Use the equalizer on the iPhone - this is how it works!

The iPhone equalizer

Overall, I am satisfied with the sound of my iPhone. Also the AirPods 2 have become indispensable in everyday life and provide me with audio books, Blinkist abstracts, Podcasts, news, music and of course phone calls. The sound is ok, but logically can't keep up with that of my Bose QC35 - but it doesn't have to either. The Airpods 2 are great all-round headphones that I always have with me. If, for once, I want to enjoy music in peace, I just use other devices such as the HomePod or the QC35.

The iPhone equalizer can be found in the settings of the device under "Music".
The iPhone equalizer can be found in the device settings under “Music”.

Sound improvement with the EQ: More BASS!

Recently I had the need to change the sound a little with an equalizer, because I was testing a Bluetooth box that - from my subjective point of view - could use a bit more bass. And then the search began ... I had in the back of my mind that an equalizer was available somewhere in the iPhone, but I couldn't remember where to find it.

A quick search got me to the right one Apple Support Document which describes how you can activate the equalizer in addition to the maximum volume of the iPhone.

Short form of instructions for iOS

If you are looking for the equalizer on your iPhone, proceed as follows:

  1. Settings
  2. There the entry “Music”
  3. Now scroll far down and select “EQ”.
  4. There you will find the default settings from which you can choose.

It's a bit of a shame that you don't have a real EQ available, as you know it from other apps. You can neither see the typical sliders as they are built into real equalizers, nor can you adjust any frequency curves. The only thing left for the user to do is use their imagination and consider which frequency settings are hidden behind the individual names of the presets.

Unfortunately, you can't set your own EQ setting either - Apple could really invest a bit of time here to offer a nicer and more practical interface.

My choices were Loudness, Small Boxes, and More Bass. All three basically helped improve the sound of my bluetooth speaker.

The EQ can be activated on the iPhone in this way. Then you can make your choice from many presets.
The EQ can be activated on the iPhone in this way. Then you can make your choice from many presets.

Instructions for Spotify users

Anyone who uses Spotify Premium has the option of activating an equalizer in Spotify itself and is not dependent on the default settings of the iPhone's own EQ. Spotify's equalizer features a frequency curve where you can grab and drag points to improve the sound. If you just want more bass, activate the "Bass Boost" function.

The equalizer can be found on Spotify in this way:

  1. Home
  2. Settings
  3. reproduction
  4. Equalizer

Important: The sound settings on Spotify cannot be changed if you have just activated Spotify Connect.

But now have fun trying out the EQ settings!

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9 Responses to “Use the equalizer on the iPhone – this is how it works!”

  1. Thanks for your tip. But I can only make 1 choice and not 3, as you wrote ("My choice was "Loudness", "small speakers" and "More bass". All three basically helped...").

    1. Hello Bernd! Oh, that came off wrong. Of course, you can only select one equalizer preset at a time. I just wanted to say that these three - each one individually - improved the result.

    2. Hello Jens, thank you very much for the tip with the equalizer at Appke-Music! Could it be that the EQ setting does not respond to the Apple HomePods? For me, everything sounds unchanged via the HomePods - even if I change the settings in the EQ. On which BT box did you try the EQ? Kind regards Olaf

      1. Hello Olaf! Unfortunately, I no longer have that on my screen. There is a brisk flow of Bluetooth headphones and boxes here. But it should actually work with everyone. It can only be that Apple is the exception again and the HomePods cannot be changed via EQ. But I can't say that at the moment ... I'd have to try it out.

  2. I have the problem that I can hear worse in one ear. HTC had a great function that measured the inner ear and thus automatically adjusted the EQ. I assumed that Apple must have that too. With this punky equalizer, I have discovered the greatest weakness. Do you have an idea?

    Does it have an MP3 player app with EQ and not for streaming?

    1. Hello Heike! I only know of measuring the inner ear from headphones, but not from the iPhone. But there is an option to adjust the left-right balance. To do this, go to Settings > Accessibility > “Hearing” on the iPhone and then Audio/Visual. At the bottom you will find the balance slider. That should help to get the audio signal louder in one ear. Does it help you?

    2. Hello Heike! I have just spoken to the people from Nura. They offer two headphones (nuraphones and Nuraloop), which measure both ears individually so that we can compensate for hearing differences. Maybe this is something for you too.

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In the Sir Apfelot Blog you will find advice, instructions and reviews on Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, iMac, Mac Pro, Mac Mini and Mac Studio.