Why are my AirPods so quiet [How to Fix]

Why are my AirPods so quiet? [How to Fix]

I fell in love with AirPods the moment I first wore them — I wore them everywhere, even while sleeping, until such time they produced no sound at all. Of course, that’s panic-inducing, so I had to get to the bottom of the issue! Here’s what I found:

AirPods may become quiet due to having a low volume level, low battery levels, dirt buildup on the speaker, outdated firmware, or imbalanced audio.

So, how do you fix this issue? Well, you needn’t worry, since we’re detailing 10 easy ways to troubleshoot quiet-sounding AirPods! Within the hour, you’ll be able to deal with AirPods that seem to have taken a vow of silence. Read on!

FIX 1. Wipe the speaker grills on the AirPods.

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps1
Time to Perform Fix10 to 30 seconds
Things NeededA cotton swabA cleaning clothAirPods cleaning kit70% isopropyl or ethyl alcohol

While using your AirPods, dirt, earwax, or grime can build up on their speaker grills and block out the sounds. This makes it the leading and most common cause of having reduced sound levels while listening to music or any audio on the AirPods.

To address this problem, the only solution is to clean your AirPods to remove all the dirt, earwax, or grime that’s blocking the openings on the speaker grills. However, you can’t go with a willy-nilly approach when doing this since the AirPods are sensitive devices.

Older AirPods models are susceptible to water damage, while some newer models are only resistant, not waterproof.

For this reason, you need to use a 70% isopropyl or ethyl alcohol solution as a way to dampen the cotton swab or cloth while you’re cleaning. It’s paramount you observe the alcohol content to guarantee success. 

Your cleaning cloth must also be made of lint-free microfiber to avoid damaging the surface of your AirPods. If you want a deeper clean, we recommend getting an AirPods cleaning kit that’s meant for deep-seated dirt.

FIX 1. Wipe the speaker grills on the AirPods.

You can find different kinds of AirPods cleaning kits and tools from online shopping platforms like Amazon. If you don’t have a microfiber cleaning cloth, you can also get one bundled in some AirPods cleaning kits.

FIX 2. Increase volume level.

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps2
Time to Perform Fix10 seconds
Things NeededAn iPhone or iPadAirPods Pro Gen 2

Sometimes, we’re bound to overlook the most obvious things. Top of that list is checking the device’s volume level playing the audio. 

It may seem absurd, but the answer may lie in your device’s volume levels, so you better check them before performing unnecessary fixes.

Once you’ve determined if the volume level of your device is too low, you can simply increase it based on your preference. Adjust the volume level of the playback from your iPhone’s volume control or through the touch control on the AirPods Pro 2.

Step 1: Press the volume up button on the side of your iPhone or iPad to increase the volume level.

Step 2: Swipe up on the touch control on your AirPods Pro Gen 2 to increase the volume level.



Note: On AirPods models that don’t have a touch volume control, you can ask Siri using voice commands to increase it for you.

FIX 3. Recharge your AirPods.

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps4
Time to Perform Fix15 seconds
Things NeededAn iPhoneAirPods charging caseLighting cableA working power outlet

When your AirPods start running low on juice, you might experience various issues due to their reduced performance and efficiency. It’s a good idea to monitor their battery level if things get too quiet.

In most cases, your AirPods will give you about 4 to 6 hours from one full charge, but time can fly fast when using a device that feels like an extension of your body. It’s especially true if you’re a busy AirPods user who keeps them on for hours.

Step 1: Open the charging case to place your AirPods inside but keep its lid open.

Step 2: Keep your charging case close to the iPhone or iPad.
Step 3: Check the battery levels of your AirPods and charging case from the pop-up window that appears on your iPhone or iPad’s screen.

Step 4: Keep your AirPods inside the charging case and close the lid to recharge them if their batteries are low on power.

Note: Connect a Lightning cable to the charging case if it doesn’t have enough power to recharge your AirPods.

FIX 4. Turn off “Reduce Loud Sounds” on your iPhone.

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps5
Time to Perform Fix20 seconds
Things NeededAn iPhone or iPad

Your AirPods’ “Reduce Loud Sounds” feature was made to protect your ears from extreme sound levels. So if your AirPods are quiet even at full volume, this particular feature may be the cause.

To fix this, you’ll need to turn off Reduce Loud Sounds from your iPhone or iPad’s Headphone Safety menu. Alternatively, you can also increase the decibel levels for this feature so make the threshold higher if you want to keep it turned on.

Step 1: Go to your iPhone or iPad’s Settings.

Step 2: Scroll down and go to Sounds & Haptics.

Step 3: Go to the Headphone Safety menu.

Step 4: Slide the slider to the right to increase the decibel level if you want to keep Reduce Loud Sounds enabled.

Step 5: Click the switch beside Reduce Loud Sounds to turn it off.

FIX 5. Update your AirPods.

Difficulty Easy ●●○○○
Number of Steps5
Time to Perform Fix10 minutes
Things NeededAirPods charging caseAn iPhone or iPadA working internet connection

Poor performance issues, such as lower sound levels, are a clear sign that your AirPods need an update. Your outdated AirPods might even stop working even when they’re connected to your iPhone or iPad if you’re unlucky.

Always make sure to check for available firmware updates on your AirPods. Keeping them updated not only fixes compatibility issues with your iPhone and iPad but also improves performance.

Here’s how you can update your AirPods’ firmware:

Step 1: Open the charging case to place your AirPods inside but keep its lid open.



Note: Connect a Lightning cable to the charging case to prevent power loss while your AirPods are downloading the firmware update.
Step 2: Go to your iPhone or iPad’s Settings.

Step 3: Select your AirPods.

Step 4: Scroll down and go to Version to see the current firmware version of your AirPods.

Step 5: Keep your AirPods close to the iPhone or iPad to keep them connected while the update process is in progress.

Note: Your iPhone or iPad should have access to the internet via a Wi-Fi network or cellular data or the update process won’t start automatically.

FIX 6. Update your iPhone or iPad.

Difficulty Easy ●●○○○
Number of Steps9
Time to Perform Fix10 minutes
Things NeededAn iPhone or iPadA working internet connection

Similarly, you must also keep your iPhone or iPad updated to the latest software version to resolve compatibility issues with your AirPods. Doing so should fix software-related problems that are causing the sound level on your AirPods to be lower or quieter.

Plus, the software update will also improve the performance and efficiency of your iPhone or iPad. All of this helps make your music listening experience on your AirPods the best that it can be.

Step 1: Go to your iPhone or iPad’s Settings.

Step 2: Scroll down and go to the General menu.

Step 3: Click Software Update.

Step 4: Click Download and Install.

Step 5: Enter your passcode.

Step 6: Read Apple’s terms and conditions and click Agree to accept it.

Step 7: Click Agree again.

Step 8: Click Use Cellular Data.

Step 9: Click Install Now.

FIX 7. Balance the audio level on your iPhone or iPad.

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps4
Time to Perform Fix10 seconds
Things NeededAn iPhone or iPad

Sometimes, even if both your AirPods are both working, the sound on one of them can still be lower than the other. In such cases, you might think that only one piece is producing a sound since the other has quieter sound output.

The way to tackle this problem is to change the audio balance between the left and right AirPod pieces. You can do this by placing the balance slider on your iPhone or iPad’s audio settings in the middle.

Step 1: Go to your iPhone or iPad’s Settings.

Step 2: Scroll down and go to the Accessibility menu.

Step 3: Scroll down and go to Audio/Visual.

Step 4: Adjust the balance slider and place it at the center.


FIX 8. Reconfigure the Headphone Accommodations.

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps9
Time to Perform Fix40 seconds
Things NeededAn iPhone or iPad

Through the Headphone Accommodations setting, you can solve your AirPods’ volume issue by improving the softer sounds that play on your device.

You can also enhance the overall sound level of your AirPods by reconfiguring your iPhone or iPad’s tone volume. Doing so allows the sound effects on your AirPods to go beyond the default volume limit.

Step 1: Go to your iPhone or iPad’s Settings.

Step 2: Scroll down and go to the Accessibility menu.

Step 3: Scroll down and go to AirPods.

Step 4: Slide the tone volume slider to set the level beyond 100%.

Step 5: Scroll back up and go to Audio Accessibility Settings.

Step 6: Go to Headphone Accommodations.

Step 7: Select an option under TUNE AUDIO FOR to set your desired frequency boost.

Step 8: Use the slider to set how much you want soft sounds to be boosted.

Step 9: Mix and match these settings and click Play Sample to test your selection.

FIX 9. Restart your iPhone or iPad.

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps6
Time to Perform Fix30 seconds
Things NeededAn iPhone

If the sound level on your AirPods remains quiet after adjusting the configurations in your iPhone or iPad, you might need to restart them first. There are cases where some changes aren’t fully applied unless you allow the device to reset its system. 

Plus, restarting your iPhone or iPad is a quick and easy way to fix minor errors, which might also be the actual root cause of the low sound issue. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Press and release the volume up button on the iPhone or iPad.

Step 2: Press and release the volume down button on the iPhone or iPad.

Step 3: Press and hold the side button on the iPhone or iPad.

Step 4: Keep holding your iPhone or iPad’s side button and wait for the screen to shut down.

Step 5: Release your iPhone or iPad’s side button after Apple’s logo appears on the screen.

Step 6: Wait while your iPhone or iPad reboots.

FIX 10. Reset your AirPods.

Difficulty Easy ●●○○○
Number of Steps12
Time to Perform Fix50 seconds
Things NeededAn iPhoneAn AirPods charging case

For this troubleshooting guide, we’ve saved the best solution for last, which is resetting your AirPods to the factory defaults. Call it a universal fix. 

Right off the bat, we think that this solution is a treasure trove. It’s the best fix for any software-related issues that you might encounter when using your AirPods!

Just note that performing a factory reset will wipe all of their settings configuration so you can reconfigure them once more. That means you’ll have to start all over again. 

Step 1: Open the charging case to place your AirPods inside.

Step 2: Close the charging case for at least 30 seconds.

Step 3: Open the charging case to take your AirPods.

Step 4: Wear your AirPods.

Step 5: Go to your iPhone or iPad’s Settings.

Step 6: Go to the Bluetooth menu of your iPhone or iPad.

Step 7: Click the “more info” icon (i) beside your AirPods.

Step 8: Click Forget This Device to delete your AirPods’ connection with your iPhone or iPad.



Note: In some iOS versions, you might need to scroll down the menu to find the Forget This Device button.
Step 9: Click Forget Device to confirm.

Step 10: Open the charging case to place your AirPods inside but keep its lid open.

Step 11: Press and hold the setup button on the charging case for 15 seconds or until the indicator light blinks from orange to white.



Note: You may find the indicator light of the charging case at the front or inside.
Step 12: Keep your charging case close to the iPhone or iPad and click Connect on the pop-up that appears on the screen.

FAQs About AirPods Being Quiet

What causes my AirPods to be quiet all of a sudden? 

Running out of battery will cause your AirPods to turn quiet all of a sudden since they would just stop working. Other reasons that can cause this problem include outdated firmware, the Reduce Loud Sounds feature, and more.

How often should I clean my AirPods to maintain optimal volume? 

It is recommended that you clean your AirPods every 72 hours of use. Our ears are prone to accumulate dirt over time and this is why regularly cleaning your AirPods is a great way to ensure your wireless earbuds operate at optimal levels. 

Any small dirt or earwax can build up over time and slowly block the speaker grills of your AirPods. It’s important to prevent such an issue from developing beforehand.

What should I do if one AirPod is significantly quieter than the other?

When one AirPod seems to be quieter than the other you need to adjust the sound balance. Balance the volume level for the left and right AirPods on your iPhone’s audio settings.

Go to your iPhone or iPad’s Settings, then proceed to the Accessibility and Audio/Visual menu. Once there, ensure the balance slider is at the center to achieve perfect balance. 

Is it better to use my AirPods at lower volume levels?

Using your AirPods at lower volume levels is useful when you’re having a conversation with someone. Not only is it less stressful to your ears but also it’s healthier for your AirPods, extending their lifespan in the process. 

However, if you want to immerse yourself fully in your music, then lower volume levels on your AirPods are not the way to go. AirPods’ maximum volume level is at 100 dB and you can command Siri to give you that. 


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