Why is my music playing but I can’t hear it?

Check Your Device’s Volume

The most obvious reason for no sound on your phone is that the volume is turned down or muted. Check the volume buttons on the side of your phone and make sure the volume is turned up. You can also try pressing the volume up button several times to raise the volume to the maximum level.

Go into your phone’s settings and check the different volume sliders. Make sure the media volume, ring volume, alarm volume, and in-call volume are all turned up. Sometimes the volume may have gotten lowered just for media or ringtones. Raising all the volume sliders can help restore sound.

On an Android phone, open the Settings app and go to Sound to check the various volume levels. On an iPhone, open Settings and go to Sounds & Haptics to check the Ringer and Alerts volume [1].

Check Connected Speakers/Headphones

If you’re using external speakers or headphones, first confirm that they are powered on and properly connected to your device. Speakers and headphones may have a power button or switch to turn them on – ensure this is switched to the “on” position.

Also check that the cable connecting the speakers/headphones to your device is fully plugged in on both ends. Try unplugging and reinserting the cable firmly to ensure a proper connection. If possible, try using a different cable as well to rule out a faulty cable being the issue. As one forum user suggested, “Reset the speaker by holding the minus button and power on for approx. 10 seconds.” [1] Using a different cable that you know works properly can help determine if the problem lies with the original cable.

Check Audio App Settings

The most common reason your music may be playing but you can’t hear it is because the audio is muted within the music app itself. Open the app you are trying to play music from and look for a mute button, usually represented by a speaker icon with a line through it. Tap this mute icon to unmute the audio.

You should also check that the music app has proper permissions to play audio on your device. On an iPhone, go to Settings > Music App Name > Audio and confirm the app has access. On Android, open Settings > Apps > Music App Name > Permissions and enable permissions like Modify Audio Settings. If permissions were disabled, re-enabling them should allow you to hear audio from the app again.

Check System Sound Settings

One of the most common reasons for a device not playing any audio is that the system or media volume has been turned down or muted. Make sure to check that the volume slider in your device’s settings menu is turned up to an audible level.

On an iPhone, you can do this by going to Settings > Sounds & Haptics and making sure the Ringer and Alerts slider is not set to silent. Additionally, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open Control Center and confirm the volume slider is not muted or set too low (Apple, 2023).

For Android devices, open the Settings app and select Sound. Make sure Media Volume and Alarm Volume are both turned up. You can also check the volume level in the notification panel by swiping down from the top of the screen (HeadphonesTy, 2023).

Additionally, verify your phone is not set to a silent or vibrate-only mode, which would prevent any audio from playing. On an iPhone, toggle the side switch so it is not set to silent mode. For Android, make sure your phone is not set to vibrate or mute in the device’s sound settings.

Check for Obstructions

One common reason your music may be playing but you can’t hear it is if the speakers are obstructed in some way. Here are some things to check:

  • Carefully inspect the speaker and microphone openings on your device to see if any debris, dust, or lint is blocking the speakers. Use a can of compressed air to gently blow out any particles. Be careful not to blow too hard or put the can too close to the openings.
  • If your device uses a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, examine the port for any obstructions. Lint and debris can easily accumulate in the headphone jack, preventing proper audio connections. Use a toothpick or soft bristle brush to gently clean out the jack. Just be careful not to damage the delicate contacts inside the port.
  • Make sure no stickers, cases, or other accessories are covering the speakers or headphone jack area. Remove any obstructing items.
  • Check that your headphone plug is fully inserted if you are trying to listen through wired headphones or speakers. A partial connection can cause no audio even when music is playing.

Clearing any blockages from the speakers, microphone, and headphone jack can help restore normal audio playback through your device’s outputs. If the issue persists after checking for obstructions, move on to investigating other potential causes.

Restart Device

Restarting your device and audio components like headphones or speakers can often resolve temporary software issues that may be preventing audio from working properly (https://www.headphonesty.com/2023/08/no-sound-on-android-phone/). When you power cycle your phone and audio devices, it clears any glitches and resets all components to default settings. This simple fix may be enough to get sound working again.

To restart your Android device, hold down the power button for at least 10 seconds until you see the power off option appear on screen. Select restart and let your phone reboot. Make sure to also unplug and then reconnect any wired headphones or external speakers, or turn Bluetooth off and back on again if using wireless audio. The restart gives the hardware and software a fresh start, which can clear up speaker issues.

If the problem persists after restarting your phone and audio accessories, it points to a deeper issue. But taking the time to power cycle your devices is an important first troubleshooting step before trying more complicated fixes. Often, the restart alone will get the sound in your Android working properly again.

Update Software

One of the easiest first troubleshooting steps is to make sure your device, apps, and operating system are fully updated. Software updates often include bug fixes and patches that address audio issues.

On an iPhone, connect to Wi-Fi and go to Settings > General > Software Update to check for the latest iOS version. Download and install any available updates. You can also open the App Store app, tap your profile icon, and check for app updates. Some key apps to update for audio issues include Music, Podcasts, and other media apps.

For Android devices, open the Settings app and go to System > System update to check for OS updates. You can also open the Google Play Store app, tap your profile icon, go to Manage apps & devices > Updates available to update your apps. Check audio and media apps like Spotify, YouTube, etc. Running the latest versions can potentially fix microphone, speaker, and overall sound problems.

Updating your device software and apps may require some time and bandwidth depending on the size of the updates. But it’s one of the simplest solutions that can get your speakers and headphones working again.


[1] https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203794

[2] https://www.lifewire.com/fix-android-phone-speaker-not-working-4580298

Reset Device

Resetting your Android device to its factory settings can help eliminate any software-related audio problems by erasing all data and settings and restoring it to its original condition (source). Before resetting, be sure to backup any important data, photos, videos, etc. that you want to keep.

To reset your device, go to Settings > System > Reset options > Erase all data (factory reset). This will erase all data from your phone’s internal storage and reset all settings back to their factory defaults. Any apps you’ve downloaded and accounts you’ve added will be removed.

Once the reset is complete, test your device’s audio again. If the problem persists, it’s likely a hardware issue rather than a software problem. But resetting eliminates any glitches from apps, files, or settings that may have been causing the no sound problem.

Contact Support

If you have gone through all the troubleshooting steps listed above and are still experiencing no sound from your device, it’s time to contact support. This could indicate a hardware or software issue that requires further diagnosis.

When you contact Apple Support, be ready to clearly explain the no sound issue you are experiencing. Mention when the problem started happening and what troubleshooting you have already tried based on the steps outlined above (checking volume, headphones, app settings, etc.). The more details you can provide upfront, the quicker support can start diagnosing the problem.

You’ll also want to ask about next steps based on your device and warranty status. For example, newer iPhones may be eligible for a repair program if it’s a known hardware defect causing no sound. Older devices out of warranty may require you to pay for diagnostic fees or an out-of-warranty replacement.

Be ready to answer questions from support about exactly when and how the no sound issue occurs. Does it happen with all audio sources like music, videos, phone calls? Does a speakerphone or Bluetooth audio work? Do built-in speakers work but not headphones? Providing these details will help them isolate the issue.

Make sure to back up your device before sending it in for repair. And if support determines hardware replacement is needed, ask about costs and timelines so you know what to expect.

Replace Device

If you have exhausted all of the troubleshooting steps listed above and the issue with no audio persists, it likely indicates a hardware fault with your device’s speakers or audio components. At this point, repair or full replacement of the device may be necessary to restore proper audio functionality.

Signs that a hardware issue is to blame include distorted, muffled, or low maximum volume even after adjusting settings. Persistent problems with the speaker or headphone jack during calls and media playback point to a hardware defect or component failure.

Before replacing your device, you may want to take it to a repair shop for diagnosis, or contact the device manufacturer. Repairing an audio issue due to hardware failure will be cheaper than buying an entirely new phone or music player. However, if the repair cost is excessive, purchasing a replacement device may make more economic sense.

Some signs of hardware failure leading to no audio output include blown speakers, damaged soldering, shorted wires, or issues with the headphone jack, Bluetooth/Wi-Fi, or other audio components. Unless you have technical expertise, it’s best to have a professional assess the device to determine if a repair is feasible.

While frustrating, accepting that your device needs replacement due to hardware issues will save you time and effort with fruitless troubleshooting. Before buying a new phone or music player, research devices known for high-quality and reliable audio components to minimize future issues with no sound output.

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