Why Are My Headphones So Quiet Even at Max Volume?

By John Adebimitan

It can be so frustrating when you decide to relax by listening to some good music but your headphones are so quiet even at max volume.

Some people discover when trying to make a call or watch their favorite movie, that the audio is too low for them to hear anything, let alone enjoy their call or movie.

For some reason, those headphones just can’t seem to get any louder no matter how much you increase the volume. Of course, you’ll be wondering what could have gone wrong, especially since they were working perfectly before.

As someone who has been in these shoes before, I know how annoying it can be. And so, in this article, I will tell you why your headphones are so quiet even at maximum volume. I will also share a few fixes for when your headphones suddenly become quiet or low no matter how high you turn on the volume. 

Why Are My Headphones So Quiet? – Possible Causes

You’d be surprised that most of the low-volume problems you are experiencing with your headphones are not caused by things as complicated as circuit issues or loose wires. For iPhones, for instance, you might be restricted from increasing the volume above a particular level and will receive warnings to that effect.

Consequently, the volume of your audio file is reduced automatically if you are listening to music that is too loud. Outlined below are other reasons for your headphone’s quietness.

  1. Dusty headphone speaker/buds: Accumulation of dust in your headphone speaker or earbuds can make them sound low even at the maximum volume. You’d have to clean them to get them to work properly.
  2. Issues with the headphone jack or device audio port: For wired headphones, the presence of dirt, grime, or lint stuck on the headphone jack or your device’s audio port can cause interference with the audio signal, thus disturbing the audio output or making your headphones so quiet even at maximum volume.
  3. Connectivity problem: Sometimes, there may be issues with the connection between your headphones and the device (phone, computer). This can make your headphones so quiet or completely silent.
  4. Hardware defect: Your headphones may have a hardware defect that is causing them to sound too quiet. This is often the case when your headphones are either brand new or the device has been used extensively.

Also, there may be a defect on the wire of your headphone (for wired headphones). The wire might have been damaged due to careless handling and storage of the headphones.

Pulling your headphone’s wire carelessly may tear/cut the connection from the inside. You may eventually have to get a new pair of headphones depending on how severe the damage is and where it is located.

Why Do My Headphones Sound So Low on My Computer?

Below are a few reasons for your headphones sounding so low on your computer.

  1. Connectivity issues
  2. Problems with audio port.
  3. Problems with the headset.
  4. Low volume of the audio file.

Fixes for When Your Headphones Are Too Quiet

Having known why your headphones are so quiet at maximum volume, let’s see how we can fix the problem and get your headphones back to normal volume.

Fix 1: Clean the earbuds

You should make sure that your earbuds are clean and free from earwax or any dirt. If they are dirty, use an old toothbrush to brush the inside of each earbud carefully, and then clean the rest of the headphone using a cloth or cotton bud dampened with rubbing alcohol.

Fix 2: Clean your headphone jack and audio port

Your headphone jack must be clean. If you find out that it is dirty, use a cloth or cotton bud dampened with rubbing alcohol to wipe away any debris. Do the same for your media player device’s audio port as well.

Fix 3: Restore connectivity

For wired headphones: Make sure your headphones are properly plugged in the media player device’s audio port. You should feel a distinct click when it is properly plugged in the port.

For Bluetooth headphones: Go to Bluetooth settings/devices on your device (phone or computer), click on your headphone’s name, disconnect it and also remove it from the list of devices (or click forget, in the case of a phone). Reconnect your headphones again after a while by clicking “pair a new device”. Also, make sure that your headphones and the device are within the specified proximity.

Fix 4: Disable absolute volume

If your Bluetooth headphones are still not working properly after re-connecting/re-pairing, you may need to disable the absolute volume. This enables the volume of your phone to be separated from the volume of your Bluetooth headphones/device, thus, making the control for your Bluetooth headphones to work on their own without interference from your phone.

You can now increase and decrease the volume independently. To disable absolute volume, go to your phone’s settings and tap on “developer’s options”, then scroll down to “disable absolute volume”, tap on it to toggle it, and turn it ON.

Fix 5: Use a warranty coverage

 If your headphones are new and you’re experiencing any hardware/factory defect at first use, you can make use of the manufacturer’s warranty policy to get a free repair or replacement.

Read also: Headphones Hurting Ears? – Remedy For Ear Pain

Tips to Prevent Your Headphones from Sounding So Quiet

Why Are My Headphones So Quiet Even at Max Volume?

Ensure that headphones are properly placed/worn

This is necessary if you want to enjoy the best sound quality and volume from your headphones.

When inserting an earbud, lightly pull your ear lobe and let go when the earbud is fully inserted. This will provide a firm hold that can direct the sound waves into the ear canal perfectly. If your current earphone does not fit into your ear properly, find a suitable one for your specific ear shape.

Ensure that headphones are properly stored after use

Headphones should be stored properly after use. They shouldn’t be left lying around carelessly and allowed to get damaged. The way you handle and store your headphones will affect their durability, hence, you should keep them in a pouch or case after use.

Install volume-boosting apps

To make your headphone louder, you can install a volume-boosting app on your device. 


To quickly detect the problem with your headphones, test with another audio device. If it works perfectly for another audio device, then the problem is with the previous device. Also, you can have someone confirm that the headphones indeed are quiet, just to rule out any issues with your hearing. 

I hope this article has helped you to detect what the particular issue is with your headphones being so quiet or too low and has also helped to fix those issues.

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