Why is my headphones connected but no sound?

Check Audio Sources

The first step when headphones are connected but there is no sound is to check the audio sources on your device. Make sure the volume is turned up on both your device and headphone controls. Often the volume gets muted or lowered accidentally, preventing audio from coming through the headphones.

You’ll also want to check that playback is not paused or muted. Music/video apps sometimes pause when headphones are disconnected and don’t auto-resume when reconnected. Press play if needed. Try launching a different audio or video app as well – some apps may have their own quirks with headphone output.

If you’ve confirmed the device volume is up and playback is not muted/paused, the issue likely lies elsewhere. But it’s always good to rule out the simple stuff first when troubleshooting no sound from connected headphones.

Check Connections

One of the most common reasons headphones may be connected but not playing audio is because the connection is loose or faulty. Check to make sure the headphone plug is fully inserted into the audio jack. Often it may seem like it’s plugged in all the way when it actually needs to be pushed in further to make a solid connection with the jack’s internal contacts. Gently wiggle the plug while inserting to help it properly seat.

If you have multiple audio ports available, try plugging the headphones into a different jack. For example, some computers have separate ports for headphone and microphone connections. Some devices also have both 3.5mm and USB-C ports. Test whether the headphones work when plugging them into an alternate port.

Finally, inspect both the headphone jack and plug for any signs of damage or debris. The contacts in the jack or on the plug may get bent or dirty over time. This can prevent them from properly connecting. Look for any dents, rust, or obstructions in the ports that could be causing an incomplete circuit.

As recommended by this guide, taking the time to get a solid connection can often resolve “connected but no sound” issues.

Check Headphone Controls

One of the most common reasons headphones may be connected but no sound is coming through is the volume controls on the headphones themselves. Make sure the volume on the headphones is turned up high enough to hear audio clearly. There is often a volume up/down toggle or buttons on one earcup of over-ear headphones or in-line on the headphone cable for earbuds. Press the volume up button a few times to make sure audio can come through.

Additionally, check for a mute switch on the headphone cable or earcup controls. There may be a mute button or sliding switch that has been toggled, preventing any audio from coming through the headphones. Toggling this mute switch back off can restore headphone audio.[1]

If you have already checked the headphone controls, try using the volume buttons on the connected device instead. The issue may be with the headphone controls specifically, so using your smartphone, computer, or stereo controls could bypass a problem there.

Update Drivers

One of the most common reasons for headphones not producing sound is outdated or corrupted audio drivers. To fix this:

On Windows, open the Device Manager and expand the “Sound, video and game controllers” section. Right click on your audio device like Realtek High Definition Audio and select “Update driver”. Choose to automatically search for updated drivers online and install any available updates [1]. You can also visit your device manufacturer’s website and manually download the latest audio drivers.

If using wireless Bluetooth headphones, make sure to also update your Bluetooth drivers. Go to Device Manager, find the Bluetooth section, right click on your Bluetooth device and select “Update driver”. This will install the newest available Bluetooth drivers which can resolve connectivity issues with wireless headphones [2].

Updating drivers to their latest versions often resolves “no sound” problems caused by compatibility issues or bugs in outdated drivers. Keeping drivers up-to-date is one of the easiest troubleshooting steps for headphones not outputting audio.

Reset Device

One of the first troubleshooting steps when headphones are not working is to reset or reboot the connected device. This clears any software issues that may be preventing the headphones from connecting properly.

For wired headphones plugged into a phone or computer, power the device off completely and then restart it. This will reload the operating system and audio drivers, which may fix headphone connectivity problems.

For wireless Bluetooth headphones paired to a phone or computer, try unpairing the headphones first through the Bluetooth settings. Then power cycle both the headphones and the device and re-pair them. According to Microsoft, rebooting and repairing Bluetooth headphones is one of the first steps to try when the audio stops working after a system reset.

Resetting the connected device essentially gives it a fresh start, which can often resolve headphone connectivity issues stemming from software glitches or anomalies.

Check Device Settings

One of the first things to check is your audio output settings. In Windows 10 and 11, you can toggle between different audio outputs like speakers and headphones by going to the sound settings:

“To get to Sound settings, right-click the speaker icon in the notification area and select Sounds or Open Sound settings. Under Choose your output device, select the speakers or headphones you want to set as default.” (How to reset your audio settings in Windows)

Make sure your headphones are selected as the default output device. Sometimes the settings can automatically switch to a different output without you realizing.

Also check for any software that could be limiting or muting the volume for your headphones specifically. Things like audio drivers, motherboard software, or third-party apps can all contain settings that affect headphone volume.

Test Headphones on Other Devices

If your headphones are not working properly on one device, try connecting them to a different phone, computer, or audio player to see if the issue persists. This Wired article recommends testing your Bluetooth headphones on other devices to determine if the issue is with the headphones themselves or something specific to the original device.

For wired headphones, swap out the audio cable and try a different one that you know works properly. If the headphones work fine when connected to other devices, then the problem likely lies with settings or hardware on the original phone or computer. However, if the headphones exhibit issues across multiple devices, then the headphones themselves may need replaced or repaired.

Testing headphones on other phones, computers, tablets, or audio players is an easy way to pinpoint the root of the problem. If the headphones work properly on other devices, focus troubleshooting on the original phone or computer. But if problems persist on all devices, the headphones are likely defective and should be replaced or serviced.

Update Headphone Firmware

Check the headphone manufacturer’s website for available firmware updates. Keeping the firmware updated can resolve compatibility issues and bugs that may be causing the no sound problem.

For wireless Bluetooth headphones, you’ll want to make sure you have installed the latest firmware on the headphones themselves in addition to any required updates for the transmitter device or computer software. Bluetooth headphone manufacturers like Bose, Sony, Sennheiser, and others provide firmware update utilities and instructions on their support sites.

To update, first install any required software on your computer as specified by the manufacturer. Then connect the headphones, either wirelessly or with a cable. Follow the firmware update steps to complete the process. Updating headphone firmware can often resolve no sound issues if they are being caused by a bug in the previous firmware version.

Here are some headphone manufacturer firmware update pages to check:
Astro Gaming headphones,
Uniden headphones

Replace Headphones

If you have tried troubleshooting the various audio sources, connections, controls, drivers, settings, and firmware of your existing headphones without resolving the no sound issue, the headphones themselves may be faulty and need to be replaced.

Try a different pair of headphones that you know are working properly. If the new headphones work fine, then the problem is isolated to your original pair of headphones. Purchasing a new pair of headphones would be the recommended solution in this case to restore your audio.

Before buying replacement headphones, first check if they are still under warranty and eligible for repair/exchange from the manufacturer. Otherwise, you will need to purchase new headphones if yours are no longer functioning properly and producing no audio despite your troubleshooting attempts.

When selecting replacement headphones, consider ones with excellent customer reviews confirming they produce high-quality audio reliably. It may be worth investing a little more for a sturdy, well-constructed pair of headphones that will provide sound for years to come and avoid further issues with no audio.

Seek Repair

If none of the previous troubleshooting steps resolve the issue of headphones connected with no sound, the headphone jack or audio port on your device may need repair. Hardware issues like a loose headphone jack, damaged pins, or faulty wiring can prevent audio signals from being transmitted properly to your headphones.

Consult the manufacturer or an authorized technician to inspect the headphone jack and audio components. They can check for debris, corrosion, loose connections, and physical damage that could be preventing the headphones from receiving the audio signal. The technician may be able to clean the port or replace faulty parts to restore sound. More extensive damage may require soldering work or full audio port replacement.

See the manufacturer’s warranty and repair options if the device is still under warranty. Out-of-warranty repairs can be completed by manufacturer authorized repair centers or independent technicians depending on the device. However, costs can range from $50-$150+ in some cases for full audio port replacements. Assessing the damage and getting a repair quote can determine if the headphone jack issue is fixable at a reasonable price.




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