Why Do My Headphones Sound Muffled?

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Everybody is on a kind of “hunt” when searching for headphones and other devices in general. We all know that nowadays there are different great headphones that do the job perfectly fine and bring to you a sound quality that has left many people astonished.

Anyways, there’s a big question that runs around people’s minds when it comes to sound or audio in general, and that’s the muffled sounds that sometimes occurs. By the word muffled, we get that there’s a blockage of the sound, and it is very important to know where the blockage comes from.

Why do headphones sound muffled? Are there any reasons that this happens? Are there any ways to fix this “issue”?

I will gladly say that you can find the answers to all of those questions that I mentioned above! By the way, for each reason that will be mentioned, you will find the solutions and the easiest ways how to fix it.

Without losing your time too much, let us get straight to the point on why your headphones sound muffled.

Why Do Headphones Sound Muffled? – Reasons

As you can notice, I wrote reasons in a plural form. Why is that so? Well, when it comes to muffled sound, there is not only one reason that it happens, instead, there are many reasons combined! What are those reasons? Let’s dive deeper!


The main reason and the one that causes more problems regarding muffled sound is the connectivity issue. You know that it happens a lot, and in my opinion for me personally, it is the most annoying thing that could happen to a modern device. I know that it bothers you too.

You know that there are two types of headphones regarding the connections: Wired and Wireless. I would like to mention in detail how the connectivity can cause muffled noises in both of them.

Wired Headphones – The wires know to bring some great sound quality, but another thing that they intend to bring is an annoyance when not connected properly! We all had those issues in which we tied our headphones around our phones mostly and the sound came piece by piece. Well, the muffled sound is caused by them too! The damage to the wires can be in two ways: internal damage and frayed wires.

Wireless Headphones – Since in wires we had direct damages, here we have some “flying damages”. Bluetooth headphones mostly use the same connectivity technology, and as you may already know, it is the famous Bluetooth. When two devices are connected or paired with one another they use Bluetooth codecs, hence they are referred to as Bluetooth headphones mostly.

Depending on what device you connected your headphones with, it is the codec that fully determines and shows how the connection works.

The muffled noise in wireless headphones comes when the codecs are not compatible with one another and because of the radioactive signal that this type of connection owns. 

The most commonly used codec is SBC (Sub Band Codec)

How To Fix It?
When using wired headphones, and the wires are not damaged in any way the next thing to check out is the port of the device that you are using your headphones with. For Bluetooth ones, the thing to consider is the codec. (It would be better if you check it before you buy them, though).


Whenever something is dirty, it doesn’t work properly, and that’s a basic fact, right? Well, in headphones this fact works as well since many different headphones become clogged with dirt, and there appears muffled noise because there is a total blockage, and the sound should pass through that layer of dirt.

When it comes to dirt in general, it is most commonly linked to in-ear headphones. Ear wax is the main reason that can make in-ear headphones bring you muffled noise. It makes the headphones lose the quality of sound.

It doesn’t mean that over-ear headphones cannot be filled with ear wax or any other dirt, though. They can get dirty as well.

It is worth knowing that the headphone jack is another thing that you should pay attention to and clean regularly since that is the main audio input in most audio devices. If you have wired headphones that’s it.

How To Fix It?
The best way of fixing dirt is to clean it! An important thing that should be mentioned here is that it would definitely be better if you clean your headphones (both in-ear and over-ear) with isopropyl alcohol.


Moist or water is the most obvious reason that causes any electronic device to get damaged easier. Now, here we all know that wired headphones don’t have a good relationship with water, right? The things that come to mind are wireless headphones.

There are different types of moistures that can cause damage, and some of them include: rain, spilled drink, swimming with them on, and not only. A moist that can make the headphones not function properly is the sweat and the humidity. It mostly occurs by running or working out, right?

It would be wise to replace the headphone speakers if they are overdone or have moisture damage.

Sadly, after severe damage has been done to the headphone speakers You must change the speaker in order to fully resolve the issue. Headphone speakers are an expensive accessory, so take caution when doing so.

How To Fix It?
Before coming at the situation of damaging the headphones with moisture, the best way to not come at this part is to choose headphones that own an IP rating. An IP rating of any kind would be the best thing to notice in any type of headphones.


If you notice that the headphones are okay and there’s not any kind of damage to them then the best thing to do would be to check the software. The last but not the least reason why headphones may sound muffled is the software that your device uses. Even though that is not related to the headphones, in particular, it is a complete device issue and it can muffle the sound in many ways.

How To Fix It?
The solution and the fixing part come slowly and easily! You should always check for updates on the software.

Besides software issues that can occur on an audio device in general not only Bluetooth headphones, there are also the internal parts of headphones being damaged.

Such as blown speakers, voice coil, audio drivers damaged, and so on. All those components being damaged will lead to things weird sounds, distorted sounds, etc.

Those that we just mentioned the voice coil, and blown speakers are key components of an audio device. and are the main reason behind the demise of headphones in general and not just muffling sounds.

So yes, if your audio device is starting to act strange with the noises, one of the following parts can be damaged.

Final Words / Conclusion

A muffled noise from headphones is the most annoying thing because whoever is listening to music tends to listen to it in the clearest and the crispest way possible. Well, I guess now you know why the sound comes muffled and which are the main reasons that it happens.

As you can notice, the fixing ways are very easy to be used in practice, and these easy things can help you improve the sound quality of any pair of headphones!

I hope that this article will give you a clearer idea regarding the main question “Why Do My Headphones Sound Muffled?

Have fun!

Further Reading

No worries if you are suffering from anxiety, read the article on how headphones help to reduce anxiety and how music helps you to calm down. 

Another misfortune occurs when dropping AirPods in the water. Good thing now we know how to save AirPods from water.

Listen, I’m offering great quality gaming headphonesmixing and mastering headphones, and invisible earbuds. You should definitely check them out.

Whether you’re looking for information on audio equipment, looking to learn more about how things work in the music field, or looking for reviews of products, we got you covered!



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