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Why Are My Airpods So Quiet and How Do I Fix Them? 

In today’s day and age, hardly anyone has wired headphones anymore. Instead, it seems everyone has switched to Bluetooth headphones and earbuds, with the most popular being Apple’s signature AirPods. However, there have been many complaints lately about AirPods being too quiet. 

Your AirPods may sound too quiet because of a build-up of wax or sweat, your phone settings, enforced volume limits, software or hardware issues, or a drained battery. Most of these problems have easy fixes, while others may just mean that your AirPods are at the end of their usable lifetime.

Why Are My Airpods So Quiet

These are the most common reasons why AirPods are so quiet, but they aren’t necessarily the only ones. In this article, I’ll cover all the most common reasons why your AirPods may not be loud enough and how you can fix them without taking them to a professional. Read on to save your trusty AirPods!

Also read: Do AirPods Noise Cancel?

Why are your Airpods so Quiet or Not Playing Loud Enough

Bluetooth devices can be somewhat erratic, and sometimes it takes quite a lot of adjusting to figure out the problem. There are problems with connection, issues with it being in range, problems with balance, and so much more. This guide will help you narrow that down. 

The biggest cause of AirPods being too quiet is a build-up of natural body fluids within the earbud. Because earbuds get inserted into the ear canal, they’re always coming in contact with wax, not to mention sweat and humidity from the outside world. 

If you’re cleaning your AirPods regularly, it probably means you’re encountering a problem with your phone or the AirPods themselves.

For example, phones often come with volume limits, and you have to bypass the limit for the volume to go higher manually. Many phones also limit volume when the device is in low power mode. 

Another issue you’re likely encountering, particularly if you’re having a problem in only one ear, is a balance problem. Keep reading for more information on this specific problem.

Now that you have an overview of what the possible issues may be, let’s get into detail with some of these causes. 

1. Your AirPods Are Dirty

Alright, so let’s get into the nitty gritty about just how dirty AirPods can get. You’d be surprised to know that even if you’re maintaining excellent hygiene and cleaning those ears every day, your AirPods are still going to collect wax. 

It will be even worse if you regularly exercise while wearing your AirPods. At this point, not only are your earbuds collecting wax, but they’re also being loaded up with sweat and moisture from the air. Gross! 

The good news is that this is a reasonably easy problem to fix. With just a little bit of effort and time, you’ll soon have brand-new AirPods. Okay, maybe not brand new, but much better than they were before. 

How to Fix

By now, I’m sure you’ve figured out the apparent solution is cleaning your AirPods. However, you’ll want to ensure you’re doing this correctly. Otherwise, you could end up damaging them to the point of no return.

First of all, a couple of products you should never put on your AirPods. Please do not try to clean your AirPods with bleach or hydrogen peroxide. I know these products do a great job cleaning household surfaces, but they aren’t for your earbuds. 

Okay, so what do you use? Ideally, you won’t need to use any liquid to clean the earbuds. Electronics and liquids don’t usually fare well together. Start by grabbing a cotton swab and a clean microfiber cloth and try to remove the wax from the speaker system gently. Move the cotton swab around the speaker and outside. 

If They Aren’t Getting Clean With Dry Products Alone

Time to break out the big guns. Okay, maybe not that big. In the event that your AirPods aren’t getting clean with a dry cloth and cotton swabs, you’ll want to use one of two things.

You can either take a clean microfiber cloth, dampen it, and try cleaning around the speaker to see if it loosens the dirt build-up. Hot water may work better for this. Or you can grab some alcohol wipes and clean them with that. 

Alcohol is actually a better option than water because it dries significantly faster. This puts your AirPods at less risk of water damage. Alcohol also sterilizes the area. 

If none of the solutions above work out, you may need to purchase an AirPods cleaning kit as a last resort. I recommend this Hagibis Cleaning Pen for Airpods from Amazon as it is very affordable and comes with brushes, sponges, and everything you’ll need to clean out your AirPods.

2. Your iPhone Is in Low Power Mode

This one doesn’t apply to android users, so move on to the next one unless you’re having issues with an iPhone specifically. 

Do you often keep your phone in “Low Power Mode”? I know I do, almost full-time. The low power mode is a great option to conserve your battery throughout the day, even though Apple recommends turning it on only when the device has reached 20% battery life.

If you tend to leave your iPhone in low-battery mode for extended periods of time, then this might be why your AirPods sound so low. When your phone is in this state, it works to conserve the phone battery.

Since AirPods have their own batteries, they’re actually not draining the phone’s battery as you listen. However, your phone will reduce the volume of your AirPods in order to conserve its own battery.

How to Fix

This is probably the most straightforward solution you’ll find when trying to fix your AirPods. All you have to do to solve this problem is turn off low battery mode.

To turn off low power mode, just access your settings on your iPhone, tap on “battery,” and switch off low power mode. If you have the shortcut added to your phone, you can also turn it off by holding the picture of the battery down. 

3. You’ve Hit Your Airpods Volume Limit

Most Bluetooth devices have a volume limit in place, and AirPods are no exception. Those volume limits have a purpose, though. Our inner ear is very sensitive to sound, and many people listen to their music at unhealthy levels for their ears. The idea is to remind us, “Hey, you’re listening to this a little too loud.” 

When it comes to AirPods, however, the volume limit kicks in with the volume still relatively low. When this happens, no matter how many times you hit the button to raise the volume, it’s not going to go up. 

How to Fix

There are two ways to do this. One is to bypass the volume limit by raising the volume directly from your phone. If you’ve hit the volume limit, the phone should send you a notification saying something along the lines of, “You’ve reached the recommended volume limit. Hit okay to continue.” 

At this point, you’ll just manually bypass the message, and it should allow you to continue to raise the volume. 

The other option is to go into your phone’s settings and set it up not to have a volume limit. This should help you get significantly higher listening volumes on your AirPods, provided there are no hardware issues. 

4. It’s a Software or Hardware Issue

Software and hardware issues aren’t super common in AirPods, but they do happen. If you’re having a software issue, likely you’re encountering more than just your AirPods being too quiet. You’ve probably experienced static, cutting in and out, and so on. If you’re having a hardware issue, there might be an entire range of things going on with your AirPods. 

If you have all these signs, there are a few things you’ll want to check to try to solve the problem. 

How to Fix

With software and hardware problems, there’s no set solution. It’s just kind of a trial-and-error situation. The exception to this is if your AirPods have been damaged either by water or heat.

If this is the case, then you probably won’t be able to fix it. All you can do is just replace your AirPods. I know you’re disappointed, but home solutions only go so far.

To check for software or hardware issues, you’ll want first to ensure your AirPods are within range of the device they’re connected to. This is a widespread problem with Bluetooth devices.

Try moving the device closer to you and see if that fixes the problem. You can also try resetting the Bluetooth connection by turning off Bluetooth on your phone and then turning it back on. 

If adjusting your distance and resetting your Bluetooth doesn’t work, the next thing you’ll want to try is resetting your AirPods. Turn them off, wait a few seconds, and then turn them back on. 

If you’re still having issues check your phone to see if it needs a software update. Many times electronic devices stop connecting well or working in general when they need an update. 

At this point, if you’re still having some problems, you might actually need to see a professional. Solving your technical problems yourself isn’t always possible when it comes to software and hardware issues. 

5. Your Airpod Batteries Are Almost Dead

Okay, this one should be super obvious, but these types of problems are usually the easiest ones to overlook.

Most of the time, when we’re listening to our favorite music or podcast, we’re not thinking about anything, especially not dead AirPod batteries.

However, when batteries are running low, the AirPods decrease the volume automatically to conserve power. All speakers use more power when the volume is higher. 

How do you know if your batteries are running low? Usually, you’ll get a notification on your phone beginning when the batteries are twenty percent, ten percent, and finally, five percent. This may not be the case if you’ve disabled your notifications for it. 

How to Fix

I said earlier that cleaning your AirPods might be the simplest solution, but charging them definitely beats it. If you notice your batteries are low, stick them in the charging case for a while and move on.

If you aren’t getting notifications about your battery or can’t get your phone to tell you how much battery is left, it might be a good idea to leave them in their charging case for several hours. 

6. Volume Issues With Only One Airpod

This is a pretty common issue. Because AirPods each connect separately, one of them often has problems while the other one works perfectly fine. However, there are a few different reasons why only one of your AirPods may be having problems. 

Let’s take a look at each one. 

How to Fix

Volume problems with the left AirPod are usually a balance issue. Because you’re dealing with two different speakers, each of them has its own individual settings. 

If you’ve ever messed with the “fade” setting in your car speakers, you might know what I’m talking about. With car speakers, you can bring all the sound to the back or all of it to the front of the car.

You can also bring all the sound to the left or the right speaker, depending on the features of your vehicle. 

A similar issue takes place with your AirPods. If the sound becomes unbalanced, it can all go to one side. To fix your balance issue, go to your phone settings and click “Accessibility.” From here, you should be able to take a look at the balance and see what’s going on with each AirPod.

Another issue is that you may have clogged the AirPod on the left. Perhaps you left a bit of liquid on that side or didn’t remove all of the dirt and wax build-up. 

Why Is My Right Airpod So Quiet?

If the right AirPod is giving you volume issues, it’s probably also due to a balance problem, just in the opposite direction. In this case, simply follow the instructions above to check on the balance. 

Right-side AirPods are also a little more likely to be damaged because when only one is worn, it’s often the right side. Inspect your AirPod for any damages, clogging, etc. 

Help, None of Your Solutions Are Working!

The things I talked about today are just some common reasons why your AirPods aren’t getting to the volume that they should. There are many, many different reasons that are far more uncommon.

If you’ve recently switched to AirPods from another brand of earbuds or headphones, the sound will be completely different.

Each earbud feels different and fits differently, and they may not be the right size for your ear. You may also be running into an issue where one or both of your AirPods are coming loose from your ears over time. 

This is an even bigger problem if you’re used to wearing headphones. Headphones usually come with noise cancellation, whereas earbuds typically don’t.

You’re going to get a lot more background noise when you’re wearing AirPods than when you’re wearing your headphones. They also don’t fit as tight into or around your ear. 

Certain types of AirPods actually do offer noise cancellation, but the normal ones don’t. You’d have to get the pro version or something similar. For a more detailed look at AirPods and noise cancellation features, check out this article. 

If you do better with videos, here’s a helpful video detailing a few root problems that we didn’t cover in detail:

AirPod Audio Loss? 2 Proven Fixes To Bring Back FULL SOUND | Handy Hudsonite

No Visible Issues

Sometimes, there’s no visible problem with your AirPods, and that’s why you’re having a hard time finding solutions. It’s hard to fight the invisible. 

Occasionally, you’ll find that one or both of your AirPods got damaged by running into something in your pocket, especially if you have a habit of leaving them out of their case. Sometimes it’s water damage because it rained or you cleaned them the wrong way. 

The point is, if the solutions aren’t working, there’s probably an underlying problem that just isn’t apparent yet. In these kinds of situations, it’s best to go ahead and get them inspected by a professional. 

You can take your AirPods into any electronics department, such as the Geeksquad with BestBuy, and have them examined to see what the issue is. Sometimes, they’ll need to be taken apart to really figure out the problem, and this usually isn’t a job for someone without professional experience. 

Final Thoughts

Airpods may be losing volume on one or both sides for many reasons, including problems with dirt and wax build-up, software or hardware issues, low battery mode on your iPhone, or volume limits on your phone.

These are the most common reasons, and you’ll generally be able to find a solution with ease. 

However, some solutions will require you to take your AirPods to a professional or finally buy a replacement pair. Be sure to check out all these solutions first and see if any of them will solve your problems!