Why Do My AirPods Sound Muffled?

You probably shelled out a good deal of cash for your Airpods and they sounded great when you first started using them. Now their sound has become muffled. Why are these expensive, high-tech devices no longer producing the quality sound they did when they were new?

If you are experiencing this problem, don’t panic. There may be a simple solution to this issue. The majority of times this happens, it turns out that all your Airpods need is a simple cleaning. Yes, it is possible it could be another issue, and we can take a look at those possibilities as well.

My name is Eric and I have been a tech enthusiast for as long as I can remember. Graduating with an Engineering degree along with years of experience have given me some pretty good troubleshooting skills. I love to use these skills to help others figure out problems like this one.

Good troubleshooting requires that we first take a look at the simplest and most common causes of the problem and in most cases that will lead us to our solution. In this article, I will cover these cases for your muffled Airpod problem.

If this sounds like the problem you are facing, keep reading and maybe I can help you out!

Muffled Airpod Troubleshooting

You may just think of your Airpods as ordinary wireless earbuds. This is understandable since they are mostly used for audio purposes, but they really are a high-tech piece of equipment that is much more complicated than simple earbuds and it’s all packed into those tiny packages.

They also serve as a microphone, charge wirelessly, interpret gestures, and much more. I’m not going to go through all the features here. By now, you get the picture that these are certainly not just simple earbuds.

With all of this technology, it can be concerning when a device like this stops working properly because there are so many things that can go wrong and it can be difficult to determine and fix the problem. 

The thing is, it is usually the simple and most common issues that arise. This is true with Airpods and the most common issue that affects them is dirt and debris. If not that, then it is usually a connection issue. 

Let’s take a look at these common problems and see if we can get your Airpods back to working at their optimum performance level.

Dirty Airpods

Not only is this the most common issue, but it is often the easiest to solve. Don’t be embarrassed if yours are dirty. You use them a lot and putting them in your ears, they are bound to get some wax build up as well as lint from your pockets and other types of dust and dirt.

There are several methods out there for cleaning them and I am not going to detail that here because these are such sensitive devices, I don’t want to cause further damage to anyone’s equipment by giving bad advice. 

Instead, I would suggest visiting the Apple’s website with their official advice for how to properly clean your Airpods.

Follow their instructions and clean your Airpods thoroughly. Hopefully, after that, they will be back in good working condition. Be sure to start cleaning them regularly to prevent them from having future issues and don’t forget to clean the charging case as well.

Low Battery

It may seem obvious, but make sure that your devices are fully charged. A low battery from the source or the earpieces could possibly result in lower quality muffled audio. Try fully charging them and see if that makes a difference.

There have been reports of Airpods not showing an accurate charge status and losing battery power quicker than normal. For these issues, Apple suggests resetting them. Refer to the procedure that has been provided by Apple to reset them.

After resetting you will need to pair them to your device once again.

Bad BlueTooth Connection

Audio issues can often be caused by a bad BlueTooth connection. One thing you will want to determine is the type of audio issues you are having. We are diagnosing a muffled sound but with a bad connection, you will usually get choppy, distorted audio that cuts out frequently.

If you are simply getting muffled audio, then a bad BlueTooth connection is less likely but it is still a possibility. If you have tried the solutions above with no success, it may still be worth looking at these connection issues listed below. 


BlueTooth is meant to be used at a fairly close distance. Most have a range of about 10 meters so first, make sure that you are within range of the device you are connecting to. If you are within range and still having problems, the next step would be to try resetting them.

Reset Needed

Resetting can often be used to fix many problems and can be good to do every once in a while just to ensure any problems or glitches are cleared from them. Use the same procedure that we have linked to above to reset them and then pair them back again.

Mac or Other Device’s BlueTooth

BlueTooth can sometimes be flaky so if you are still having issues it may be time to look at your Mac, iPhone, or whatever device you are connecting to. If you haven’t done so in a while, try restarting the device. It could be that your Mac or other devices just need a simple reboot.

You can also try turning its BlueTooth off for about 30 seconds and then back on again to see if that makes a difference. If you are still seeing issues, try connecting your Airpods to another computer or phone and see if you still have the same issues.

If you don’t see the same issue on another device, that will tell you that the problem is with your computer or phone and not the Airpods themselves.

Software Update

Does your Mac, iPhone, iPad, or other device need a software update? If you’re not keeping up with software updates you can see all kinds of strange problems. Ensure that your device has all the latest updates since these can affect services like BlueTooth.

Interference From Other Devices

One last thing to look at is interference from other devices. Hopefully, this is the last resort but it is a possibility due to all the technology and devices that we now use. Multiple wireless connections and peripherals attached to your device can sometimes cause odd issues.

If you have other BlueTooth devices connected or paired to your computer or phone, try disconnecting them. You can also go into the BlueTooth setting and click on the “Forget This Device” button. You should even do this with your Airpods.

You will then need to pair your Airpods to the device again and see if your sound quality is any better. If it is, you may have another BlueTooth connection interfering. You can begin pairing the other devices back one by one to figure out which one is causing the problem.

Defective or Damage Airpods

If none of the above solutions have helped, then you may have defective or damaged Airpods. In this case, they may need to be repaired or replaced. Check any warranties you may have to determine if they are still valid and if they are covered.

Final Words

A muffled sound from your Airpods can be very frustrating, but the most likely problem is that they just need to be cleaned. There are other issues that can arise and I hope that this article has helped you to track down whatever may be causing your problem.

As usual please let me know if you have any questions. I would love to hear from you.

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