My ear buds keep auto muting themselves

I’ve been using my Jabra Elite 85t ear buds with my Macbook Pro during conference calls in Google Meet for the last 6 months without any problems, until I upgraded to macOS Monterey. Now, they will randomly auto-mute themselves during a call.

I might be in the middle of talking, and suddenly in my ear I’ll hear a voice saying “Muted”, and the ear buds will have automatically muted themselves. I touch the bud to unmute, and seconds later they automatically mute again. It makes them unusable.

Jabra aren’t much help with the issue, as they claim not to support using their ear buds with computers. They say their products are only designed to work with mobile phones and tablets. Here’s their boiler-plate response to anyone that complains of the problem:

Chrome Auto Gain

So I think I’ve found the problem. For some reason Google Meet – or rather the Chrome browser – is automatically adjusting the microphone input volume (or ‘gain’), and when it goes below about 10% or so the Jabra ear buds are automatically muting themselves.

I found this out when I manually moved the ‘Input volume’ slider around in the Sound settings on my Macbook:

MacOS Sound settings

When setting the input volume below 10% I hear “Muted” and when I drag it above 10% it says “Unmuted”.

So how do I stop Google Meet or Chrome or MacOS automatically adjusting the input volume?

Zoom workaround

In some conferencing apps like Zoom, there’s an option in the setting to turn it off. In the ‘Audio’ section of the settings, it is possible to disable the option to ‘Automatically adjust microphone volume’:

Zoom audio settings

Slack workaround

If you’re using Slack to make calls, then there’s also an option in the settings for ‘Enable automatic gain control’ that you can disable:

Thanks to Philippe Cohen for this information!

Disable Automatic Gain Control

After some research I came across someone recommending a Chrome browser extension called Disable Automatic Gain Control. It’s a simple extension that (as the name suggests) disables the automatic gain (i.e. the input volume) of the Chrome browser for whichever pages you say it can work on. So I can enable the extension to work on just the Google Meet site.

Disable Automatic Gain Control browser extension

I did some testing I found that the browser extension sadly doesn’t work for me – but your milage might vary.

For me the input volume still keeps moving around mid-call and auto-mutes when it gets very low. And indeed, now the output volume is now causing problems. Whenever I take the ear buds out of their case to reconnect them, the output volume is set at 0%, so I can’t hear anything until I manually drag it a reasonable volume.

I can’t spend every work call having the Sound system preferences open on my Macbook to correct the input and output sound – so for now I’ve had to abandon using the Jabra ear buds, and have resorted to moving back to using a wired headset (also manufactured by Jabra) that works without me having to worry about it.

Update January 2022: After some initial problems using my Jabra Elite 85t with Google Meet, this browser extension seems to be working for me. It stops the input volume of my ear buds from changing in the middle of calls. It sometimes goes wrong when it first connects to them over bluetooth, but most of the time it’s OK. Anyway, give it a try…

61 thoughts on “My ear buds keep auto muting themselves”

  1. I’m having the same problem. I’d disgusted at Jabra’s attitude. If I knew I was gonna have thia problem I would never have bought them and no more recommendations from me .

    • What Is Jabra got to do with this? Other bluetooth headsets from sony senheisser are also facing this same issue. Its apple you have to contact to rectify this issue!

  2. Thanks for this post Richard very useful. I find JABRA market approach chocking. The whole idea to have those buds connecting to two devices concurrently implies that one is the mobile device and the other one is the computers, at least for 99.9% of the market….
    I can tell that if I knew upfront Jabra position I would not had purchased those buds! Lucky them they have better products that marketers!!

  3. I’m having the same issue with my Jabra Elite 75t’s. Thanks for the post. I often use Google Meet and tried the “Disable Automatic Gain Control” extension as well. No luck so far. I’ll check back here for more ideas. Hopefully, someone can address this soon.

  4. Just wanting to express my appreciation for this article. Everyone using Jabra in-ear headssets should read this! I’ve spent so many hours with this issue, each morning going through the ‘muted/unmuted’ thing on each meeting on Slack. Jabra support did not help a single bit, and just got silent in the end. THANKS!

  5. Great article, I have pushed upgrading my second MBP to be able to use it for all video calls. So incredibly annoying and I also got the standard reply from Jabra. I will try the app, maybe it could be possible to use Google Meet and some other browser who allows you to turn off the “automatically gain control”?

  6. Thank you so much for the very helpful post, Richard. I upgraded my work Macbook yesterday to Monterey and noticed immediately that my Jabra earbuds were automatically being muted (and I was unable to keep them from muting). This made for a lot of very bad meeting experiences with my co-workers and customers. With your help, I was able to easily understand the issue and make the correction to my Zoom audio settings this morning. Jabra needs to learn a valuable lesson from you on how to provide valuable customer support. Thank you!

    • Thanks for the tip, Dan. I can’t use Firefox because of corporate restrictions, but it sounds like a good option for people to try.

  7. Thank you, Richard. The Zoom workaround fixed them, and I’m so relieved. You’re also right that most of us use these with our computers! Wish Jabra support was more helpful, I’ve experienced the same tone with another issue. They really don’t care. At all.

  8. I’m having the same issue using Jabra Elite 85t + Google Meet + MacBook Pro

    Jabra, please fix this!
    This is a CRITICAL bug that makes your product unusable for a very common use case!

  9. Having the same problem. Seemed to coincide with upgrading to Monterey. Thanks for these work-arounds haven’t tried them yet but .

  10. Hey Richard – thank you! My challenge was with Aftershokz Air, but the fix is identical – just keep the mic volume above that 10% mark. I wonder if its because manufacturers have accepted the same mic threshold as a virtual mute – which doesn’t make much sense because why not set it at 0%: or whether the Bluetooth audio profile is dictating this rogue behaviour. It’s just on Mac, not iPhone or iPad, which is weird.

    In any case, it’s not just Jabra with this issue.


  11. Thank you so much for this. I suddenly began having this issue with my Aftershoktz, too with the Mac Update. I am assuming these solutions will work for this too. I will report back if not. Thanks again!

  12. Thank you! I had the exact same issue after upgrading to Monterey. I planned to purchase another set of Jabra earbuds but will definitely be holding off until this is resolved by Jabra.

  13. You are a life-saver! This has been an issue for me and had gotten to a tipping point that I was ready to switch out headphones. I really appreciate you taking the time to write this.

  14. Thank you for these suggestions. I haven’t had an issue with Microsoft Teams or Slack on my work machine but this was constantly a problem with Slack and Zoom on my personal laptop. Hopefully, these tweaks will fix it! I appreciate you sharing your discoveries.

  15. Thank you! I was going nuts trying to figure this out. But I’m also sad that I purchased Jabra instead of the Apple Earpods. I liked the look of the Jabra better and my colleague (non Apple person) raved about them. I now realize that was a mistake. Jabra doesn’t seem to be interested in achieving the same level of interoperability as Apple.

  16. This saved my day to. I had a pair of Epos (Sennheiser) headset which auto-muted themselves every now and then. Bought a new pair (Aftershokz) and had the exact same issue again – which led me to you article. Works fine on Zoom and Slack now – havn´t tried the Google meet work-around yet…

  17. Thanks for the thoughtful article – the issue was so hard to debug on my own and while working non-stop through meetings. Been embarrassed in front of large group talking on mute while google meet says I am not on mute.
    I am stuck with chrome+meet+macbook-pro, hoping the extension works. Else have to switch to a basic wired headset.

  18. I’m having the same problem with my Jabra Elite 85h over-ear headphones. The idea that these aren’t supported on laptops is… disappointing to say the least. These headphones have worked great for three years now, and it’s sad to have to ditch them over this. AirPods Pro and Max it will be from now on.

  19. This is very disappointing from Jabra. I would have never thought that Jabra would have such a lame excuse on this. What’s the point of adding multi-device pairing, when one cannot use it properly with the device. I would never have bought it if I would knew this in advance.

  20. Thanks for publishing.
    Same here, Jabra 85t, Macbook pro upgraded to Monterey last night.
    Suddenly slack and zoom calls the mic gets randomly muted.
    I think should be addressed by Apple actually – as it worked fine before that…

  21. Very Helpful! I am having this issue with Teams on my Win11 Thinkpad X1 Carbon Gen6. Trying to turn off auto-volume for Team/Zoom/Google. I also went into the Jabra App on my iphone at Headset settings/Headset configuration/Sleep Mode and turned that off. I wonder if the headset is not seeing activity when the default of “15 Minutes” is chosen and trying to go into sleep mode?

  22. Thank goodness for Richard! I thought my Jabra were broken :( Thank you so much for the info, and BOO for such response from Jabra

  23. Wow thank goodness for this post. Same automute Mute/Unmute issues with Jabra 75’s on Zoom & Meet presented immediately upon upgrading my MacBook Pro to Monterey. I also simultaneously share audio using Spotify while using Zoom with my Jabra 75’s.

    Identical response from Jabra Support that the earbuds were never intended for use with computers while using Zoom or Meet. They suggested I buy one of their speakers that plug into my computer instead.

    So far, the deselecting “automatically adjust mic volume” in Zoom settings seems to have resolved the issue and saved me lots of money. I also added the Chrome extension and hoping it works for when I use Meet.

    Thanks so much for the helpful article.

    • Hey JoGo!

      I’m happy the information was useful to you. And I’m also grateful to you and everyone else for sharing your experiences and advice for dealing with this problem.

      Take care, Richard

  24. Good info. But how will Jabra rectify this issue? By not responding to the chrome’s command to mute the headset? I am facing this issue with my Jabra and Senheisser. And the issue is with Apple. This issue started with their stupid update to make the bluetooth headset work better. And blaming jabra for this, thats lame.

  25. Thank you so much! You’ve saved me from buying a new pair of earbuds (which could have faced the same problem!). I got no help from the official Jabra support and thought there must be a problem specifically with my earbuds as it used to get muted on the zoom calls, but now I’m going to try the buds with the auto adjust microphone volume off and see if it works :fingers-crossed: Good that I did some browsing and came across your post before purchasing a new pair of earbuds!

  26. Thank you for the tip on slack’s auto gain control. And in all fairness to Jabra, I have this exact same problem with my Aftershokz. So the issue is really more on the OS side (Monterey) than Jabra or Aftershokz.

    Peace out!

  27. I’m facing the same problem, but specifically in my case I needed to use Jabra 75T with Google Meet on Chrome, not Zoom or Slack. Meet doesn’t have an option to disable automatic gain control and the extension didn’t work for me.

    But something else did – creating an aggregate sound device as listed here –
    It would appear that MacOs Monterey is telling earbuds to mute when their level gets too low, but it can’t do that for aggregated devices, as their volume can’t be controlled by the OS. So I just created an aggregate device which is made up only of my Jabras and set it as the default for everything. It seems to “mostly work” – If you turn the earbuds on before connecting to Meet it uses the aggregate device and doesn’t mute me, but it seems that if you first connect to Meet and only then turn the earbuds on, Meet would use the earbuds directly instead of the aggregated device. But even then it doesn’t seem to mute me (further testing required, though)

    So I still don’t have a conclusion on how much this solution actually works, but at least it’s a start.

  28. Thank you for this! I could NOT figure out why my AfterShokz Trekz Air headset was suddenly muting itself on Zoom calls. I feel like this is a MacOS issue, because the problem doesn’t exist on my PC.

  29. I experienced this probme last week and today at video meeting on chrome browser and zoom meeing on Macbook Pro. I did not face this kind of issue while using windows PC. So this looks like mac OS specific issue?
    Anyway, I really appreciate your post as this issue is annoying me more and more!

  30. Thanks for this, Richard! This hasn’t happened to me often (3-4 times) but it’s super frustrating when it does. From what I can tell, it seemed to be worse when there was more background noise, which might make sense given it’s an auto adjustment. I just set these settings for Zoom and Slack and fingers crossed it works.

  31. Very helpful article, thanks Richard.

    I will never buy a Jabra product again. It is always happening to me on slack, teams or meet. I hope this chrome extension will work for me too.

    Thanks a lot again.

  32. Thanks for this, I really appreciate it, my Jabra 75t had the same issue.

    I have just installed the extension and hope it will work.

    It was only the Monterey upgrade that killed it. Frustrating as I do 10 google meets per day


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