Earphones and headphones make up a global market valued at an estimated $71.49 billion this 2023. Come 20230, experts project this sector to generate $163.83 billion in revenue.
Earphone and headphone usage is exceptionally high in the United States. Indeed, nearly 9 in 10 Americans say they use these devices to listen to music.
Earbuds are among the most popular types of headphones. Aside from offering a snug fit, their small size makes them lightweight and easy to carry around.
But as nifty as earbuds are, they can still develop problems. Fortunately, DIY earbud troubleshooting steps are often enough to fix such issues.
This guide will walk you through resolving common earbud problems, so read on.
Sudden Disappearance of Sound
Suppose you’re listening to something with your earbuds when the sound suddenly disappears. The audio source (e.g., your smartphone) is the first place to check and troubleshoot. Its battery may have died, and if so, then you only need to recharge it.
Connect your earbuds to another audio source if you still can’t hear anything. This lets you determine whether the problem is your audio source or earphones.
If the audio source is okay, the steps you must take depend on whether you have wired or wireless earbuds.
For Wired Earbuds
Check your earbud’s cord. You may have accidentally disconnected it from the audio source. Ensure the entire plug (the metal tip at the end of their cable) is inside the source’s jack (port).
If that’s not the issue, inspect your earbuds’ cord for damage like cuts or frayed wires. Once these fine wires break, there’s nothing you can do to save them. So even if there’s only one broken, you must replace the entire cable or the earbuds themselves.
Let’s say your earbuds’ cord is fine. Then the problem may be due to its volume dial or your audio source being on mute. If so, unmuting either should fix the issue.
For Wireless Earbuds
For wireless earbuds, a sudden disappearance of sound may be due to their battery running out. Recharge the buds, and reconnect them to your audio source once they have enough juice. Try playing some music to see if the sound is back.
If you still can’t hear anything and are sure it’s not your audio source, your earbuds may be dead. Call the manufacturer; you may be able to get them fixed or replaced for free if they’re still under warranty.
Only One Side Works
In wired earbuds, bent wires are the primary cause of this problem. In this case, try straightening the cord and gently cleaning the buds with compressed air. If this doesn’t help, you may already need new earphones.
For wireless earphones, ensure the affected side still has battery life. If it does and the problem persists, unpair and pair them again with your audio device.
If that doesn’t work, hard reset your earphones and audio source. You should also check if your devices have available updates, and if so, download and install them.
If none of those steps work, the affected side may need repairs or replacement. Call the manufacturer for free repair or replacement if you still have a valid warranty.
If not, get it fixed at your expense, buy a replacement for the faulty part, or get a new pair. Fortunately, you can find genuine replacement parts online, even for Apple AirPods. View here for more details on shopping for these replacement components.
Poor Sound Quality
Wired earbud issues related to sound quality often occur due to improper connections. Crackling, popping, or static noises usually accompany these problems.
If the cable is in good condition, you may only have to unplug and plug it back in securely. If that doesn’t fix the problem, the plug and the port may be dirty.
Clean the plug with a clean damp rag and immediately wipe it with a dry, lint-free cloth. You can clean the port using compressed air to remove dust and debris. After this, reconnect your earbuds to the audio source to see if the sound quality has improved.
If not, then your earbuds likely have internal problems. Another possible culprit is a damaged cord. Either way, you must fix or replace the earbuds or their cable.
In wireless earbuds, poor sound quality often involves electronic interference. You can avoid this by using your earbuds away from other electronic devices. Turning off other electronics not paired to your earbuds can also help.
These issues affect wireless earbuds that connect via Bluetooth. They can occur due to electronic interference, device incompatibility, or outdated software.
Electronic interference may cause earbuds not to connect to the device you want to use them with. This may happen if you have your earphones already paired with another device. You can fix this by unpairing the buds from the initial paired device.
Once unpaired, turn the original device’s Bluetooth off. This prevents it from sending signals that may interfere with your earbud’s connection. You can then connect the earphones to your other device.
However, ensure your earbuds are compatible with all devices you pair them with. Incompatibilities often occur in outdated Bluetooth-supporting devices. An example is if the second device is a smartphone running an older operating system (OS) version.
Fortunately, the fix is easy: You only need to update your device’s OS to the latest version. Once updated, you should be able to connect and pair it with your earbuds.
If that still doesn’t help, it’s time to call the manufacturer for help. Alternatively, you can bring your headphones to a service center.
Try These Earbud Troubleshooting Tips
Headphone problems can be a drag, especially if they happen while you’re in the zone. Luckily, most issues are minor and resolvable with the earbud troubleshooting steps above.
So, the next time you encounter such problems, try our tactics. Hopefully, they’ll be enough to get your earbuds working again. But if not, call their manufacturer for help, especially if you still have a valid warranty.
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