We’ve all been there: You’re walking through a busy place and want to tune everything out and enjoy some music or a podcast. But when you pop your AirPods in, you find that the volume just isn’t loud enough to hear everything. From the obvious (turning up the volume) to the not-so-obvious, I’ll help you troubleshoot.
How to make your AirPods louder
Of course, the easiest way to make your AirPods louder is to ensure that the volume is turned up. You can do this a number of ways, including using the volume rockers on the side of the phone. You can also use the volume slider directly in the app. Many apps have volume sliders, though finding them might not always be easy.
If your hands are occupied, you can tell Siri to increase the volume. AirPods Pro and AirPods 3 are always listening for your voice. If you don’t want to use voice, you can also customize the sensors on these two types of AirPods to do different things, like increasing the volume when you double-tap or long-press.
If you’re rocking AirPods 2, then you can say “Hey Siri” while wearing the earbuds or go into the settings and change Activate Siri to double-tap. Then, once Siri is activated, simply tell her to increase the volume. AirPods 1 users will need to double-tap on the AirPods to activate Siri before asking her to turn the volume up. Unfortunately, there isn’t any way to customize the sensors that are on the AirPods 2, so you’ll have to accept the double-tap for Siri or change the volume in your phone.
If you have the AirPods Pro 2nd Gen, you can also use the Touch controls to increase the volume. Simply place your thumb on the stem of either of your AirPods and then swipe your finger up or down on the touch bar to change the volume levels. This only works on the 2nd Gen AirPods Pro, though, so other AirPods users will need to follow the steps listed above.
What if the volume is all the way up?
If the volume is already maxed out and you still aren’t getting enough noise level, then you can always look for other ways to increase the volume on your AirPods. If you’re running a set of AirPods Pro, then you can make use of the built-in active noise cancellation (ANC) to increase the volume by blocking out background noise. This can actually make it a lot easier to hear things without having to run the volume at max levels, allowing you to focus your hearing on the music or audio that you’re listening to.
If you’re out in public, it’s advised that you turn on transparency mode, though, which lets in some sound to help keep you aware of your surroundings.
Check these system settings
Another thing to check is whether your iPhone is running in Low Power mode. One of the things the iPhone does to decrease power usage is turn the volume down drastically. You’ll want to turn it off to ensure it isn’t interfering with your audio levels. To do this, open Settings > Battery and then check that Low Power mode isn’t ticked on.
Customizing the way your audio sounds with EQ settings is a great way to find the perfect sound. But some EQ settings actually lower the volume of the music and audio that you’re listening to. As such, you may want to try messing around with your EQ settings (if you have any set) and see if that makes a difference with how loud your AirPods are. How you change this will vary based on the application you use. To change it in Apple Music, go to Settings > Music and then scroll down to the Audio section and play around with the options there.
Spotify users will want to open the Spotify app, tap their profile icon, and then navigate to Settings and Privacy > Playback > Equalizer and then play around with the settings here until you find something that works. Alternatively, if you already have an EQ active, just disable it completely to ensure it isn’t messing with your audio volume.
Another system setting you should check for is the “Volume Limit” setting, which Apple incorporates into the iPhone as a safety measure. This caps the volume that you can set at certain levels, and it is automatically enabled in some regions due to strict laws regarding safety. If it’s on, you can turn it off, and it will allow you to crank your AirPods to higher volumes without issue.
You may also want to check the balance levels of your AirPods, especially if you notice that one is louder than the other. This can be found under Accessibility, then Audio/Visual. Make sure the balance slider is directly in the middle (or move it to the left or right as needed based on your hearing). This will let you choose which AirPod is louder or ensure that both are running at the same levels.
Clean your AirPods
It might seem like common knowledge, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t think about cleaning their AirPods. I get it, life is busy, and sometimes the little things slip your mind. Even if your AirPods look clean, try giving them a nice cleaning to ensure that there isn’t any stuck-on grime or earwax impeding the sound. You can easily remove the ear tips on the AirPods Pro to clean them, and a little alcohol on a Q-tip will get the job done very easily. Just don’t use too much, and never submerge your AirPods in any kind of liquid.
Try re-pairing them
If all else fails, you can also try repairing your AirPods to your iPhone or smart device. This can be done by heading into Bluetooth and then selecting the AirPods and choosing Forget Device. Once unpaired, you’ll need to reconnect your AirPods to use them again, but that can be done easily by opening the case and pressing down the sync button until the little light starts flashing.
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