Why Aren’t My Headphones Working?

Headphones are an essential part of any music lover’s gear, but sometimes they just don’t work.

Maybe the cord is twisted, maybe the earbuds are dirty, or maybe there’s a problem with the audio jack.

In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the most common reasons why headphones don’t work, and how you can fix them.

From there, you’ll be able to get back to enjoying your music without any problems!

Causes Of Headphones Not Working Properly

There are many causes of headphones not working properly, including but not limited to:

1. Headphone Cord Is Twisted –

If the headphone cord is twisted or kinked, it can cause audio distortion and prevent headphones from working.

To try and fix this, you’ll need to untwist the headphone cord or use a cable cutter/shear to cut off the offending section of wire.

2. Earbuds Are Dirty –

Earbuds get dirty easily; if they’re covered in hair or dust, they can block acoustic waves and prevent them from traveling through the earphones correctly.

In order for your headphones to work, they need clean audio signals to travel through.

To clean your earbuds, simply wipe them down with a dry cloth or microfiber cloth.

3. Headphone Jack Is Defective –

If the audio jack on your device is defective, it can cause the headphones not to work properly.

In order for you to troubleshoot this issue, first try plugging different headphones into the jack and see if that fixes the problem.

Sometimes re-soldering of wires near the headphone jack can fix issues like this (though this may require professional assistance).

4. Audio Settings Are Incorrect –

If your device’s audio settings are incorrect, you may be unable to hear sound from the headphones.

To fix this, go into your device’s audio settings and check to see if the headphone jack is set as the default playback device.

You can also try resetting your phone’s audio system via Settings>Sound & Display>Reset All Settings.

5. Headphones Are Damaged –

If your headphones are severely damaged, they may not work at all. In order to test if your headphones are in fact broken, plug them into a different device and see if you can hear audio coming through them.

If you’re unable to hear anything from the headphone jack or the earbuds themselves, then it’s safe to say that they’re beyond repair and will need to be replaced.

8  Things To Try If Your Headphones Are Not Working:

If your headphones are not working properly, you can try below 8 best tips to fix the issue:

1. Check If Your Headphones Are Properly Plugged In –

Make sure that you plug your headphone jack into the audio jack on your device and not into an outlet or audio cable.

If you have multiple devices with different audio ports, make sure to plug the headphone jack of one device into the other device’s audio port for optimal performance.

2. Clean & Charge Your Headphones –

Dirty earbuds will decrease the sound quality and can also lead to electrical issues, so it’s important to keep them clean! To clean them, use a mild detergent and warm water and then wipe them down with a damp cloth.

If you have headphones that require charging, plug them into the wall and let them sit for at least two hours to charge.

3. Check If The Cord Is Twisted –

The headphone jack can also be disconnected from the device if the headphone cord is twisted around too tightly or become entangled in something else.

To fix this issue, gently untwist the cable and plug it back into your device.

If re-plugging doesn’t work, try using an audio jack extender to help reach cords on tight spaces or devices!

4. Check If The Audio Jack Is Dirty –

If your headphone jack isn’t clean, particles can build up and affect the audio signal. To clean it, use a cotton swab or toothbrush to remove any debris and then rinse with water.

5. Try Another Pair Of Headphones –

Sometimes one pair of headphones may not work with another device because of different specs such as frequency response or impedance levels.

If you’re having trouble using certain headphones with your device, try swapping them out for a different set that might be compatible!

6. Reset Your Headphones –

If all other tips fail and your headphones still don’t work, you may need to reset them. To do this, disconnect the headphones from the device and hold down the power button for about ten seconds until they turn off.

Next, plug them back in and try using them again. If resetting still doesn’t work, it may be time to replace your headphones!

7. Make Sure Your Device Is Compatible –

Not all devices are compatible with headphone jack input, so make sure to check the specs before buying! Some newer smartphones and tablets come equipped with a front-facing audio jack, which can’t be used for headphones.

8. Check The Headphone Jack Cable –

If you’re having trouble connecting or disconnecting your headphones, chances are the cable could be defective.

To test this, plug the headphones into an audio jack on another device and see if they work normally. If not, try replacing the cable with a new one.


To conclude, Now that you know why your headphones aren’t working, it becomes clear why replacement is so important.

Sometimes, the only way to fix them is by getting new ones. But if that’s not an option for you, there are things you can do to get the most out of them.

Try the above-mentioned methods to sort out this problem in no time.


How can I tell which ones have been recalled and which ones aren’t?

This is a difficult question to answer as automakers ever-changing their recalls.

However, you can always consult the manufacturer’s website or contact customer service for more information.

What is the best way to test if your headphones are working?

There is no definitive answer to this question since different headphones work better with different audio devices.

However, some common methods include plugging the headphones into a headphone jack on another device and seeing if they play normally, or try replacing the cable.

Which one should I buy, wireless or wired?

There is no definitive answer to this question since wireless headphones offer many benefits such as portability and freedom of movement, while wired headphones usually have better sound quality.

Ultimately, it depends on your needs and preferences.

Photo of author
Krishanu Dhali is the founder of Headphoneidea and a passionate audio expert. Through in-depth reviews and comprehensive guides on the latest headphone models, he shares extensive knowledge with audiophiles and newcomers alike. His blog is a valuable resource for staying up-to-date on all things audio.

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