Is Your iPhone Volume Way Too Low? How to Fix It
Why is your iPhone volume so low? How can you increase the volume on your iPhone or iPad? There’s often a quick fix if you’re struggling to turn up the sound on your device. Sometimes, there’s a bigger problem with the hardware.
Whether you’re listening to audiobooks and music, or concerned about missing your alarm, low volume on an iPhone can be a real headache. Here are some simple tips for boosting your smartphone’s volume.
Note: High volumes can damage your ears, so take care when using the tricks below.
iPhone Volume Not Working or Too Low: Software Fixes
Is your iPhone speaker too quiet? Let’s first check through some of the basic areas that are easy to overlook. Software should be the first area you test because if these fixes don’t work, there’s likely a bigger problem with your hardware.
Is Your iPhone on Silent or Turned Down?
Annoyed by that shutter noise when taking a photo? You probably set your phone to Silent by moving the little switch at the top-left of your iPhone. If it’s closer to the screen, the volume is on. If it’s near the back of your device (showing orange), your phone’s muted.
Silent Mode shouldn’t affect music, but it will affect your iPhone alarm volume.
Just below the Silent switch, you’ll find the Volume buttons, which adjust sounds for videos and music in increments. This also works if you’re trying to increase ringer volume.
If the buttons don’t change anything, go to Settings > Sounds & Haptics, then check that Change with Buttons is turned on. Alternatively, you can alter the volume via the Control Center by swiping down from the top-right of your screen (iPhone X and later). On older devices, you can access Control Center by swiping upwards from the bottom.
There’s also an option to limit the maximum volume. Go to Settings > Sounds & Haptics > Headphone Safety. There, you can toggle on Reduce Loud Sounds. This should be automatically set to 85 decibels (described as “as loud as heavy city traffic”), but you can go up to 100 decibels (“as loud as an ambulance siren”).
When listening to loud music, your phone will warn you if you exceed recommended volume levels in a week.
Are You Connected to Bluetooth?
What if there’s no problem with your speakers at all? You might instead be connected to another device.
You’d likely notice if the music you’re trying to play on your iPhone is actually being sent to a Bluetooth speaker. However, you might not if you use wireless earphones like Apple’s AirPods (and if you want to turn the volume up on those, there are various methods you can follow to increase sound quality on AirPods). This could also be the case if you use an Apple TV or if you’ve connected your phone to your vehicle’s audio system.
To test this, swipe to access your Control Center as mentioned above and turn off Bluetooth. Otherwise, go to Settings > Bluetooth, where you can also check which devices you’re connected to. Disconnect as needed, then try playing your music or video again.
You can also click on the icon at the bottom of your screen which looks like a pyramid with signals emanating from it: tap on this to select where the track is playing.
Is Your iPhone Set to Do Not Disturb Mode?
Do Not Disturb stops interruptions while you’re busy or asleep: notifications won’t appear and calls won’t ring out. You might’ve activated it and forgotten to turn it off.
Head to Settings > Do Not Disturb and check to make sure it’s disabled. Otherwise, you can also check via Control Center—Do Not Disturb is represented by the half-moon symbol found under the Focus heading.
Is Call Volume So Low Due to Noise Cancellation?
This feature affects phone calls, in a bid to cut down on background noise that might make the caller harder to hear. Nonetheless, some people have reported that this works counteractively and actually stops them hearing properly.
Go to Settings > Accessibility > Audio/ Visual then toggle Phone Noise Cancellation off if it’s already on. Or, if it’s turned off, you could try activating it and see if that makes things better.
Will a Soft Reset Solve Volume Problems?
The classic advice of turning your computer off and on again when an issue arises is a great way of fixing problems on your iPhone too.
Attempting a force-restart on your iPhone could clear your device of any minor software issues. Don’t worry; you won’t lose any personal data through restarting.
Is Your iPhone Up-to-Date?
You might have an old version of iOS installed. While this shouldn’t cause sound complications, it’s always worth keeping your phone updated to iron out potential problems.
Go to Settings > General > Software Update to see if a new iOS version is available.
If the problem lies in an app—for example, volume everywhere on your iPhone except when using a specific app—check whether there’s an update to install via the App Store. If not, you could contact the developer and ask for advice.
iPhone Volume Not Working or So Low: Hardware Solutions
Don’t panic if one of the above fixes hasn’t solved your volume problem. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to make an appointment with Apple. Sometimes, you can fix it yourself.
We advise great care when attempting to fix your smartphone.
Don’t take your device apart if you don’t know what you’re doing. But if you’re lucky, you won’t need to anyway.
Have You Got a Loose Connection?
A loose connection sounds like a major issue, and it can be. Fortunately, in some circumstances, it’s incredibly easy to set right, especially if you have an older device—say, one with a Home button.
Simply apply a bit of pressure to the bottom-right corner of your phone. Put your thumb to the right of the Home button (or where it would be if you’re dealing with a newer model), with your index finger in the same position on the back, and gently squeeze. You’ll need to maintain this for about 20 seconds, then release. If a connector is loose within your phone, this simple action can reposition it.
You may need to take off your phone case if you use one, although it will depend on its thickness. You’ll definitely need to remove a shatter-proof model, but a thinner plastic shell shouldn’t interfere.
Some people say that this same method worked for them by applying pressure (or merely tapping on the phone) near the Volume buttons. If you do this, however, be careful not to damage the screen.
Is Your Phone Stuck in Headphone Mode?
This largely affects older iPhones with headphone jacks, but newer models can still be affected by dirt in the charging port (especially if you use an adaptor to utilize wired headphones).
If your iPhone thinks earphones are attached, it will play music through a non-existent connection. Adjust the volume using the side buttons; the screen will tell you if it’s apparently being routed through another speaker.
If you use AirPods, the Bluetooth solution above should fix it. Otherwise, shine a light in the headphone jack. You might see some blockages. But since this debris can be tiny, you could have an issue even if you don’t see anything. This can also be an issue if your iPhone speaker isn’t working.
Try to insert headphones or a charging cable, then remove them. Do this a few times and test the volume again. Doing so could dislodge any dirt inside.
Use a soft lens cloth to gently clean the jack and speaker areas. You can also use a dry cotton swab, cotton ball, or toothbrush to lightly rub around the edge of the small recess. Don’t press anything into recesses because you may push dirt further inside.
You can apply a little rubbing alcohol to the cotton beforehand. However, avoid other liquids as these can cause further damage. Even small amounts of sweat can trick your phone into thinking headphones are connected.
Sadly, if these tricks don’t help—and you’re not experienced enough to deconstruct your device—you’ll need to visit Apple for professional help.
Why Is My Volume So Low? How to Increase Volume on iPhone
Perhaps there’s nothing wrong with your phone. Some just want music and alarms to play as loudly as possible. In other cases, your iPhone volume may sound muffled.
Toggle the Equalizer to Make Your iPhone Music Louder
This mainly works for music, but you might notice an improvement for videos too.
Head to Settings > Music > EQ. This is Off by default, but you can use it to accentuate certain sounds when listening to songs. Try switching it to Late Night. The mode compresses Dynamic Range, inverting audio so loud noises are reduced and quieter tones are amplified.
The difference isn’t massive, and will depend on the tracks you’re listening to. It can also cause music to sound somewhat distorted. Nonetheless, you’ll often hear a boost in volume, particularly when listening through earphones.
How to Turn Up Volume on iPhone: Prop Your Phone Up to Amplify Sounds
Increasing volume isn’t always about tech. It can also involve where you place your device to amplify vibrations.
Propping it upside-down, so the speakers face upwards, can improve effectiveness. Cupping your hand around them can do the same—after all, that’s how our ears work!
Placing your phone on a conducive surface helps. Noise reaches further when the vibrations can travel through wood or metal, for instance. The latter will especially amplify acoustics. Conversely, don’t use an absorbent surface like paper.
iPhone Volume Still Too Low? Download iPhone Volume Booster Apps
If nothing else works, try a third-party app. Equalizer+ allows you to customize your playlists to bring out certain elements in music. In much the same way that Late Night works, increasing the bass or vocals means you can tune into your favorite parts easily.
However, some features require payment, and it asks for more permissions than it really needs (at least you can refuse these). Still, it remains useful, should all else fail.
Your iPhone Volume, Now Loud and Clear
If your iPhone volume is still low or non-existent, it’s time to book an appointment with Apple support.
In most cases, though, you shouldn’t be too worried about troubles with your iPhone volume not working. They’re usually caused by a simple oversight.