Why does my speaker sound muffled? {Answered 2023}

You just spent dollars on your new speakers and as you start playing music on your Spotify account, you realize that the sound is muffled.

Arghh, frustrating right? 

There can be a number of factors for this and finding the root cause of the problem isn’t as easy as it looks.

 So let’s explore the problem – Why does my speaker sound muffled and try to find out the possible causes of this issue?

Why does my speaker sound muffled?

Listed below are the various possible reasons and troubleshooting tips to tackle the issue:

1. Blocked sound waves

The sound is muffled by high-frequency noises because their short wavelengths are easily absorbed or reduced by obstructions and distance. 

blocked sound waves

Now this may be due to: incorrect speaker positioning for amplifying sound and obstruction of the speaker grill caused by dirt, grime, hair, etc.

High-mid and high-frequency drivers should be positioned with a direct line of sight between the listener and the speaker for best results. 

Any speaker might be used for this, including a soundbar and surround speakers for an Atmos configuration.

It is advisable to not place the speaker in any small spaces. As a result, make sure the projector screen is acoustically transparent before mounting speakers behind it. 

Also, check for dirt and debris blocking the sound waves if your AirPods, headphones, smartphone, tablet, laptop, or TV speakers sound muffled. 

If you feel comfortable doing it yourself, remove any blockage with a toothbrush and isopropyl alcohol. If not, get professional assistance.

Damaged or poor wiring

Speakers that create muted sounds may be the result of improper speaker wiring. 

It’s possible that you moved your setup and inadvertently wired the speakers in the opposite direction; speakers that are out of phase sound terrible and muffled.

Movable speaker systems also have the potential to harm the inner circuit and wiring that hold them together.

It can be challenging to wire speakers in series or phases at first. For instance, you must make sure that the positive, red, or + terminal of the external amp is connected to the first speaker in a series. 

The first speaker receives this signal from the amp, and you then wire the remaining speakers in succession. The amp’s negative, black, or – terminal is used to re-connect the last speaker in a series, completing the chain. 

The sound will not be accurate if any of the speakers veers from this.

You must use brand-new speaker wire because it’s conceivable that your original wire was broken at some point.

If the issue is not resolved by the replacement speaker wire, it can be an internal issue.

2. Insufficient High-End Frequencies

high and low pitch frequency

Starting with an example, try speaking out loud and continue speaking while covering your lips with a hand. 

Your hand is obstructing and absorbing a large portion of the high-end frequency content of your voice by covering your mouth, which results in a muted sound.

Extending this to mixes, it’s simple to understand how a deficiency in high-end frequencies will produce murky, gloomy effects.

3. You may have blown speakers

blown speaker

It will wreak all kinds of havoc if you have a broken or blown speaker into a system with other speakers. The speaker won’t produce any sound or it may not play the intended sound if there is only little internal damage.

For instance, a blown sub would prevent your system from producing the bass you would anticipate from your setup.

Blown speakers will sound quiet or muffled at low volumes. Sometimes, even a Sound Booster extension can make the sound muffled if the settings are set at very high levels.

When the volume is turned up, distortion is immediately audible, including crackling, strange booming, and other unnatural sounds. 

Blowing and broken speakers generally produce some type of distortion in addition to muffled sound. Turn up the selected speaker and listen for distortion to check.

Try adjusting the bass and treble on the speaker’s channel if it is still producing sound but has distortion; if it doesn’t work, the speaker likely has a blown driver. Unfortunately, damaged speakers and drivers cannot be repaired.

4. You might be using the default settings of your receiver

Usually, when your speakers’ audio is muffled, you want to check here first. Unintentionally altering settings can cause your finely calibrated speakers to emit imbalanced and muddled crap.

Without knowing your home theatre or car stereo setup, it is very hard to pinpoint what settings might be at fault because different numbers and types of speakers call for different configurations.

Unfortunately, using default settings is a problem that occurs frequently. The default setting on receivers frequently does not adequately reflect the number of speakers you have.

Due to this, the receiver may attempt to distribute the system’s audio requirements inaccurately.

5. Poor acoustics

The room itself is a less evident issue that can mute speakers. It can be challenging to strike a decent balance between open space and listener proximity, particularly when shifting speakers to a new place.

Particularly smaller spaces don’t have as excellent an acoustical quality and won’t provide as pleasant of a listening experience as a larger space.

6. Faulty hardware

Your speakers will sound muddled if the high-frequency driver is blown. The voice coil or cone suspension may be torn apart by mechanical or thermal stress, resulting in damage to the driver.

On a multi-way speaker, pay special attention to each driver or wave your palm in front of each to hear for variations in output levels to make sure they are all operating as intended.

Get a professional to replace a driver if it is blown. If you are skilled with solder and have access to a replacement driver, consider DIY.

A faulty capacitor on the tweeter’s high pass filter (crossover circuit) could be distorting the signals prior to playback if the high-frequency driver has output but it is low. 

The capacitor should be examined for damage before being changed out for one with a similar microfarad value (F), however, one with a higher voltage value, if necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q1. How do you fix a muffled speaker?

Ans. We advise testing the speaker by lowering it to the lowest setting and then boosting it to the highest setting. To make sure it is not stuck, try playing music at both volumes. If your phone speakers are muffled, you can also attempt volume boosting apps to restore speaker volume.

Q2. Why does my Bluetooth speaker sound muffled?

Ans. Since Bluetooth has two modes, this occurs. For listening to the audio of greater quality, use the first mode. Speaking into the microphone and listening to audio are both possible in the second mode. Until the microphone is turned off, audio quality suffers when Bluetooth switches to the second mode.

Q3. How can I make my speakers sound clear?

Ans. The volume settings are either set too high or too low, which is one of the most frequent issues when it comes to getting clear sound from your speakers. Just tweaking the volume levels on your speaker system will solve this issue.

Q4. How do I fix muffled speakers on Android?

Ans. If the sound from your Android phone is muffled or muted, the speaker may be obstructed or wet. Use a dry toothbrush to gently brush any blockages from the speaker. After that, check your phone to see if the sound quality has improved.

Gareth Ellis
Gareth Ellis

I am a passionate techie with love for dogs and children. In my spare time, I enjoy volunteering at the local animal shelter and organizing coding workshops to teach people about technology.