Do you know anyone who doesn’t like music? Neither do I. There can be a huge difference in opinion when it comes to what type of music is good. And that’s why headphones are important. And what better place to store all of your music than your Android device? Most likely you always have your Android with you.
But eventually, you may pull out your headphones only to realize that something has gone terribly awry. You might hear only static, your music might only play intermittently, or perhaps not even at all. Fortunately, there’s often a fix. Many of these problems also have overlapping solutions, so it doesn’t hurt to check them all out.
Problem 1: Jack is Jammed
It’s extremely common for dirt, lint, even trash to find its way inside of the headphone jack. This is definitely worth checking if it seems like the headphones aren’t working because that connection is being blocked by something.
Use Compressed Air to Clean
Keep in mind that it’s possible to drive the offending dirt, lint, or whatever object is causing the issue even further into the jack instead of out, so use caution. Don’t emit a big blast.
Use Dry Cotton Swab
Some also claim that it helps to add a little alcohol to the cotton, but too often fluids and electronics don’t mix.
Cover the Jack
Although this is really more of a preventative measure, you may find it worthwhile to place a small piece of tape, rubber, or silicone over the opening to block anything except the headphone cable from entering.
Replace the Jack
As a last resort, replacing the jack may be your only option.
Problem 2: Music Pauses Randomly
If you can’t enjoy your music because you have to remind your Android/headphones to play it, there are a few things to try. This applies to devices that do not experience the same issue on their speakers.
It can be helpful to find out whether the headphones are truly the problem, or the source of the issue is related to, say, the ROM’s inability to multitask. Test the headphones on a different device, or conversely, test different headphones on the same device.
If the problem lies within the cord of the headphones, you can splice the wires and solder the connection, but this is a pain in my opinion.
Establish a Firm Connection
If there isn’t a firm connection within the jack at all times, it can cause the music player to pause. Prevent the plug from being jarred when you move by making sure that the male plug is pushed in all the way until you hear it click.
Install No Lock
If the music stops playing when your screen locks, download the No Lock app. It will cause your Android to sleep, rather than lock.
This problem can be related to an issue with the hardware audio decoder, but the app circumvents this obstacle. Don’t forget to disable the app’s no lock feature the rest of the time for security reasons.
Uninstall Third-Party Apps
This problem aside, there might be some apps you need to weed out because odds are you don’t use them all. If there are any you downloaded recently, just as you started to notice this problem, see if the issue remains when you uninstall them. If there are any you suspect of causing the issue, try uninstalling them. Finally, try uninstalling one by one.
Problem 3: Static/Crackling Sounds
Static or crackling noises are definitely not music to your ears. This one is certainly an annoying Android headphone problem.
Use Original Headphones
Other headphones may not fit in the headphone jack they way they should, and you might be losing a solid connection. Make sure the plug clicks when you push it in the jack.
Headphone problems aren’t exclusively a hardware issue. Software bugs can cause them as well. Updates can fix bugs.
Switch from Wi-Fi to Mobile Data
Wi-Fi can get overloaded. Try streaming from 3 or 4G instead. This is especially true if you are also experiencing slow Internet and/or downloads.
This is going to wipe everything, and you will have to start from scratch. To start with a clean slate, go into Recovery Mode. Choose Factory Reset/Wipe Data by selecting the option using the Volume Down key and confirming your choice by pressing the Volume Up key.
If the jack or the device itself has physical damage, it can cause this issue, and using the warranty will save you time, stress, and money.
Problem 4: Moving Headphone Cable Causes Strange Things to Happen
Headphone jacks have multiple rings or bands—anywhere from 2-4, depending on whether it’s set up for a mic or other such function. Sometimes there’s a mismatch between the headphone input plug and the jack. If the port/jack becomes loose, dirty, or damaged, lots of seemingly unrelated, weird things can start to happen.
Volume commands can start misbehaving, there may be unsolicited phone calls, random song selections, activation of voice commands, and many other oddities can occur. Android may register headphones as a headset.
Use an Adapter
If you have defective hardware, this may be the simplest option. There are plenty of Bluetooth adapters on the market.
This app can help your Android recognize your headphones.
Install Headset Blocker
This app doesn’t show up in the app drawer so you will need to add its widget to your homescreen.
Use Headphones Supported by Device
Jacks that have three or four lines are intended for headphones with a mic vs headphones that don’t (have only two lines).
Problem 5: Volume Keeps Dropping Out
Your music might as well be pausing or stopping half the time because you can’t hear it—and you didn’t touch the volume. This Android headphone problem might be resolved easily.
Plug Headphones in Slowly
This can help if your jack has a different number of prongs than your headphone plug, i.e. the jack has four, the plug has three. Your Android may be registering the headphone plug as a device with a mic when it doesn’t have one. The jacks with more bands/prongs can support a mic wire that can change the volume.
Plugging your cord in slowly can help your Android recognize what type of headphones it is working with. This is similar to the problem above, where there’s trouble distinguishing headphones from a headset.
Install Volume Control
The name says it all.
Download: Volume Control – Vollynx
Uninstall Suspicious Apps
Some apps can cause a conflict. To ascertain if this is the problem, see if you experience the same behavior in Safe Mode. If not, try uninstalling third-party apps one by one.
Angle the Headphone Plug
Push the headphone plug in at a slight angle towards the back of your Android. This, too, may help your device to recognize your headphones as the type they truly are.
Problem 6: Music Plays Through Speakers Even with Headphones Plugged In
Essentially, your speakers work, but your headphones don’t.
Clean the Jack
Use a Q-Tip, paper clip, whatever works, but also be careful. Debris can easily find its way into the jack and cause this exact problem. Shine a flashlight into the jack if you aren’t sure.
If your Android is under warranty, let your carrier handle the issue.
Use Port Plugs
This is more about prevention, but once you’ve faced this issue you certainly don’t want to go through it again. Port plugs prevent the jack from becoming a lint, dirt, or debris receptacle.
Try Other Wired Headphones
If you have a different pair of wired headphones, give those a shot.
Problem 7: No Sound Out of Speakers Either
It’s a sinking feeling when you realize you have no sound at all. No more listening to your music at the gym, on a walk, on a long bus ride, etc. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Remove SD Card from Android and Reinsert
Remove the card from your device and reboot. Check for sound. Reinsert the card.
Yes this one’s obvious, but we want to cover all bases before resorting to more sweeping changes.
Replace SD Card
Sometimes a new one is necessary.
This is most likely the first thing your carrier would do.
It’s still pretty annoying when your headphones have to be in a sweet spot to even function. You do have to weigh how much that annoyance is worth to you sometimes, however.
One of these solutions is bound to help with your Android headphone problems, but if not, let us know. We’ll see what we can do.
Have you encountered any other problems with Android headphones? Tell us about them. Also, if you have solutions, others could benefit from, post them.