How to make headphones louder on PC?

If your newly purchased headphones or the ones you’ve been using for months start sounding feeble, then that could be a result of a variety of different underlying reasons. It can be anything from incompatible hardware to a software glitch.

We understand that this is very common with PC users and a lot of users face this issue on a daily basis and with the number of different approaches flooded on the internet, it is natural for users to get confused.

So, here is an article that explains six of the best methods that you can try yourself to make headphones louder on PC. In the latter section of the article, we have also mentioned some of the risks associated with making the headphones louder so make sure you check that out too.

6 methods on how to make headphones louder on PC?

Method 1: Check if the headphones are properly plugged in

If your headphone’s audio jack or PC’s audio port has worn out over time, then there is a possibility of a loose connection, a common cause of low audio output from the headphones. To ensure that the headphones are plugged in properly, press them better after plugging them in. 

Alternatively, you can connect the headphones via another audio jack (if such a facility is available). It is also possible to connect your audio device by USB to a 3.5 mm jack audio converter.

Method 2: Using Windows volume mixer

Windows volume mixer lets you control the volume of individual applications running on your PC. If you don’t hear the audio of specific applications, then you can try checking the Windows volume mixer and see if the volume is turned down there. To access the Windows volume mixer, follow these steps: 

Step 1: Right-click on the speaker icon in the taskbar and select ‘open volume mixer’. 

Step 2: In the Volume mixer, slide the volume adjustment bar till the volume increases to the desired value.

Notice the speaker volume and application volumes. Even if the speaker volume is turned all the way up and the application volume is low, you wouldn’t be able to hear anything properly. Once you adjust the volume on the application from the Windows volume mixer, this issue will be solved.

Method 3: Using the physical volume control buttons (if available)

A lot of mid-range and high-end headphones (especially the ones used for gaming) come with a volume knob that lets you adjust the loudness of the audio being played to your headphones. 

It’s nothing but a simple attenuator that reduces the gain of the audio signals coming from the PC. Using this knob, the user can adjust headphone volume to a value equal to or lower than the maximum possible output volume. 

If such a volume knob is available on your headphone, try adjusting it and to see if that increases the volume of your headphones.

Method 4: Try playing a different audio clip

If you’re playing something from your local storage, that is also a possibility that the audio clip or the video that you are playing might be recorded in low volume itself. 

To see if that is the cause of your problems, try playing something from your web browser. You can also transfer your audio clip from your PC to another device and try playing it from there. If the audio clip sounds fine on your other devices, then you can proceed to the next step of the troubleshooting process.

Method 5: Using a third-party equalizer app (Equalizer APO)

A third-party equalizer application like Equalizer APO can provide the much-needed boost to the audio that you are listening to. The application can be downloaded free of cost from their official website. Let’s check out how to set it up to increase the volume of your headphones.

Step 1: Visit the Equalizer APO’s official website.

Step 2: Download the Equalizer APO installer. It has a size of less than 10 MB and should get downloaded within seconds.

Step 3: Open the downloaded zip file or extract it.

Step 4: If you are on Windows OS, open the EqualizerAPO64-’version no.’; otherwise, if you are on a MAC OS, run the installer from the _MAXOSX subfolder. For now, we shall demonstrate the process for a Windows PC, the same can be followed for Mac OS.

Step 5: Follow all the instructions that you are shown by the installer program to install the application on your PC.

Step 6: Specify the install directory and hit ‘Next’.

Step 7: After the installation is complete, the application will ask you about which audio device do you want to activate the equalizer for. Pick your headphones from the list.

By default, the application will be installed and activated for the default audio output device.

Step 8: Restart the PC to finish installing the Equalizer APO.

Step 9: Now open the application from the start menu or from the desktop icon (if it has been created).

Step 10: Next to the Pre-amplification option, you would notice a knob that can be adjusted. Rotate it in the clockwise direction with your mouse to add gain to your audio device.

Since dB is an exponential scale, a small gain of 5 dB should be enough to make your headphones a lot louder than before. Restrict yourself from increasing the audio gain beyond a few dB.

Try playing something from your headphones again to confirm whether the volume of the device has increased or not.

Method 6: Check the impedance values of the headphones

Impedance, in general, refers to the resistance offered to the flow of AC electricity. In the context of audio devices, it is an important parameter that is often ignored by buyers when making a purchase. A headphone with high impedance values (over 50 Ohms) requires a special audio driver to make it work which is usually not available on PCs and laptops.

Most of our personal electronic devices can drive headphones having low impedance (up to 50 Ohms). Connecting a high impedance headphone to your device will make them sound too weak. In rare cases, the device and headphones might even get damaged.

Hence, it is essential to check the impedance of the headphones before buying and use an amplifier if necessary.

Risks of boosting headphone volume louder on PC?

There are some general points that you should know about before going ahead and boosting the volume of headphones on your PC. Here they are:

  1. Risk of damage to your hearing

Unlike Android, Windows has no safety feature to protect you from turning the volume of your headphones beyond 80%. After increasing the volume of your headphones, keep them a little far from your ears and test if you can bear the loudness.

Even though high volume might not seem like a problem at first, being exposed to loud volumes for an extended period of time can also cause serious issues with hearing. If you feel pain in your ears or feel dizzy, immediately take off your headphones and consult a doctor if the feeling does not subside.

  1. Risk of damage to your headphones or PC:

Playing loud audio on small devices can also result in permanent damages to the audio drivers present in them. Audio drivers are pretty durable, but the low impedance headphones with smaller audio drivers are vulnerable to damages caused by loud audio signals.

The first sign of a dying speaker is the buzzing sound that comes from it. If your headphones make a buzzing, rattling, or other disturbing sounds, then there is a good chance that your audio driver might have blown up. There’s hardly anything you can do in this case other than buying a new headphone.

Headphones are safer than earbuds since they don’t sit as close to your eardrum as the earbuds do. But still, readers are requested to be highly cautious when tweaking around with the settings when making headphones louder on PC.

Remember, you can always get new headphones if they get damaged, but it’s impossible to do the same with the ears. So always be careful when trying out new stuff with them.

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