Your new headphones are making barely any sound at all, even though you think they should normally be playing. Is there something wrong with them? Is it your phone? Is it your music player?
It’s not uncommon for headphones to go quiet, as this can happen even with the best brands in the world, but you don’t need to replace them if you take just a few minutes to diagnose the problem and find an easy fix that will have your headphones back on track in no time at all.
Here’s why you might be experiencing a silent set of headphones and how to address the issue!
Why Are My Headphones So Quiet? – Problems and Solutions
Check The Cord
Most of the time, when headphones go quiet, it’s because the cord that’s connecting the headphones to the audio source is damaged or frayed, or there are simply too many tangles inside the cord.
This can cause your headphones to make a very faint sound or no sound at all. If the cord looks damaged or frayed, it needs to be replaced. If you can’t see a problem, you can try untangling the cord and checking for knots or other blockages. If that doesn’t work, you might need to replace the cord.
- If the cord looks fine, the problem may be with the connection between the cord and the headphones themselves or between the headphones and the audio source. If the headphones are connected to the audio source, try unplugging and replugging them into the appropriate jack.
- If they are simply not connected to anything, check the cord ends and make sure they are securely plugged in. If you have a cordless pair of in-ear headphones, make sure the battery is charged.
Restart Your Phone and Music Player
If your headphones suddenly go quiet, try restarting your device and your music player to see if that fixes the problem. If your headphones are connected to a laptop or desktop computer, you can restart those devices as well.
Malfunctions caused by software issues like lagging or crashing programs, or issues with drivers or firmware, can often be fixed by restarting the device. If this fixes the problem, you should probably make a note of the event, so you know next time.
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Check Your Device’s Volume Limit
Some smartphone and tablet users experience sudden silence when listening to music through their headphones, even though the volume on their device is turned up all the way. If this is the case for you, check your device’s sound settings to see if there is a volume limit enabled.
Many Apple and Android devices have a default setting that prevents you from playing music too loud and damaging your hearing, but this setting can prevent you from playing any music at all unless you manually turn the volume limit off. If you find your device has a silent volume limit, you can go into settings and turn it off.
Your device should then play music through your headphones at the volume you have them set to. Volume limits may vary between devices, so if your device has a silent volume limit, check your manual or Google it to see how to turn it off.
You Have a Faulty Audio Jack
If you’ve checked that your volume isn’t set too low, your device isn’t set to a silent volume limit, and your headphones are still making no sound, you may have a bad audio jack.
This can happen due to normal wear and tear, so it’s not uncommon for it to occur in headsets that are a few years old or if you often move your headphones from device to device.
It’s especially common in the 3.5mm audio jack, which is the most common audio jack. If you’re unsure what kind of audio jack your headphones have, you can find out by reading the packaging or looking at the inside of the headphones themselves.
If you have a faulty audio jack, you can either take your headphones in to be repaired or buy a new pair of headphones.
Check Your Phone’s Audio Settings
Some smartphone and tablet owners experience sudden silence when listening to music through their headphones, even though the volume on their devices is turned up all the way. If this is the case for you, check your device’s audio settings to see if there is a sound enhancer or other setting turned on that could be causing your headphones to make no sound.
If you find your device has a setting that could be causing your headphones to go quiet, you can turn it off to restore audio to your headphones. If you find that no matter what you do, your headphones are still making no sound, there may be an issue with your headphones themselves.
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There’s Probably Something Stuck Inside Your Headphones Jack
If your headphones are making no sound, and you’ve checked that your volume is turned up, your device’s volume is not turned down, and your device doesn’t have a sound enhancer turned on, you probably have something inside your headphone jack.
Little crumbs, dust, and other small pieces of debris often get stuck inside the headphone jack and can cause your headphones to go quiet.
You may even be able to see or feel the debris inside the jack. If you have something stuck in your headphone jack, take your headphones to an audio repair store or electronics shop and ask them to clean out the jack. They may be able to do it for free or for a small fee.
Check Your Device’s EQ and Volume Settings
- Open your device’s settings. This is typically the easiest way to diagnose the issue, as you’ll be able to see exactly what is going on. If your headphones are plugged in, and there’s nothing wrong with them, you should see them listed.
- Check the EQ settings. Some devices have an equalizer setting that allows you to change the sound of your audio. If your headphones aren’t putting out sound, try changing the EQ setting.
- Check the volume settings. If your headphones are plugged in, but your device is still not putting out any sound, you probably need to turn up the volume.
The Problem Is With Your Ears, Not Your Headphones
- If your headphones suddenly go quiet, but you’ve checked your volume settings, the device is operating normally, and you’ve ruled out a faulty audio jack and normal wear and tear, you may have a hearing issue.
- If you’ve noticed a gradual decline in your hearing, or you’ve been exposed to loud noises over a long period of time, hearing loss could be the cause of your sudden silence.
In case you are suspected of hearing impairment, you should go to your doctor and get it tested for confirmation.
If it is confirmed that you have hearing loss, there are ways to adjust to the new reality, including wearing hearing aids or using a visual aid like captioned TV or sign language.
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My Final Recommendations
- If the cord looks fine, the problem may be with the connection between the cord and the headphones themselves or between the headphones and the audio source.
- If the headphones are connected to the audio source, try unplugging and replugging them into the appropriate jack.
- If they are simply not connected to anything, check the cord ends and make sure they are securely plugged in.
- If you have a cordless pair of in-ear headphones, make sure the battery is charged. If your headphones suddenly go quiet, try restarting your device and your music player to see if that fixes the problem.
- If your headphones are connected to a laptop or desktop computer, you can restart those devices as well.
In case of no solution works, it’s likely that there is something wrong with the headphones themselves, and they will need to be replaced.