iPhones on at least iOS 14 let you limit the maximum volume you can hear through connected headphones. This safety feature helps protect your ears from hearing issues that could be exacerbated by prolonged exposure to loud sound. In a pinch, however, you can disable this feature to amplify volume:
- Launch the Settings app.
- Go to Sounds & Haptics.
- In the Headphone Audio section, select Headphone Safety.
- Make sure the Reduce Loud Sounds toggle is in the off position.
A word of caution when trying out this method: In general, the more amplified the sound is, the less time your ears should be exposed to it. According to Apple, listening to sound at 80 decibels for more than 40 hours in a seven-day period will heighten your risk of hearing impairment. It only gets worse the higher the decibels go, leaving you with the possibility of experiencing symptoms like temporary hearing loss or constant ringing in your ears. So, if you use this method to make your iPhone louder, do it for as short a period as possible.
If using headphones is not an option, you have a few “fixes” that you can try to maximize your iPhone’s volume levels. Apart from making sure your iPhone’s built-in speakers are unobstructed, the most obvious solution is connecting your mobile device to a Bluetooth speaker. If you don’t have one handy, you can grab a bowl or glass that’s wide and stable enough so that you can stand your iPhone up inside it, with its speakers facing downwards. When positioned this way, the curvature of the container causes the sound waves to bounce upward, allowing listeners nearby to be able to hear the audio better.