How to make your iPhone louder

Apple Music Voice
(Image credit: Lance Ulanoff)

Most iPhones don’t have bad speakers, but they’re not the loudest things in the world either, and even if you’re using headphones or external speakers you might sometimes find the volume just isn’t quite as high as you’d like.

But there are ways to make your iPhone louder, whether you have access to external speakers or not, so you can get more out of your music, podcasts, and other media.

So below, we’ve detailed several simple ways to give your iPhone a volume boost.

Turn off ‘Reduce Loud Sounds’

A menu showing the Reduce Loud Sounds option on iPhone

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple actually artificially limits how loud your iPhone can get when using headphones, but handily you can disable this setting and give your buds a big loudness upgrade.

The setting in question is called Reduce Loud Sounds, and it’s a toggle that you can find in Settings > Sounds & Haptics > Headphone Safety. Just turn this toggle off and that limitation will be removed. Alternatively, you could leave it on but adjust the upper limit, which defaults to 85 decibels.

Just be aware that this limit is in place to protect your hearing, so be careful about removing or increasing it.

Adjust the equalizer

Adjusting your iPhone’s equalizer (EQ) can affect how music (played through the Music app) sounds in numerous ways, and that includes the volume, but the tweak you’d need to make here isn’t obvious.

Head to Settings > Music > EQ, and then select the ‘Late Night’ mode. We’d think something with that name would make things quieter if anything, so as not to disturb people sleeping nearby, but in fact this serves to raise the volume of quiet parts of songs.

It does also slightly reduce the volume of loud parts, but the effect can still lead to your music sounding louder overall, especially in the parts that are most in need of a volume boost.

Use an app

A trio of images showing the Max Volume Booster app

(Image credit: Chau Nguyen)

While Apple gives you a couple of tools to boost the volume of your phone, app makers have come up with others, so downloading an app can help you out too.

There’s a variety to choose from, including Volume Booster, Max Volume Booster, and others, so check those ones out or browse the App Store for alternatives.

However be aware that those examples and many others charge a subscription, so they’re not free to use. As such, we’d consider them something of a last resort.

Change the volume level in Spotify

If you tend to listen to your music through Spotify, then there’s an option within the Spotify app that can increase the volume.

Head to Settings > Playback, and then find the Volume Level heading. Under that, tap Loud to increase the maximum volume of music playback. Be aware however that doing this can diminish the audio quality.

Make sure the speakers aren’t covered or blocked

iPhone 13 mini

An iPhone 13 mini (Image credit: TechRadar)

This is an obvious one, but if you’re listening to something through your iPhone’s speakers, you should make sure they’re not blocked, either by dust and debris, or by your hand. If you do see any obstructions, try blowing on the speaker grille.

This is unlikely to be an issue, but it’s worth checking if your phone seems quieter than you think it should be or usually is.

Use a speaker – or a bowl

Another obvious way to boost the volume of your iPhone is to listen through external speakers or headphones, as these will typically be far louder than the smartphone’s speakers.

If that’s not an option, then try putting your iPhone in a bowl or glass, with the speakers pointing downwards. This should cause the soundwaves to bounce upwards and amplify the volume.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.