Does anyone know how I should set the equalizer settings in the android VLC app so the audio it plays back sounds similar to the android YouTube app?

I have tried all the pre-set equalizer settings, and none of them make the audio sound similar to the audio from YouTube videos.

My test example is audio I extracted from a video advertised as free to use. I used youtube-dl to extract the audio at the highest possible settings.


It seems the difference I am hearing in the audio is because the audio is not as loud when playing back from YouTube, and is louder when playing back from VLC. This seems to cause distortions via my headphones.

I have tried using vorbisgain on Linux to try to normalize the vorbis extracted audio from the YouTube video, but I get a message saying that the file I am trying to normalize is not a vorbis file.

The only other option is opus audio files. These files also have the same issue, so will need to be normalized to get them to the same volume level as the YouTube app. How do I achieve the same normalization which is outputed by the YouTube app? Can VLC apply normalization? If not, any idea why the vorbis files extracted from the YouTube video files are not recognized for vorbis files. Or, is it possible to normalize opus files?


It seems I meant replayGain instead of normalization. With this update in mind, how do I replayGain the vorbis files from YouTube? I have tried using the approach in update 2, but apparently the vorbis files from YouTube are not recognized as vorbis files.

  • 1
    VLC and YouTube should sound the same when playing the same content, and that with flat VLC EQ settings. Given that both programs audio out from the same soundcard, what you describe sounds like some kind of EQ plugin on youtube or firefox or something? And I'm saying that because you state that you have tried all the presets on VLC. General rule is that all flat and 100% volume (vlc goes up to 200% and distorts) with same content should sound the same! – frcake Apr 12 '19 at 21:33
  • with VLC anything over 100% is adding gain. Leave it at 100% or below. You never want to add digital gain or you will be in danger of clipping your audio. – Mark Apr 13 '19 at 11:15
  • I think I've figured out the difference I am hearing. Seems the difference is in the audio normalization. The audio is louder in VLC than it is in YouTube. The louder audio in VLC seems to cause distortions via my headphones. So I will update my question. Thanks. – oshirowanen Apr 13 '19 at 17:38
  • It cannot be normalisation. Normalisation would make the two levels identical if no other compression/EQ was taking place. Having said that, many people misuse the term, so we would need to know your definition. Note: replayGain is not Normalisation. – Tetsujin Apr 13 '19 at 17:53
  • Ah, I probably meant replayGain in this case then. Can I replayGain the vorbis files from YouTube? – oshirowanen Apr 13 '19 at 19:13


  1. Delete VLC on android. VLC is more of a jack of all trades and master of none.

  2. Download a creative commons audio file from YouTube using youtube-dl.

  3. Download foobar2000 for android as it has the ability to read ReplayGain tags in audio files.

  4. Download foobar2000 for the desktop to scan and apply ReplayGain data to the youtube audio files as for some reason the ReplayGain scanning options in the foobar2000 app on Android does not seem to be working.

Thank you Tetsujin for pointing me in the right direction.

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