Why Are My Headphones So Loud? (Solved)

Headphones help us relish media content, but unusually loud headphones truncate the experience.

Also, regularly listening to loud headphones for long periods can lead to hearing problems like tinnitus and hearing loss. And that’s why you should do something about it.

What happens when your headphones are loud?

Your loud headphone could result from the absence of volume synchronization, broken system drivers, how your device OS is programmed, or any other device malfunction.

This piece explains in detail every possible reason your headphones are so loud and how to correct them.

Why Your Headphones Are Loud And How To Correct Them

Keep reading to learn how to troubleshoot your loud headphones and DIY methods to resolve the issue.

1. Broken System Drivers

Outdated or broken drivers have several glitches and can cause your headphones to perform below expectation. One of the problems you might experience is that your headphones will become loud, and this issue is most common with Windows PCs.

Fix: Search for ‘Device Manager’ with the Windows key and click on ‘Sound, video, and game controller.’ Right-click on your audio driver and select ‘update driver.’ After updating, you can also download a new driver if your PC is still using the old one.

2. Turned On ‘Absolute Volume’ Feature:

The Absolute Volume is an Android feature that synchronizes the volume control on your Android phone and audio devices. With this, your phone volume can increase the volume of your audio devices.

Unfortunately, this feature can make your synchronized audio devices so loud even when your phone volume is low. 

When the Absolute Volume feature is disabled, the volume levels of your phone and audio devices will be separated and fix volume problems.  

Fix: To turn off the ‘Absolute Volume’ feature, you must first access your phone’s Developer option. There are two steps to turning off the ‘Absolute Volume’ on your Android phone.

Step 1

  • Open the Settings app and click on ‘About Phone.’
  • Locate your Android device model (or build number)
  • Tap the build number seven times until you see the message ‘You are now a developer.’

Step 2

  • Swipe down to open the notification panel 
  • Switch on your Bluetooth connection
  • Open the Settings app
  • Tap Developer Options 
  • Scroll down until you find ‘Disable Absolute Volume’ and toggle it on

3. Volume Limiters Malfunction

A volume limiter, also known as integrated ‘hearing safeguarding,’ literally limits audio output to a safe, specified listening level. They are a popular feature in children’s headphones but are also available for adults.

Volume limiters usually limit the maximum volume to 85dB (SPL) or less. Headphones can generate more than 115dB (SPL), equivalent to the sound generated in a rock concert. This level is too loud for extended listening periods, so volume limiters are essential for the safe use of headphones.

Volume limiters aren’t very reliable and can malfunction. Faulty volume limiters can be why your headphones are so loud, and these two scenarios can point to faulty limiters:

  • The volume limiter of your headphone can’t limit their audio output to normal levels. 
  • Your current device doesn’t have a volume limiter, but you are used to software audio limiters.

The first scenario. Some headphones come with audio or digital limiters, which are fairly effective at maintaining audio output for safe use. However, audio limiters can produce inconsistent results. Some devices like CD players and computers can produce robust outputs that might shake your headphones’ audio limiters.

The second scenario. There are software volume limiters that are primarily found in smartphones. These software volume limiters give you warning messages or prompts when you are about to cross the limit.

However, the default settings often take you above safe noise levels. When this happens, you should change its settings.

Fix: Activating or downloading a volume limiter on your device should fix the issue, whatever the case.

4. The Lowest Volume Setting Is Too Loud

The reason behind your loud headphones might be the OS you are using.

Unfortunately, you can’t completely fix this yourself, and the device manufacturers will have to implement the fix themselves. But there is a way around the problem.

Fix: Download an Equalizer

An equalizer app is a tool that you can use to adjust the different frequency bands of your phone’s audio signal. It allows you to optimize the sound based on your unique taste or hearing. 

Equalizer tools are often used to change how music sounds and optimize the sounds for a particular music genre. But this tool can also lower or boost the overall volume of a device.

There are a lot of equalizer apps for Android, Windows PCs, Macs, and iOS. Download any of the Equalizers from your device app store and activate it.

5. Volume Synchronization Is Off

Most headphones come with volume buttons and settings which allow you to adjust the volume without taking out your phone. But this feature requires you to synchronize the volume control of your headphone and connected device. 

If the volume controls of both devices are not synchronized, you will need to adjust them separately.  

The reason your headphones are so loud could be because a program’s volume settings push the volume of your headphones above normal or safe levels.

The erring programs pushing your volume could be:

  • Companion software for your soundcard
  • Companion apps for your headphones
  • Audio/Video editing software
  • Audio players

Fix for Windows:

You can fix this issue in most devices by ticking your headphone as the default sound device. To do this, follow these simple steps:

  • Click Start, and then click the Control Panel.
  • Tap Hardware and Sound in Windows Vista or Sound in Windows 7.
  • Under the Sound tab, click Manage Audio Devices.
  • On the Playback tab, click your headset and the Set Default button.
  • On the Recording tab, select your headset and then the Set Default button.
  • Tap OK to save your changes.

Fix for Mac:

  • Open the System Preferences.
  • Tap the Sound icon.
  • Select the Input tab, and then choose your headset.
  • Click the Output tab and your headset.

Note: You might need to close or reopen your audio program for the changes to take effect.

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.