Why Do My Headphones Sound Muffled? (Reasons & Solutions)


Why are my headphones producing a muddy sound? The in-depth article below will provide you with crucial information and remedy techniques if you’re looking for a solution.

The headset is often clogged for those who wear headphones frequently. Imagine that during a crucial call, your headset’s audio is muffled, causing you to miss crucial details.

Or perhaps you are listening to music and the sound quality is worse than ever, which not only bothers you but also puts your hearing at risk.

So why do my headphones sound muffled? The main causes are listed below.

  • Damaged wires
  • Water and high humidity
  • Dirt clogs headphones
  • Broken speakers
  • Connection problem
  • Audio feed problem

What discomfort is being described above? This article is for you if you’re looking for the answer to that query.

Let’s start with the reasons why headphone sound is blocked.

Why Do My Headphones Sound Muffled?

Poor headphone sound quality can occur for many different reasons. Some of the most common reasons include:

Damaged Wires

If you use wireless headphones, you are once again exempt from this problem. However, if you’re using wired headphones, the wires could be frayed or damaged, which would result in a buzzing or muffled sound.

If your headphones’ cable is detachable, swapping it will help you determine if the issue is with the wire itself. However, the majority of (cheap) wired headphones don’t have interchangeable cables, so examine them inch by inch to see if you can spot any cuts or frays. Tangled wires frequently sustain damage close to the plug connector. Therefore, if you discover any damage nearby, that is probably what is to blame for your muffled sound.

To see if the sound changes, try moving the cable around. If you notice a difference, you’ll know the problem is with the wires and you need to replace them. Unfortunately, this also implies that you might have to get a new pair of shoes or take them to a professional.

Water and High Humidity

Water and high humidity

Water and humidity are unquestionably some of the problems that plague electronics, including earphones.

Your headphones will be negatively impacted by regularly storing the headset in a humid environment or by unintentionally letting the headset soak in water.

It not only results in muddled sound, but it also puts your device in danger of lasting harm.

You can’t be certain that your device is protected from high humidity even if you have waterproof headphones.

Waterproof headphones come in a variety of styles and with varying IP guarantees. Some headphones with lower IP ratings can only be submerged in water for brief periods of time and at specific depths.

So long as your waterproof headphones are submerged, issues could still arise.

Dirt Clogs Headphones

Dirt clogs headphones

You cannot stop dust, lint, and debris from accumulating in the headset when using headphones, whether in the studio or in regular life.

Congestion and quality loss result from the sound coming from the headset having to travel through a layer of dirt.

Broken Speakers

Speakers are a necessary component of headphones. A voice coil is located inside this device. Although the upper coil is in charge of processing sound, it can only do so up to a certain power level.

The speaker will have to work harder than it can if you use the headset continuously for a long time at a loud volume. The sound may become timid and weaker as speakers deteriorate.

Connection Problem

The muddled sound is also a result of unstable signal transmission. Depending on the type of headset, you might consider the following:

  • When using wired headphones, make sure the device is connected to the source correctly. You should be aware of a few problems, such as loose or incompatible jacks.
  • A weak connection with wireless headphones can have several different root causes. The transmitter is too far away from the headset, the headset’s battery is low, and there are numerous other wireless devices nearby are some of the most frequent issues.

Audio Feed Problem

Sometimes the source of the muffled sound—not your headphones—is the issue.

Your headset is incompatible with some devices. Or the device’s software may be defective in some way, disrupting the connection.

Therefore, if you don’t notice anything unusual with your headphones, you can investigate the transmitter.

Troubleshooting Headphones

The following suggestions will help you fix your headphones’ sound issue based on the aforementioned causes.

Damaged Wires

Wires that are fraying or damaged can be repaired using Sugru Mouldable Glue. It is a silicone rubber-based adhesive putty that can be used for electrical repairs and many other things. It offers a quick but reliable solution for mending damaged headphone cables because it is moldable, flexible, strong, and waterproof.

To repair frayed headphone wires, follow the steps below:

  1. With isopropyl alcohol, first remove any dust, dirt, oil, or debris from the wire. Use a clean cloth that has been lightly dampened to clean the area. Leave it to dry.
  2. Putty-like texture can be found in Sugru Mouldable Glue. Roll the material between your fingers to soften it, then mold it around the wire. It will set in about 30 minutes after being put in place. Now is your chance to make any necessary adjustments.
  3. Once in position, leave it there for at least 24 hours at room temperature so that it can be permanently set.

Clean Headphones

Clean Headphones

To keep your headphones looking new and have the best sound possible, cleaning them should be a regular habit. How to Clean Headphone Pads(2022 Comprehensive Guide) – 1st Audio and Video

It is not necessary to spend a lot of time or effort cleaning headphones. Simply prepare some isopropyl alcohol, and wipe the headphones thoroughly, paying special attention to the earcup area.

Refer to the video for additional cleaning advice for headphones.

Read more: How Do Clean Beats Headphones? The Guide – 1st Audio and Video

Speaker Repair

When used to their maximum capacity, weak speakers are prone to exploding. To find out what causes this accessory to become weak, you should try opening the headset by following these steps:

  • The headset’s screw can be opened by finding it and using a special tool.
  • Gently pry the cover off; when it does, look inside for the screws and remove them.
  • Pry the two earphone covers apart gently; take care not to harm the gadget in the process.

You must swap out the speaker in order to fully resolve the issue.

It costs money to buy headphones with speakers. If you find the cost is worth it, you can refer to the alternative steps below:

  • Get rid of the speaker cover’s rubber lining.
  • Remove the interior’s old cone speaker.
  • Don’t touch the diaphragm while installing the new speaker; instead, place it.

Repair Water Damage

In this situation, drying the headphones is your only option.

The headset can be set on top of a cloth that has been dipped in isopropyl alcohol. Additionally, you can put your headphones on top of a bed of rice because the substance is capable of absorbing moisture from both your headphones and any other electronic device.

You can remove the headset and quickly and thoroughly dry it in your ear if it is seriously submerged in water.

However, it would be beneficial if you exercise caution when dealing with this area. Because using a cotton swab to clean it may result in absorbent cotton chips getting stuck in the board’s tiny openings and harming the internal components.

Additionally, improper disassembly techniques or carelessness can result in broken parts, making it impossible to reassemble the headset in its original, undamaged state.

Fixing Connectivity Issues

When using wired headphones, poor connection degrades the sound quality. You must check the connection port again in order to resolve this issue.

To make the connection process easier to use, you can also clean the jack.

Utilizing a cotton swab is one of the easiest ways to clean the jack. The dirt and lint can simply be removed by inserting the cotton swab and gently swirling it. For a deeper clean, you can also dampen a cotton swab with alcohol, but be careful not to use too much.

After cleaning, try connecting your headphones to see if everything is operating as it should.

Initially, you must confirm that your device is fully charged.

You can try moving the headset or transmitter if you’re sure it’s complete. In light of the use of wireless headsets, Wi-Fi routers, microwaves, etc., radio interference may occur.

If the above steps still cannot resolve the strange sound in the headphones, there are a few things you can try:

  • Turn off or disable all Bluetooth devices nearby the headset.
  • Launch the device’s media player, unpair the headset for a brief period, then re-pair it.
  • Keep your headset and smartphone at a close distance from one another.

Windows PC Power Supply Problems Troubleshoot

You should concentrate on the transmitter if the headphones aren’t the issue. Here are some ways to deal with muffled sound when your playback device is a PC:

Sound Settings

You can manually change the sound on your computer in the default Windows installer. However, occasionally your customization will adversely affect how the computer sounds.

For instance, the effects of sound loudness and frequency intensity may unintentionally cause distortions when you adjust the surround sound and the equalizer.

Therefore, you can consider disabling the sound enhancement settings in the following ways:

  • Open sound settings can be chosen by clicking on the speaker icon in the taskbar.
  • In the list of options that appear, select “Device properties.”
  • Select “Advanced features,” then select “Put an end to all sound effects.”

Check the Audio Driver

The audio driver that doesn’t support your newer headphones is also one of the reasons for poor sound quality:

  • In this situation, you must examine your audio drivers and, if necessary, update them with compatible patches.
  • Click “Start”, and select “Settings”.
  • In Settings, select “Update and Security.” If a software update is necessary, you can check here to see if any are currently available and download them.

24-bit Audio Format

When delivering device audio, the 24-bit audio format can increase the processing space. By limiting the occurrence of distortion and muffled sound transmission, this format is well-suited for processing contemporary audio formats.

To convert to 24bit audio format, you need to do the following steps:

  • Click Speakers on the taskbar, and select “Open sound settings.”
  • Under “Sound Settings,” select “Device Properties.”
  • In the properties that are displayed on the screen, select “additional features of the device.”
  • A new window will open. Go to the “Advanced” tab and select a 24-bit audio format.

Run the Fault Detection Sequence

If you’ve done all of the above settings and still can’t find the problem on your PC, you can let it run the troubleshooting sequence:

  • Select Start, and go to “Windows Settings.”
  • Next, select “Update and security” and go to “Troubleshoot” to run the audio troubleshooter in the settings options.

Mac Feeds Troubleshooting

Your headphones may be experiencing the same issues as your PC if they function properly on all other devices but the MC. The operating system is different, so the treatment will not be the same as the steps above:

Reconnect the Headset

To reconnect the headset to the Mac, you need to clear the previous connection history and then perform the connection charges as usual:

  • Step 1: To access the Apple Menu, click on the apple-shaped icon in the top left corner of the screen.
  • Step 2: Select “System Preferences,” then click “Bluetooth.”
  • Step 3: Check to see if Bluetooth is enabled on your Mac.
  • Step 4: The headset’s power button should be pressed and held. You must have pairing mode enabled on your device in order to pair a Bluetooth headset with your Mac. Depending on the kind of headphones you have, this will turn them on and instantly turn on Bluetooth.
  • Step 5: Finally, click “connect” next to your headset’s name.

In the Bluetooth menu of System Preferences, choose Show Bluetooth in the Menu Bar for quicker wireless headset pairing.

The name of your headset will then appear when you click the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar. All you need to do next is click “Connect” in the pop-up menu.

Stop Apps That Use a Microphone

The standard audio codec for MacBooks is AAC. However, many headphones continue to use the SCO or SBC codec, which has much lower quality than AAC. To prevent audio codec conversion, you can follow these instructions:

  • Select the Apple menu, and go to “System Preferences.”
  • In “System Preferences,” select “Security & Privacy” and check the app permissions.
  • Some apps with access to the microphone that might affect the audio codec can be closed.

Using Tooth Fairy

Tooth Fairy is an application that helps to force your Macbook to use the AAC codec, helping to solve problems related to audio problems:

  • Open Tooth Fairy and select the name of your headset to use it.
  • Then select the “Advanced” option and enable “By blocking audio input from the device, sound quality will be improved.”

Read more: Why Do My Bluetooth Headphones Keep Cutting Out? – 1st Audio and Video


Why Do My New Headphones Sound Muffled?

Since damage to brand-new headphones seems unlikely, look for a loose connection to the audio device. The audio source needs to be changed which is another likely factor.

Why Do My Headphones Sound Like They’re Underwater?

When the TRRS Plug (the 3.5 cables with the remote) is inserted too deeply, this usually happens. If you simply pull it out a tiny bit, the sound should be fixed. Try out various cables if your headphones have replaceable cables.

Why Do My Headphones Suddenly Sound Echoey?

Unplug and replug your headphones

Sometimes an echo can occur if headphones aren’t correctly connected to the output, so double-checking this may do the trick. Unplugging and replugging your headphones will immediately break the feedback loop and get rid of the echo if you are experiencing audio feedback.

Why Does My Audio Sound Tinny?

If you only hear the problem when the vocals interact with the mix, it means that there isn’t enough space for the vocals in the mix, and you’d have to clean all the unnecessary frequencies from elements around the vocals. These components can include pads, pianos, guitars, etc.

Conclusion: It’s Not Difficult to Fix Headphones’ Muddled Sound

You now know the cause of your headphones’ muddled sound and how to fix it. As you can see, the fixes aren’t that challenging to complete. However, by exercising caution and performing the necessary maintenance, the issues we discussed can be easily avoided. The majority of the problems you would encounter could be avoided by simply using your headphones carefully.

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