I was an Airpods owner for a long time before I switched to the newer models. I loved my AirPods until I noticed it was leaking sounds, meaning other people near me could hear what I was listening to.
Annoyed at this inconvenience, I went online to figure out what had happened.
I went through several Apple forums and support materials. This guide is a result of that research so you can fix your AirPods if it is leaking sound.
The most common reason why your AirPods could be leaking sound is that the AirPods don't fit snugly in your ear due to a size issue. The best way to solve this issue is to buy silicon ear hooks or earbuds for AirPods that are available cheaply.
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How to Fix Airpods Leaking Sound
Use Silicon Ear Hooks or Earbuds for a Snug Fit
Everyone's ear is of different size and although Apple does a good job with its design to make it suit most people, it can be imperfect sometimes.
If your AirPods are loose-fitting, it can cause sound to bleed into your surroundings.
One easy way to solve this is to buy silicon ear hooks or earbuds that you can fit on your AirPods.
The ear hook will fill in the gap between your AirPods and your ear, thereby stopping sound leakage.
These hooks are a good choice if you don't want to spend much- Ear hooks for Airpods.
If you have AirPods pro rather than AirPods, you will have received silicon ear tips of three different sizes.
Try different ones out and see if doing so fixes the issue.
Use a Foam Earbud
If silicone ear hooks don't fit your ear, a better alternative is to use foam earbuds.
Foam earbuds emulate the shape of your ear much better than silicone and are a great option when you want complete isolation.
However, be wary when using them in a situation where you need to hear some sound at least.
Such as when walking outside your home.
Clean Your AirPods
Over time, dirt can build up in your AirPods.
When there is a dirt buildup, you tend to raise the volume high to compensate for the low volume.
This can ultimately cause sound from Airpods to leak.
To clean your AirPods, wipe them clean with a damp cloth. Make sure to not get any moisture inside the openings of the AirPods. Then, wipe clean with a dry cloth.
For cleaning the meshes in the speaker and the microphone, use cotton swabs.
Reset Your Airpods
Resetting your Airpods is a good way to troubleshoot almost any issue.
Here's how to do so:
- Place Airpods inside the charging case, close it, and leave it be for around 30 seconds.
- When 30 seconds have passed, open the lid of the charging case.
- Next on your device (phone or iPad), tap settings > Bluetooth.
- Find your Airpods in the devices listed and tap on Forget this Device.
- If required, tap again to confirm.
- Keep the lid of the charging case open, then press and hold the setup button behind the charging case of your AirPods for around 15 seconds.
- The status indicator light should flash amber and then white.
Avoid Raising the Volume of Airpods in Noisy Environments
When using Airpods in noisy environments such as inside airplanes, it's natural to compensate by raising the volume above the recommended level.
Not only is this harmful to your ears, but it can also cause sound to leak.
Airpods are not the best option for use inside Airplanes. Opt for over-the-ear headphones if you have a choice.
Faulty AirPods - Need to be Replaced
In some rare cases, your AirPods might be broken.
If you are still within 14 days of buying your Airpods, you can either return them or get them replaced.
Even if you are past 14 days, it's a good idea to take your AirPods to an Apple store for the technicians to take a look.
Why Can People Hear my AirPods?
AirPods are meant for everyday use and are carefully crafted to be at service across the various environments you might need to tread during your daily functioning.
Therefore, Apple has prioritized safety along with the convenience of using wireless earphones and designed the AirPods to let in a little bit of environmental sound.
This ensures that you will be able to hear the sound of traffic or the announcements in a train station, without being fully pulled out of the immersion from your music.
But such a small chamber to let in sounds from the outside works both ways, and therefore the AirPods are susceptible to leaking sounds.
Fortunately, this is not a design flaw, and the sound leak is only slightly noticeable when you compare the AirPods and a traditional pair of earbuds.
But if you are listening to very high volumes, you are bound to annoy the person sitting right next to you on public transport.
At What Volume do AirPods Leak Sound?
It is hard to judge the volume of an audio file that is being played via your AirPods simply because every audio track has different audio profiles.
But by trial and error, you can get a rough idea of what volume level you can be on your phone in order to make the leaking audio unnoticeable.
With traditional earbuds, whose silicon tips help in improving the passive isolation of the sound played, there won't be a lot of audio leaks into the surroundings.
And for a pair of AirPods, it is safe to say that going over 75% of the maximum volume can start leaking sounds to the environment.
Perfect Sound Isolation Alternative for Airpods
While AirPods are designed to contain sound within your ears, they are not fully isolated.
This can be a good thing as it lets you use Airpods in almost any situation such as while walking outside.
In many situations, you need to hear sounds from outside for your own safety such as the sound of cars or someone calling you.
However, if you prefer complete sound isolation from your surroundings, you might need to use over-the-ear noise-isolating headphones instead of Airpods.
If you are an Apple fanboy, you can even look into getting the Apple Airpods Max, which also has great noise canceling and can be used wired too.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Can someone else hear my AirPods?
In most cases, no one else can hear your AirPods except you. However, if your Airpods don't fit snugly in your ear or if your Airpods volume is too high, there is a chance that others may be able to hear from your Airpods.
Why are my AirPods so quiet but loud outside?
Airpods sound quiet or have low volume when they are dirty. This can happen over time due to dirt or gunk building up in them.
To fix this problem, clean your AirPods carefully using a clean cloth or soft-bristled brush.