How to Make AirPods Louder

Get the maximum possible sound from your headphones

Apple AirPods are designed to work effortlessly, which is why they even pair automatically with your iPhone or iPad just by opening the case. But it's not uncommon to encounter a problem with their volume; namely, you might not be able to make them loud enough to suit you. There are several reasons why your AirPods might not be generating enough volume. Read on to learn how to make your AirPods louder.

Why Your AirPods Are Not Loud Enough

Woman listening to AirPods while looking at iPhone.

There's no single solution to a volume problem with AirPods. There are a number of possible reasons why your AirPods might be too quiet, and it can be frustrating because, unlike most earbuds, there is no volume control, so it can seem like your hands are tied. In reality, there are a number of possible problems. The speakers on your earbuds might be dirty, for example, which impedes the sound, or there are several different audio settings on your iPhone that might be misconfigured.

How to Turn up the Volume on AirPods

With one exception, every troubleshooting step in the quest to fix the sound on your AirPods is fast and simple. You can try each one and very quickly test to see if it resolved your audio issues. Try each one and, if it doesn’t solve your problem, move on to the next potential solution.

  1. Try turning up the volume on your iPhone. This might seem obvious, but there’s no volume control on the AirPods, so you need to rely on your iPhone's volume control to set the sound level. This is a good place to start, because you might have overlooked the volume on your phone if the sound is too low.

  2. Turn off Low Power mode. If your iPhone is in Low Power mode, it can affect some non-critical systems, which can cause audio to play at a lower volume than usual. Turn off Low Power mode and try to use your AirPods with your iPhone in standard power mode.

  3. Make sure your AirPods are charged. If your AirPods have a very low charge, they can misbehave. Top them off by charging them for one or two hours, then test the audio again.

  4. Turn off any equalizer (EQ) settings. Most of the EQ settings tend to make audio played through the AirPods sound quieter. Surprisingly, even the ones with "Booster” in the name sound noticeably quieter. For that reason, it’s best to turn the EQ off.

  5. Turn off the Volume Limit. For your hearing protection, the iPhone has an optional Volume Limit control, which caps the maximum volume of the phone somewhat lower than its true maximum output. If your AirPods aren't loud enough, you should turn off the Volume Limit to help you get back your missing volume.

  6. Calibrate the sound between the iPhone and AirPods. It’s possible your phone and AirPods have two very different understandings of what the minimum and maximum volume should be.

    1. While playing music through your AirPods, turn the iPhone's volume all the way down.
    2. Disable Bluetooth, start playing music so it comes out of the iPhone's speaker, and again turn the iPhone's volume all the way down.
    3. Enable Bluetooth and reconnect the AirPods, then adjust the volume to see if that solved your audio problem.

    This doesn't happen often, but recalibrating the audio levels just takes a minute or two, so you should try it anyway.

  7. Make sure both earbuds are set to the same volume, as you may have configured the iPhone’s Accessibility setting to play the two ears at different levels. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility, then, in the Hearing section, make sure the slider is balanced, with the button in the middle between the L and the R.

  8. Clean your AirPods. If none of the audio settings have fixed the sound problem, your earbuds may need a good cleaning. Since the AirPods spend a lot of time in your ears, the speaker grille tends to get covered in earwax. If you can see buildup, carefully cleaning them can make a noticeable difference.

  9. Re-pair your AirPods with your phone. Go to Settings > Bluetooth, tap the circled i to the right of the AirPod name, then tap Forget This Device. Then set up and pair you AirPods With Your iPhone or iPad again.