Why Are My Headphones Playing Only Music and Not Voices? (What To Do)

It is not typical for your headphones to output music (instrumentals) without voices. Whenever that happens, something is not right. There are different causes of this problem, and you have to troubleshoot to discover them.

Your headphones not playing voices could result from improper headphone jack connection, hardware damage, headphone cord breakage, or dirt inside your portable audio device.

There are solutions to these problems, and we have discussed them in this post. Keep reading for more detailed explanations/fixes of why you can hear music but no voices on your headphones.

Top Reasons You Can Hear Music But Not Voices on Your Headphones

Some of the common culprits behind this problem are:

Improper Headphone Jack Connection

If you’re using wired headphones, you will need to plug the end of the cord into a portable device that supplies sound (phone/PC). The part of the cord that goes into the device port is called a headphone jack, and this jack has conductors that send and receive signals from the device when plugged in.

After plugging your jack into the device and the conductors make contact, the sound will be transmitted from the device to your headphone drivers. That’s how it should work. But if the conductors can’t make proper contact with the device, it might result in you hearing music without voices. 

This improper or partial connection may be caused by a loose headphone jack or dirt inside the device’s earphone port. If the jack is loose or worn out, you may have to replace it. And if it’s your device’s port, it’s time to clean the area. Consider involving a technician for these fixes so you don’t damage anything.

PS: Also, try pushing the jack inside the port because that could be the reason it is not connecting correctly.

Physical Damage to the Headphone Cord

Sometimes, complete audio or hearing music without a voice could be caused by frayed or damaged cords. When your headphone cord is damaged, it may impede the signals from the headphone jack connected to your device port back to the headphone drivers. So, you might want to check and confirm that the wires are in good condition.

How can you do this? Inspect the cable from top to bottom, and check for any cuts or breaks. If you see any, well, that could be the culprit. You can fix this yourself by using electrical tape. An electrical tape is a stretchy, conformable vinyl plastic that insulates and protects against abrasion, water, solvent splashes, and chemicals. 

To use this tape for your frayed wires or short circuits, use the following steps:

  • Locate the part of the wire that is exposed. 
  • Get some of the tape and wrap it around the area.

That’s it! Hopefully, that does the trick. If it doesn’t work, you may have to replace the cord.

To keep your cords from getting damaged and affecting your audio signals, keep them safe. Don’t tangle, stretch or keep them around sharp objects.

Existing Equalizer Settings

While this might seem improbable, it could be the guilty party. Maybe you adjusted the device audio setting and forgot to re-adjust it? Well, these things happen. Or maybe someone had access to your phone and knowingly or unknowingly did this. 

Whatever the case, check to see that the settings are not out of place. If they are, restore the defaults and see if you can now hear music with voices. 

The Audio File 

Again, this may not seem like a likely culprit, but it’s possible. Check and confirm that the audio file you’re playing is okay. Also, do this if you’re not sure about the source of the audio file you’re playing.

How can you check? Play a different audio file. I will suggest playing something from an online music service. You’re sure that nothing on your phone will affect the output since the sound comes from a third party.

Mismatch in impedance

Impedance is the amount of voltage that your headphones must reach to function, and your audio device and headphones must have a complimentary impedance to work correctly.

Low impedance headphones (less than 50 ohms) function well with low-voltage devices like smartphones and portable media devices.

High impedance headphones (more than 50 ohms), on the other hand, require more power and will struggle to attain sufficient volume levels unless connected to an amplifier or DAC (Digital to Analog Converter).

If you connect high-impedance headphones to a low-impedance device, the device will not be able to generate enough power to produce high-quality music. This can cause various auditory problems, including the absence of vocals.

Consider purchasing a DAC/Amp to complete your setup if the lack of voices in your music is due to an impedance mismatch.

How can you keep your headphone from playing only sound without voices?

So you have a new pair of headphones, or you’ve fixed the current sound issue, and now you want to prevent it from happening again. Take note of the following tips:

Handle your headphone jack with care

When plugging it into the device port, ensure it goes in, not halfway. Also, don’t twist or place the jack in awkward positions. And you definitely shouldn’t play with it – I mean repeatedly plugging it in and removing it, which could make it loose over time.

Be careful with the headphone cord

Headphone wires are fragile, and you should be careful with them. Don’t squeeze them; pull them apart or play with them. The wires can get frayed from pressure or improper handling.

Closing Thoughts

Now you know the possible reasons behind your headphones’ sound output without voices. You don’t have to continue listening to muffled or non-existent voices, so go ahead and do something about it. Also, do your bit to prevent this problem from resurfacing.

Jude is a music and headphone lover. He has tested and reviewed several audio listening devices and enjoys writing helpful tips and information for readers like you.