YouTube on Google TV and Android TV is about to get a great free update we’ve been hoping for

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Jun 25, 2024

The latest YouTube app for Android TV and Google TV has a new feature that’ll delight many users: Stable Volume. It’s a feature we’ve already seen in the YouTube mobile app and it does a good job of solving one of the biggest audio annoyances in YouTube videos, so we’ve been hoping to see it elsewhere, too. (via Android Authority)

That annoyance is inconsistent volume levels. You might watching a show on YouTube where the speech is quiet but the music is loud, or maybe you’re watching something like a podcast, but one person may be small-mouse quiet while the person next to them is louder than a Foo Fighters concert. If the audio hasn’t been mixed well the levels can go up and down like a kangaroo on a trampoline, with levels ranging from  “what did they say?” to an unexpected audio assault. 

Stable volume is designed to prevent that, so it’s great to have it on the best TVs with Google TV and Android TV, which includes models from Sony, TCL, Hisense, Philips and more, as well as on Chromecast with Google TV.

How Stable Audio works on your Google TV or Android TV

Stable Audio works a bit like the night mode on your TV or soundbar, analyzing the audio of whatever you’re watching. But where night mode then tweaks the frequencies to make dialog more prominent and explosions more neighbor-friendly, Stable Volume is only interested in the overall volume level. If it’s too quiet it’ll boost the level; if it’s too loud it’ll roll it back a bit. 

This should happen so speedily that you won’t notice it; the feature will listen ahead and tweak the audio before it goes to your speakers or soundbar. And it should also help reduce the difference between overly quiet clips and the professionally mixed, everything louder than everything else ads that come during and after them.

The new feature is on by default and the toggle for it is in the same Settings menu you’d normally call up for any video that’s playing, and while it’s useful to have there are some circumstances where you might want to toggle it off for a bit. Flattening the volume levels is a great thing for speech but it can take a lot of enjoyment out of music: entire genres depend on the dynamics of quiet bit/loud bit and there are tons of tracks where having a huge difference between the quietest and loudest parts of the soundtrack are entirely intentional. 

The new Stable Volume feature is in both Android TV and Google TV with the YouTube app version v4.40.303.

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