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(7 Fixes) USB-C Headphone Adapter Not Working [2023]

USB C Headphone Adapter Not Working

Having a USB-C audio device isn’t always easy.

So, most of us rely on adapters to connect our AUX headphones to our gadgets. 

Yours isn’t working? 

Well, that could be really frustrating.

But don’t worry. 

Fixing USB-C headphone adapters isn’t as hard as you think. 

Continue reading to discover: 

  • 7 instant fixes for USB-C headphone adapters that aren’t working. 
  • The most common reasons your USB-C headphone adapter won’t work. 
  • How to ensure you’re using the right audio settings for your headphones. 
  • And much, much more… 

Why is my USB-C headphone adapter not working?

Your USB-C headphone adapter isn’t working because it’s incompatible with your device. It might also seem like your adapter is faulty if you use the wrong sound settings. And your adapter may also stop working if your connectors or ports are too dirty to send signals. 

USB-C headphone adapter not working: 7 fixes

#1: Restart your device 

Gadgets can do all sorts of complicated tasks.

But, just like humans…

They also have their bad days.

So, sometimes, devices may glitch, freeze, or lag. 

And when these happen, your gadget may malfunction in various ways. 

For example, your device may stop producing any sound. Making you think that your headphones or their adapter aren’t working anymore. 

Luckily though… 

When your gadget acts out of the ordinary, it’s easy to get it back to its usual state again. 

All you need to do is…

Restart the device you’re connecting your headphones to:

  1. Locate your gadget’s Volume Down and Power buttons.
  2. Press both keys simultaneously until the Power Menu appears on your screen.
  3. Click the Restart icon. 
  1. Click the Start (Windows) icon at the bottom of your screen. 
  2. Tap the Power button from the window that appears. 
  3. Select Restart from the choices. 
  1. Tap the Apple menu icon at the top-left corner of your screen.
  2. Choose Restart from the options. 
  3. Wait for your device to turn OFF and ON again. 

Note: If these steps don’t apply to your specific device, check its user manual. 

#2: Ensure you’re using the right sound settings 

Note: This fix doesn’t apply to mobile devices. 

When you can’t hear anything from your headphones…

It’s easy to assume that the problem lies with its adapter. 

But sometimes…

You can’t hear any sound because your device uses a different audio output. 

So, this time, you should…. 

Check if your device is using the right sound output:

  1. Connect your headphones and their adapter to your PC/laptop. 
  2. Right-click the Sound icon in the bottom-right corner of your screen.
  3. In the new window, tap the dropdown bar under the Output heading. 
  4. Select Headphones (if applicable).
  1. Ensure that your headphones and their USB-C adapter are connected to your device. 
  2. Click the Apple icon at the top-left corner of your screen. 
  3. Select System Settings. 
  4. Tap Sound from the sidebar. 
  5. Click Output on the right side of your screen. 
  6. Select your headphones from the list of available devices. 

Can’t find your audio device from the choices?

Then, skip to the 4th solution. Because this means your headphones can’t be detected.

However, if you could select the right audio output, proceed to…

#3: Turn your device’s volume up

I know this kinda sounds too simple to be a fix.

But the thing is… 

Some people immediately bring their devices to professionals. Only to find out that the reason they can’t hear anything from their gadgets is… 

They’ve simply left them on mute. 

Now, I don’t want you to make the same mistake. 

So, for now… 

Adjust the volume of your gadget:

Mobile devices
  1. Ensure your headphones and their adapter are connected to your phone/tablet. 
  2. Locate the Volume Up button on the side of your mobile device. 
  3. Repeatedly press the key until your gadget’s volume is full. 
  1. Click the Sound icon on the right side of your screen’s taskbar. 
  2. Drag the slider to the right until you see the number 100. 
  1. Tap the Sound icon at the top of your screen.
  2. When the slider pops up, drag it all the way up to maximize your device’s volume. 

After following the specific steps for your device… 

Play any media files with audio to check if your headphones are now projecting sound. 

Editor’s pick: Are Wired Headphones Louder Than Wireless? 5 Facts Revealed

#4: Ensure your headphones are working 

If there are multiple devices or accessories in play… 

It’s not always easy to pinpoint where tech issues are coming from. 

So, you might think your headphone adapter is causing the problem.

When, in fact, it’s the device it’s connected to or your headphones themselves. 

That said, instead of focusing your attention solely on your adapter… 

You should double-check every device/accessory part of your audio setup. 

This way, you can isolate the root of the issue. 

Now, don’t worry. I’ll guide you throughout the entire process of…

Checking if your headphones are working:

Step 1: Clean your audio device’s jack

All headphone connectors have rings separated by 2-3 lines. 

And those represent your audio devices’:

  • Ground.
  • Left audio.
  • Right audio.
  • Microphone. 

Now, these rings need to contact your adapter’s AUX port directly.

Because if dirt or debris is blocking some of them… 

Your headphones will only work when set at specific angles

Or they won’t be able to detect the audio signals from your gadget at all.

So, now, follow the steps below to… 

Ensure that your headphone jack is clear of any dirt or debris:

  1. Grab a clean cotton swab.
  2. Damp it with some isopropyl alcohol. 
  3. Gently wipe your headphone jack using the cotton swab. 
  4. Let your connector dry for 3 minutes. 

After doing so… 

Step 2: Find another gadget with a built-in AUX port

Here are some devices you may use:

  • TVs. 
  • PC/laptops. 
  • Phone/tablet.
  • Gaming consoles. 

Once you have one of these gadgets ready… 

Step 3: Connect your audio device to the new device

Plug your headphone jack directly into the new gadget’s AUX port.

Then, check if you can hear its audio. 

If you can’t, that means your headphones are faulty. Not your adapter. 

But, if you can, your headphones aren’t causing this issue.

So, you should go ahead and… 

#5: Clean your device’s USB-C slot 

Clean Your Device's USB C Slot

Just like your headphones… 

USB ports also won’t be able to detect signals if they’re too dirty.

So, if you still can’t hear anything from your audio device, you should…

Clean the port your USB-C adapter is connected to:

Step 1: Have a compressed gas duster ready

“Can’t I use a soft-bristle brush instead?” 

Well, they’re often too big to fit inside USB-C slots. 

And you might damage your port’s pins if you use the brush with too much pressure.

So, the safest way to clean your gadget’s USB-C slot is to use a compressed air duster

Step 2: Position your duster’s nozzle 

Point its tip an inch away from the port’s opening.

And angle it slightly sideways. 

This way, you’ll push the debris outwards, not further inside. 

Step 3: Clean the USB-C slot 

Spray your compressed air duster 2-3x. 

Pro tip: Change the nozzle’s angle in between sprays. So you can clean every corner of the port. 

Note: You may also use a toothpick to remove debris from the port in between sprays manually. But be careful when implementing this technique. Because you might damage the slot’s pins if you use too much pressure. 

If you want a visual guide for this cleaning process, watch this video:

Recommended reading: Do Wireless Headphones Last Longer Than Wired? 5 Scenarios

#6: Double-check that your USB-C port isn’t faulty  

If you’ve only tried using the same USB-C port when testing your headphones’ adapter… 

The slot you’re using may be faulty. 

So, if cleaning it still didn’t do the trick, try connecting other USB-C devices to the port. 

This way, you can determine if it’s indeed working. 

“What devices can I plug into my port?”

Some common USB-C gadgets are mice and keyboards. 

So, if you have any of these… 

Simply connect them to your device’s port. 

If they work, that means your USB-C slot is functional.

So, the problem lies with your adapter. 

However, if your device also doesn’t detect other USB-C gadgets… 

That means the port you’re using is faulty. 

So, you should use a different USB-C port if possible. Or get your current one fixed by professionals. 

“I’m using a mobile device, so I can’t connect mice and keyboards.” 

In that case, to do this test… 

Just charge your mobile device through its USB-C port.

If it successfully stores power, your device’s slot is working.

But if it doesn’t, it’s time to… 

#7: Replace your headphone adapter 

If your headphone adapter hasn’t worked since you got it…

It may not be compatible with the device you’re connecting it to. 

For example…

Samsung phones won’t detect headphone adapters without a DAC. A chip that converts digital signals to analog

And Apple’s Macbooks often don’t work with nongenuine USB-C accessories. 

That said, the only solution left at this point is to replace the adapter you currently have. 

To avoid getting an incompatible model once more…

I recommend contacting the support team of the device you want to connect your headphones to. 

Because often, they’ll have official USB-C headphone adapters available for purchase. 

And those models will guaranteed work. Provided nothing else is wrong with your headphones or gadget.