Headphones Not Working? How to Troubleshoot

Headphones not working can be one of the most frustrating experiences, you’re all set to listen to your favorite tunes or talk to somebody online and for some reason they just won’t work. You’re probably here because you found this article on Google, so lets just jump into how we can solve this problem for you and get those headphones working again.

1. Check your connections

Sounds obvious I know but this could well be the problem with your audio. Unplug your headphones or earbuds from their connection and look for any abnormalities, check that it was properly connected, look inside the connection to see if you have anything stuck in the plug or even give a little blow to get rid of dust. If you are running headphones through an amp it is also worth checking your connection here. Some laptops and other devices will come up with a red light when your connection is not working, so this is a sure fire sign there is a problem.

2. Check your volume and device

I know, I’m insulting your intelligence, but we’ve all been there! Screaming at our iPods “why won’t you work?!” When really we just had it on mute…whoops. There may be volume on the headphones themselves as well as the device. This step is not just about checking that the volume is up though, it is also worth checking whether there are any other abnormalities on the device. Turn it off and back on again and find out if there is any way it will tell you if there is a set of headphones plugged in. This might be the root of your issue.

3. Check your Sound Settings

If you’re playing your audio through a laptop, you may be able to solve your problem by looking on your sound settings. The vast majority of headphones are plug and play, but it is worth looking just in case. Go to “Hardware and Sound” on your control panel and look for audio devices, see if your headphone is showing up, showing an error or not showing up. Remember that no-show is probably pretty normal so don’t get too hung up, but it may be the case that you have to select the audio device.

4. Try them in a Different Device

It might be a problem with your headphones, it might a problem with your audio device. The best way to find out is to plug them into a different MP3 player or laptop or anything that will play audio and see if the problem persists. If no sound is playing on multiple devices you can be pretty sure that it is in fact the headphones with the problem.

5. Speak to the Manufacturer

If you can’t get them sorted, you should speak to the manufacturer who should be able to help you, they’ll have specific troubleshooting options for the model you are using, and if they can’t help you and your headphones or earbuds are relatively new, you may have a good case for a replacement pair to be sent to you free of charge.


The above steps will hopefully get you nearer to solving your headphones not working. Remember that you get what you pay for and if they’re quite a cheap set they might not last a long time.

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