7 Tips to Make Your Headphones Louder

Having trouble with the sound levels on your headphones? It may not be 100% their fault. Try these 7 tips to solve your volume level problem!

You have spent hours choosing them. They looked perfect online. Fitted all your criteria. The doorbell rings. You run to the door excitedly. The delivery man gives you a nod and smile as he hands over the package. With excitement reminiscent of a child’s Christmas morning, you run to the kitchen to get a pair of scissors. In a frenzy you cut the tape to reveal your new headphones. Device at the ready with your favourite playlist already loaded to go, you plug them in for the first time. As you place them on your head you know you have made the right choice. You hit Play and the world disappears to be replaced with clear unadulterated sound. Yessss. This is how it should be. A few months later you’re getting ready for work. As you always do, you fire up your playlist, plug yourself in and…wait. What?! Where’s the clear, crisp sound gone?! It has been replaced with muffled, tinny sounds.

This is a common problem and it is most likely something completely solvable. Follow these 7 tips to help your headphones reclaim their glory.

1. Cleaning Your Headphones

You should always start with this step first. Every time you use your headphones, they pick up some debris, wax and oil from your ears and surroundings. This build-up will lead to blockages of the mesh screens in your earphones causing muffled sound.

Cleaning your earphones is easy. All you need is a cotton swab, cleaning cloth or paper towel (possibly all 3) and either soapy water or hydrogen peroxide. The users manual for your headphones may also have some instructions so make sure to check these first.

If your earphones have ear tips, you want to remove these and soak them in warm soapy water. Then use a cotton bud to remove any wax and debris that may have accumulated. Use a soft cloth or paper towel with some hydrogen peroxide to wipe them and then leave them to dry.

If your earbuds don’t have a tip, you can skip the first step and head straight for this one. You want to clean the mesh on your earbuds. To do this you can use a cloth or toothbrush to dislodge any debris. Then get a damp cloth with hydrogen peroxide and wipe the mesh. You can then use a cotton bud or paper towel to dry them.

Leave everything to dry out for a little while and then reassemble your headphones. They should now be cleaner and ready to use with the exceptional sound you started out with! If you head over to our article Clean your Airpods  on how to clean you Airpods, you will find some additional tips on cleaning your earbuds there too.

If that’s not the case, then check out tip 2.

2. Removing Volume limits on your Device

If step 1 above has not solved the problem, then you may need to check your volume settings and remove any limits there be. The legal volume limit is different in certain countries. For example, in the U.S the volume limit on MP3 players and smartphones is set at 120 Db, while in Europe it’s set at 85 Db. By disabling the set volume limit, you can maximise your phone’s volume. To do this follow these steps:


Go to your Sound Settings.


Click on Sounds and Vibrations.


Scroll down to Volume and select.


Your screen will show all the volume sliders. You want to click on the additional settings button. On an iPhone, this is the 3 little dots in the top right corner of the screen. On Android, this will most likely be in a separate menu.


Deactivate the volume limiter by tapping the slider.

3. Using Volume Boosting Apps

Whether you have an Android or IOS device, there are volume boosting apps for both.

If you have an Android device, you can try Precise Volume, Volume Booster by GOODEV or Equalizer.

For an iPhone the best apps are Equalizer Fx: Bass Booster App, Bass Booster Volume Booster EQ, Volume Booster – Equalizer FX.

4. Adjust your EQ settings on your phone

If you have an iPhone, there are a bunch of EQ settings for you to play with to boost your volume. In loud environments, the Late-Night setting gives a significant boost to sound.

If you are using an Android device, then you need to head over to Advanced Sound Settings in the Sound menu. You should be able to adjust individual sound settings such as the treble or bass to get more precise levels of sound. You can also play with the decibel levels and see what gives you the loudest sound.

5. Use a Headphone Amp

Invest in a small portable amplifier for your headphones and your sound issues should be resolved. The main issue is that amplifiers will only work with over-ear, high quality headphones. So, if you are an earbud owner this solution is not for you. Before buying an amplifier check that it is compatible with your headphones.  

6. Connect to Bluetooth

If nothing else has worked then it’s time to try a Bluetooth speaker. Unfortunately, this solution won’t work if you are out and about. But if you want to crank up the volume and your headphones just aren’t cutting it, then get yourself a Bluetooth speaker. This solution is also a lot better for your ear health!

7. Getting yourself a Pair of New Louder Sounding Headphones

When all else has failed, it’s time to start the buying process again for a new set of headphones with better quality sound.

Blast It Out…

But remember anything above 85Db can cause damage to your ears if listened to for a prolonged period. Crank up your tunes but make sure to take frequent breaks and keep your ear health in mind. If you want more information on how loud sounds and music can damage your hearing, head over to our article “Is Bass Bad for Your Ears”.

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Paul Goral

I am the founder of North Creek Music and I have a master’s degree in Engineering Acoustics. Sound is my passion. I wanted to start this blog and share my passion with others.

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