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How to make your AirPods louder or fix other volume-related issues

  • You can make your AirPods louder by using your iPhone or the built-in Siri feature on your AirPods.
  • If your AirPods aren't loud enough, try cleaning them or calibrating them with your iPhone.
  • The new over-ear AirPods Max have a Digital Crown to turn the volume up or down.

Apple's AirPods helped launch a thousand imitators — there are now countless wireless earbuds available for both iPhone and Android devices.

It's not hard to see why; there's something incredibly liberating about earbuds that have no wires, buttons or other controls. But how do you control the volume?

How to change the volume on your AirPods

You can make your AirPods volume louder using the volume slider or with Siri. 

Using the volume slider

The easiest way to change the volume of your AirPods is by dragging the volume slider in the app you're using, on your Lock Screen, or in the Control Center. You can also use the Digital Crown on your Apple Watch to change the volume on the Now Playing screen. As always, the volume buttons on the side of your iPhone will also work.

Spotify album with AirPods volume bar highlighted with a box and arrow.
When AirPods are connected, the AirPods icon replaces the general sound icon when you change the volume.

Using Siri

If you have first generation AirPods, double tap either earbud to wake Siri and ask Siri to adjust the volume.

If you have second generation AirPods or later (this includes the AirPods Pro), and you've set up the "Hey Siri" function on your iPhone, say "Hey Siri" and ask Siri to adjust the volume.

On the AirPods Pro, you can set one AirPod to activate Siri, and then ask to adjust the volume.

Spotify album with Siri icon and “I’ve turned it up” message.
You can ask Siri to turn up the volume for you.

You can tell Siri to "increase volume," which increases the volume in approximately 12% increments. You can also tell Siri to increase the volume by a specific percentage, or to a specific percentage like, "Hey Siri, raise volume by 20%," or "Hey Siri, raise the volume to 80%."

What to do if your AirPods aren't loud enough

If your AirPods aren't as loud as you think they should be, there are some tricks you can try to coax additional volume out of them — this is especially true if they were once louder, but more recently, it seems like they have gotten quieter.

Clean your AirPods

Human ears are waxy, and anything you tend to frequently put in your ears, like earbuds, inevitably accumulate earwax. It doesn't take much wax to noticeably reduce the maximum volume of your AirPods.

When you clean your AirPods, it's important to refrain from using anything wet or damp — never get the mesh speakers wet. Keep sharp objects out of the speaker, toothpicks have been known to damage the mesh.

Instead, use a dry cotton swab or a soft-bristled toothbrush to remove any wax or debris from the speaker mesh.

Calibrate your AirPods with your iPhone

It's possible that your AirPods and iPhone need calibrating — the two devices might have different understandings of what "full volume" means and the AirPods stop using the full range of audio available. That may sound complicated, but it's actually quite easy to fix.

1. Put your AirPods in your ears and start playing music.

2. Using the volume buttons on your iPhone, turn the iPhone's volume all the way down. You shouldn't hear anything from your AirPods now.

3. Swipe down from the top-right of your iPhone to display the Control Center and tap the Bluetooth icon to disable Bluetooth. This will disconnect your AirPods from your iPhone. Leave your AirPods in your ears.

4. Start playing music again, this time through your iPhone's own speakers. Using your iPhone's volume buttons, turn the volume all the way down.

5. Reconnect your AirPods by opening the Control Center and taping the Bluetooth icon. You might also need to open the Settings app, tap Bluetooth, then tap AirPods to reconnect them.

Control Center with Bluetooth icon highlighted with a box and arrow.
When your AirPods are connected, you'll see a small message at the top of your screen.

6. Play music and adjust the volume as needed.

Check the Music app's sound settings

If your AirPods are too quiet when listening to music using the Music app, its settings might be misconfigured. You can fix that with just a couple of taps.

1. Open the Settings app and select Music.

2. Make sure that EQ is set to Off. If it's turned on, tap EQ and then tap Off.

Music settings with EQ option highlighted with a box and arrow.
Different equalizer options change how much base, treble, and vocals you hear.

Make sure the both ears are the same volume

If one ear consistently sounds louder than the other, an accessibility setting on the iPhone might be suppressing the volume in one ear. Here's how to check it on your iPhone with iOS 13 or later:

1. Open the Settings app, then select Accessibility.

2. In the Hearing section, tap Audio/Visual.

3. Make sure that the left/right slider in the Balance section has the button in the middle. If it's leaning more to the right or left, slide it back to the center.

Audio/visual settings with Balance bar highlighted with a box and arrow.
Ensure the slider is at the center so that you get the same amount of sound from both AirPods.

Disable Low Power Mode

Disabling low power mode can make your AirPods louder. Here's how to do it:

1. Open the Settings app, then select Battery.

2. Tap the toggle next to Low Power Mode to turn it off.

Battery settings with Low Power Mode highlighted with a box and arrow.
If your AirPods aren't as loud as they should be, it might be a battery power issue.

Make sure your AirPods fit correctly

A proper fit will help ensure you get the best sound quality and noise cancellation, so it's worth making sure you're using the best-sized ear tips for your ears. The AirPods Pro come with small, medium, and large ear tips — plus extra small for 2nd generation AirPods Pro. 

AirPods Pro come with the medium earbuds by default. Put them in your ears, and if you can't get a good seal try switching to a larger tip. If it feels too large or uncomfortable, try a smaller tip. If you're still unsure, try the Ear Tip Fit Test:

1. Put your AirPods in your ears.

2. Ensure your AirPods are connected to your device via Bluetooth.

3. Open the Settings app, then select Bluetooth.

4. Tap the More Info button next to your AirPods.

Bluetooth menu with info button next to AirPods highlighted with a box and arrow.
You'll need to connect your AirPods with your iPhone before you can begin the Ear Tip Fit Test.

5. Tap Ear Tip Fit Test.

6. Tap Continue, then the play button.

Ear Tip Fit Results with play button highlighted with a box and arrow.
Once you get your results, you can adjust your AirPods in your ear or try another ear tip size.

AirPods Max volume control

While the original AirPods and AirPods Pro don't have volume control built-in, the AirPods Max — Apple's over-ear headphones — do. A Digital Crown (like the one on an Apple Watch) lets you control the volume, skip between tracks, answer phone calls, and activate Siri.

Read our AirPods Max review for more information. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

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