Convenience has certainly played a major role in the gadgets that we use nowadays. Gone are the days when plugging in to your car physically was the only way for you to enjoy high fidelity audio.
While most cars are still outfitted with both FM and AM radio channels, they are seldom used. Instead, most of us tend to use our car’s onboard speakers to enjoy on-demand music through a Bluetooth connection. A luxury that radio simply does not hone. However, if you’ve ever used the radio, you must have noticed that that you might not have experienced that your radio often sounds louder than your Bluetooth.
We’re going to be talking about exactly why that may happen and how you can circumvent this issue.
Check Whether You Have The Latest Bluetooth Firmware:
First things first, you need to rule out the basics. Being stuck with a shoddy Bluetooth connection can be the result of many things. However, more often than not, there’s a high chance that your connection is simply at its limits due to you using an older version of Bluetooth.
Generally, using Bluetooth 4.x or 5.x poses significant improvements to your overall connection whether it be through range and latency. Since the signal carries a greater bandwidth, you can expect greater audio fidelity both in terms of amplitude (volume) and overall quality too.
Since newer Bluetooth versions treat overall signal and file compression differently, there’s a higher chance that you’ll be able to get a greater kick out of your music. Plus, they have a longer range too. So, if you have a larger car or tend to play music from longer distances, there’s a high chance that the low volume might just be due to a weaker signal.
However, if you are sure that you’ve got the latest version of Bluetooth on both your phone and your car, then you might need to look elsewhere.
Check Your Volume
We get it, this might be the most obvious answer in the book. However, you might be surprised as to how often connecting to Bluetooth messes up the audio levels on your phone. You might be listening to a song just fine only for it to fade away as volume is lowered down automatically by your phone’s settings.
However, there’s another party at play here if your volume is set to max and you still do not get the oomph you expect from your speakers to pop in when you are listening to your favorite tracks, chances are that your phone’s internal Android software might be interfering.
Why Is My Phone Limiting My Volume?
Most modern Android phones have a soft volume limiter known as Absolute Volume. Absolute Volume is only activated when you are connected to a Bluetooth device. The feature was designed to protect your ears from loud music which might cause permanent damage if you were to put on wireless Bluetooth headphones.
However, your phone has no clear way of distinguishing whether you’ve plugged headsets in via Bluetooth or have been trying to connect to your car’s speakers. Therefore, there’s a high chance that the faded or low volume that you might be hearing from your car’s speakers is due to your phone’s Absolute Volume Limiter feature turning on.
A quick way to check is if you feel a sudden loss in audio intensity or volume from your phone as soon as you connect to Bluetooth. Generally, there is no other indication shown on phones. However, some Android phones tend to show a headphone icon with a greyed out limit once you try to change the volume. However, your mileage may vary.
How To Turn Off My Phone’s Volume Limiter?
Before we get started, do note that this feature is only available on phones running Android 7 and up. However, if you have a phone that’s running a custom version of Android, Samsung’s One UI for example, you might have the feature built-in to an older phone too.
Here’s how you can make your car’s Bluetooth sound louder:
- Open Settings on your Android Phone
- Scroll down to About Phone
- Once you’ve done so, tap on Build Number eight times
- Go back to your phone’s main Settings
- Scroll down to the newly found option, Developer Options
- Once there, tap Enable
- If you are confronted with a warning, don’t worry! We’ll only be changing one setting.
- Now, head down to the Networking section and tap on Disable Absolute Volume
- Once disabled, restart your phone.
Try changing your phone’s volume after you have completed these steps. If you are able to go to the maximum possible limit with your Bluetooth sounding fine on your car, fantastic!
If you own an iPhone / iOS Device, Absolute Volume does not apply to you and sadly these steps won’t either. As a precautionary measure, make sure that you restart your phone.
Close All Other Applications:
If you are a frequent user of Snapchat or Instagram, chances are that you might have noticed audio cutting off when you go ahead and record a video or take a picture. When this happens, your audio tends to fade away for a brief moment. However, after you finish recording, it reverts back to normal.
But this is not always the case. Sometimes, the application either does not close down properly or glitches out rendering your audio to remain at a very low volume regardless of you have a particular application open or not. In these cases, we recommend closing down all your applications or restarting your phone.
Sometimes, sound streaming services like Google Play Music and Spotify have their own dedicated volume slider found internally within the application. So, no matter what volume your phone is at, the application too might limit your overall volume. So, make sure you check there as well.
The same solution applies for iOS devices too. In fact, iOS devices tend to be more prone to their audio fading away when using third-party applications like Snapchat, Instagram or WhatsApp. Closing them down using the multi-tasking page is the quickest way to rid yourself of the issue.
Sometimes, you might need to restart the application that’s playing your Music in order for the lowered music volume to go away too.
Try Reconnecting Your Devices
Bluetooth is a gimmicky piece of tech. Even though its been out for a few years now, it certainly has its drawbacks when it comes to stability. This is especially true when it comes to car speakers as they tend to have older, more finnicky versions of Bluetooth that aren’t all that great.
If you do suffer from low audio volume just when playing songs or audio on Bluetooth, or face frequent stuttering, jitter, or lag, a simple re-pair might just do the trick. In order to do so, open your phone’s Bluetooth settings, head on to your car’s name (Usually your car’s model or CAR KIT), tap on it and head on to Unpair.
You will need to connect to your car again after you are done and might need to enter a pin code which will be displayed on your nav screen. After that, you should have your volume go back to normal!
Equalizer Applications Can Help
If you’ve tried all the options above but feel like the volume is a bit too low on your car’s Bluetooth speakers, you can download an equalizing application and mix things up!
The solution also applies to if particular genres of music seem to be lacking in bass, the mids or the high end. You can easily use the equalizer present on your phone to fine-tune the audio that is being transmitted to your car. By changing the overall sound signature, you can lead to creating more fuller and immersive sound and increasing the audio volume quite significantly.
Most modern cars have an equalizer built into that car. If that is applicable in yours, turn it off and also disable any audio presets that your car may have. This can interfere with your custom equalizer setting leading to muddier sounding sound achieving the opposite effect.
Spotify comes with an Equalizer built-in. While it isn’t extremely intricate, it can certainly get the job done. You can also use the custom presets there such as Bass Boost to your heart’s content if you aren’t into fiddling around with the equalizer yourself.
For more serious folks, the Equalizer and Bass Booster App by Coocent is great. It is completely free and works system-wide. So, if you listen to music from different platforms or need your Podcasts all equalized, this app is meant for you. Do note that using universal equalization applications means that your Audio will be mixed differently even if you have your Bluetooth devices disconnected.
So, while they may now sound great on your car, they may feel very different on your phone due to a change in overall equalization. A quick fix is to have a preset saved in your Equalizer which you can quickly switch through depending on the situation.
This also lets you create multiple presets for different genres of Music. For example, you can get the bass pumped up when you’re listening to Hip Hop and focus more on the mids when listening to a podcast. However, the entire process can get tedious at times especially if you start switching your Equalizer preset for each genre of music that you listen to.
Check Your Connection
Bluetooth does not cut off immediately if it suffers from low range. Instead, it suffers from gradual drops in quality until the signal eventually fades away. Since there is no way to measure the strength of the connection, you might often have to go for audio queues instead to get a clear picture.
Thankfully, having low Audio on a perfectly working Bluetooth Speaker is a perfect example of losses in overall signal strength. To circumvent this, we recommend placing your device as close to the Bluetooth Receiver as possible.
Try not to place any other networking devices like a Wi-Fi router near your Bluetooth device as signal interference can lead to massive drops in audio quality as well.
If you can’t move your Wi-Fi router away, you can always the Channel Band from your Router’s Network settings. We suggest keeping it at Auto as it ensures that you always get the least interference.
Having a direct line of sight of the Bluetooth receiver is always appreciated. Standing behind a wall or being in a different room can lead to reduced audio quality and fidelity as well. Positioning certainly is key when it comes to setting your speakers.
Make sure that your speakers do not face any hard surfaces and are not obstructed by anything once you set them up. Generally, they do come in with a manual which can help you through the initial process in quite a fruitful manner.
A Single Speaker May Not Cut It
If you’ve tried everything and your Bluetooth Speaker still doesn’t just feel right, don’t fret. Chances are that you might be in a larger room where having just one speaker might not be the most efficient model. As such, you can always go for a second Bluetooth speaker.
They don’t need to be of the same brand and can be used interchangeably. You’ll first need to connect to one speaker and then connect to the other one. After you are done, you can tap on the three dots found on your Phone’s Settings to access the overall volume.
Do note that this will reduce or increase the volume of all your speakers. Bluetooth does not offer extremely refined choices per model as of yet. So, you won’t be able to individually reduce the volume of your speakers.
Purchase New Bluetooth Speakers
If all else fails, chances are that your old Bluetooth Speakers are simply not cutting it. Replacing them would definitely be the most optimal choice in helping you get a pleasant auditory experience.
Before you go ahead and buy one, here are some key metrics that you should definitely be paying heed to when you buy a new Bluetooth Speaker:
- Size: The size of the speaker is roughly equal to how much audio it can produce. Do not expect a small speaker to be packing in tons of bass.
- Battery: If you are going to be using your Bluetooth Speaker in a portable setting, battery timing can be really important.
- Bluetooth Version: The newer the firmware, the greater the chances of your listening experience to be hassle-free. Therefore, always go for the newest iteration!
Why Is My Car Radio Louder than My Bluetooth?
If it’s just the Bluetooth in your car that you are worried about, chances are that you may have a faulty Bluetooth connection. If you have a bad receiver, you will not be getting the best audio quality out of your speakers.
However, don’t be fooled, even genuine authentic manufacturer fitted navigation systems and infotainment mediums tend to have bad Bluetooth Receivers which ruins half the fun. Instead, you should go for aftermarket solutions to increase the volume of your car’s Bluetooth Speakers.
Even after all that, if you still are not getting the same volume for your Car’s Bluetooth, chances are that your speakers might not be up to the task. We can’t really recommend a particular speaker since each car is different. However, you should go for a trusted, high-quality brand such as JBL or Bose as they tend to last longer and have the best audio quality out of the bunch.
Troubleshooting why your Car Radio is louder than your Bluetooth can be extremely hard. With all the steps mentioned above, pinpointing the problem may not always be possible. However, we are sure that you’d have come to a resolution by the end of it.
If not, changing your speakers might be your last resort to combat the issue. As a general rule of thumb, make sure you perform all the diagnostic tests mentioned above on multiple devices rather than sticking to one. It is very possible for your mobile device to be the sole culprit and for the issue to be non-existent on other phones.