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11 Reasons Why Your AirPods Are So Quiet + Fixes (2023)

Why Are My Airpods So Quiet

“Help! My AirPods are so quiet. I can barely hear anything…”

Your AirPods can become quiet for so many reasons.

And since they don’t have a physical volume control…

Many users find troubleshooting it hard or nearly impossible.

But fixing quiet Airpods is surprisingly easy.

I mean, you wouldn’t even have to reset them.

The only thing you have to do is navigate your Apple device’s settings.

Continue reading to discover:

  • 11 reasons why your Airpods are so quiet.
  • What audio settings affect the volume of Airpods.
  • Whether an audio equalizer makes the Airpods quieter.
  • How to turn up Airpods volume using Siri voice assistant.
  • And that’s only the beginning…

Why are my AirPods so quiet?

Your AirPods are so quiet because there’s gunk build-up on them, and your device’s volume and battery levels are low. Certain audio and device settings such as “Low Power Mode,” volume limit, and equalizer also cause them to become quiet. Other reasons include outdated firmware and hardware damages.

11 reasons why your AirPods are so quiet + how to fix it

#1: There’s gunk build-up in the earbuds

It may sound weird, but gunk build-up is one of the most common reasons why your AirPods are so quiet.

More than anything, physical obstructions can cause any earbuds to appear quieter.

As these directly block the sound pathway of your device.

Gunk on the AirPods can be from anything, including:

  • Dirt.
  • Dust.
  • Earwax.
  • Dead skin flakes.

And these things usually build-up when the sweat on the earbuds speakers dries up.

Some people use their AirPods when running or working out.

And their sweat can sometimes enter the AirPods speakers. 

When not cleaned immediately, the sweat can dry up and quickly accumulate dust and dirt.

“But I don’t work out, so…”

If that’s the case, maybe the gunk buildup in your AirPods is caused by earwax and accumulated dirt.

Even if you’re not working out, it’s good practice that you clean your AirPods regularly.

Doing this prevents earwax and dirt from buildup on the earbuds’ speakers. Which are the things that cause your AirPods to appear quieter.

How to fix it

Check if there’s gunk buildup on your AirPods speakers.

The buildup usually starts at the corners. So, make sure to check those parts thoroughly.

If you find any buildup, clean your AirPods immediately.

Since it’s an electronic gadget, avoid using water or any liquid substance to clean them.

Instead, use a microfiber cloth, dry toothbrush, or a Q-tip to clean your AirPods speakers.

Tip: If you’re using your AirPods daily, clean them at least twice a week. Plus, make sure to clean your ears as well to prevent earwax from building up on the earbuds speakers.

Watch this video for more detailed instructions on cleaning your Apple AirPods:

#2: AirPods have a low battery level

Like other devices, AirPods can malfunction once their battery level becomes too low.

And when I say too low, I mean less than 10% battery level.

A low battery causes your AirPods to receive little to no signal from their connected device. 

Plus, the AirPods’ power level becomes low as well. 

So, you shouldn’t expect good connectivity and performance with them.

You can easily check the battery level of your AirPods on the connected device.

Look for the AirPods icon on your device’s notification bar, and see the battery level next to it.

Depending on the settings on your phone, the battery level may appear red.

Or check it on your device’s drop-down menu.

Here are some other indicators of AirPods low battery:

  • Spotty connection.
  • Volume level automatically lowers down.
  • Either side of the earbuds is turning on or off.

How to fix it

There’s no other way you can resolve this problem but recharge your AirPods.

There are 2 ways you can do it:

  • By charging them on the charging case.
  • By putting in the charging case. And plugging the case into a power socket.

AirPods charge fast. 

So, don’t worry! As you can continue using your AirPods after just several minutes of charging them.

If you’re using the charging case, you can recharge your AirPods for at least 10 minutes. And have hours of playback time.

But if you’re planning to use your AirPods for several hours, change them for at least 30 minutes.

This fully charges your device. So, you can experience uninterrupted use.

Learn more: Do wireless headphones last longer than wired?

#3: Connected device’s volume level is low

“I’ve checked my AirPods battery level, and they have more than 50% charge.”

If that’s the case, then perhaps the volume level on your connected device is low.

All AirPods models have no volume control.

So, the audio volume relies solely on the connected device you’re using.

If you barely hear a sound, maybe the volume level on your iPhone or iPad is low.

Yes, it’s a simple problem. But many users tend to overlook it.

So, before you panic, make sure to check the volume level on your connected device first.

How to fix it

There are 3 ways you can volume up your Airpods.

First is by pressing the volume up button on your iPhone, iPad, or MAC computer.

For it to work, your AirPods should be connected to your other device.

Your AirPods is successfully connected to your other device if you can hear the volume in the earbuds go up.

The second is by navigating your device’s settings. 

Go to your device’s settings. And proceed to the “Sounds & Vibrations” or similar.

Then, slide the volume up to the level you’re comfortable with.

Third, is by asking Siri to increase your AirPods volume.

You can either say, “Hey Siri, increase the volume up.” 

And the volume level of your AirPods will increase with a 15% increment.

Or say, “Hey Siri, increase the volume level to 70%,” to volume up your device to your desired level.

Depending on the AirPods model you’re using, here’s how you can activate Siri:

  • For 1st gen. AirPods: double-tap either earbud.
  • For 2nd gen. and up AirPods: say the wake work, “Hey Siri…”
  • For AirPods Pro: set one earbud to activate Siri, and say the wake work, “Hey Siri…”

Note: The “Hey Siri” function will only work if you’ve activated it on your device’s settings.

#4: Earbuds volume are not balanced

Sometimes your AirPods can appear quieter if the volume on both earbuds is not balanced.

Apple devices have a setting that allows users to control the volume of external devices.

With these, you can set the volume level of the left bud higher than the bud. Or vice-versa.

Sure, it’s a great feature.

But it can make your AirPods appear quieter. Even though the volume is set high.

If you’re not aware of this function, you may think that the other pair is broken.

And eventually, get new AirPods thinking that your device is no longer working.

I’m sure you’re aware of how expensive AirPods can be. 

So, you may not want to accidentally buy a new one over this simple mistake.

“But I didn’t do anything upon pairing my AirPods to my other device…”

If that’s the case, then maybe you’ve changed this setting before. And forgot to reset it back,

Or you may have accidentally moved the slider while exploring your device’s settings.

Regardless of which, you have to balance the volume level to resolve this problem.

How to fix it

You can only balance the volume level on your connected device.

Get your iPhone or iPad, then follow these simple instructions:

  1. Go to the device’s settings.
  2. Select “Accessibility.”
  3. Click “Hearing.”
  4. Tap “Audio/Visual.”
  5. Then, slide the slider exactly to the middle of the bar.

After this, your AirPods should play the same level of volume.

#5: Volume on both devices are not calibrated

“The volume level on my other device is high. But my AirPods remain quiet…”

On some occasions, the volume on your devices may not sync.

They may not have the same understanding of how low or high the volume level should be.

Even if you set iPhone volume to maximum, your AirPods may remain quieter.

This can happen due to some software or connection errors.

Note: This problem rarely occurs. But it’s helpful that you check it as well.

Your devices are not calibrated…

If the volume level of your AirPods barely changes even after turning the volume high.

How to fix it

If you suspect that your devices are not calibrated, recalibrate them immediately.

It may sound technical, recalibrating your devices is super easy. 

You just need to disconnect and reconnect your devices.

Plus, it only takes about a minute or so to perform.

So, why not just try it?

To recalibrate your AirPods with your other device:

  1. Wear your AirPods.
  2.  Connect them to your iPhone or iPad via Bluetooth.
  3. Play some music.
  4. Turn the volume down to zero.
  5. Disable the connection by turning off the Bluetooth.
  6. Continue playing music on the connected device’s speaker.
  7. Turn the volume down to zero again.
  8. Enable your Bluetooth on the connected device.
  9. And reconnect your Airpods.

After this, you should notice significant changes in your AirPods volume level.

If not, repeat the same process until it works.

#6: “Low Power Mode” is enabled

“My AirPods are working perfectly fine. Then they suddenly become quieter.”

Is your iPhone or iPad battery level low?

If yes, then that’s what causes your AirPods to become quieter.

When your Apple device battery runs low, the “Low Power Mode” will activate to save battery power.

While this is a great and practical feature, it can cause some functions on your phone to slow down or stop working.

When your device is in the “Low Power Mode,” it may fail to:

  • Run 5G setting.
  • Fetch new emails.
  • Sync iCloud Photos.
  • Run some visual effects.
  • Perform custom auto-lock.
  • Refresh background apps.
  • Continue automatic downloads.

Note: Your Apple device is in “Low Power Mode” when the battery icon turns yellow.

The “Low Power Mode” doesn’t automatically lower down your AirPods volume.

But since it can fail to run 5G, you may notice changes in volume level and sound quality when running 5G music.

How to fix it

You can only resolve this problem by manually turning off the “Low Power Mode.”

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Get the device connected to your AirPods.
  2. Go to the device’s settings.
  3. Select “Battery.”
  4. Then, toggle the “Low Power Mode” off.

This should allow you to use your AirPods at their maximum volume level.

But to avoid further interruption, charge your iPhone or iPad for a while.

Then just continue using your AirPods once they have fully charged.

Tip: Say, “Hey Siri, turn off Low Power Mode”  to ask Siri to do the job for you.

#7: Volume limit is set

Most audio devices have a feature that automatically maintains a volume at a set level.

This prevents the device’s volume from getting too high. And possibly damaging the users’ hearing.

In Apple devices, it’s called “Reduce Loud Sounds.”

It works well most of the time. But we can’t deny the truth that this feature can sometimes be limiting.

Especially if the music you’re listening to is not mixed very well. Or you’re in a very loud environment.

“How does the volume limit feature exactly work?”

The “Reduce Loud Sounds” feature measures your headphone volume level.

It has a preset volume limit.

And once you’ve reached this limit, you’ll receive a notification to turn down your volume.

Suppose you ignored the notification. The volume level of your AirPods will automatically turn down the next time you use it.

How to fix it

 If you constantly experience this particular problem, turn off the “Reduce Loud Sounds.”

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Go to the device’s settings.
  2. Select “Sound & Haptics.” Or “Sounds” on earlier models.
  3. Choose “ Headphone Safety.”
  4. Then, toggle off the “Reduce Loud Sounds” switch.

If you don’t want to turn it off completely, just adjust the decibel slider to your desired level.

About the auto-notification, it can be turned off depending on your region.

Some regions allow it to be turned off. 

But on others, auto-notification is required for safety reasons.

Tip: Mute the notification sound to lessen “distractions.”

#8: Equalizer is toggled on

Are you familiar with an audio equalizer or EQ?

How about ‘Sound Check’?

Did you know that these audio settings contribute to your AirPods sounding quieter?

EQ automatically adjusts the audio settings to monitor the frequency. Plus, it helps the music elements to work together sonically.

Technically, this helps music sound more balanced and good to the ears.

But it can sometimes cause the volume level to turn down as well.

Aside from EQ, Apple devices also have a “Sound Check” feature.

This feature automatically adjusts the volume level after each song. 

So, users’ hearing won’t get damaged in case the next audio has a loud pitch or volume level.

Both these features help ensure a smooth and balanced listening or streaming experience.

But, again, it can cause your AirPods to become quieter than normal.

How to fix it

Check whether these features are turned on.

If yes, turn them off immediately.

Here’s how you can turn off iPhone’s EQ and Sound Check:

  1. Go to the iPhone’s settings.
  2. Select “Music.”
  3. Toggle off “Sound Check.”
  4. Click “EQ” from the same page.
  5. Then, toggle off the “EQ” button.

After this, you should be able to listen to your AirPods with a better volume level.

If not, try turning off other audio settings as well, such as “Booster.”

Warning: When the f “Sound Check” feature is turned off, make sure to still monitor your volume level. As your hearing can get damaged by sudden loud audio.

#9:There is some type of connection errors

In other cases, AirPods can become quieter due to some connection errors.

And Bluetooth connection errors or glitches can usually happen due to:

  • Software bugs.
  • Out-of-range device.
  • Connection interference.

When the Bluetooth connection gets disrupted, audio on your AirPods can become spotty.

Or the volume level can turn down.

“What is Bluetooth connection interference?”

Connection interference is when the connection gets disrupted by other same-band frequencies.

Most devices use 2.4 GHz bands. 

And sometimes, devices that have the same band clash. And cause the connections to get disrupted temporarily.

How to fix it

Repairing your AirPods with the connected device resolves any possible connection issues.

So, if you encounter this particular problem, unpair and repair your Apple devices.

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Go to the device’s settings.
  2. Select “Bluetooth.”
  3. Tap the circled-”i” icon next to your AirPods name.
  4. Select “Forget This Device.”
  5. Turn off and on your Bluetooth once.
  6. Wait for your AirPods to appear on the “Available Devices” section.
  7. Select your AirPods.
  8. Then, click “Connect.”

Doing this should resolve the volume issues on your AirPods.

If not, try redoing the same process a few times.

Suppose the problem remains. Try other troubleshooting fixes above.

Also, make sure that your device is near your AirPods when using them. 

Remove any devices that can interfere with the Bluetooth connection as well.

That’s when you experience some lags or glitches when listening through your AirPods.

You may also wonder: How to stop Bluetooth headphones from beeping?

#10: Connected device has an outdated software

“The volume setting and connection of my device are fine. But why is my AirPods still quiet?”

It rarely happens. But maybe the device connected to your AirPods has outdated firmware.

Outdated firmware doesn’t just restrict your device from getting the latest updates.

But it also causes your device to malfunction due to mismatched software updates.

When that happens, your AirPods can:

  • Play audio in low volume.
  • Completely lose connection.
  • Produce spotty audio music.

When the firmware is outdated, it can also fail to run the 5G function. Which is responsible for providing great-sounding and high-quality music on your AirPods.

You might also want to know: Are Wired Headphones Louder Than Wireless? 5 Facts Revealed

How to fix it

To resolve this issue, just update the software on your connected device.

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Go to the device’s settings.
  2. Select “General.”
  3. Click “Software Update.”
  4. And tap “Update Now,” if displayed.

If the “Update Now” button is not displayed, you may try restarting your device.

As restarting devices help remove software bugs and fix simple glitches.

You can do it by pressing and holding the power button of your device. Then, select “Restart” from the options.

This will automatically turn off and on your device once.

After this, reconnect your AirPods. And see if it improves anything.

Note: Restart is different from factory reset. So, don’t worry, as doing this won’t delete any important data. This process simply refreshes your device’s system. And deletes temporary memory data (RAM).

#11: AirPods’ hardware has been damaged

Last but not the least, your AirPods are quiet because their hardware has been damaged.

AirPods have a circuit board and motherboard.

A circuit board (PCB) ensures that electricity will flow in all electrical parts of the device.

Once it gets damaged, your AirPods will fail to store power charges.

Likewise, the motherboard is responsible for connecting all parts of the hardware.

When one part of it gets damaged, the whole system may collapse. 

And you won’t be able to use your AirPods again.

Many things can cause the circuit board and motherboard to fail, including:

  • Overheating.
  • Power surges.
  • Water damage.
  • Physical impact.

If any of these causes happened in your AirPods, expect them to malfunction. Or stop working completely.

How to fix it

If you want to save your AirPods, you may bring them to a service center.

Ask an electronic technician to check your device. And fix any possible damage on the circuit board or motherboard.

But the fee for this can get expensive as well.

So, your best solution for this problem is to get a new pair of AirPods.

You can get a 2nd Generation Apple AirPods for $159.

Or an AirPods Pro for better listening and a long-lasting experience.

Sure, they’re expensive. 

But you can save more money, time, and effort by buying a new pair than by having them fixed in a service center.

Reading recommendation: Are Bluetooth Headphones Encrypted? 7 Security Facts