What Can You Do If Your Spotify Sounds Muffled While Playing?

Spotify, a way to listen millions of song. However, it is reported that distorted sound is a big issue nowadays for Spotify. 

But why Spotify sounds muffled and how to fix that? 

For starters, messing up equalization settings can cause Spotify to sound muffled. Thus, you need to optimize the equalization settings. Nevertheless, hardware problems like dusty USB sound port can be also a case. You need to properly clear the USB port then insert your speaker or headphone. Speaking of headphone, use good quality headphones to eliminate Spotify’s muffled sounds. 

There’s more to the story. But, don’t worry! I have provided solutions for different scenarios. 

So, let’s get started.


  • Spotify settings differ for every platform.
  • Low-quality headphones and speakers will cause muffled sounds while using Spotify.
  • Mismatch codecs for Bluetooth headphones result in bad audio.

A Quick Glance to Troubleshooting Spotify Sounds Muffled

Bad Equalizer SettingsOptimizing Equalizer Settings
Poor Quality HeadphoneReplacing Headphone
Dusty USB PortCleaning or Adjusting the USB Connectivity
Muffled Sound from Spotify PCChanging Spotify Equalizer
Muffled Sound from Spotify MacChanging Mac’s Sound Settings
Muffled Sound from Spotify Car PlayerChecking the Bluetooth ConnectivityChanging CarPlay’s settings
Muffled Sound from Spotify iOSReinstalling the Application.Checking Bluetooth and WiFi Connectivity.Changing Equalizer Setting.
Muffled Sound from Spotify AndroidChecking the Wired Earphone’s ConnectionChanging the Equalizer Setting.

Why Does Your Spotify Sounds Muffled?

Spotify is an excellent music streaming service with millions of songs at each user’s disposal. People can stream high-quality music for free and without much trouble. 

However, users do face sudden issues like muffled audio or Today’s top fan feature not working. These issues are quite normal. The muffled audio condition could be caused by several factors –

Muffled Sound from Spotify

Bad Equalizer Settings:

From audio to AI-enabled transitions, Spotify offers some settings that you may personalize. One of these personalized settings is the Equalizer setting.

Using the Equalizers, you can change the audio’s low, mid, and high-intensity levels. Changing the frequencies makes your preferred style of music sound its best. 

Most users have their Equalizer settings at their default state. So, it’s quite normal for specific songs in your customized playlist to not match with the settings. And this can be the reason behind the muffled audio.

But don’t get too worked up and start fiddling with the wrong buttons to fix the equalizer. Later in this article, we have an extensive guide to help you with this.

Solution: Optimizing Equalizer Settings

For both their iOS and Android apps, there are various combinations of EQ presets on Spotify. However, even presets that aim to achieve the same sound characteristic won’t sound exactly the same.

For PC and Mac, you can also find different equalizer settings in the menu. Changing the equalizer settings can fix the problem easily. We’ll address this issue later on.


Using flat equalizer settings can give the optimal result sometimes.

Opening Spotify Equalizer
Source: DRMare

Poor Quality Headphone:

Cheap headphones are commonly to blame for the poor sound quality when listening to music on Spotify. With two varieties of headphones available, the cause for muffled sound in each situation is unique-

Wired Headphones:

Muffled audio is the result of a bad connection to the audio source. In this case, it is most likely your phone.

Sound quality will undoubtedly be inconsistent if the headphones’ plug is improperly inserted into the audio port.

Wireless headphones:

Mismatched codecs are the cause of muted sound in Bluetooth headphones. Codecs are used to compress enormous volumes of data, in this situation it is media files.

Bluetooth codecs come in a variety of forms. However, not all devices support every type of codec, just as Spotify does not support Flac

When a device doesn’t support the desired codec, they typically downgrade to inferior quality. And this causes a muffled sound. 

Solution: Replacing the Headphones:

You need to pick better wireless headphones like Sony WH-1000XM4. They have great audio quality and provide excellent noise cancellation. 

At the same time, they make sure that there are no instances of mismatched codecs. Sennheiser HD 450BT is another extremely affordable wireless option.

For running or exercising, JBL Endurance RUN is the best with a water resistance feature.


Before replacing the earphone, tweak the audio settings to fix the problem. You can use preset equalizer settings.

Dusty USB Port:

This usually occurs while listening to Spotify in your car. A malfunctioning USB port could be the cause of the muffled sound.

Dirt buildup in the USB port can result in a misaligned connection. And causing the signals to be disrupted and creating poor-quality audio. Distorted sound can also be a problem when using a USB port.

Solution: Cleaning the USB Port

You need to remove dust from the USB port. Using small brush can work like a charm.

Also, sometimes the USB connection is loose. Thus, the muffled sounds come whenever you play spotify. So, ensure proper USB connectivity.


Inserting USB in dusty USB ports can damage the PC.

Dusty USB port
Source: Click Computer Service

How to Fix the Spotify Sounds Muffled According to Different Devices?

Most of these muffled sound issues get fixed by using the sound settings or equalization settings. But according to each type of device, the solution can vary.

Because not every device has the same kind of customization choice. Let’s see how you can fix the issue with your specific gadget-

Spotify Sounds Muffled PC:

You can’t use the equalizer if you’re using Spotify on a desktop computer running Windows. But the good news is that you can still fix it using a different equalizer software. But first, double-check your sound settings.

Open the ‘Control panel’ and select ‘Hardware’ and then go to ‘Sound’. Now, right-click on your default speaker and select ‘Properties’ then ‘Advanced’.  

You can change the built-in format to the one you prefer from there. And click “Apply” after that.

You might also try reinstalling the Spotify app. But, make sure to reinstall the software from the Microsoft Store. That way, 

Sometimes the issue may be with your account’s default settings rather than the software on your PC. Check the web player to see if the same muffled noises appear.


If you are a premium user then enable High-Quality Streaming on Spotify PC.

Spotify on windows laptop
Source: SoundGuys

Spotify Sounds Muffled Mac:

The Mac doesn’t have access to the equalizer settings either. To fix the problem, you must change your Mac’s sound settings or use a new equalizer tool. You can change the internal sound settings on Mac by following these steps:

First, go to the ‘Menu’ and then ‘System Preferences’ to access your sound options. Click on ‘Sound’ and then go to ‘Input’. Now select “Internal Microphone” as the input.

Next, unpair the headphones and then reconnect them to the Macbook. This will ensure that the audio is crystal clear.

Spotify on Mac
Source: KnowTechie

Spotify Sounds Muffled in A Car:

Wondering why Spotify sounds distorted in car?

Well, due to improper connection to CarPlay, Spotify can sound distorted in cars. You need to check whether the Bluetooth connection or the USB port is the issue. Playing Spotify using Bluetooth usually works well. However, while utilizing CarPlay or a USB port, it becomes muffled.

If CarPlay does not function as expected, follow these steps to resolve the issue.

First, ensure that your iPhone is running the most recent version of iOS. If it has the most recent iOS installation, make sure that the CarPlay option is not restricted. 

You can select “Screen time” from the phone’s settings. From there look for ‘Content & Privacy Restrictions’. Now tap the ‘Allowed Apps’ option and see if CarPlay is enabled.

CarPlay doesn’t always start up on its own. So, look for the CarPlay logo on the dashboard of your car and turn it on.

After that, make sure that the CarPlay radio is updated with the newest software available. For more details, You can check your car’s manual. If you’re still having trouble connecting to CarPlay, you should contact Apple Support.


Use a good amplifier for better sound in your car.

Spotify on car
Source: PiPA News

Spotify Sounds Muffled iPhone:

In case of muffled sound in the iPhone, you can do a fresh reinstallation of the application. In the majority of situations, this resolves the problem.

You can also check the  WiFi/Bluetooth settings. A few users have noticed glitches when both Wifi and Bluetooth are enabled. But the device goes back to normal when just one is active.

So, if you aren’t utilizing the wireless headphones, leave the Bluetooth option off. Similarly, if you are utilizing offline mode or mobile data to stream, you can disable the Wifi.

If none of these seem to be effective, you can test with the equalizer settings. This is guaranteed to solve the problem.

Here’s how to enable Spotify equalization on iOS

To enable spotify equalization on iOS Head to ‘Home’ and select ‘Settings’. Select the ‘Playback’ option and you will see ‘Equalizer’, turn it on. Then, either select one of the presets or personalize it by dragging the dots yourself.

Spotify on iOS
Source: PC Guide

Spotify Sounds Muffled Android:

If you’re listening to music using headphones, make sure they’re properly connected and there’s no dirt. If everything appears to be in order, you may need to check for the equalizer settings.

But, depending on the device’s maker, Android users may not be able to use Spotify’s equalizer. You can check the setting in ‘Home’ to see if your device can handle the Spotify equalizer.

Go to your ‘Settings’ and then to ‘Audio Quality. Check to see if there’s “Equalize” on your device. If you do have equalizer settings, tapping it will take you to the equalizer control screen. You can adjust the settings from there to your preference.

Spotify on Android
Source: Digital Music News

Does Spotify Premium Have Better Sound?

A higher bitrate, in general, equals better audio quality. Spotify Free allows you to listen to music in standard (96 kbps) or high quality (160 Kbps). You can’t change the bitrate beyond that.

Fortunately, Spotify Premium includes 320 Kbps streaming. If you use high-end headphones or speakers, this can result in better, more detailed audio output.

This feature does not apply to podcasts where the bitrate is 96 Kbps for all devices. But there is an exception with the web player, which defaults to 128 Kbps.

So, yes, Spotify Premium has better sound. Along with ad-free listening and offline mode, it’s worthwhile to pay the subscription fee for superior audio.

However, if you’re a casual music listener rather than an audiophile, the free edition’s settings will suffice. Instead, you can try to increase the audio quality using customization options offered in the Free edition. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Makes Tidal Superior to Spotify?

The audio quality options on Spotify are more extensive. Spotify features a ‘Low’ quality level of only 24 kbps for those who want to save data. But with its HiFi and Master audio quality options, Tidal triumphs easily over Spotify

What Is the Highest Sound Quality of Spotify?

Spotify’s maximum bitrate is 320 kbps. This is almost indistinguishable from a lossless format. But the streaming software does not ensure this level of playback quality. But with a premium subscription, playback at 256 kbps is assured.

Does Spotify Compromise the Sound Quality?

Music is played back at 256kbps if you have Spotify Premium. If you have a free Spotify account, it will play at 128kbps. 256 kbps may appear to be a significant decrease from 320 kbps. However, you shouldn’t be too bothered if you don’t want to download the desktop version.

End Words

So, we hope you have got enough idea about why your Spotify sounds muffled. In this situation, making the most of the “Equalizer Settings” is the best option in this situation.

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