Audio Issues on Android? Disable Absolute Bluetooth Volume to Fix It

If you’re experiencing audio issues while using your Bluetooth headset, earbuds, or speakers that are connected to an Android phone, you're probably wondering what you can do to fix them quickly. There’s a simple solution to your woes: disabling the Absolute Bluetooth Volume on your handset. If you haven't heard of such a thing before, brace yourself as we explain the concept and show you how to turn it off on your Android.

Tip: Bluetooth is a pretty versatile technology. Discover its most common uses.

What Is Absolute Bluetooth Volume on Android?

Absolute Bluetooth Volume is a feature that has been around ever since Android 6. Basically, it allows you to control the volume of both your phone and the Bluetooth device that’s connected to your mobile. If you lower/raise the volume on your phone, the same will happen on your Bluetooth device. In many situations, this is much more convenient than having separate sliders to control the volume of the phone and the accessory.

Absolute Bluetooth Music Playing
Image source: Unsplash

Even so, many third-party Bluetooth devices aren’t equipped to fully handle Absolute Bluetooth Volume which, could lead to some sound issues. For instance, maxing out the sound volume on your phone may still result in output that is too quiet on your Bluetooth device. Other possible issues include unacceptably loud volume or lack of volume control.

While Absolute Bluetooth Volume has been floating around for years, you might not have been aware that its presence could be interfering with you getting a satisfying audio experience. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to disable this feature on your phone, which in turn may help resolve these issues.

What Happens If I Disable Absolute Bluetooth Volume?

At this point, you may be wondering whether disabling the Absolute Bluetooth Volume option is safe. The answer is yes. Turning off the feature will have the effect of giving you a separate volume slider for your Bluetooth device.

When using your phone’s physical volume buttons while it’s connected to a Bluetooth device, you’ll only be able to control the media volume on your Android. If you wish to adjust the volume on your Bluetooth device, you’ll need to use its dedicated volume buttons. If the device doesn’t have any, you’ll be required to expand the Volume panel on your phone and find the separate Bluetooth slider.

Good to know: check out these Android volume control apps to fine-tune your device's sound.

How to Disable Absolute Bluetooth Volume on Android

Most Android devices these days ship with Absolute Bluetooth Volume set on default. To disable it, you’ll need to go through Developer Options, but first, you have to enable this mode.

  1. On your Android device, open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and select the “About phone” section.
"About phone" option in Settings on Android phone.
  1. Tap on the the “Build number” option at the bottom a total of seven times to enable Developer mode.
Build number in Settings o Android phone.
  1. A message on your screen will let you know that the mode is now available.
  2. You’ll find it under the System menu in Settings.
System menu under Settings on Android phone.
  1. Tap on “Developer Options.”
Developer options on Android phone.

Tip: in the market for a worthy Bluetooth speaker? Check out our review of the affordable Tronsmart Trip waterproof speaker.

  1. You’ll see many options, but instead, use the Search button at the top.
Search option in Developer Options.
  1. Type “Absolute volume” and tap on the first option that says “Disable absolute volume.”
Searching for "absolute volume" in Developer Options.
  1. Tap the toggle next to that option in Developer Options to disable the feature. If the toggle is off it means the feature is active!
"Disable absolute volume" option with toggle enabled on Android phone.
  1. Reboot your Android device for the changes to take effect. Don’t forget this step, or you won’t see any difference.
  2. If you need to bring the common control slider back to your Android device, you’ll need to retrace steps #6 through #9 and tap on the toggle to enable the option again.
"Disable absolute volume" option with toggle off on Android phone.

Good to know: avoid changing settings accidentally by blocking your Android's volume buttons.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I increase Bluetooth volume even further?

If you’re not satisfied with the volume your connected Bluetooth device can reach, there are a few things you can try:

  • Check the app you’re using to stream the audio and see if it offers any additional settings in this respect. Take Spotify, for instance. It offers a built-in option that allows you to increase the sound. You can find it under “Settings -> Volume level.” From there, switch to “Loud.”
  • Your companion headphones or speaker apps probably have a built-in equalizer as well.
  • There are also third-party equalizer apps that might be worthy of your attention, such as Poweramp. For more options, check out our dedicated post on Android equalizer apps.
  • Switch to a different Bluetooth profile from Developer Options. Use the search bar to look for “Bluetooth AVRCP.” Once you’re taken to the option, tap on it and select the higher AVRCP version available.

Disabling Absolute Bluetooth Volume has no effect. What can I do?

If disabling Absolute Bluetooth Volume on your phone seems to have no effect regarding the audio issues you're experiencing or you can't see the separate volume sliders, bear in mind that the feature is pretty glitchy, or it won't work in certain device combinations. Google has officially confirmed that you can disable Absolute Bluetooth Volume control, but if you've followed this guide and don't see any change, you could also try a few other things:

  • Unpair your Bluetooth speaker or headphones from your phone and shut down the device. Turn off Bluetooth on your phone, wait a few moments, then turn it back on. Turn on the speaker or headphones and pair the device to your phone again. Try playing some music and adjusting the volume.
  • Turn off the "Absolute Bluetooth Volume" option in Developer Options, then enable it once more. Reboot your phone.
  • Try adjusting the volume using your speakers or headphones' dedicated buttons and see if the Bluetooth slider appears on your phone.
  • Delete Bluetooth cache and storage. Go to "Settings -> Apps -> See all apps." Tap on the three dots in the upper-right corner and select "Show system." Find Bluetooth in the list and tap on it. Press on "Storage and cache," then on the respective buttons to clear the cache storage. You'll need to pair your Bluetooth device to your phone again to start playing music.

Can I control the volume on my Android (and connected devices) without using the physical buttons?

Yes, it's possible. If you've configured your Google Assistant on your device, you can ask it to "increase" or "decrease" the volume or give specific instructions, like "Increase volume by 50%."

Image credit: Unsplash. All screenshots by Alexandra Arici.

Alexandra Arici
Alexandra Arici - Staff Writer

Alexandra is passionate about mobile tech and can be often found fiddling with a smartphone from some obscure company. She kick-started her career in tech journalism in 2013, after working a few years as a middle-school teacher. Constantly driven by curiosity, Alexandra likes to know how things work and to share that knowledge with everyone.

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