of the smartphone manufacturers have been moving towards removing the 3.5 mm Audio jack and replacing it with a USB port. Of course, this is being done with a few additional components and improving the better audio performance in high fidelity audio.

However, this has been one of the primary reasons that have been prompting the users to switch towards Bluetooth headsets. Yet, these Bluetooth headsets have their disadvantages. We will discuss one of the issues with audio volume in today’s post.

What is Absolute Volume on Android Devices?

Before we can move ahead to understand the volume issues you may face on your Bluetooth headsets, it would be apt to learn a little about what exactly causes the problem.

If you find that your Bluetooth Headset volume is not up to the mark and you do not seem to have control over the volume control option for your headset, it is the feature called Absolute Volume that you need to focus on.

What is this Absolute Volume? The correct explanation can be too technical and beyond the understanding of a typical user who has no professional background. Let us attempt explaining the concept in a more straightforward language. Of course, we would not be able to denounce the technical aspects altogether but will try making it simpler.

A Bluetooth connection is used for transmitting media, which can include audio, video, or any other form of media files. Here the Android device will work as a source for the content, and the Bluetooth device is the sink. The Absolute Volume Control is a feature that was introduced after Android 6.0 Marshmallow. It provides the source of the Bluetooth connection an ABSOLUTE control over the volume.

This is done to provide users with accurate control over the volume of the audio. This would mean, the source will send the volume information along with the unattenuated sound to the sink. The sink will then use the volume information to process the audio sent and thus processes it strictly in accordance with the information posted by the source.

The sink will also be able to send the information to the source concerning any of the changes made into the headset controls.

How does this affect Bluetooth Volume experience?

As we have found in the above discussion, the Android device will have complete control over the volume performance on your connected Bluetooth device. Of course, your Bluetooth device does come with its volume control, but this will not be functional to the degree it has been designed for.

This will mean that even when you have access to a Bluetooth headset with enhanced functionality in terms of volume, you will not have access to the best possible volume. If you are looking to get the right volume level on your device, it should be obvious enough that you need to disable the Absolute Volume setting. How would you be able to do it? Let us check out how.

How to disable Absolute Bluetooth Volume on Android?

The options for disabling or enabling the absolute volume on the Android device can be accessed through the Developer Options. Let us check out the options in the following paragraphs.

Before you can disable the absolute volume on your device, it would be necessary to enable the Developer Options. By default, the Developer Options would be hidden on any Android device.

Here is how you would be able to enable the Developer Options on your Android Device –

  • Launch your Android Settings.
  • Move to the option About Phone.
  • Under the About Phone option, locate the Build Number for your device.
  • Tap on it seven times in quick succession.

That does it. You have successfully enabled the Developer Options on your Android device. The Developer Options should now be visible on your Android Settings under the System settings option. Please note that the Developer Options will appear depending upon the personalization used on your Android device. Ideally, it should be available under Settings ->System. If you have custom Android, you would need to check out the option by digging a little deeper into the settings.

Once the Developer Options have been enabled on your Android device, the next step would be to find the option for Absolute Volume and disable it. Here is how you would be able to do it –

  • Launch your Android Settings.
  • Locate Developer Options and tap on it.
  • Scroll down to the Networking section
  • You should find the option for Disable Absolute Volume. The setting will be toggled to OFF by default.
  • Toggle it to turn it ON.

That should now do it. The volume of your Bluetooth device and that of your Android phone will now be separated. That would mean the volume controls on your Bluetooth Headset will soon begin to work independently of the volume controls on the Android device. You will now be able to maximize and lower them independent of one another.

How to get the best volume performance on your device? Well, the functionality is quite simple and easy to work with. Once you have disabled the Absolute Volume, you will be able to control the volume of both your Android device and the Bluetooth headset independent of one another. The Android device volume controls will control the media volume, and the ones on the Bluetooth Headset will control the playback volume. If you max out both the volumes, you will have access to the loudest possible volume on your Bluetooth headset.

Has Android Pie Broken the Absolute Volume Functionality? – Disable absolute Bluetooth Volume

After the launch of Android Pie, the latest iteration of the Android operating system, a few users have complained that the Absolute Volume feature is not working anymore as desired. It has been observed on a wide range of devices that the Absolute Volume option is not working correctly and has presumably been broken.

The user inputs have indicated that changing the playback volume controls on the Bluetooth headsets now changes the entire configuration of the media volume on the Android device as well.  This would mean there are no separate controls for the Bluetooth volume and Android device volume.

Users have posted feedback to Google about the issue. If you are facing the problems as things stand as of now, you may post your inputs and bring it to the attention of the developers at Google through the feedback option. You may also contribute to this issue already registered with Google.

Some users have reported that the September 2018 security patch has addressed the issue. It should be interesting to note that the release notes of the September Security update indicate addressing Bluetooth related issues.

In Android 8.0, devices that use the Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) can support additional audio codecs. The Bluetooth stack supports audio codec negotiation for when devices connect to a remote audio sink. This negotiation selects the best codec supported by both the sender and the sink to provide high-quality audio. After selection, all audio is routed through the encoder chosen and then sent to the sink.

Implementation for Advanced Codecs

Devices operating Android 8.0 that support A2DP automatically gain additional codec support. Device makers may need to obtain separate licenses and binary blobs for some proprietary audio codecs. In addition to SBC, Android 8.0 also supports the following codecs:

  • AAC
  • aptX & aptX HD
  • LDAC

The Concluding Thoughts

The Absolute Volume functionality on your Android device should be a massive disadvantage if you want to enjoy the best experience on your Bluetooth headset. Of course, the feature was added with Android 8.0 Oreo with a view to providing a seamless and synchronized experience for controlling the volume on both your Android device and the Bluetooth headset through a single interface and control. However, this configuration may not offer an excellent listening experience on a few Bluetooth headsets.

The option to disable the Absolute Volume on the Android devices through the Developer Options under the settings should be an excellent choice for taking care of your improved volume experience on your device and Bluetooth separately. The tips we shared above in addressing the concern should prove to be helpful enough.

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