Why Do I Hear Static in My Headphones? [Best Fixes]
Static is the annoying hiss sound that usually occurs in extremely quiet settings. Headphones tend to have this issue a lot. Because many people find this inconvenient, several solutions have been developed.
Are you suddenly hearing a weird noise in your headphones out of the blue? That’s static noise. This is a common problem that many users face no matter what brand their headphones are.
It could be because of a software or hardware issue. Luckily, there are many ways to fix It, and we’re going to explore them one by one in this troubleshooting guide.
What Is Static in Headphones?
Static is an annoying inconvenience that creates a “buzzing sound” while music is playing in your headphones. This can significantly impact your headset’s sound quality and affect your listening experience.
Reasons for Static in Headphones
There are many possible reasons why you hear static noise in your headphones. It could be because of damage to your headphones’ speakers, incorrect audio settings, loose wires, or other issues.
Unfortunately, pinpointing the exact cause for static in your headphones can be challenging. Your best solution would be to follow a trial and error approach by experimenting with some quick fixes.
Best Fixes for Static in Headphones
Here are some fixes that you can try to tackle the static noise in your headphones:
Switch to a Different Headphone Jack or Reinforce It
A bad headphone jack is one of the most common reasons for static noise in headphones. You can either reinforce the jack with insulating tape or just replace it if the one in your headphones is removable.
Swap With Speakers
One easy way to tell whether the static issue is because of your PC audio settings or hardware is to swap your headphones with speakers. If you play music on your speakers and don’t hear static, the problem is most likely with your headphones.
Clean the Jack and Port Regularly
Over time, dirt and debris can accumulate in your headphone’s jack and port, causing the dreaded static noise. Try to clean your jack and port regularly with a clean, lint-free cloth and see if it fixes the problem.
Rotate the Headphone Jack
If your headphones’ wires are loose or disconnected due to overuse, you’ll hear static noise when using your headphones. One easy fix is to just keep rotating the headphone jack until the static noise disappears.
Replace or Install a New Sound Card
Sound cards, especially the integrated cheap ones, may cause static noise when the drive or processor is active. Instead of relying on your computer’s built-in sound card, try installing a dedicated sound card and test whether this fixes the problem.
Upgrade Your Old Headphones
Sometimes, fixing static simply requires upgrading to a new pair of headphones. If your headphones are more than two years old, consider buying new ones. However, this should be your last resort after trying out all the fixes, and nothing works.
Get Closer to the Music Source or Turn Off Intereferring Devices
For wireless headphones, a common reason for static noise is being too far away from the music source. Try to sit in the same room as the music device and notice if the static noise disappears.
If that doesn’t work, check other internet-enabled devices in your home. Turn them off and see if it affects the static noise.
How to Fix Static on Mac and PC
To fix static on your Mac device, try restarting it, especially if you’ve installed an update recently. If that didn’t work, try this:
- Hook up your headphones’ jack to your Mac
- Navigate to “System Preferences” and choose “Sound”
- Under the “Sound Effects” tab, make sure that the selected output device is your headphones
- Uncheck the box next to “Play feedback when the volume is changed”
- Check and uncheck the box a few times while playing music and see if it affects the static noise
- If that didn’t work, go to “Applications”, and from the “Utilities” folder, select “Audio MIDI Setup”
- Right-click “Built-in Output” and choose “Use this device for output”
Here’s how to adjust your PC’s audio settings to get rid of headphones static:
- Right-click the speaker icon at the bottom right corner in the Taskbar
- Choose “Playback devices”
- From the sound settings, double click on your headphones’ name and open “Properties”:
- Under the “Levels” tab, move the microphone slide to zero and tap on “Apply”
- Navigate to the “Enhancements” tab and check the “Disable all sound effects” tickbox
How to Fix Static on iPhone and Android
Static noise in headphones doesn’t only happen on desktop computers or laptops; it affects mobile users, too.
Here are some ways to fix static on iPhone:
Do a Soft Reset
To do a soft reset, follow these steps:
- Turn off your iPhone
- Press the “Volume Up” button and quickly press the “Volume Down” button
- Hold the power button until the Apple logo appears
Check for Dirt Inside the Lightning Port
Clean your iPhone’s port with a cotton stick or a needle with a small piece of soft fabric at the end to clear out any dirt or debris.
Turn the “Do Not Disturb” Feature Off
On some iPhone models, the “Do Not Disturb” mode may cause static noise during music playback. You can easily turn it off from your iPhone’s notification center.
Do you hear static noise when listening to music on your Android phone? Try out the following hotfixes:
Update Your Device’s Firmware Version
Static noise in your headphones could be caused by a bug in your Android phone’s software release. To update to a newer version, go to “Settings”, select “About”, and click on “Software Update”.
Do a Factory Reset
In some cases, a factory reset may fix the audio issue on your Android. You can do a factory reset by opening your device’s settings and searching for “Factory Reset” in the top search bar.
However, keep in mind that a factory reset will delete everything on your phone, so make sure that you create a backup and upload it to the cloud before attempting this fix.
Switch From Wi-Fi to Mobile Data
Sometimes, overloading your Wi-Fi may cause static noise in your headphones. Go to “Settings” and change your connectivity method from Wi-Fi to Data and check if it solves the problem.
Static is the undesired sound of low-level hiss, most prevalent in very quiet environments. Static is often caused by numerous reasons, depending also on what kind of device you are using your headphones with. Since many people find this annoying, a lot of fixes have been put out there.
To recap, static in headphones can be fixed in multiple ways. You can try cleaning the audio jack and port, installing a new sound card, adjusting your computer’s audio settings, or replacing the audio jack. If nothing works, your best bet would be to get a new pair of headphones.