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Why Are My AirPods So Quiet?

Last Updated Oct 27, 2022
Airpods laid out on table

These days, it seems like everyone owns AirPods or some other type of wireless earbuds. They are convenient and compact, and don’t get tangled like wired headphones do. But sometimes, AirPods experience sound and volume issues. Why are your AirPods so quiet?

Volume and sound problems in AirPods can be caused by many things. Normal wear, damage, phone settings, and debris buildup can all make your AirPods quieter than they should be.

To enjoy your favorite videos and music at an optimal volume, you must learn what’s causing the issue and some steps to remediate it. Keep reading to find out why your AirPods are so quiet and how to fix the issue!

Why Are my AirPods so Quiet?

Quiet AirPods can be very frustrating. The whole point is supposed to be that you can block out external noise, right?

Your AirPods are likely so quiet because of earwax or debris buildup. If that is not the case, the cause of quiet AirPods has to do with your settings.

Earwax and Debris Buildup

Because earbuds sit directly in the waxy part of your ear, they can tend to accumulate wax and dead skin buildup in the small crevices where the speakers are.

Over time, this barrier can interfere with sound quality and can make your AirPods quiet, even at full volume.

To clean this debris out of your AirPods, you will need a lint-free cloth, warm water or isopropyl alcohol, and a small tool like a toothpick or cotton swab.

To properly clean your AirPods, follow the steps below:

  • Dampen the cloth with warm water or rubbing alcohol.
  • Wipe the outside of each earbud to remove any debris.
  • Wipe again with a dry cloth to dry the AirPods.
  • Use the toothpick or cotton swab to carefully scrape any earwax or debris from the edges of the speakers.
  • If you’re cleaning AirPod Pros, soak the outer silicone tips in warm water and dry them with a lint-free cloth.

It is important to remember to not get any liquid inside your AirPods and not pierce the mesh speaker in order to avoid damage.

Capped Volume

Mobile phones, including iPhones, have certain settings that limit how loud you can raise the volume when listening through earbuds to prevent hearing loss.

However, if your AirPods seem to be quieter than usual, you can override the setting in four easy steps. Here’s how to override this limit on iPhone:

  • Go to “Settings.”
  • Click on “Sounds & Haptics.” 
  • Click on “Headphone Safety.” 
  • Turn off “Reduce Loud Sounds.”

Keep in mind that this could be bad for your hearing if turned off long-term.

Balance Settings

Another setting that iPhones have is something called “balance.”

To make sure your balance settings are equal, follow these steps:

  • Go to “Settings.”
  • Click on “Accessibility.”
  • Click on “Audio/Visual” under the hearing tab.
  • Scroll until you see “Balance.”
  • Set balance to 0.00.

This dictates audio levels on the left and right sides. If one AirPod is louder than the other, your balance settings might be heavier on one side.

Low Power Mode

To better preserve an iPhone’s battery life, some people turn on “Low Power Mode” when their phone reaches 20% battery.

To turn off Low Power Mode on iPhone, follow these steps:

  • Go to “Settings.”
  • Click on “Battery.”
  • Turn off “Low Power Mode.”

If you have this setting turned on, it can alter your AirPods’ volume and make them quieter.

Bluetooth Connection Problems

Sometimes, volume issues can be caused by synchronization complications when your AirPods pair and connect with your phone.

Making sure your AirPods have been connected properly through Bluetooth can solve a lot of sound problems.

Disconnecting and reconnecting your AirPods usually produces the best results.

When your AirPods have been connected to one device for a long time, they sometimes lose connection.

Forget the Device

Forgetting and reconnecting your AirPods normally does the trick. To do so, follow these steps:

Forgetting a Device:

  • Go to settings
  • Click on Bluetooth
  • Find your AirPods
  • Click on the blue information icon
  • Press Forget Device
  • Go to settings
  • Click on Bluetooth
  • Press and hold the button on the back of your AirPods case
  • Select your device when it shows up in Bluetooth

Another option is turning off Bluetooth without completely disconnecting and forgetting your device.

Disconnecting

To disconnect your Bluetooth and try again, follow these steps:

  • Go to settings
  • Go to Bluetooth
  • Turn off Bluetooth
  • Turn Bluetooth back on

You can totally do this more than once if the first time doesn’t work!

Damage

If you have tried each of these tips and your AirPods still sound quieter than they should, there is a possibility that they could be damaged.

Damage from drops or water and sweat exposure can all impact your AirPods’ volume and performance.

If you think your AirPods may be damaged, contact Apple Care.

They may replace them for a small fee, or send you a new set of AirPods.

Other websites, like eBay, sometimes sell singular AirPods that can be easily connected to your existing case and phone.

In Conclusion

While it’s frustrating when your AirPods don’t work properly, now you know several of the main reasons why they can sound quiet. Hopefully these tips and tricks will resolve your volume issues and help you return back to having the best wireless listening experience.