Why Do My AirPods Sound Muffled? (6 Fixes) 2023

AirPods have revolutionized the earphone industry with their powerful features like impeccable sound quality, handy size and seamless wireless connectivity. But as much of a fantastic listening experience they offer us, sometimes there is a glitch in the system that leads to muffled sounds – leaving you feeling less than satisfied. 

Why do my AirPods Sound Muffled (6 Fixes)

Don’t worry, though, because we’ve got your back! In this article, we will uncover what causes those distorted noises coming from your Airpods- so stay tuned for all the dirt on how to get crystal-clear audio again!


Table of Contents

Why Do Your Airpods Sound Muffled?


Reason#1) Buildup of Dirt

AirPods sound muffled for two significant reasons. The first reason is the buildup of gunk in one or both speakers. Since the AirPod sits right in the ear canal, ear wax can accumulate over time and muffle out the noise. The easiest fix is cleaning out the speaker of the AirPods with alcohol on a Q tip to remove the debris. 


Reason#2) Sound Settings

Another reason your AirPods may sound muffled could be because of their sound settings. In simple terms, the Airpod becomes ‘confused’ regarding whether it should behave as a microphone or a speaker, causing a glitch in the audio. If this isn’t the case, you may need to simply update your Bluetooth connection.


How To Fix Muffled Sounds in AirPods

Luckily for you, muffled sounds are easily fixable. You can follow any of the methods listed below and see what works for you.


Method#1) Clean your AirPods

Debris in your AirPod covers the speaker, preventing you from listening to the sound at a high quality. You can use a swab, a Q tip, a microfibre cloth, or an AirPods cleaning kit to remove the gunk from your speaker. You can follow these steps to ensure that all the dirt is effectively removed.

  1. Dip one end of a cotton swab into rubbing alcohol. 
  2. Take off the silicone ear tips from the AirPods Pro. 
  3. Rinse the tips with water. 
  4. Remove earwax and debris via rubbing alcohol. 
  5. To remove the dirt from the speaker grills, use a toothpick and carefully pick it from the speaker. 
  6. Now apply rubbing alcohol to a microfibre cloth. Use it to clean your AirPod.
  7. Let the AirPods dry before you put them back in the case.

Your AirPods will now be as good as new. However, if this fix doesn’t work, consider following a different method below.


Method#2) Reset the AirPods

If the muffled sound persists after cleaning the AirPods, we suggest you reset them. The problem usually occurs when there is an issue with Bluetooth connectivity. Resetting the AirPods refreshes the connection and resolves the issue of the distorted sound.

  1. Put your AirPods into their charging case. 
  2. Close the lid and wait 30 seconds.
  3. Now open the lid.
  4. Go to Settings on your iPhone.
  5. Open Bluetooth. 
  6. Navigate to your AirPod’s name and click the ‘i’ next to it for information. 
  7. Choose Forget This Device.
  8. Click on confirm.
  9. Now press and hold the start button on the back of your AirPods case until the amber light appears. Wait at least 15 seconds. 
  10. Place your AirPods close to your Apple device and see if the connection is made. 

Once connected, play music to listen to the sound quality, and you’ll notice that the muffled sound has disappeared. However, if it continues to play distorted sounds, move on to the next step.


Method#3) Switch Off Dolby Atmos on Apple Music

If you use Apple Music for songs, you may know that it plays music in Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos.

Not all Apple Devices support Dolby Atmos. It may cause the sound to be muffled on first or Second generation AirPods. This can be done by following the steps below.

  1. Navigate to Settings. 
  2. Click on Music.
  3. Under Audio, select Dolby Atmos.
  4. Turn it off if it is on.

The issue will likely be solved if you correctly perform the abovementioned steps. 


Method#4) Updating iOS

Bugs in iOS affect sound performance in AirPods. This reason is improbable, but it is a plausible reason why your AirPods sound muffled. Ensure that your Apple device is updated to the latest version. You can quickly do this in a few steps.

  1. Open Settings on your Apple Device.
  2. Navigate to General. Click on Software Update. 
  3. If there is an update available, it will show on the screen. You can also choose to Check For Updates to check manually. 
  4. Update your Apple Device to the latest version. 


Method#5) Calibrate Your AirPods with Your iPhone

Both Apple Devices perceive total volume very differently, so you may need to calibrate your AirPods with your iPhone. The sound can become muffled if your AirPods are not using all of the available volumes. The instructions below can help you out in this regard.

  1. Put your AirPods in your ears and play audio. 
  2. Turn down the volume until you stop hearing sounds. 
  3. Disable Bluetooth by swiping down the menu from the top left corner. 
  4. While keeping the AirPods in your ear, start playing music from the speaker of the iPhone.
  5. Turn the volume all the way down again. 
  6. Re-enable Bluetooth and connect your AirPods to your iPhone. You can do this from the Control Center or manually by going to Settings and toggling the Bluetooth option on again.
  7. Adjust the volume and resume playing the music again. 

Your AirPods will now be recalibrated, and any distorted noise will disappear. 


Method#6) Contacting Apple Support

If you’ve performed every method and the issue still does not resolve, there might be an issue with the hardware. We don’t recommend trying and fixing hardware problems on your own. Instead, contact Apple Support from your iPhone. If the need to fix the problem is more pressing, you can take them to your nearest Apple Store.

The problem can be with your speakers or any inner components inside your AirPods. This requires a level of detail and precision that one cannot perform at his own disposal, so it’s best to seek out help professionally. 


How to fix Airpods Sounding Muffled While Connected to Mac

Bluetooth on Macbooks is incredibly finicky. If you have any other USB devices plugged into your Mac, they can cause interference in the audio. If the problem isn’t related to something other than the AirPods, your Macbook might be the culprit. 

It might be that the Macbook volume is too low or it could be your bluetooth settings.

However, you can easily fix Bluetooth capability on Macs. You can apply several methods to ensure that your AirPods do not produce a muffled sound when playing audio or music. 


Method#1) Turn the Bluetooth Off and then On Again

Restarting Bluetooth on your device is often the easiest fix to repair a damaged connection. After that, your AirPods will hopefully not encounter any more issues. 


Method#2) Remove All USB Devices

Plugged-in USB devices often cause Bluetooth to be unresponsive. The issues will be corrected if you remove them from your Mac’s ports. 


Method#3) Remove Files That May Be Corrupted

System errors can cause data to be corrupted. This results in Bluetooth issues, causing muffled or distorted noises in your AirPods. To remedy this, delete all of the corrupted files from the macOS and let the macOS create new files in place of the corrupted ones. 


Method#4) Reset the Bluetooth Module

This is the last resort for fixing the problem. It reconfigures all the Bluetooth connections that your AirPods have, not just the Mac. You can do so by clicking on the Bluetooth icon in your menu and selecting the reset option. Only use this method if all other methods fail, and the issue persists in causing distorted sounds. 



Losing sound quality in your AirPods can be a bummer, the good news is that we have all of the solutions right here with our comprehensive guide. It’s incredibly simple to follow and you’ll soon be back on track getting great audio!