Android Accessibility – Hearing

Note: The following examples assume Android version 6.0 or above. Screenshots may vary slightly to your screen display.


Mono Audio

If you suffer from a hearing impairment in one of your ears and you are using headphones, you may struggle to hear the full sound in stereo as it can split sound channels between both ears. Mono allows the same single channel of sound to be heard in both ears.

This is also useful for people who only want to listen to the sound with one headphone.

  • Go to Settings > Accessibility > Mono Audio.
  • Select the Mono audio option.
A screenshot showing the mono audio selected on an Android device
Fig.1 Mono audio selected.










Android devices offer the option to turn on captions providing additional support for those with hearing impairments when watching their favourite films, entertainment channels and videos on Google apps such as YouTube.

This will show the text of the spoken dialogue overlayed on the screen in closed captioning format.

When the option to view closed captioning is selected on the entertainment app ie YouTube – the language, text size and colour contrasting captioning style configured through the Android settings will take affect.

  • Go to Settings > Accessibility > Captions
  • Toggle the Captions label on
a screenshot showing the captions label option on an Android device.
Fig.2 Captions label in Accessibility settings is turned on.









  • Tap on the Captions label and configure the Standard Options by choosing a Language, Text Size and Caption Style (text colour and background colour).
A screenshot showing the standard caption options on an Android device
Fig.3 Standard caption options to configure.









Vibration settings

Android phones can be set to vibrate for call, notifications and alarms.

  • To set phone to vibrate for calls only go to Settings > Sound and Notification > Vibrate.
  • Select ‘Vibrate’.
A screenshot showing the vibrate option is selected on an Android device
Fig.4  Vibrate option is selected.









  • When the devices volume is turned all the way down, notifications set to play a sound will vibrate


LED Flash for Alerts

This can be useful for the hearing impaired to see notifications coming in to the Phone.

Whenever you receive a notification the LED light (camera flash) on your Phone will flash 3 times. The Phone needs to be screen down and visible for the user to catch it.

This is useful when used in combination with vibration.

  • Go to Settings > Sound and Notification > Flash Notifications
  • Tap on Flash Notifications and choose between ‘Always’ or ‘When the screen is off’
A screenshot showing the flash notification is set to always be on, on an Android device
Fig.5 Flash notifications is
set to ‘Always’.










Please click here to read about TalkBack, the Android Screenreader.

Please click here to read about Android Magnification Gestures.

Please click here to read about Android Accessibility.