My Earbuds Aren’t Working

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Updated October 21, 2022

Whether focusing on studies, work, or appreciating music or podcasts, investing in the best headphones can be a life changer. Likewise, many look to the best wireless earbuds for their portability and ease of use. Unfortunately, however, as any gadget is subject to, sometimes they act up. For those trying to figure out why this is, below we’ll explain some common explanations why your earbuds aren’t working.


  • Diagnosing faulty earbuds requires checking all connections, whether wireless or wired devices.
  • Moisture damage is one of the leading causes of earbud damage, making it necessary to avoid high humidity and direct contact with liquid.
  • Any activity or condition that exposes the earbud to water — snow, rain, exercise, humid climate, steam, etc. — can lead to moisture damage.

Also, for those using wired devices, we have a great article on how to wrap earbuds so you can preserve your headphone jack and avoid loose and broken wires.

Insider Tip

If you work out with your earbuds, try to get a water-resistant pair of headphones.

How Come My Earbuds Aren’t Working?

It’s always a bummer when any audio device goes on the fritz. The worst part is that it’s often difficult to tell where the audio issues come from. With some knowledge, however, you can know where to look when solving the mystery of broken headphones.

Remember that if you’re continually frustrated and wondering why your earbuds keep breaking, it may be time to invest in a new pair. Here’s a hint: going wireless is a great way to avoid common damages. For more on this, look into our piece explaining what true wireless is.

Connectivity Issues

Connection problems are one of the most common answers to why your earbuds keep cutting out. More often than not, with wireless devices, something is impeding the Wi-Fi signal. To troubleshoot a wireless headphones issue, disconnect the audio source from the Wi-Fi and reconnect. If the signal remains spotty, try connecting your audio source to a different network. You also may need to reset the earbuds.

It’s also important to check your audio settings to ensure you haven’t accidentally disabled Bluetooth.

For wired earbuds, the connection issues could be coming from wire damage. If you hear significant static or crackling, check the headphone cable and audio jack to ensure nothing is damaged.


Earbuds are more likely to cause hearing damage than over-ear headphones. Therefore, continuously monitor how long you’re listening to music at a loud volume.

Moisture Damage

As I’m sure you’ve been told, moisture is the mortal enemy of electronics. Moisture can both short wires and damage the audio signal equipment. Therefore, it makes sense that moisture is one of the most common reasons for death and damage to audio devices.

Avoid submerging them in liquid of any form to steer clear of moisture damage. Also, avoid leaving earphones in the bathroom during a shower, and don’t wear them while walking in the rain. Also, as difficult as this may be, not exercising with earbuds is recommended to avoid moisture damage.

STAT: Listening to audio over 85 decibels for an extended period of time (over two hours) can cause permanent hearing damage. Listening to audio between 105-110 decibels might lead to hearing impairment in under five minutes. (source)

Earbuds Aren’t Working FAQs

Why are my earbuds always falling out?

Common reasons for earphones falling out are excess earwax or the earbud not fitting into the ear canal properly. If your earbuds have changeable tips, try using a different size ear tip.

How long do wireless earbuds last?

Wireless earbuds, when cared for and used daily, last about 2-3 years.

Why are my earbuds getting quieter?

If you experience decreased volume and audio quality, your internal speakers are likely wearing out.
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