Make your Samsung Galaxy S4 sound better using Adapt Sound

MP3 players – yet another electronic gadget that smartphones have pretty much rendered obsolete by now. That comes as no surprise since even the cheapest smartphone comes with a 3.5-millimeter jack to plug headphones into, storage for putting on some music, and enough computing power to process both compressed and lossless audio files.

However, not all smartphones sound quite the same. The sound quality of a smartphone – a matter that we've discussed in a previous article – depends on a number of factors, including hardware specifics and software used to control that hardware. And fortunately, while hardware is a constant that a user has no control over, the software on a smartphone does leave room for modification in hopes of achieving better sound. Think equalizers, stereo enhancers and the likes. 

The Samsung Galaxy S4, in particular, has an awesome built-in feature called Adapt Sound. Simply put, it fine tunes the sound output of the smartphone in accordance to the user's hearing and to what headphones are being used with the device. Allow us to tell you how to use the feature!

Before you start setting up Adapt Sound on your Samsung Galaxy S4, make sure you're in a quiet room and that you're wearing your headphones properly. Now go to the "Settings" menu, tap on the "My Device" tab and hit "Sound". The "Adapt Sound" setup guide is the option down at the bottom of the list. Open it and then hit "Start".

What you're about to hear is a series of beeps played at different frequencies. Confirm if you can hear the sound, even if it is barely audible, or tap "No" if you can't hear anything at all. Don't be surprised if you can hear all of the beeps or if you can't hear any of them – results depend on both your hearing and on the headphones being used. Also, note that the test tones are played through either the left or left audio channel as Adapt Sound adjusts each of them separately.

Once the setup process is complete, you'll be asked to select which ear you use more often during phone calls. Yup, Adapt Sound can improve the in-call audio quality as well! Hit "Done" and you'll be all set! The Adapt Sound will then be turned on when you're listening to music via Samsung's music player application. Sadly, the Adapt Sound feature does not work with other audio apps, which is a bummer in case you prefer using one of the many alternative music players for Android. Also, remember that in order to get best results, you'll have to set up Adapt Sound again in case you switch headphones.

We tested Adapt Sound using several pairs of headphones, ranging from dirt-cheap headsets and cans, to the Galaxy S4 stock in-ear headphones, to a professional set of in-ear monitors. Based on our experience, we'd say that the feature really makes a difference, especially if you're not listening at the highest loudness setting and in case your headphones aren't too great. However, it turns out that the better the headphones being used, the less need there is to have Adapt Sound turned on. But then again, your ears might have a different opinion about it. How do you, guys, find Adapt Sound? Let us know down in the comments!

Related phones

Galaxy S4
  • Display 5.0" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, Quad-core, 1900 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2600 mAh(17h 3G talk time)



1. eisenbricher

Posts: 973; Member since: Aug 09, 2012

Nice and useful feature!

2. procol

Posts: 16; Member since: Feb 28, 2013

I think this is very useful feature for most people even it's almost overlooked. Like eye sight, the hearing of ears are not exactly same usually. In my case, I have learned that my left ear hears better through experience. It was somewhat frustrating that I don't have any proper method to take a balance with iPhone 4 when listening music. It's not a big deal but the switching to GS4 solved my little wish I have had for long. Btw, I listen to hard rock music a lot. Maybe that's to blame. :[

3. therealestboy

Posts: 82; Member since: May 03, 2013

While the S4 has alot of gimmick feats, some of them are quite nice. Overall, it is great phone.

4. voxmarc

Posts: 339; Member since: Aug 22, 2012

The S3 and Note 2 has similar feature its on PHONE/CALL SETTINGS/MY CALL SOUND/PERSONALIZE CALL SOUND.... You're Welcome.

5. XaErO

Posts: 353; Member since: Sep 25, 2012

Awesome !! .. its a must have feature for me on smartphone !!

6. BlueMeBritt

Posts: 11; Member since: May 15, 2013

Looking forward to see this feature on my note 2 maybe in the 4.2.2 update. Hopefully next month! :)

7. poping unregistered

... the bass is AWESOME.........!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ...

8. gerasim

Posts: 16; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

stupid why i buy a phone for big money and use an app to make it sound better samsung should stop using horrible sound start innovating and stop sleeping.

9. MCrapp

Posts: 318; Member since: Apr 07, 2013

Are you hear about Wolfson and Samsung?

10. chocolaking

Posts: 495; Member since: May 22, 2012

what phone has the wolfson packed with?

11. HDShatter

Posts: 1021; Member since: Jan 17, 2013

International S4 and S3 both have a wolfson dac.

12. death2trollz

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 13, 2013

It may be an improvement unique to the Note 3 but I noticed a marked difference using this with Spotify

13. metin

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 11, 2013

No sound comes from the left side of my headphones friends wonder how you could you help?

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.