Fixing echoing sound effects with Huawei Histen

Here’s a quick tip for people using Huawei or Honor phones.

Huawei recently released EMUI version 9.1.0.326 as an OTA update, which I applied once it was offered as an upgrade option.

Once I installed that OS upgrade, however, I noticed that whenever I listened to music or podcasts using a Bluetooth headset or stereo speakers, there was a new and very noticeable ‘echoing’ effect on the audio.

It appears this was due to the addition of Huawei Histen, a 3D audio/equaliser feature, which apparently will add 3D audio effects when listening on wired headphones of various varieties — however this is supposed to be disabled on Bluetooth devices.

I spent several days fruitlessly googling how to disable Histen, but with no luck. Eventually, through trial and error, I discovered a workaround — simply plug in a pair of wired headphones, go into Settings -> Sounds -> Huawei Histen sound effects, and choose “Natural sound”. Hey presto, next time you use Bluetooth headphones, it should no longer have the echo.

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One Comment

  1. Nix
    Posted September 19, 2019 at 15:29 | Permalink

    This is definitely version-dependent. On my Honor View 10, running .329, Histen is disabled on Bluetooth, as far as I can tell. It’s also old: it was definitely around in EMUI 8. I don’t hear any echoing on wired headphones (and I use it a lot to improve the acoustics of classical music by remapping it to in front of me rather than all around: on Bluetooth my Bluetooth receivers usually do similar remapping, so Histen is redundant), so quite possibly it’s disabled on Bluetooth because it just doesn’t work right there, and on your device it was buggily enabled on Bluetooth by mistake.