YouTube's TV app gains Stable Volume feature to improve sound quality

Mike Wheatley

The official YouTube app for Android TV and Google TV is getting updated to version v4.40.303a, and it introduces new feature that may actually prove to be quite useful for the many users, as opposed to the usual UI and stability improvements that most people couldn’t really care less about.


That feature is called “Stable Volume”, and it’s likely to get the approval of those who are irritated by a common problem on YouTube – the inconsistent volume levels on many of its user-produced videos.

As everyone knows, a lot of the content posted on YouTube is not made by professional movie makers, but rather normal users, such as social media influencers, bloggers and so on. Those individuals sometimes mess things up a bit, especially on the audio side. For instance, the people’s voices on the video might be too quiet and not easily heard, while the background music is too loud. Or it may be that one speaker is wearing a microphone correctly and thus sounds crystal clear, while another speaker on-screen is barely audible, due to not wearing it properly.

If video creators fail to get the audio balance right, the volume can go up and down throughout the duration of the video, which means a bad experience for anyone watching.

Fortunately, Stable Volume provides a fix for this annoying problem. First seen on the mobile YouTube app, it’s now coming to TVs. It works a bit like some advanced smart TVs that are able to analyze the audio of content to enhance dialogue while softening loud explosions and such. But in the case of Stable Volume, it’s laser-focused on ensuring a “stable volume” throughout each video.

So if your favorite amateur backpacker posts another update of their experiences traveling the world and completely messes up the audio aspect, you’ll no longer have any problems. The feature works by effectively listening ahead – because the content can be downloaded faster than it’s actually streamed – enabling it boost or lower the audio volume accordingly to make sure it’s easier to hear. If one speaker’s voice is too quiet and the other’s is too low, it will increase and decrease the volume accordingly, so they both sound the same.

This should help to level the playing field between professional content producers and those who film everything on a cheap Android smartphone, and will, of course, ensure a more enjoyable experience for the people watching.

Google said it’s enabling Stable Volume by default within the YouTube TV app, though those who want a more authentic experience have the option to switch it off in the settings menu. There may be situations where you want to do this, such as when listening to a song that purposely flips between quieter and louder moments. In that case, it’s best not to keep the volume stable as that’s not what the musician intended.