How to Make Headphones Louder

Have your headphones recently become quieter? This can happen with any model, from a cheap pair of earbuds to the best headphones for music production available. However, there’s no single reason for them to play quietly. In order to find out how to make your headphones louder, you’ll need to perform the troubleshooting first. Check the following steps to resolve the potential issue:

Clean the Headphones From Dust or Debris

The first thing to check if your headphones begin to play quieter upon a time is their physical condition. Sometimes, you might find out that your headphones miss some parts or are worn out. But most often, it’s worth checking whether they are clean. Any object accumulates dust and small debris, and this can affect the way your headphones sound. 

Depending on the type of your headphones, you’ll need to take different steps to clean them.

For over-ear headphones:

  1. Disconnect headphones from the audio source (unplug the cable or turn off Bluetooth) and turn them off or disconnect. 
  2. Check if the ear cushions of the headphones are removable. If so, carefully detach them from the headphones band. If the cushions are non-removable, proceed to Step 4.   
  3. Hold one cushion in your palm and slap it mildly against another palm to beat the dust out of it. Repeat with another cushion. 
  4. Take a clean toothbrush with soft bristles and gently rub the speaker surface. Check that there is no debris in the speaker holes. 
  5. Soak the cotton swab in clean water or peroxide and rub the swab against the cushions and the speaker surface. 
  6. Wipe all parts of the headphones with a paper or a microfiber towel.

For earbuds, perform steps 1, 4–6 of the above guide.

Adjust the Volume Settings of Device

Another solution to the problem “how to make your headphones louder” is increasing the volume on your device. The majority of devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops, computers, MP3 players, and so on) provide the versatile sound settings panel. The settings might differ depending on the device’s OS.

The most obvious way is to use Volume control buttons on your device (or relevant keys on the computer keyboard). While listening to music, turn up the volume and see if that helps. If not, open the Settings menu and adjust the volume limit.

For Android devices:

  1. Open the Settings (tap on the Gear icon). Tap on the Sound submenu. 
  2. Tap on the Media settings option. 
  3. Pull the volume slider to the right and see if it makes the output of your headphone louder.

For Apple device:

  1. Open the Settings menu. 
  2. Tap on the Music submenu. 
  3.  Under the Playback section, locate the Volume Limit option. 
  4. Pull the slider to the right and see if the volume in your headphones has increased.

For Windows devices:

Quick solution: 

  1. Click on the Speaker icon on the notification bar at the bottom. 
  2. Pull the slider up and see if the sound has got louder. 

Solution with more customization options:

  1. Click on the Menu icon on the bottom left corner of the desktop. 
  2. Select Settings submenu. Then click on System options. 
  3. Click on Sound and scroll down the screen. 
  4. Select the Device and apps settings. 
  5. Tap on and drag the slider next to your headphones name and the one next to the app you’re currently using. Pull the slider to the right and listen to the sound. It should become louder. 

Adjust the Headphones Volume Settings

If you still ask yourself, “Why are my AirPods so quiet”, try to adjust the settings. Depending on your headphones model, you might be able to control the volume via buttons, toggles, or even perform the EQ. In general, there are two ways to do that.

EQ settings

For Android devices:

  1. Open the Settings menu (tap on the Gear icon). Tap on the Sound submenu. 
  2. Tap on the Sound effects submenu. 
  3. Scroll down and select the type of your headphones on the list. 
  4. Scroll up and hit the EQ option. 
  5. Pull the sliders at all or selected frequencies up and see if the headphones sound has grown louder.

For Apple devices:

  1. Open the Settings menu. Tap on the Music submenu. 
  2. Tap on the EQ tab and locate the Late Night option on the list. Hit on it and check if your headphones have become louder.

Disable volume limitations

For Android devices:

  1. Open the Settings menu (tap on the Gear icon). Tap on the Sound submenu. 
  2. Tap on the Sound effects submenu, and then on the Volume option. 
  3. Hit three dots in the upper right corner and select the Volume limiter option. 
  4. Tap on the button next to the Volume Limiter to turn it On. 
  5. Pull the Custom volume limit slider beneath to the right to reach the maximum volume.

For Apple devices: 

  1. Open the Settings menu. Tap on the Music submenu. 
  2. Find the Playback category and tap on the Volume limit option beneath it. 
  3. Set the Volume limit to On by tapping on the button next to it. 
  4. Pull the slider to the right to increase the volume limit.

Use a Headphone Amplifier

If you still aren’t satisfied with the volume level of your headphones, it’s time to try the amplifier. This small device significantly boosts the output and ensures clearer and more detailed sound. However, not all headphone models will benefit from adding an amp. For the majority of low-impedance models (e.g. below 50 Ohms), adding an amp won’t make much difference. However, if you’ve got high-impedance over-ear headphones, your sound will most likely considerably improve in quality and volume once an amp is connected.

How to connect an amplifier to headphones:

  1. Plug in the headphones connector into the 3.5mm jack on the amp. 
  2. Use the appropriate cable to connect the amp to your audio source (USB, AUX, etc.)

Install a Volume Increasing App

If you’ve tried all of the above and still think your AirPods volume is too low, consider downloading a sound-boosting app. The software usually adds EQ options that you can manage and lets you increase the volume in your headphones. Installing such software, however, may cause your device’s ear-protecting limits to be removed.

The following apps are available for Android devices:

  • Equalizer
  • MX Player
  • VLC for Android
  • Precise Volume

For Apple devices:

  • AutoVolume ~ Automatic Volume Control
  • Equalizer+
  • KaiserTone Audio Player
  • PlayerXtreme Media Player

Conclusion

If the output of your headphones becomes weaker over time or you just feel like boosting it a bit, you have multiple options to do so. You can tweak the volume settings on your headphones and the source device, change the EQ levels and increase or disable volume limitations. You can install software for increasing the sound output from your device. A good option for high-impedance headphones is installing the amp. Remember to clean your headphones regularly as well, as dust and ear wax might clutter the speaker hole and muffle the sound. 

You can apply a single method or some of them,  or try them all to figure out the problem with your headphones’ output and resolve it. Remember to be careful when canceling the volume limiters. 

Spot the problem with your headphones, and find the solution to make them rock!