Why Are My Earbuds So Quiet? 9 “Possible” Reasons

There are multiple reasons why your earbuds may sound quiet. Check all the possible reasons that make your TWS earbuds underperform.

Are you wondering, “Why are my Earbuds so Quiet?” If yes, you’ve landed on the right page.

There are multiple reasons why your earbuds sound quieter. In this article, we’ll try to debunk all of them.

More commonly, one earbud might sound quieter than the other, and I’ll address that, too.

Why Are My Earbuds So Quiet?

These are the top 9 reasons why your earbuds might sound quiet:

  1. Accumulation of dirt and earwax
  2. Low audio output through earbuds or device
  3. Wrong equalizer settings
  4. Using incorrect silicone ear tips
  5. Wireless connectivity issues
  6. Low battery life
  7. Poor audio file quality
  8. Faulty audio settings/drivers
  9. Damaged earbuds

Now that you have the gist let’s jump into detail and help you learn more about the issues you might be facing.

9 Reasons Why Your Earbuds Sound Quiet

1. Accumulation of Dirt & Earwax

Our ears produce earwax to prevent dirt, insects, and microbes from entering our ear canal.

Similarly, while using earbuds, our body considers them as intruding objects and amplifies earwax production.

If not cleaned regularly, a buildup of sweat, earwax, and dirt happens inside your earbuds.

earwax and dirt accumulation can make earbuds sound quiet

This buildup slowly dampens and blocks the earbuds’ mesh covering. It can cause earbuds to sound quieter compared to first-time use.

Here’s a quick 5-step guide to remove earwax and dirt from your earbuds:

  1. Keep a soft toothbrush, 2x Q-tips, a small glass of water, and rubbing alcohol handy.
  2. Remove the silicone ear tips and clean the earbuds with a dry microfiber cloth to remove dry dirt.
  3. Slightly moisten the toothbrush with water and clean the earbuds. Ensure the toothbrush isn’t dripping water, or it’ll damage the earbuds’ internals.
  4. Once the earbuds are dry, dip the Q-tips into the rubbing alcohol solution and clean them once again to remove hard dirt inside and outside the earbuds.
  5. Use the same process to clean the silicone ear tips, too. Please ensure the earbuds and silicone tips are completely dry before using them.

In most cases, one earbud accumulates more dust and dirt than the other, making it sound quieter.

You can use the above process to clean both earbuds and make them sound brand new.

2. Low Audio Output (Through Earbuds or Device)

When I bought my JLab Go Air Pop wireless earbuds, it felt quieter than my daily driver, the Oneplus Nord Buds.

While using the same smartphone, the JLab Go Air Pop sounded quieter at 50% volume than the Oneplus Nord Buds. Thus, I use the Air Pop at 70-80% to match the volume.

Earbuds volume range also plays a crucial role

Similarly, if you’ve bought a new earbuds and compare it with your current earbuds, it might sound quieter (or louder).

More importantly, cheaper earbuds sound quieter than premium ones because of inferior materials and smaller drivers.

3. Wrong Equalizer Settings

Have you tried using your earbuds on different devices?

You’ll notice that they don’t sound the same way as on your primary device.

The most common reason for this issue is wrong equalizer settings.

smartphone equalizer settings can make earbuds sound quiet

Poor equalizer settings can make your premium earbuds sound cheap and awkward.

To tackle this, navigate to your smartphone’s or computer’s equalizer settings and tune it correctly.

choose the correct equalizer settings

In most cases, the equalizer will have presets like Normal, Music, Movie, Gaming, Jazz, etc. Select one preset or manually move the equalizer sliders to suit your audio requirements.

4. Incorrect Silicone Eartips

There’s a reason why earbuds come with multiple ear tips inside the box. It’s because the silicone ear tips significantly affect how your earbuds sound.

Picking the wrong size silicone ear tips makes the music sound tinny with poor audio output.

The silicone ear tip size you choose must fit your ear canal and provide an excellent seal to get the best sound output. Doing this results in the earbuds sounding exactly like the manufacturer intended.

silicone eartips of different sizes

More commonly, the medium-sized silicone ear tips fit most people. However, it’s advisable to try all the ear tips provided within the package and check which fits your ears correctly.

More importantly, due to the ergonomic design of wireless earbuds, you must also check the left and right earbuds before wearing them. Otherwise, it’ll fit poorly and make your earbuds feel quiet.

5. Wireless Connectivity Issues

I can’t use wireless earbuds with my Acer laptop while connected to the home Wi-Fi. It’s because the interference causes my earbuds to drop signal and sound poorly.

But it’s different with modern laptops because they seamlessly manage Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections without interference.

Similarly, having multiple wireless devices in your home may cause interference.

It happens because most wireless devices with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth use the 2.4GHz frequency range to operate.

Smartphones have tackled this issue much earlier compared to laptops and computers. Thus, if you’re using an old PC or laptop, wireless interference may make your earbuds sound quiet.

6. Low Battery Life

To improve battery life, many earbuds reduce the volume automatically to offer you a longer battery.

It’s the same principle used in electric cars, which reduces the car’s performance to make the battery last longer.

Thus, you must check your earbuds’ instructional manual to see if it has a battery-saving feature.

The battery-saving feature is commonly seen in premium earbuds. Premium earbuds also have a supporting app to manage various features and functions.

The app might also have the option to disable this feature entirely.

7. Poor Audio File Quality

This point is specifically for you if you regularly listen to music downloaded from the internet.

It’s possible the downloaded music may be of low quality.

Suppose you play these low-quality audio files through premium earbuds. In that case, the sound output will be terrible and result in low volume.

8. Fancy Audio Settings

My Motorola smartphone comes with Dolby Atmos settings. If I disable it, the music on my earbuds sounds quieter.

Motorola smartphone Smart Dolby Atmos Audio Settings

To listen to music or audio at my regular volume level, I have to enable the Dolby Atmos feature.

Similarly, your smartphone or laptop may have a similar feature, which can affect the device’s sound quality and output.

You can find these settings within the ‘Sound’ option in the Settings app. Otherwise, if the earbuds have a dedicated smartphone app, you can check for audio enhancement settings within the app.

9. Damaged Earbuds

While modern wireless earbuds have become more robust, they’re still prone to damage with daily wear and tear.

I’m clumsy and drop my earbuds regularly. If the same happens to you, it could be why your earbuds sound quiet.

Before discarding them, it’s always a wise idea to try the earbuds with different devices and check if they sound low with all of them.


I hope this article helped you know why your earbuds are quiet and troubleshoot the issues.

If the problem persists, it’s possible the earbuds must be towards the end of its life cycle, and it’s time to get a new one.

Have any questions, please don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments section below.

Yash Lizz
Yash Lizz
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