How to Fix AirPods That Sound Muffled

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Apple’s AirPods are among the most popular and high-end wireless earbuds on the market. Offering superior sound quality and long battery life, including active noise cancellation for the Pro version, they are not without their issues. One common issue reported by AirPod users is a muffled sound after prolonged use. However, there are simple solutions that can resolve this problem.

In this article, we will outline five solutions to fix AirPods that sound muffled:

  1. Clean your AirPods
  2. Check your Bluetooth connection
  3. Update your firmware
  4. Reset your AirPods
  5. Reset your iPhone

1. Clean Your AirPods

Over time, AirPods may accumulate dirt, debris, and earwax, affecting their performance. Below, we will outline the steps to clean your AirPods and ensure you get the best performance from your device. You’ll need cotton swabs, a soft-bristled brush, rubbing alcohol, a microfiber cloth, or an Airpods Cleaner Kit.

Steps to Clean Your AirPods:

  1. Turn off your AirPods: Before cleaning your AirPods, ensure that they are turned off to avoid any damage or malfunctions. Place them in their case and close the lid.
  2. Clean the outside of your AirPods: Use a soft, dry cloth to gently clean the outside of your AirPods. Avoid using materials that may scratch the surface or damage the mesh covers.
  3. Clean the inside of your AirPods: Use a dry cotton swab or soft-bristled brush to clean the inside of your AirPods. Be gentle and avoid pushing any debris further into the earbud.
  4. Clean the charging case: Use a soft, dry cloth to gently clean the charging case. Avoid using liquids that may damage the charging contacts.
  5. Clean the charging contacts: If the charging contacts on your AirPods or charging case are dirty or covered with debris, use a dry cotton swab to gently clean them. Be careful not to push any debris further into the charging port.
  6. Clean the ear tips: If your AirPods have silicone ear tips, remove them and clean them with a mild soap solution and water. Rinse thoroughly and let them air dry before reattaching them to your AirPods.

Also Read: How to Clean Your iPad Screen and Accessories

2. Check Your Bluetooth Connection

iPhones offer users the ability to connect to a variety of devices using Bluetooth technology. However, sometimes users may experience issues with their Bluetooth connections, leading to muffled sounds and other issues. Below, we will outline the steps to check your iPhone Bluetooth connection and troubleshoot any problems that may arise.

Steps to Check Your iPhone Bluetooth Connection:

  1. Check if Bluetooth is turned on: Before connecting any device to your iPhone, ensure that Bluetooth is turned on. To do this, go to “Settings” on your iPhone and tap “Bluetooth.” If the toggle switch is turned off, toggle it on to activate Bluetooth.
  2. Ensure your device is discoverable: Ensure that the device you are trying to connect to your iPhone is discoverable. Some devices may require a certain button to be pressed to enable discoverability. Refer to the device’s manual for specific instructions.
  3. Restart your iPhone: Sometimes, a simple restart can fix connectivity issues. To restart your iPhone, hold down the power button until the “slide to power off” message appears. Slide to power off and wait for the iPhone to turn off completely. Press and hold the power button again until the Apple logo appears, indicating your iPhone is restarting.
  4. Forget and reconnect to the device: If you have previously connected the device to your iPhone but are now experiencing issues, try forgetting the device and reconnecting it. To do this, navigate to the “Bluetooth” settings, tap on the “i” icon next to the device name, and select “Forget This Device.” After forgetting the device, try reconnecting it as if it were a new device.
  5. Update your iPhone software: Ensure that your iPhone is running the latest software. Navigate to the “Settings” app and select “General,” then “Software Update.” If an update is available, follow the instructions to download and install the latest software.

3. Update Your Firmware

To ensure that your AirPods are functioning at their best, it is essential to keep the firmware up to date. Below, we will outline the steps to update your AirPods firmware and ensure that you are getting the best performance from your device.

Steps to Update Your AirPods Firmware:

  1. Ensure that your AirPods are connected to your device: To update your AirPods firmware, make sure your AirPods are Bluetooth-connected to your device.
  2. Connect the device to the internet: To download the latest firmware update, make sure your device is connected to wifi or cellular data.
  3. Check for firmware updates: Navigate to “Settings” on your device and select “General” then “About.” Scroll down to “AirPods” and select your AirPods. If an update is available, you’ll receive a prompt to update your AirPods firmware. To start the update, tap “Download and Install.”
  4. Keep your AirPods connected and wait for the update to complete: During the update process, keep your AirPods connected to your device and keep them in their case. The update process may take a few minutes to complete, so be patient and do not interrupt the process.
  5. Check that the update was successful: After the update process is complete, check the firmware version of your AirPods to ensure that the update was successful. Navigate to “Settings” on your device, select “General,” then “About,” and scroll down to “AirPods.” The firmware version should reflect the latest update.

Remember to keep your AirPods connected to your device during the update process and to check that the update was successful afterward. If you are still experiencing issues after updating your AirPods firmware, contact Apple Support for further assistance.

4. Reset Your AirPods

If your AirPods still sound muffled after being cleaned, they may need to be reset. A poor connection from your earbuds to the playback device may be the issue. Resetting the connection should resolve the issue. After the reset is complete, you just need to reconnect the AirPods with the playback device.

Steps to Reset Your Airpods:

  1. Put your AirPods in their case: Ensure that your AirPods are in their case and that the lid is open. Keep the AirPods in the case throughout the entire resetting process.
  2. Press and hold the setup button: On the back of the AirPods case, there is a small button. Press and hold this button for approximately 15 seconds until the light on the front of the case flashes amber.
  3. Reset your AirPods with your iPhone: If you have an iPhone paired with your AirPods, you can also reset them using the Bluetooth settings. Navigate to “Settings” on your iPhone, tap on “Bluetooth,” and find your AirPods in the list of devices. Tap on the “i” icon that appears next to your AirPods and select “Forget This Device.” After forgetting the device, place your AirPods in their case and hold down the setup button until the light flashes amber.
  4. Check the status light: After resetting your AirPods, check the status light on the front of the case. If the light flashes white, your AirPods have successfully reset and are ready to be paired with a device.
  5. Pair your AirPods with a device: To pair your AirPods with a device, ensure that Bluetooth is turned on and that the device is in pairing mode. Place your AirPods in their case and open the lid. While holding the case near your device, wait for your AirPods to show up in the compatible devices list. Tap on your AirPods to connect them to your device.

Also Read: How to Turn Off Headphone Safety on iPhone

5. Reset Your iPhone

As iPhones continue to become more integral to our daily lives, issues with the device can be frustrating and time-consuming. When faced with persistent problems such as frequent crashes or frozen screens, it may be necessary to reset your iPhone. Below, we will outline the steps to reset your iPhone and troubleshoot any issues that may arise.

Also Read: How to Reset iPad: Force Restart and Factory Reset

Steps to Reset Your iPhone:

  1. Back up your iPhone: Before resetting your iPhone, it is essential to back up all data to avoid losing valuable information. To back up your iPhone, you can use iCloud or iTunes on your computer.
  2. Turn off Find My iPhone: If you’ve activated Find My iPhone, you will need to turn it off before resetting. Navigate to “Settings” and tap on your Apple ID at the top of the screen. Select “Find My” and turn off the “Find My iPhone” toggle switch.
  3. Erase all content and settings: Navigate to “Settings” on your phone and select “General,” then “Reset.” Choose “Erase All Content and Settings.” You may get a prompt to enter your passcode and Apple ID password.
  4. Wait for the reset process to complete: The reset process may take a few minutes to complete. Your iPhone will restart, and you will be taken to the “Hello” screen, indicating that your iPhone has been reset to its original factory settings.
  5. Restore your iPhone: If you backed up your iPhone before resetting it, you can restore your data using iCloud or iTunes. Follow the on-screen prompts to restore your data.
  6. Set up your iPhone: After restoring your data, you can now set up your phone like a new device. Follow the on-screen prompts to select your language, Wi-Fi network, and other preferences.
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David Smith is the senior editor and reviewer for TechGadgetLife, covering the consumer tech industry. He has been writing about technology for over a decade. Prior to founding TechGadgetLife, David served as a senior correspondent covering Apple, Android, and portable audio products.