Headphones not working? 22 ways to solve them

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Headphones are available in a variety of styles ranging from traditional wired headsets to more expensive wireless Bluetooth devices. Features range from basic functionality to advanced noise cancellation and digital assistant integration.

No matter what type of headphones you have, however, there are times when some headphones stop working. There are many simple solutions you can try to get your headphones back on.

NOTE: This article covers troubleshooting for all types of headphones, including wireless, standard, and earbuds.

SEE AS ​​WELL: How To Fix Left Or Right AirPods Not Working Issue

Causes of headphone problems

The technical problems of the headphones are as varied as the number of models available. Sometimes a damaged headphone cable or Bluetooth connectivity issues will cause a headphone jack to malfunction. Noise-canceling headphones, such as the Bose QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones II and Microsoft Surface headphones, sometimes have trouble synchronizing audio and video. Often times it is frustrating to turn the noise cancellation feature on or off as expected.

Still, there are plenty of simple reasons headphones don’t work that cover all types of headphones.

How to fix headphones that aren’t working

Headsets can experience a variety of technical issues and solutions vary depending on the cause. To find out why your headphones aren’t working, perform this series of checks first and then try the suggested tips for fixing broken headphones.

  1. Turn on the headphones . Many headphones and headsets have a built-in battery and will not work if you plug these devices into a headset or an audio jack without turning them on.The headphone power switch is usually on the side of one of the headphones. headphones or one of their flat surfaces.
  2. Turn the headphones off and on again . This classic technical trick works with faulty computers and can also work with headphones that don’t work, so if your headphones don’t work as they should, turn them off and on again after plugging them in, then see if that fixes the problem. problem.
  3. Charge the headphones . Some headphones, especially those with enhanced features like noise cancellation and built-in LED lights, rely on an external power source or battery. If you haven’t used your headphones for a while, the battery may be depleted and may need to be recharged.Charge most headphones using a micro USB port on one of the headphones .
  4. Check USB power requirements . Some headphones can connect to a device via USB. However, if this USB connection is required to power the headset in addition to receiving audio, its performance may suffer when connected to an unplugged laptop or low-power device.
  5. Check USB compatibility . While some headphones can connect to an audio source through USB, not all devices support USB headphones. Most computers should be able to connect to a USB headset, but some game consoles, such as the Xbox One, won’t work with USB headphones, so if a device doesn’t support USB headphones, you can’t. a lot. You might want to swap them out for headphones that use Bluetooth or a traditional audio jack.
  6. Activate Bluetooth on the headset . If you are using a wireless headset, you may need to turn on the Bluetooth switch to connect to your paired devices.
  7. Turn up the volume . If you can’t hear anything from your headphones, you may have accidentally turned the volume down or muted the headphones.First, turn up the volume through the headset’s built-in volume buttons (if they have these buttons ). Then check the volume of your paired device.
  8. Successfully pair the bluetooth headphones with the device . The new headphones don’t send sound to your devices right out of the box. First, you need to pair the headset with your smartphone, PC, or other source. Bluetooth pairing instructions vary depending on the make and model of your headset. Find specific pairing instructions in the device manual or on the manufacturer’s website.
  9. Reconnect the headphones to the phone or computer . Unpair your headphones, then pair the headphones with your phone or computer again. Sometimes re-adding your headphones to your device after removing the headphones can resolve connectivity issues.

TRICK: To remove a Bluetooth pairing on a Mac, select System Preferences > Bluetooth > name of your helmet> X > Remove . To remove headphones in Windows 10, open Action Center and select All settings > Devices > the name of your headphones> Remove device > Yes.

  1. Disconnect unused devices from the headset . One way to avoid conflict is to unlink everything you are not using. You can usually do this in the associated headset app, such as the Bose Connect app for Bose headphones and earphones, or use the above steps on a PC or Mac.
  2. Check the audio output . Even if you’ve properly connected your headphones, your device can send audio elsewhere, such as a Bluetooth speaker or Apple TV.

TRICK: The name of the active audio output is usually displayed in the application producing the audio. For example, in Spotify, the name of the audio option appears as green text at the bottom of the app.

  1. Remove the wired connection . A wired connection can often replace a Bluetooth connection. If you charge your headphones using your computer or laptop, it may prevent wireless audio streaming from your smartphone or tablet.
  2. Check for damage by bending the cable . A damaged audio cable is a common cause of headphone problems. To check if the cable is damaged, put on the headphones, listen to the sound from your favorite source, and gently bend the cable at two-centimeter intervals from end to end. If you briefly hear static electricity or the audio source pass, the cable has been damaged at this point and should be replaced.

IMPORTANT: Use only gentle turns to check a cable for damage. Fold it as if you were rolling it along the edges of a small coin. Bending it sharply to the point that it touches itself can cause the damage you’re trying to detect.

  1. Try another app . If you are listening to audio from a specific app but can’t hear any sound, the app may be the problem. Exiting the app and reopening it can also fix any bugs you encountered.
  2. Check the audio jack . The headphone jack on your laptop, tablet or smartphone may be broken. To see if you have a broken audio jack, try several tricks, such as cleaning the audio jack or using different headphones or earphones.
  3. Check the headphones on another device . If possible, use your headphones with a different audio source to see if the headphones work.
  4. Try other headsets or headphones on the same device while running the same app . Similar to the tips above, this can locate the problem. If you are having the same issue, the issue may be with the app or device you are connecting to and not the headset.
  5. Update the headset firmware . Many modern headsets require firmware updates to fix bugs and function properly. You can often download and install these updates wirelessly using the official smartphone app. Many brands also offer update files on their official website which you can download and transfer via USB cable.
  6. Update the operating system of the computer or device . Installing the latest operating system update on your device can improve compatibility with a wide range of accessories, including headphones.
  7. Restart the computer, smartphone or tablet . A restart can solve a host of technical issues, including those associated with faulty headphones.
  8. Turn off Bluetooth on unused devices . If you have paired your Bluetooth headset with more than one device, the headset may connect to one of those other devices instead of the one you want. To remedy this, turn off Bluetooth on all your other devices until your headset connects to your favorite headset.

TRICK: You may need to turn your headphones off and on again after you turn off Bluetooth on your other devices.


22. Check for driver updates. Updating drivers is a great troubleshooting step when a device experiences a problem or generates an error.

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