An upcoming Pixel update could improve your phone’s audio quality

Sahas Dahal
3 min readDec 2, 2020

What you need to know

  • A new feature has been discovered that could allow Pixel smartphones to change the audio EQ depending on the environment.
  • The feature may have been hinted at in early renders of the Pixel 5.
  • An update to Live Caption would allow it to identify songs and artists.

Oftentimes, Google Pixel smartphones get Feature Drops, which are updates that add useful features exclusively for Pixels. It’s one of the perks of having a Pixel; additional attention and features straight from the source. It seems the upcoming Feature Drop will focus on audio, if the following leaks come to pass.

After doing some digging, a new feature dubbed “Adaptive Sound” was uncovered for Pixel smartphones. The feature will utilize the phone’s microphones to adjust the EQ depending on the environment. The hope is that by doing this, the user will experience better audio quality.

A video taken from the Adaptive Sound setting page gives an example of the phone automatically adjusting in different environments such as a room, bathroom, or kitchen, all of which are likely to have different acoustics and noises.

If Adaptive Sound, well… sounds familiar, that’s because it’s a feature currently available on the Google Pixel Buds, albeit with a somewhat different function. Here, the Pixel Buds adjust volume based on noise level, while the feature purportedly coming to Pixel smartphones will focus on audio quality. There have also been hints early on that Google was planning to bring this feature, based on previous listings on Amazon which have since been updated sans any mention of it.

Still, it’s interesting that Google is focused on bringing new audio features to its Pixel phones, given the current volume control issues Pixel 5 users have been reporting for the past month. Seeing has how the Feature Drop is likely to come alongside the next security patch, perhaps Google will finally address that issue as part of the update. The feature will likely be available for recent models like the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5, but older models could be left out depending on hardware requirements.

In addition to Adaptive Sound, Google might also be preparing to bring improvements to Live Caption. Code associated with the feature shows that it may soon gain the ability to show information about a song if music is playing. The feature is currently unable to caption songs, so this could make it a little more useful in that regard.

Despite these findings, there’s no saying whether or not Google will actually introduce these features with the next drop, so stay tuned.

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Originally published at on December 2, 2020.