AirPods Sound or Microphone Muffled? We’ve Found a Fix!

It is often found that when you connect your AirPods to your Mac or your iPhone, they start sounding muffled and distorted. We know this issue is faced pretty often by the users and obviously you got yourself the elite device not only to make it sound like a cheap knockoff earphone. So we have analyzed why you hear the AirPods sound muffled or even sometimes the AirPods microphone is muffled too.

Why is AirPods Sound Muffled?

Your AirPods start making muffled sounds when you pair it with your Mac. When you face this issue it is because your AirPods have joined the 8-16kHz codec (SCO). Now why does this happen?

Your Mac and it’s attachments are precoded to use this codec as their default sound output. Now when you connect your AirPods to them, your AirPods start emitting the same poor quality audio and hence you end up hearing AirPods sound muffled.

AirPods Sound or Microphone Muffled

So what codec does my AirPods follow? Well, normally your AirPods are meant to follow AAC codec which gives the optimal output and hence giving the unbelievable good sound quality. So when you connect them with your Mac through Bluetooth, you end up getting poor quality sound because Bluetooth is unable to process premium quality input and output streams simultaneously.

6 Ways to Fix AirPods Sound Muffled

This issue keeps recurring and without a doubt we have come up with a verified solution for the problem and will pass on the baton to you. Here we will note down the ways you can get your AirPods’ sound quality back to elite.

1. Toggle Bluetooth Off and On

You have surely tried this already but if you haven’t, let this be the point you realize that toggling the Bluetooth off and back on again is a simple but quite effective spell. Even NASA knew toggling the switch off and back on will work to reconnect it’s satellite far away in space, then this is a much closer call and surely worth a go. Here is a step by step guide of how to do so.

Step 1: Navigate to the System Preferences of your Mac from the above task window.

click on System Preferences from Apple Logo

Step 2: Click on Bluetooth settings and then click on turn Bluetooth Off completely and wait for about 10-15 seconds.

Turn Off Bluetooth on Mac using Bluetooth Settings

Step 3: Then go ahead and turn it ON back again

Check once again if you are still getting muffled sound in AirPods or even if AirPods microphone is muffled. You will not have to reconnect your AirPods as it has been connected previously.

2. Clean your AirPods thoroughly

Cleaning your AirPods should be a regular habit and we suggest that you take out the time once or twice in 3-4 months to clean your device thoroughly in and out. You have exposed your AirPods to all kinds of dust and dirt while using them all day every day and hence they tend to get dirty.

Cleaning AirPods Pro with Cleaning Kit to Solve AirPods Muffled issue

Now, this product like any other electronic item will start losing its integrity with the dust and dirt hurting the quality too. So you should always make sure that you have cleaned each and every part of your AirPods. You can always go ahead and remove the earbuds and take a good Microfiber cloth to clean the parts. Here’s the cleaning kit which we recommend you to go for. Remember never to put water on your AirPods or even if your device was all fine before you will get muffled noises now.

Once you have cleaned your pods, go ahead and have a good cleaning to the case too so that you know you have done the most you could in cleaning. This way you have a greater chance to make sure you get your good AirPods without all the sound and microphone muffled issues.

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3. Disconnect Other Devices

We in today’s world have an undying need to multitask endlessly. This habit gets us to connect multiple Bluetooth devices at the same time and due to its limited capabilities, we could assume that this could be causing you trouble. You will have to initially disconnect all devices individually as most of the time your devices are set to connect to your Mac automatically every time when you turn Bluetooth on. Here is a step-by-step guide for you to follow when you want to remove any connected Bluetooth device.

Step 1: Go to the Control Centre of your Mac and open it.

Step 2: Follow it up by going into Bluetooth and click on “Bluetooth Preferences”.

Click on Bluetooth Preferences from Control Centre

Step 3: Now go ahead and select the devices other than your AirPods and select disconnect (X symbol).

how to disconnect Bluetooth devices on Mac

This way you can disconnect all your other devices leaving your AirPods and allowing your Bluetooth to give optimal output to your sound and microphone quality. There is not much hope but there are chances that you can get the issue of your AirPods sound muffled quality resolved.

4. Switch the Microphone Input

Normally when you connect your AirPods to any device through Bluetooth, the automatic choice for the microphone is the AirPods Microphone. For you to make this work, you have to change this setting to Mac’s built-in microphone. There is a very easy way for you to do this and we will give you a step-by-step guide to follow.

Step 1: Open “System Settings” on your Mac and hear over to “Sound” option.

click on Sound option from system settings

Step 2: In sound, click on the “Input” option available on the top center of the settings screen.

click on Input Settings

Step 3: Now click on your Mac’s built-in option and wait for 10-15 seconds for the setting to change and voila you have successfully restored the integrity of your AirPods. Now check if you are still facing the issue of your AirPods microphone muffled.

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5. Check Mac for Updates

Often you will find that because your Mac is not kept up to date and hence you are facing this issue where you end up getting poor quality output not only in sound but at other outputs too. So for avoiding such issues, keep your Mac updates and download all available software updates. If you have skipped on the update then let us show from where you can get it back.

Step 1: Go to the top right of your screen and click on the Apple icon.

Step 2: From there click on “About This Mac”.

Click on About This Mac from Apple icon

Step 3: The pop-up on the screen will show which software is currently installed on your Mac and on that itself you will find “Software Update” so click on it.

Click on Software Update in overview section

Step 4: Wait for your Mac to process your request and it will show if your Mac has an available update or if your Mac is up to date. If there is an available update then make sure you download it and install and once that is done then check if the problem still persists.

6. Ensure Stable Bluetooth Connection

Most of us take it for granted but it is very important for your Bluetooth connection to be stable so that your AirPods microphone muffled issue can be solved. Most of the time you forget that Bluetooth has its limitations and you either step away from the range or tend to connect more devices and hence your quality deteriorates.

For you to have the best quality of sound and microphone, you will have to ensure that your Bluetooth connection is stable and proper. In short, the AirPods must be in the range of Bluetooth as per Mac’s capability and if you’re unable to find your lost AirPods, here’s how you can find them. This way you can make sure that you tackled any issue regarding AirPods sound muffled or microphone muffled.

Did this fix the AirPods microphone muffled issue on your Mac?

We have all encountered AirPods sound muffled on Mac issue once or more while streaming our most loved music and hence we thought it’s time we found a once and for all solution for this pesky little issue.

These methods have been tried and tested so they are worth a go and the same is applicable for AirPods Pro if the sound or microphone is muffled. If none of them get the job done and you have recently bought your AirPods, you always have a choice of replacement which you should take without a second thought.

Let us know through the comment section below about which method helped you out and if you are stuck somewhere then write to us so we can get back to you and give you proper guidance.

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Niket Purohit
Niket is a tech geek who loves to try his hands out at latest Apple inventions. He is always willing to learn more of the ins and outs of newest tech gadgets, applications and games.
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