The Google Pixel 6 just got a surprise upgrade

Google Pixel 6 review
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Update: Google has pushed out a Pixel 6 update that fixes some irritating bugs.

The Google Pixel 6 hasn't been out for a month yet, but now it's got a new feature for users to play with.

As spotted by Android expert Mishaal Rahman (via TechRadar) Adaptive Sound has arrived on the Pixel 6. It's proof of one of the background benefits of owning a Pixel phone — Google's drip-feeding of after-launch software features — and seems like it will make enjoying music and video on the phone better.

If you're lucky enough to already have a Pixel 6, you'll find Adaptive Sound within the Sound and vibration section of the Settings app. The page offers just a single toggle and an illustrated explanation of the feature. In short, the phone alters its speakers' equalization on the fly based on the acoustics of where it's playing.

A screenshot of the Adaptive Sound option taken on the Google Pixel 6

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

This feature debuted on the Google Pixel 5 last year, also as a post-launch update. However, while the speaker on that phone was lacking (according to Rahman), there's not been similar complaints about the Pixel 6's speakers. Although users have had plenty to say about other Google Pixel 6 problems, such as the dodgy fingerprint scanner or the misbehaving display.

Usually when introducing new features to one of its own phones, Google waits until its quarterly "feature drop" to offer them to Pixel owners. With this having apparently been snuck in quietly, that hopefully means Google will have even more in store for the Pixel 6 and older phones in a month or two when the next official feature drop arrives, such as the recently rumored face unlock feature.

As it stands, and even accounting for the problems mentioned above, the Google Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro are two excellent phones for affordable prices. Both made it onto our list of the best Android phones, and feature excellent photography abilities plus some nifty software features like Magic Eraser and live transcribing powered by the new Google-developed Tensor chip.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.