Large-scale data mining and retrieval applications have increasingly turned to compact binary data representations as a way to achieve both fast queries and efficient data storage; many algorithms have been proposed for learning effective binary encodings. Most of these algorithms focus on learning a set of projection hyperplanes for the data and simply binarizing the result from each hyperplane, but this neglects the fact that informativeness may not be uniformly distributed across the projections. In this paper, we address this issue by proposing a novel adaptive quantization (AQ) strategy that adaptively assigns varying numbers of bits to different hyperplanes based on their information content. Our method provides an information-based schema that preserves the neighborhood structure of data points, and we jointly find the globally optimal bit-allocation for all hyperplanes. In our experiments, we compare with state-of-the-art methods on four large-scale datasets and find that our adaptive quantization approach significantly improves on traditional hashing methods.