Android absolute volume or Bluetooth absolute volume represents unified volume control so when you increase or lower the volume on your phone, it transfers to the Bluetooth device, too. It’s been a thing for years and it’s on by default on devices running Android 6 and later. If you were wondering how it works and if is possible to disable it (or why would one want to disable it in the first place), we made sure to explain everything below.
Disabling Android absolute volume won’t help you if your Android is not pairing with Bluetooth headphones or other Bluetooth issues, it’s just a volume-related feature.
What happens if you disable Absolute Bluetooth Volume?
Absolute Volume is a feature that unifies (syncs) volume controls on your phone and the Bluetooth device you paired it with. So if you lower or increase the volume on your phone, this applies to the connected Bluetooth audio device, too. This is much more convenient than having to use separate sliders. One for your phone and one for your wireless headphones (and earbuds or speakers). It sort of prioritizes the primary audio output device.
However, one common problem with Bluetooth Absolute Volume is a possible discrepancy between the volume levels of the two devices. For example, the Android volume level might still be too loud on your Bluetooth headphones or Bluetooth speaker even on the lowest settings. Or the opposite: cranking up the volume to the max on your phone might be too quiet on the Bluetooth device.
And the internet forums are flooded with users complaining about low Bluetooth volume on Android devices. This isn’t as common but people who are really particular about their preferences definitely can notice it. It all comes down to optimization and compatibility between your phone and your Bluetooth audio device.
If you disable Bluetooth Absolute Volume, you’ll get a separate slider for Bluetooth devices. After that, when you use the phone’s physical volume buttons to increase or lower the volume, it will change only the media volume on your phone. And, if you don’t have a way to increase the volume on the Bluetooth device (with physical buttons or touch controls), you’ll need to expand the Volume panel on your phone and use a separate Bluetooth volume slider to increase or lower the volume on your headphones.
How to disable Bluetooth Absolute Volume on Android
Android absolute volume is enabled by default on all Android devices running Android 6 and later iterations. And there’s no option to disable it under Sound settings, as one would expect. In order to disable Bluetooth Absolute Volume on your Android, you’ll need to enable Developer options first.
Here’s how to disable Android absolute volume on your phone:
- Open Settings.
- Select About phone. You might need to open Software Information.
- Locate the Build number and tap 7 times on it until you unlock the Developer options. This usually requires entering a PIN/password/pattern.
- Now go back to Settings and open Developer options from the bottom of the settings list. On some Android devices, you’ll find Developer options under System.
- Locate Disable absolute volume and enable this option.
You can disable Developer options on your Android if you don’t need them. The changes you made won’t disappear.
Now that you know what Absolute Volume does, you can try disabling it. Maybe, the dedicated Bluetooth slider works better for you. We mentioned the compatibility and optimization of the software. There are both third-party and some first-party apps you can use to improve your listening experience.
For example, I use the Sound Assistant Good Lock module on my Samsung to reduce the step volume. Switching from a volume step of 10 (100, 90,…20, 10, 0) to 2 (100, 98,…6, 4, 2, 0) provides me with precise control of volume in general. This transmits well to my Bluetooth earbuds as I can set the volume to be as low as 2% instead of the factory 10% when I need to. Some third-party apps can do the same, and you can find them on Play Store.
Still, with all that said, Android absolute volume is the most convenient way to control the volume on your Bluetooth devices with your phone. Second only to touch controls that allow you to put your phone away.
That should do it. Thank you for reading and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below. We look forward to hearing from you.
Editor’s note: This article was initially published in February 2022. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.
Unless you disable it in Developer options, this feature is enabled by default. If unified controls don't work on your Android even though Absolute Volume is enabled, unpair the device or try resetting network settings.
If your Android volume or Bluetooth volume keeps going down by itself, you should uninstall third-party apps that might have something to do with that, but we suspect this is a bug of sorts and the factory reset is the best way to solve it.