Headphones Sound Muffled – How to Fix

Muffled and distorted sounds are particularly troublesome during long listening sessions or workplace meetings. With the increase in use of telecommunications, it is important that audio equipment performs to the best of its ability. However, what happens when your trusted headphone sounds muffled? What should you do? Here are some common causes of these audio disturbances and ways to address them.

Damaged Wires

If the wires connecting your headphones to your device are damaged, you will likely experience this issue. It is prevalent if there has been a lot of wear and tear on these cables or they have gotten caught in something and bent at odd angles several times over; those headphone cords can be pretty fragile.

You can notice damaged wires through internal damage or frayed wires. These two types of damages will result in a change in the way the headphones work.

Repairing Damaged Cables, Sheath & Jackets | Cable Repair | LV MV HV
From Powerandcables

Solution

  • Clean the wires using alcohol or isopropyl to remove oils and dirt that may be causing the issue. Use cotton that’s damp to clean the area and let it dry.
  • Once your wires are clean, use glue such as Sugru Moldable glue. Roll it in your fingers for it to be soft, then wrap it around the cables with your fingers. It will be in place within 30 minutes. You can adjust it to your desired state once in place.
  • Once set, place it in a room and leave it to set permanently for at least 24hours.

Takeaway

You can then use your headphone as usual. This method should be able to return the life of your headphone after you have used them for too long. If the fix doesn’t work, the wires are either faulty or damaged beyond repair, and you will need to replace them entirely.

Overpowered and Blown Speakers

The speakers in your headphones can also suffer from damage due to overuse or overheating. They have a voice coil that can get damaged if they become too hot and blown by constant power.

That is especially common if you’re using the same pair of headphones for too long, listening to extremely high volume levels with no breaks in between. If this occurs, you are likely to experience muffled sound through these devices.

headphones muffled
From Audiomate

Solution

  • Disconnect the wires or batteries from your headphones and remove the ear pad on one side of the headphones.
  • Detach the screws that are supporting the speakers and the broken speakers
  • Remove the wires from the broken speakers using a soldering iron
  • Use the soldering iron to install new speakers and reattach the correct wires
  • You should repeat these procedures for the other speaker then test to ensure they are working correctly.

Takeaway

If the speakers are working fine, you can put your ear pad back into place, attach the screws and secure them tightly. If they were not working well after following these steps, you should check whether you have done something wrong or if the speakers are faulty so that you can replace them if necessary.

Wireless or Wired Connection Challenges

The connection between your headphones and the device you’re using can also be a culprit. A wireless audio signal is just high-frequency sound waves being transmitted from one source to another.

Thus, there’s no physical link between them, which means that issues with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi signals can also lead to muffled sound. It could even occur if the headphone cable gets loose on either end of the plug. A loose connection can lead to muffled sound as well.

For wired headphones, the problem may not be with the connection itself but instead that they’re plugged into an aux input on your device (which is generally weaker than a headphone jack). Playing music through this input can cause clipping and overall poor-quality playback, even if everything else is working fine.

The Best Wireless Headphones for 2021 | PCMag
From Jabra

Solution

If the muffled sound results from code incompatibility, you won’t be able to fix it. However, you can try to reset your headphones and see if the issue will be resolved. To reset them, you need to press down the power button until your headphone’s light indicator flashes. Different brands have different steps to restart; ensure you check your manual to restart your headphone.

Takeaway

If the reset doesn’t work, there are two possible reasons. One is that your headphone is faulty. The second reason is that you have paired it with the wrong device. All you need to do is try connecting it with other devices to see if the issue will fix.

Accumulated Dirt and Dust

Even if you look after your headphones well, dirt and dust can build up inside the ear cups or speaker housing over time. It is common in environments with high humidity levels-for example, someone who lives by the ocean may get this issue more often than others.

If too much grime accumulates on either end of a headphone connection, it will cause a muffled sound. Using a cotton bud, you can remove the dirt accumulated in the headphones speaker and connection point by rubbing gently around the compartment.

Additionally, you can use compressed air to remove the dirt accumulated inside the ear cups of your headphones, but please be sure not to damage any internal components. If you have a pair of over-ear headphones, lightly dampen the cloth with water before using it on them.

Four Easy Tips to Clean Your Headphone Jack
From Portplugs

Solution for Dirty Audio Port and Headphones

  • Unfold the paper clip for it to be straight.
  • Take the sticky tape and wrap it at the end of the paperclip you have straightened. Ensure the tape is tight for it not to come off.
  • Carefully insert the paperclip in the jack and remove the dirt.

Solution for Moisture Damage

  • Gently dip a cotton pad into 91% isopropyl and rub it into the parts in contact with water to get rid of foreign objects.
  • Take an airtight container with silica gel and keep the headphones in it for 12 hours for them to dry.
  • When dry, remove them from the container and do an audio test.

Takeaway

While some headphones come with a detachable cable, others are fixed. For the latter set, you can use a cotton swab to wipe away the dirt accumulated in the audio port connection of your device and headphone itself.

Audio Source Issues

If your audio source isn’t high quality or damaged, this will affect the sound transmitted to your headphones, which means you’ll experience muffled sound.

For example, if you’re using low-bit rate MP3 files on both devices (or transferring them over Bluetooth), they won’t be able to output all of the file data, and it can result in a loss of clarity. So even though the headphone connection itself may work perfectly well, what comes out of it still sounds terrible.

Takeaway

Ensure that you’re using a good quality audio source and compatible with your headphone to avoid such issues.

How to Fix Muffled Headphone Sound When You Have Connected to Windows Pc?

If you face a muffled sound issue while playing music or video on your windows pc, please follow the below steps.

Review the Computers Audio Enhancement Settings

Check the ‘Enhancements‘ settings on your computer’s audio control panel. Select the ‘Default Format’ and disable any DSP sound effects, such as echo cancellation or virtual surround virtualization. The default is a vital feature; however, the sound enhancements can interfere with the various characters of your computer audio, hence harming your device.

Here is the procedure to disable unwanted audio enhancements:

1. Choose the Open Sound Settings in your taskbar by right-clicking the speaker

2. Select Device properties

3. Select the Enhancement Tab and disable the sound effects

4. Confirm whether the Audio Driver Has an Issue

You may miss out on necessary bug fixes and compatibility patches when the audio drivers on your computer expire. Thus you should update your window to ensure everything is up to date. Here is how you can update your windows:

5. Click on the Start button, then select settings

6. Select Updates and Security

7. Choose Check for Updates, and the windows will run and show the pending updates and show you the things you need to download and install on your PC

Set Audio to 24-bit Format

Check the Audio Drivers Compatibility and ensure that they support 24 bit depth. You can check this on your driver’s maker or manufacturer’s website and others for specific intel about compatibility. To change these settings, you need to:

1. Right-click the Taskbar icon, then click on Open Sound settings

2. Select Device properties

3. Select Additional Device properties

4. Click the Advanced tab and ensure the drop-down menu reads 24bit

Run the Troubleshooter

If you still find no luck, you can run the Windows Troubleshooter for audio to identify and remove any problems with your sound.

To do so:

1. Click the Start icon, then settings

2. Select Updates and Security

3. Select Troubleshooting in the windows update window

4. Select “View all” on the left pane to open up more troubleshooting options, then select “Windows Audio.”

5. The program will automatically scan your computer’s audio configuration and identify any issues it finds.

6. On the screen that follows, click ‘Playing Audio‘ and run the troubleshooter, then follow the prompts

How to Fix Muffled Bluetooth Headphones Sound When Connected to Mac?

If you are linking your Bluetooth headphone, then you can comfortably follow the following settings to get rid of Bluetooth sound issues:

Ensure it is Connected Correctly

The Bluetooth headphones need to be connected well to your Mac for you to experience superb sound. To do this:

1. Ensure the headphones are in Bluetooth pairing mode

Some headphones have a dedicated Bluetooth pairing button, whereas others do not have. For this, you need to check your headphones manual to see how you can pair them.

If there isn’t a pairing button, check for a tiny hole on the headphone and use a needle or paper clip to put into this hole, and hold it down until you see the blue light flashing.

The blue light indicates that the headphone is now in pairing mode. At this point, find your Mac Bluetooth discoverable mode and select it to connect to your device.

2. Click on the Apple menu on your Mac and select system preferences

3. Click on Bluetooth preferences and select your device from the list of devices that appears

4. Once you see your headphone displayed, select them, then click pair. A code will appear on the screen-enter this code to confirm pairing. If it’s successful, you can now enjoy great sound without technical issues.

Check and Prevent Apps from Using Your Microphone

In some cases, Mac may use the AAC audio codec with the audio devices it is connected to. Thus the Bluetooth may use the SBC or SCO codecs that have low quality compared to AAC. That typically occurs when Mac assumes that the built-in mic in the headphone is being applied somewhere else. To check and change this:

1. Select the Apple menu and click “system preferences.”

2. Select security and privacy

3. Check the apps that are using the microphone and close them

Use Tooth Fairy

Tooth fairy refers to the app that allows you to switch between apple devices using your headphones. It also incorporates a feature that ensures your Mac uses the preferred AAC codec.

To use Tooth Fairy:

1. Open Tooth Fairy and click your audio device

2. Select Advanced

3. Enable the “improve sound quality by disabling audio input from the device.”

Benefits of Fixing the Muffled Sound on Your Headphone

Improved Audio Quality

The moment you listen to your music on a lower-quality sound system, it’s going to be less enjoyable. The same thing happens when you don’t fix the muffled sound on your headphone. Low-quality materials or an object placed between the headphones and speaker reduces the amount of bass that comes from your music, affecting how you hear them. Fixing this problem will help eliminate any cracks, pops, or crackles you might experience while listening to your favorite tunes.

Improved Music Experience

Fixing the muffled sound on your headphone produces a better music experience whether you’re listening through earbuds or studio headphones. No matter your brand, a better sound system with the muffled sound can enhance your music experience.

You Can Save Your Money

Fixing the muffled sound on your headphone typically doesn’t cost much, especially if you do it yourself at home. If it’s a quick fix such as opening up your headphones and cleaning out any gunk with rubbing alcohol, then you might only spend an hour or two of time.

If it’s a bigger problem, such as replacing the padding, it might cost you more. However, even if it takes a while and costs some money, you can save yourself from buying new headphones, which will turn out to be much more expensive than fixing them in the first place.

Save Your Ears

Something that should never change about your music is its volume level, so when you get rid of the muffled sound on your headphone, you also eliminate any risk of causing permanent damage to your ears. Listening to distorted music with a muffled sound isn’t healthy for any earphones or headphones. It could lead to tinnitus (ringing in the ears), which can eventually go away but not after being a nuisance for an extended period.

Less Noise When You Listen to Music or Watch Television

When you don’t fix the muffled sound on your headphone, this allows more ambient noise to come through, which can interfere with whatever you are listening to at that moment. That is why some people find it hard to listen to music while walking around a city because of all the traffic noises. Fixing this problem will allow you to hear what’s playing instead of having both the music and background noise canceling each other out.

Conclusion

If you’ve noticed that your headphones are muffled, don’t fret! You can take these procedures to fix the issue. We know that you want to be able to enjoy your music, movies, and video games with crystal clear sound. You may already have tried different headphone drivers or cables to get the best possible listening experience.

However, if these efforts haven’t helped solve this issue for you yet, we are ready to help. Our professionals are willing to guide you where you are stuck so that together we can achieve the solution for your muffled headphones. If any of these tips seem like they would work for you, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

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