Do AirPods Lose Volume Over Time?

There’s much to love about Apple AirPods, but their price isn’t one of them. For this reason, we are disappointed and frustrated when they’re not working as we expect them to. For the AirPods’ price, we expect them to last well past their limited warranty with the same high quality.

However, if you find that over time your AirPods’ volume is lower than it should be, you’re not the only one. Your AirPods’ volume can change over time due to several factors. But is their volume permanently lost, and is there anything you can do to fix or prevent it? Read on to find out.

Why Your AirPods’ Volume is Lower

Your AirPods’ volume probably isn’t disappearing completely, but there are reasonable explanations for why you may find the volume lower than it should be.

Low AirPod Battery

If your AirPods’ battery is low, the volume might fluctuate. If you find the volume alternating between the normal level and fading out, charge the AirPods and see if the volume stabilizes. If your AirPods are fully charged or if charging them didn’t fix the situation, read on.

Low Phone Battery

If you’re using your pods with your phone, check your phone’s battery. Why would the phone battery affect your AirPods? It shouldn’t, but if your phone battery is very low and is on power-save mode, it may have lowered your AirPods’ volume and other functions. Charge the phone or turn off the power-save mode and see if that fixes the issue.

iPhone Settings

Make sure that your phone settings aren’t limiting the volume. 

On your iPhone, go to Settings and click on the Music settings. Confirm that your volume limit setting isn’t set too low. Slide the If your phone is set to restrict the sound level, turn off the restriction and see if that makes a difference. 

Only on Select Devices

Is the volume affected on all devices or only on one or two? If you use your AirPods with multiple devices, check if you have the volume issue when you connect it to another device. For example, does it sound fine when paired with your phone but too low when connected to your Peloton? Sometimes it could be a software or incompatibility issue with a specific device.

Wax, Dirt, and Sweat Buildup

The most common reason why your AirPods’ volume may be lower is due to a buildup of wax, dirt, and sweat over time from frequent use. Your ears naturally have wax, and some of that will inevitably end up in your AirPods. The more often you wear them, the more wax can accumulate in them.

Sweat is another natural result of being inside your ear, especially if you wear the AirPods while you run or work out. The salt in your sweat can remain in your AirPods even after you dry them off and build up a layer that will affect the sound.

Even if you often wipe down your AirPods and you don’t think they look dirty, the screen inside probably has residue and buildup. The dirt forms a layer over the AirPods’ speakers, which muffles the sounds and makes it seem as though the volume is lower.

If the volume is louder in one ear than the other, one is probably dirtier than the other one. You may have worn one of them more often than the other or have more wax in one ear. One AirPod may also be dying earlier than the other, which can affect the sound too.

Fortunately, you can easily fix the problem by cleaning your AirPods. 

Do AirPods Lose Volume Over Time?
How to Clean Your AirPods

Defective or Hardware Issue

If all else fails, your AirPods may be broken. If your AirPods warranty is still in effect, you may be able to get them repaired or replaced for free. If your warranty has already expired, you can try reaching out to Apple Support to see if they can help you resolve the issue.

How to Clean Your AirPods

Users should clean their AirPods every so often. There’s no need to wait until the buildup is heavy enough to affect your AirPods’ volume. If you wear them for a few hours a day, clean them even more frequently. Follow the guidelines below to clean your AirPods properly.


  • Gently wipe them with a disinfectant wipe or with a soft lint-free cloth lightly sprayed with rubbing alcohol. The rubbing alcohol will help dissolve the dirt, and it evaporates quickly, so it won’t leave your AirPods wet.
  • Take a dry cotton swab and delicately wipe the inside of the earpieces to remove the wax and dirt that accumulated inside.
  • If you can see visible wax and the above methods didn’t remove it, try using a toothpick and 0gently target the spot of dirt. Be careful not to scratch the screen inside. 
  • Carefully remove the ear tips and wash them under room-temperature water. Dry them thoroughly before reattaching them.
  • Wait until they are completely dry before using them. 

Do Not:

  • Never immerse the AirPods in water or wash them under running water.
  • Do not use soap or abrasive cleaning solvents on the AirPods.
  • Don’t use rough or sharp cleaning tools as they may damage the AirPods.

Some users find that sucking on the AirPods, as unappealing as that sounds, works wonders. Clean the AirPods using the methods above, and then gently suck on them until you feel the air flow through. This method will help remove any water trapped under the mesh screen inside and loosen any dirt trapped below. Then try them out to see if it works. 

Take preemptive measures to keep your AirPods clean and free of gunk by cleaning your ears before you use them. Gently clean your ears with a soft Q-tip before inserting the AirPods to eliminate a lot of dirt or wax from getting into them.

To Sum Up

You may find your AirPods’ volume affected over time, but it usually is an easy fix. If your battery isn’t low, then it’s most likely a buildup of dirt, sweat, and wax. Carefully clean the AirPods and check if the volume is restored. 

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