Zoom Won’t Play Via Headphones? 6 Easy Fixes To Try

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Stuck trying to use your headphones during Zoom meetings?

There’s nothing more frustrating than connecting to an important meeting, only to find out that you can’t hear a thing.

Sadly, this is a known issue, and while that’s annoying, you’re in luck. In this article, you’ll learn different ways to leave this situation in the past.

If you can’t hear anyone on Zoom while using headphones, chances are your privacy settings are too strict, you need to check your Bluetooth connection, or you’re using the wrong audio input on Zoom.

Try these 6 quick fixes to use your headphones during Zoom meetings:

  1. Adjust your audio settings.
  2. Close other apps.
  3. Check your Bluetooth connection.
  4. Check your privacy settings.
  5. Update Zoom and your device.
  6. Restart your device.

Read on to fix the issue!

#1 Adjust Your Audio Settings

Whether you’re trying to understand what your friends are saying, or they’re constantly interrupting you because they can’t hear you, checking your audio settings may solve the issue in no time.

You see, Zoom may be using your computer’s speakers and microphone as the preferred audio output and input.

Fixing this may sound like a difficult thing to do, but it’s actually really quick and simple. Follow this guide to do it:

  1. Click on the arrow next to the microphone icon at the bottom of your screen. Then, select “Audio Settings”.
  2. Go to “Speaker” and “Microphone” and select your headphones as the audio output/input.
  3. Return to your Zoom meeting and ask your friends if they can hear you.
Adjust your audio settings on Zoom

#2 Close Other Apps

If Zoom is not recognizing your headphones as the audio output, there’s a very good chance that you have other apps or tabs running in the background that are allowed to access your microphone.

As simple as it seems, fully closing these apps could solve the issue. Follow these steps to do it:

Windows PC:

  1. Open Task Manager.
  2. Click on the apps or browsers that could be using your microphone.
  3. Select “End Task”.


  1. Press the Option + Command + Escape keys at the same time.
  2. Select the apps that are using your microphone.
  3. Click on “Force Quit”.
  4. Select “Force Quit” again to confirm the process.


  1. Swipe up from the bottom of your screen, hold until you see your background apps, and then release. 
  2. Swipe up on all the open apps.

iPhone and iPad:

  1. Go to the Home Screen, then swipe up from the bottom of the screen and pause in the middle of the screen. If you have an iPhone or iPad with a home button, you’ll need to double-click it.
  2. Swipe up on all the apps.

Once you’ve closed your apps, try connecting to your Zoom meeting again. You should be able to use your headphones without further trouble.

But, if that’s not the case, chances are your Bluetooth connection is failing. Don’t worry, though. Keep reading to solve this problem.

#3 Check Your Bluetooth Connection

Moving on, I want us to make sure that your Bluetooth connection is not to blame.

You wouldn’t believe how many people I’ve seen struggle with their Zoom not working while using their headphones just because their Bluetooth wasn’t turned on.

The easiest way to confirm this as our culprit is by going to your device’s Settings menu, selecting “Bluetooth”, and making sure it’s turned on.

But, if that wasn’t the issue, then please make sure you’re within range.

We’ve all been there, sometimes we need to multitask during a Zoom meeting. However, if you’re cooking or doing something else, chances are you’re too far away from your device.

Normally, the coverage range of a Bluetooth connection is 33 feet (10 meters). If you’re further away from your device, your earphones may unpair.

Tip: If you’re using wired earphones, try unplugging them and plugging them back into another port. Then, please make sure they’re not damaged. If they’re not working correctly, you may need to replace them.

#4 Check Your Privacy Settings

If you’re like me, you probably like using Zoom on your phone or tablet. I’m sure you’d agree that doing this is very convenient since we can connect to a meeting everywhere we go.

However, if your device’s settings are too strict, you may experience different audio issues, such as not being able to hear a thing while using your earphones.

Luckily, you can easily avoid this situation from happening again by enabling your microphone on your privacy settings. To do it, you’ll just need to:


  1. Go to the Settings menu.
  2. Select “Apps & Notifications”.
  3. Select “App Permissions”.
  4. Go to “Microphone” and turn on the switch next to Zoom.

Bear in mind that this process may vary depending on your device’s model.

iPhone and iPad:

  1. Go to Settings and select “Privacy”.
  2. Go to “Microphone”.
  3. Turn on the switch next to “Zoom”.

Once you’ve completed the steps above, please return to your meeting and click on the “Join Audio” icon. Then, select “Call Over Internet”.

#5 Update Zoom and Your Device

One of the reasons people use Zoom is because it allows you to share your screen, create breakout rooms, change your virtual background, and much more for free.

However, if you haven’t updated the app or your device in a while, you won’t be able to fully enjoy these features, and you may experience different difficulties while having a Zoom meeting.

To avoid this situation from happening again, you’ll need to update Zoom and your device.

Follow this guide to update Zoom:

iPhone and iPad:

  1. Go to the App Store.
  2. Tap on the “Search” tab at the bottom of your screen.
  3. Search for Zoom.
  4. Tap on “Update”.


  1. Open Google Play Store.
  2. Tap on the profile icon located at the top right of your screen.
  3. Select “Manage apps & device”
  4. Tap on “Manage”, then search for Zoom.
  5. Choose “Update”.

Desktop app:

  1. Launch the Zoom app and click on your profile icon.
  2. Click on “Check for Updates”.
  3. If there’s an available update, please click on “Install”.
Update Zoom on your computer.

To update your device:

iPhone and iPad:

  1. Open the Settings menu.
  2. Go to “General”.
  3. Tap on “Software Update”.
  4. Select “Install now”.


  1. Go to Settings and tap on “System”.
  2. Select “System Update”
  3. Follow the displayed instructions to install the latest software version.

Windows PC:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Click on “Update & Security”.
  3. Select “Windows Update”.
  4. Click on “Check for Updates” to start updating your device.

#6 Restart Your Device

If you’re still stuck trying to use your headphones on Zoom meetings, try restarting your device.

Believe it or not, this is one of the most effective ways to fix an error. You see, sometimes we tend to put our device to sleep instead of restarting it.

While this allows us to save time by keeping our tabs and apps open, it can also be the reason you’re having audio issues.

I recommend restarting the device you’re using to video conference at least once a week. Follow this quick guide to do it:

Windows PC:

  1. Click on the Windows icon at the bottom of your screen.
  2. Select the power button.
  3. Click on “Restart”.


  1. Go to the Apple Menu.
  2. Click on “Restart”.

iPhone and iPad:

  1. Press and hold either volume button and the side button (If you have an iPad, press and hold either volume button and the top button until the power-off slider pops up).
  2. Drag the slider and wait 30 seconds to turn off your device.
  3. Press and hold the right-hand side button of your iPhone to turn your device back on.


  1. Press and hold the power button for 5-10 seconds.
  2. Select “Restart” to turn off your device.
  3. If you don’t see the “Restart” option, tap “Power off”. Once your device is off, press the power button to turn it on again.

Tip: This fix can also solve disconnecting and login issues.


I know this was a lot, but I’m sure you’ll be back at your Zoom meeting in no time!

If you take anything way, please let it be that the best way to use your headphones for your Zoom meetings is by adjusting your audio settings, closing other apps, checking your Bluetooth connection, and updating Zoom and your device.

I really appreciate everyone who shows up and reads our content. If you ever have some tech concerns, you can always come to us. Here at Tech Detective, we love helping people tackle everyday issues.

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