Why Are My Headphones So Quiet? The Solution.


You know the feeling when you’re listening to your favorite song but the audio is too quiet no matter how high you turn the volume up. It’s frustrating! And you might be wondering, “why are my headphones so quiet?“.

It’s likely that you’ve experienced the issue where your headphones or earbuds seem too quiet. Regardless of the type of headphones they are using, it is a common problem that many people encounter.

The good news is that there are a number of causes for this issue, and each one of them can be resolved.

Why Are My Headphones So Quiet?

More often than you might imagine, you may notice that one or both of your earbuds suddenly become quieter than usual. It’s crucial to comprehend the root cause of the issue before we talk about a solution to your headphones’ excessively low volume.

Here are the most common reasons why headphones become quiet:

  • Issue With the Plug or Socket (For Wired Headphones)
  • Issue With Connectivity (For Wireless Headsets)
  • Device Settings
  • Issue With the Audio File
  • Issue With the Headset Itself
  • Issue With the Ear

Issue With The Plug Or Socket (for Wired Headphones)

Problems like strange static noises or the sounds being too soft can result from a loose connection between the headphone plug and the audio socket of the media player device.

The presence of debris or dirt on the audio port or headphone jack is one factor that may affect the overall connectivity between these devices.

A defective headphone jack that needs to be replaced or repaired is another possibility.

Issue With Connectivity (for Wireless Headsets)

When using wireless headphones, interference from objects like metal desks or physical obstructions like walls can affect connectivity. Your audio’s overall quality and volume level may be impacted by these disturbances.

Device Settings

Incorrect audio settings are one of the main causes of why your left earbud is louder than your right or why your headphones continue to sound too soft even when you turn up the volume all the way.

You need to adjust the settings on the original device if you plug your headphones into another device and it appears to be operating without a hitch.

Issue With The Audio File

Although unlikely, it’s still possible that the audio file is to blame for how quiet your headphones are. When audio was originally recorded or converted to be played at a very low volume, this occurs.

This implies that the volume will remain relatively quiet regardless of how loudly you turn up your device or headphones.

Issue With The Headset Itself

Imagine that none of these suggestions seems to help your issue. If so, it’s possible that the headphones themselves have a problem, in which case you should probably get in touch with customer service or try to get a replacement.

Make sure to read reviews before purchasing anything pricey like this to see if other customers had similar (or even better) experiences. Product quality can occasionally vary from one production run to another.

Although some businesses provide good warranties, make use of them if necessary because, in addition to serving their primary function of protecting your purchase, guarantees can also be used for other purposes, such as exchanging defective items for new ones or receiving a refund.

Issue With The Ear

Humans are asymmetrical by nature, so it is not surprising that our ears differ from one another. The fit of our earbuds in our ears may be impacted by these slight asymmetries in the shape of our external ears. This may result in different sound quality or volume levels for each ear, particularly when using headphones.

Three Things To Check Headphones

  • Hardware Check
  • Playback Device Check 
    • For iPhones
    • For Android Devices
    • For Mac
    • For Windows
  • Personal Check

1. Hardware Check

Doing a hardware check should be your first step whenever you have issues with your headphones in order to immediately rule out the possibility of manufacturing flaws, broken parts, or other problems with the headphones and/or media player device.

Below are some of the things you should look out for when making your hardware check:

  • Make sure your headphones are properly plugged in. To make sure your headphones are inserted correctly, try disconnecting and reconnecting them. When properly inserted into the media player device’s audio port, you ought to hear a distinct click.
  • It’s important that your headphone jack is clean. Any debris, grime, or pocket lint that adheres to the headphone jack can interfere with the audio signal and cause distortion or excessively quiet sound. Any visible debris can be easily removed using a cotton bud or cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol. This also holds true for the audio port on your media player device.
  • Ensure that each earbud is clean and free from earwax, dirt, or grime. It’s typical to see an accumulation of earwax inside each earbud and around each earbud due to the fact that we frequently use our headphones for long periods of time, often for hours on end. Simply use an old toothbrush to gently clean the interior of each earbud, followed by a cotton bud or cloth dipped in alcohol to clean the remaining earphones.
  • Check for any defects or damage on the wire of your headphones. Your headphone wires may become severely damaged as a result of prolonged use and the effects of normal wear and tear. The best course of action is probably just to get a new pair of headphones, depending on how severe the damage is and where it is located.

Playback Device Check

A few necessary adjustments to your playback device’s audio settings may be all that’s required in some cases.

For Iphones

Use one of these techniques if you only want to change the iPhone’s volume.

  • Press the “volume up” and “volume down” buttons, which can be found at the side of your iPhone, until you can hear audio at a comfortable level.
  • Summon Siri and ask her to either “Increase the volume” or “Decrease the volume” accordingly.

These instructions will show you how to adjust the audio balancing settings for your iPhone’s headphones.

  1. Navigate to Settings > General > Accessibility.
  2. Scroll to the Hearing Section and change the channel balance of your headphones by adjusting the sliders.

Check out our article on what to do when one side of your AirPods is quieter than the other if the audio balance issues with AirPods continue.

For Android Devices

Here’s how you can adjust the volume of your Android device:

Depending on the type of Android device, some choices may have various label names and navigational paths. But if anything, following these guidelines will help you get started.

  1. Press the “volume up” and “volume down” buttons, which can be found at the side of your until audio is audible at a comfortable volume, use an Android device.
  2. If that doesn’t work or if you want to open your settings and adjust other audio options, navigate to Settings > Noise and vibration.
  3. Using the sliders appropriately, change the volume of your calls, notifications, alarms, music, and media.

On Android, you can also increase the volume of your headphones using third-party apps like GOODEV Volume Booster.

For Mac

These steps should be followed to check the main MAC volume and audio balancing options.

  1. Go to the Apple Menu.
  2. Click on System Preferences, then choose Sound.
  3. On the Output tab, select your headphones.

It’s possible that your headphones aren’t connected to the MAC if you can’t locate or choose your device.

  • Adjust the main MAC volume and audio balancing of your headphones by moving the sliders accordingly.

You must restart the sound controller if you are still having issues. Take these actions to accomplish that.

  1. Navigate to Applications and select Utilities.
  2. Double-click on Activity Monitor and type “coreaudiod” in the search bar at the top right corner of the window to find the Core Audio Controller.
  3. To restart the Core Audio Controller, click on coreaudiod and close it by clicking on the (x) which can be found on the top left corner of the toolbar.

For Windows

Take these actions to quickly access your headphone volume.

  1. Right-click the sound icon found at the lower right corner of the taskbar.
  2. Click on Open Volume mixer.
  3. Adjust your headphone volume and audio output for your applications using the different sliders accordingly.

These steps should be followed if you want to change the headphones’ master volume and audio balance.

  1. Press Windows Key + S and type “Sound” in the search box. Click on Sound Settings.
  2. On the Sound Settings window, under Output, adjust the Master volume accordingly.
  3. For audio balancing, click on Device properties, which can be found on the same window.
  4. Adjust the sliders to change the audio balance of the left and right speakers of your headphones accordingly.

You should perform these if you want more thorough analyses of your application volumes and their corresponding device preferences.

On the Sound Settings window, under Advanced sound options, click on App volume and device preferences.

Adjust the volume of your apps and change their device preferences accordingly.


Personal Check

Whenever you ask yourself, “Why is it so quiet in my headphones?”, the answer is usually misconfigured audio settings on your media device and/or a hardware defect on your headphones.

It’s also possible that your ears are the source of the issue. Long-term use of headphones at loud volumes can damage your hearing over time. If this describes you, it’s not because the audio is too quiet; rather, your hearing has gotten worse!

So, if you’re positive that the headphones and media player are working properly but you still believe that the audio is too quiet, you may need to have your ears examined.

Here is a list of the hearing loss diagnostic tests available. Feel free to discuss these with your doctor and determine the most effective course of action.

Additional Tips

Here are some suggestions you can remember to help prevent this issue from ever occurring while also making your current situation better.

  • Ensure proper placement when wearing earbuds or headphones
  • Make sure headphones are properly stored after use and cords are not tangled
  • Take care of your ears
  • Install volume-boosting apps on your device

Ensure Proper Placement

There isn’t a single style of earbud or headphone that suits everyone because everyone has different ear shapes. If you want your earbuds to produce the best sound and the right volume, proper positioning is crucial.

When inserting an earbud, it’s a good habit to gently pull on your ear lobe before releasing the tension once the earbud is fully in place. Sound waves should be directed directly into the ear canal thanks to the tight seal that should be created by this.

But if you continue to feel uncomfortable wearing your current earphones, it might be time to look for a different model that is better suited to your unique ear shape.

Make Sure Headphones Are Properly Stored

The cords of your headphones won’t needlessly be pulled or stretched if they are stored properly, in addition to looking neat. The longevity of the device can be significantly impacted by stuffing your earbuds in your pocket and letting them get tangled up.

You can simply roll up your headphones with your fingers and store them somewhere secure, but it’s best to keep it in a designated pouch or case. The money you’ll save not having to purchase a new pair of earphones makes investing a few seconds of your time well worth it.

Take Care Of Your Ears

Taking care of your ears is the most crucial thing you can do. No matter how hard you work to fix your headphones or media player, if you can’t hear clearly, it doesn’t matter what you do.

Here’s what you can do to take proper care of your ears:

  • Don’t listen to music/audio at excessively high volume
  • Remove your headphones from time to time so your ears can rest throughout the day
  • Keep your ears dry (excess moisture = bacteria)
  • Don’t use cotton swabs inside the ear canal (using them outside is fine)
  • Clean your headphones; don’t introduce bacteria back in your ear

Install Volume-boosting Apps On Your Device

You can also install volume-boosting apps on your phone to significantly improve the sound. Here are 5 excellent options for you to consider.

1. Bass Booster

  • Available on: iOS

You can automatically adjust the volume in the Bass Booster app’s noise compensation mode to hear audio louder, clearer, and more comfortably. For those times when you just want to blast your favorite music and listen to the sound of the wind in the trees or the traffic, it also has ambient sound controls.

2. Kaisertone

  • Available on: iOS

Due to KaiserTone’s app having more than 64000 frequency bands and operating at 768 kHz/32 bits, you can listen to your music with the highest sound quality possible. Other features include the ability to adjust the master volume, balance the gain level, and change the audio balance for the left and right headphones, among others.

3. Boom Music

  • Available on: Android & iOS

Using the 16 frequency bands of the Boom Music app, you can completely personalize your music. It offers a variety of equalizing options as well as a 3D surround-sound feature that changes the way you listen to music.

4. Equalizer Fx

  • Available on: Android

Surprisingly, Equalizer FX also functions with Google Play Music and other third-party audio programs. The app also includes loudness enhancers and bass boosters to help you increase the volume of your phone’s speakers or your headphones.

5. Precise Volume

  • Available on: Android

You can pretty much get everything you could want from a volume-boosting app with the Precise Volume app. You can hear music at louder volumes thanks to the device’s comprehensive equalizer and sound amplifier function. You can completely customize your profiles for each set of headphones you use while still having access to equalizer presets.


You not only know the right steps to take to fix it when it happens, but you also know the potential causes of why it started happening in the first place. You can enjoy listening to music and watching your favorite shows comfortably now that the volume on your headphones isn’t too low.

With the information in this article in mind, you are aware that the most crucial thing is to protect your ears, regardless of whether all it took was a minor adjustment to the audio settings on your phone or a complete headphone replacement.

If your ears aren’t in the best condition, no amount of setting tweaking, device replacement, or volume-boosting apps will help you hear better.

How did you find our guide? Were you finally able to adjust the volume on your headphones to the proper levels? In the comments section below, please let us know. What technique or app did you prefer for increasing volume? Any advice to share? Share it with us if you want to, please!

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