Apple Music Sounds Bad Suddenly? (6 Solutions)

Apple Music is known for its brilliant sound quality, but when the music suddenly begins to sound muffled or distorted, it can really ruin your listening experience.

If this is happening to you, then look no further. In this article, you will discover the best solutions to fix your Apple Music playback issues so that you can get back to listening to your favorite tracks carefree.

Photo of white headphones for music on clean yellow background

1. You Need to Restart your Device

One of the first solutions to try is to restart the device that you are using to listen to Apple Music.

It may sound basic, but sometimes playback problems can be fixed by simply powering down the device, waiting a few moments and then starting it back up again.

Doing this will only take a few minutes and may be the only thing you need to try, so it’s definitely worth a shot.

If you are still having problems with echoes and muffled music after restarting your device, then take a look at the other solutions that follow.

2. Your Device’s Operating System Needs Updating

Ensuring that you keep your device’s operating system up-to-date is extremely important when it comes to making sure that apps such as Apple Music run at their best.

When you experience sound quality issues when listening to your tracks using Apple Music, it’s worth checking whether your device’s operating system needs updating.

To update the OS on your desktop, smartphone or tablet, just take a look at the simple instructions below.

Here’s How to Update your Windows PC

  1. Begin by clicking on ‘Start’ located on the Windows taskbar.
  2. Navigate to the ‘Control Panel’
  3. Click on ‘Security Center’
  4. Here, depending on which version of Windows you are running, you will either see ‘Windows Update’ or ‘Check for Windows Update’

If you notice that there are updates available, then you can easily install them here. All you will have to do is follow the instructions on your screen.

Here’s How to Update your iOS

  1. Start by backing up your device either on iCloud or on a desktop computer.
  2. Ensure your iOS device is plugged in and has access to a stable internet connection.
  3. Next, navigate to ‘Settings’
  4. Scroll through the options and choose ‘General’
  5. Select ‘Software Update’
  6. Finally, select ‘Install Now’

When the update has finished downloading, try listening to Apple Music to see if the muffled or distorted playback has ceased.

Here’s How to Update your MacOS

  1. On your desktop, open the Apple menu by clicking the Apple icon on your taskbar.
  2. Go to ‘System Preferences’ and click ‘Software Update’
  3. From here, you will be able to see what updates are available and install the most recent one for your Mac computer.

To make sure that your Mac’s operating system is always up-to-date, you can enable ‘Automatically keep my Mac up to date’ to save you any hassle in the future.

Here’s How to Update your Android OS

  1. Start by opening up ‘Settings’
  2. Select ‘System’ and then choose ‘System Update’
  3. Here you can see your Android device’s OS and what updates (if any) are currently available.

Once the update is completed, try playing music via the Apple Music app, and you should see that the audio quality problem no longer persists.

3. Your Apple Music App Needs Updating

As mentioned, keeping your device’s OS updated is crucial when it comes to ensuring the smooth operation of any installed apps. It is also highly important to keep your apps updated to the latest version so that they function at their best, too.

If you are running an older version of the Apple Music app, you may experience problems with the audio quality, so it is always best to keep it updated.

Updating Apple Music is an incredibly quick and painless procedure, just take a look at the steps below.

Here’s How to Update the Apple Music App on your iOS Device

  1. Start by launching the App Store on your iOS device.
  2. Tap on your profile icon, located on the top right-hand side of your screen.
  3. Next, to ensure the list of updates is refreshed, simply swipe downwards from the top of your screen and let go.
  4. Locate Apple Music in the list of Apps.
  5. Simply tap ‘Update’ next to the Apple Music logo and your device will begin updating Apple Music straight away.

If you cannot locate Apple Music in the list of available updates, then you can be safe in the knowledge that you are currently running the most up-to-date version of the app.

Here’s How to Update the Apple Music App on your Android Device

  1. Start by opening up the Google Play Store on your Android smartphone or tablet.
  2. Type ‘Apple Music’ into the search bar at the top.
  3. Apple Music’s icon should appear with an ‘Update’ option next to it, however , this will only be shown if an update is currently available.
  4. If there is an update available, simply tap ‘Update’ and Apple Music will begin updating.

When the update has finished, try playing a song using the Apple Music app and then see if the muffling or echoing continues. If this still hasn’t fixed the issue, just try the following solutions below.

4. Your Bluetooth Device is Malfunctioning

If you are experiencing distorted audio quality when listening to Apple Music, then the problem could actually be with the Bluetooth device you have connected, such as a speaker, headphones, or AirPods.

For example, some Apple Music users have reported experiencing muffled music when they are listening using their AirPods.

The best solution to fix a problem such as this is to disconnect your Bluetooth device from your smartphone or tablet, restart it, and then try re-pairing it again.

If a muffling sound is occurring when using your AirPods or any other Bluetooth headphones then it could be an indication that there is an imbalance between the left and right ear pieces.

The ability to customize audio settings on your headphones is a definite bonus for users who love to have full control over their listening experience. However, some changes to your headphone’s EQ setting can produce unwanted effects.

If you’ve accidentally changed audio settings on your headphones, you may begin to mistakenly place the blame on the Apple Music app.

When audio levels are not balanced properly between the left and right earpieces, you can experience what sounds like muffled playback.

To adjust the sound balance with your AirPods, follow these simple steps:

  1. On your iPhone or iPad navigate to ‘Settings’
  2. Select ‘Accessibility’
  3. Under hearing, choose ‘Audio/Visual’
  4. Scroll down and you will find a balance slider with ‘L’ on the left and ‘R’ on the right.

Play a song using Apple Music and adjust the balance accordingly until the sound of your music improves.

Another problem that can arise when listening to Apple Music using Bluetooth headphones is echoing.

Echoing can occur when:

  • You have software problems on your device.
  • There is an incompatibility between devices.
  • There is a loose connection.

It’s also worth trying to use another means to listen to your Apple Music so that you can isolate the root of the problem.

5. You Need to Delete and Reinstall Apple Music

When you are experiencing playback issues with Apple Music, such as distortions and muffling, it may be because there is a problem with the app itself.

Uninstalling Apple Music and then installing it again should fix any playback issues you may be having.

Here’s How to Uninstall Apple Music on your iPhone

  1. Go to the home screen of your device.
  2. Press and hold on the Apple Music app icon.
  3. From the menu that appears, select ‘Remove App’
  4. Finally, tap ‘Delete’ and confirm the uninstallation.

To re-download Apple Music, simply visit the App store and search ‘Apple Music’.

Here’s How to Uninstall Apple Music on your Android

  1. Begin by opening the ‘Settings’ menu.
  2. Open ‘Apps’
  3. Select ‘See all apps’
  4. Choose Apple Music, then select ‘Uninstall’

To re-install, simply visit the Google Play store and search for Apple Music.

6. You Need to Force Quit Apple Music

When you are experiencing issues with Apple Music it’s a good idea to properly force quit the app – doing so will ensure that the app isn’t active and isn’t running any background processes.

If the muffling or audio issues are occurring due to a glitch in the app then force closing it should help resolve the problem.

Force quitting a problematic app is very straightforward, just follow the steps below.

Here’s How to Force Close Apple Music on iOS

  1. Start by double-tapping on the home button.
  2. This will open up a screen that shows all of your active apps.
  3. If you scroll along, you will be able to locate Apple Music.
  4. Swipe upwards and you will force close the app.

Once you have done this try re-opening Apple Music and you should find that your playback issues have been resolved.

Here’s How to Force Close Apple Music on your Android Device

  1. Begin by swiping upwards from the bottom of your Android device.
  2. From here, scroll left or right to locate the Apple Music apps preview screen.
  3. Simply swipe upwards to force close the app.

Final Thoughts

Apple Music users shouldn’t usually run into playback issues that affect the sound quality. However, that’s not to say that the app is never at fault.

As you’ve seen, even the most unexpected playback problems, such as distortion, can be solved by very simple procedures.

You can also play around with the App’s settings under “Playback”. Disabling “Sound Enhancer” might solve your problem.

Moreover, many of the solutions found above can stop annoying glitches in Apple Music from occurring, whether they are sound-related or otherwise. 


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