Results Of The 2017 Talkback and Audio Poll

We were looking to find out some general information around TalkBack Users, their preferences and  how they feel about audio on Android.  We got an excellent turn out and results can be seen below:


Do You Use Talkback Mainly With headphones or with the built-in device speaker?

·Mainly With Headphones or earbuds - 21%

·Mainly with the speaker built into the device - 79%


Do you prefer to use mono or stereo headphones or earbuds?

  • A Mono Headphone or earbud - 8%

  • Stereo Headphones or earbuds - 92%


How do you feel about the android volume bar widget?

  • I like it and find it very easy to use - 31%

  • I don't like it and find it very hard to use - 31%

  • I'm indifferent and neither like or dislike how it operates - 38%


We asked Why and When people use headphones or earbuds with Talkback?


Here is what people said:

  • Explain Why and When you use headphones or earbuds with Talkback?

  • I generally prefer the privacy and audio quality of audio from earbuds.I am generally listening to music, podcasts or other audio content on my device.When working, searching, browsingor doing email, I often use the built-in speaker.

  • I mainly listen to music with the ear buds if there is a lot of noise or i want some privacy to hear things i don't want others to hear.

  • I use earphones to prevent people around me from possibly hearing passwords when I have to enter passwords on my phone.

  • Mainly use with speaker.

  • When I am on the street, when I take a bus. When I am anywhere noisy.

  • When I am in a car or i am in a public place with loud noises or when I don't want to disturb those around me.

  • when I need privacy, or when I am in office, or in the night time

  • I use a headset when I'm out in public, especially if I think I'll be using my phone a lot (e.g., I know I need to text my contact to meet with him or her).

  • I don't ware headphones during the day, but at night I do while I'm asleep.

  • When another audio source is in the room, like TV, in public like on a bus or waiting for appointment, just anywhere I want to be courteous and not disturb others.

  • I use my Bluetooth headset while I am outside or public place.

  • When I am traveling to my work by bus.

  • at nights, while playing games watching youtube movies etc

  • So as to hear Talkback more clearly when going by collective transport and also to not disturb my fellow passengers. Also when playing games or listening to music or entertainment with stereo soundscapes

  • Only when too much outer noice, or in busses, or during night time, so that, not to disturbif there are any people around, however, it's more good to listen to talkback's speach in the inbuilt speaker that is in the device

  • Whenever I make a phone call to a bank or to anywhere I have to interact with a system of prompts press 1 for this, 2 for that, etc I can't hear talkback on the call. I have to do a contortion act to get close enough to the phone to hear talkback and still be able to enter my choice and yet not trip the proximity sensor. Using a speakerphone app isn't practical since some transactions are private and should not be listened to by everyone. That is when I use an earbud.

  • When listening to music.When entering passwords.When out in public.

  • I mostly use them at night or when listening to music for a ritcher audio playback experience. The built-in speakers of my phone are OK for spoken or narrated audio, but music is much more vibrant using earphones.

  • Watching YouTube, listening songs

  • Only when typing passwords in edit boxes in setup wizard

  • When I need privacy, or when I need to enter a password, and don't feel like changing settings to do so.

  • I use earbuds and headphones with talkback most of the time, due to the fact that the speach can be annoying to those around me.


  • I typically only use headphones if I am out and want to listen to music or certain audio games, or a book or audio recording like allo. Otherwise I don't like fiddling with headphones in addition to my phone.

  • When I listen to a movie o music. also, sometimes when I am doing something else and wont to hear my Whatsapp messages and need my hands free.


  • I use head phones only when I need to use phone at a conference or at a public location. Else prefer to use external speakers.


  • Because I live with other people.

  • Sometimes, I do use headphones, but I mostly use talkback with speakers.

  • Always



  • Will primarily switch to using headphones/ear-buds/headset if family are getting irritated with the sound eminating from the speaker.They are all sighted and find the idea of a talking smart phone a bit trying at times.Will also prefer to use a mono headset (Voyager Legend) when out and about , or when working at the PC, to answer incoming calls.

  • i only use earbuds if i am in a crowd, like at a party. or when i am listening to an audio book. otherwise, the speakers on my devices are loud enough that i don't feel the need for earbuds.

  • I generallydon'tusehead phonesbutI useonlysome situationsliketo manageconferencecalls,voicemails and music.

  • I do it for privacy reasons. Passwords etc. Sometimes also just not to disturbe people around me.

  • When I am alone or in a quiet environnment, I use the spekaers. Otherwise, I use headphones.

  • I'm profoundly deaf, it's easier to understand the speech.

  • privacy reason

  • Usually (~70% of the time) I rely on the phone's speaker with the sound turned very low. Rest of the time is on headset and that mostly with a bone-conducting bT headset. It's just less hassle to use the speaker in general and my TTS volume is so low and rate so high that I'm not very concerned about potential privacy issues.

  • Reasons for using a headset include being in a very quiet place where the sound might be obvious or disturbing and comfort, in cases when I know I'm going to be using the phone for an extended period of time.

  • When traveling




We asked People to Explain your feelings about the volume bar and related widget


Here is what they said:


  • I installed an app called rockerlocker just to avoid having to use the built in audio control.Locking the volume controls to media control is important.I find that the widget is a pain to dismiss, isn't intuitive and it is too easy to end up adjusting the wrong volume control.

  • I don't know what that is

  • It's a good thing to have, however, TalkBack doesn't always let you focus the correct volume control.

  • It's fine.

  • many device have it volume widget not focusable with TalkBack

  • I like the fact that it presents me with a percentage that when touched, I can adjust the volume in question with a simple "volume down" or "volume up."

  • suspending talk back through volume keys is ok, but dimming and undimming screen is not at all fine. it collides with the media and notification volumes.

  • What I like about the volume slider is that it gives me fine control of my sound levels so I can set a specific audio stream to a specific level very predictably. What I don't like is that TalkBack chatters to announce its presence and absence. I would prefer hearing a short earcon to let me know its there and gone.

  • In my case it only shows one until I expand but so far I find it very easy to use once I drag my finger to the one I want to change, then I can just change it with the volume keys or hit the button on the left to bring that slider to 0.

  • I have not used it, nor do I know how to enable it.

  • it is very annoying to me. Talkback always speaks "volume shown" or "volume hidden" etc which I don't like. as the widget stays for at least 5 seconds, sometimes, after increasing or decreasing the volume, if I try to press a button which is located on the top of the screen, the mute button get pressed. so, it is very confusing. it would have been nice if this widget thing were optional.

  • Very effective and easy solution, I am satisfied with it.

  • icont choose the exact volume ineed

  • It can be a bit difficult to get rid of the widget once it pops up. Ocasionally I find that controlling the volume sliders with the volume buttons doen't work. Other than that I I'm pretty comfortable using the widget.

  • Totally good and easy to use and for quick volume control.

  • I can never tell which volume setting i'm adjusting, talkback volume, media volume, answer volume, ring volume, and I know those weren't the right terms just functions, I never know which I'm adjusting.

  • Sorry, I am not familiar with this feature.

  • I like the widget for the most part. I only wish tha one could set the increments in which the slider moves up or down, not just for Talkback (e.g. by holding one finger on the screen and pressing a volume button). I wish that concept could be used fo other volume adjustments or that there was some kind of setting within the android settings to tell the system to move in finer increments.

  • When pressing volume keys it increases and decreases the volume and after few seconds is saysvolume control hidden so it should not say volume control hidden its annoying its should hit itself without saying volume controls hidden

  • I hate when talk back say media or call or alarm control volume shown

  • I think the way how the volume bar currently works is fine.

  • I don't like it because sometimes it does not go away and ends up blocking touch interaction with the items on the top of the screen.

  • I think I like it better in 7 where it Is easier to adjust and moves in smaller increments. It also seems to disappear faster on`its own.

  • If I press the volume vutton it only changes the ringtone volume. If I try to set volume from sound, I don't know how to increase or decrease the volume. The bar is not easy to use. It is random.

  • Me being a person with low vision, would exactly know the level of volume I'm choosing from.

  • Actually, I don't typically use it, as I use the volume control on my headset

  • While I do like how the volume bar works, I wish there was a way to make talkback not say, wolume controls shown, swipe up to dismiss.

  • It would be better if you ddidn'thave to hold your finger on the screen to turn up and down the volume of talkback.I am not sure how to make it easier for people to understand how to do it but the current way may not be the best way.

  • Took a little getting used to but now I am very comfortable with it. It certainly is an improvement , as it stands, over my experiences when I first got my Nexus

  • Ican't see my screen at all so i can't give my opimiom om the volume bar widget. however one minor annoyance is that every time i adjust the volume on my devices talkback says volume controls hidden. it is omly annoyimg when i'm watching videos. otherwise it is not a big deal and i'd hate to be rude.

  • I likebutsome timesring volumewill suddenlydecreases on red minote 4.

  • I don't like it because as totally blind person I don't even know anything open while pressing the volume buttons, and if it opens then I'd like to have an ability to change the adjusted volume by swiping on screen and hearing e.g. media volume, talkback volume and so on.

  • I think it is quicker to use the volume buttons and it takes much more time to use the widget. But I am new in using it so may be I have to better understand how it works and get used to it.

  • I don't mind the way it's laid out, but sometimes it's sort of difficult to get rid of it. Of late it's worked more easily though.

  • It could be more intuitive

  • It mostly does what I want and only rarely gets in the way. Adjusting seekbars in general is still either too fiddly and/or imprecise; this could definitely be improved.

  • it's not difficult to use

  • I like how it works. I can put volume exactly at the percentage i want.

  • I'm new to the operating system and haven't found many good tutorials, so I just use the buttons. They work fine.

  • I have not yet worked out how to use it.

  • The volume barwidgit doesn't really bother me because I've learned to adapt throughout my use of Android.

  • It's nice to be able to adjust the different volumes separately.

  • I find it easy to use but don't like it.Kitkat automatically detected which sounds were in play and allowed me to adjust the active sound with the volume buttons.This was nice.Since I don't use ringers or onotification sounds, the only volume I ever want to adjust is the audio volume.In marshmallow, the default is the ringer, it's not adjustable via manual setting, and the system doesn't detect that I am using the audio setting when talkback alone is using the audio.There has to be music playing through another app to get automatic acces to the audio volume.In Choosing volumes from the widgit is clunky, the onscreen sliders are too sensitive, and the hardware volume adjustment isn't sensitive enough.I understand well how it works and I can use it.I just don't like it.

  • The touch sensetivity

  • It reads the volume levels very well, and I can adjust them a lot better than I could on iOS. Android's currently doing much better at audio than Apple hardware and I like that. I have not missed a notification sound since I got this phone and if I need to adjust volumes quickly it is simple.

  • I like it, but I wish it were a little more predictable.

  • I hate the warning about sound levels. It requires that I make extra gestures that are unnecessary.

  • There are too many volumes to configure, especially on my phone. I wish it was only Talkback and other volume

  • It is great, and takes the guesswork out of using the finger to slide along the control on the screen.