How to Fix Bluetooth Earbuds When Only One Side Works?

Experiencing the frustration of having only one working earbud can be a real letdown, especially when you’re all set to enjoy your favorite tunes. Recently, I faced this exact issue with my Bluetooth earbuds. One side just stopped working out of the blue, leaving me with a lopsided audio experience.

It’s a common problem, but today we’ll talk about several troubleshooting steps you can take to fix this issue. In this post, I’ll share the practical steps I took to resolve the problem with my earbuds, which might just help you get back to a balanced audio bliss.

What to Do?

Some of the common problems people face are that their Bluetooth earbuds stutter, or cut in or cut out frequently. These problems can cause minor annoyance or it can make Bluetooth Earbuds of no use or unstable to use because of the simultaneous choppiness of the sound.

Usually, users report cutting in and out of the music and working on only one side of the earbuds.

1. Check If They Are Clean

Firstly, make sure are your ear pods clean and dry. Sometimes dirt, ear wax, or lint clog the headphones and block the coming sound from earbuds. After a while, give your headphones an inspection looking for debris.

If you find any dirt or debris on earbuds, remove it by wiping the dirt with a dry cloth. In case they are wet, we suggest you use a microfiber cloth to soak up the liquid. Microfibers are specifically designed for this purpose, as they don’t leave new fibers all over the headphones.

When done with earbuds, people usually stuff them in a pocket or a bag, which can be problematic. Use a case for them to avoid this problem.

2. Check the Stereo Balance

Most iPhone users are unaware of the fact that iPhones, Macs, and Windows PCs have the option to switch sounds all the way to the right or left earbud. This option is there to help hearing-impaired users. So, if your earbuds are playing music on only one ear, then it could be that the settings have been adjusted by mistake.

How to adjust the stereo on an iPhone:

  • Go to Settings, then Accessibility. (For older iOS, Setting, then General, then Accessibility).
  • Scroll till you see the Hearing category tap on the Audio/ Visuals button and ensure the slider is in the middle between L and R. (for Older iOS, it’s under Hearing.)
  • If not, then adjust the slider so that it becomes the midway between L and R.
  • Above the slider, you will see the Mono Audio button. Switch the Mono Audio toggle to the off position

Adjusting the stereo balance on Mac:

  • Open System preferences then Sound, then Output.
  • A menu will appear, find and select the name of your earbuds or headphones from the Output menu.
  • Ensure that the slider is in the middle of L and R.
  • For the Mono Audio checkbox, go to System Preferences then Accessibility.
  • Scroll till you see the Mono Audio CheckBox, uncheck it.

3. Disconnect, reset and restart

How to Fix Bluetooth Earbuds When Only One Side Works

Sometimes the solution might be to reconnect and restart any one or both devices.

For old iPhone headphones or earbuds, it is as simple as pulling the headphones out and restarting your devices. When reconnecting the headphones, make sure that you press the headphones jack all the way into the port on your device. If the jack is not correctly inserted or partly inserted, the audio will play quieter or will be playing on one side only.

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The Apple Air Pods are different. They use an extra few steps ahead of them. You have to un-pair them and reset the earbuds using the case, follow the following steps to do it properly.

Resetting the Bluetooth Apple Air pods

  • Open the Bluetooth menu from your Device and choose to “forget” the paired Apple Airpods.
  • Now, insert the Airpods back into their charging case but keep the lid open
  • Press and hold the reset/setup button on the back of the case for 15 seconds.
  • Keep the button held until you see the light beneath the lid flashes amber color.
  • A flashing of the light means that the Airpods have been reset, now restart your device and pair them as new.

4. Check connection

The very first step is to check if it’s the headphones that are causing the trouble or if is it the phone which is not working correctly. To test this disconnect and un-pair the connected headphones try connecting the device with another Bluetooth device and check the result.

If you experience the same problems, then the problem lies in your headphones.

  • Switching on and off both sides of headphones will help.
  • Wait for the phone, PC, speakers, or whichever device you are using, and confirm that you are connected to the respective device.

Check Internal connections

It often happens that the internal connection in the bud is disturbed, which results in the absence of sound on one side headphone. To check the ear cup of the headphones, follow these steps.

  • Firstly, remove the foam pads of the earcups.
  • Now, unscrew the earpiece by using a screwdriver.
  • Now, find the end of the aux cable whose other end has a jack. Take that end and slice it slightly. Now you have gently twisted the wire to lose or solve the disturbing connection inside the speaker of your headphones.
  • Now pack the headphones as they were before. Make sure you don’t misplace any of the components of your headphones.

5. Audio track type

Bluetooth Earbuds - audio track

Some of you face the problem when your headphone’s one side works properly with the specific audio and the other side doesn’t, this results in major confusion. Well, most of you don’t know that sometimes you are listening to Mono tracks, and without knowing this Mono tracks play on only one side of the speakers of headphones.

So, no need to get worried if one side of the headphone works properly, make sure you check that track type and if it is not a Mono track then jump to the settings or solution of this problem.

6. Cleaning a jack

Cleanliness is an important aspect whether it is your home appliance or any technology-based device. It is possible that the dirt in it is the real reason that one side of your headphones doesn’t work properly.

To clear this doubt, make sure that you clean the audio jack properly and remove the dirt as much as possible. To clear the dirt use a cotton swab to remove the dirt from your audio jack. Don’t forget to switch off the phone or headphones whichever jack you are cleaning before it gets dampened.

After cleaning the jack, to check the headphones insert the cable into the audio jack while the audio is on and then pull out the cable back. Check if both sides of the headphones work properly.

7. Audio Checking

Audio Checking

If you are still facing the same problems, then you should go for a check of Audio. Sometimes it happens that new headphones are unable to play old audio. It means that they are unable to play the old audio format. This might be a reason for sound coming to only one side of the headphone. Check the audio quality or format of the source.

It is not necessary that the problem always lies in the headphones, sometimes the audio quality is too old that the latest and recent headphones are not able to play it. This type of sound causes disruptions due to which the audio plays on only one or both sides of the headphones

8. Fix Bluetooth

Bluetooth is another essential aspect that usually causes disruption. Make sure your device’s Bluetooth works appropriately. And if you still face the same problem to satisfy yourself, eliminate all the connections and connected devices and reconnect them.


As we told you, every model has different specifications, and this is why every model works differently. So it’s essential to be aware of the specifications your device has.There are some headphones or earbuds that allow you to fully reset the headphones. To know better the process of how to reset your headphones go through the manual and check if you reset them or not.

If you can reset it, then the question remains how? Usually, reset details are similar in many devices. So, I have already listed the details you will find in the manual, you don’t have to bother, just follow the steps.

  • Firstly, the primary thing is to make sure that your headphones are switched off.
  • Different models offer different functionality if your headphone has a power button, then press and hold it for 10 seconds, and the headphones will reset.
  • If this isn’t working with your device, then you should press and hold the power button along with the volume up/down button for 10 seconds to reset the headphones.
  • This step is optional and less likely to be used, but we are telling you just in case if you have a calling button other than of power and volume button, then now you have to hold the call or volume button or call o power button for 10 seconds.
  • If your headphone has a play /pause button, then you can also use it to reset your headphone.


What should I do if my Bluetooth earbuds keep disconnecting from my device?

If your Bluetooth earbuds keep disconnecting, first ensure your earbuds are within the recommended range of your device, typically within 10 meters without obstructions.

Also, check for any wireless interference from other devices and try resetting your earbuds according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If the issue persists, consider updating the firmware of your earbuds or consulting the manufacturer for further assistance.

Can a low battery on one earbud cause it to stop working while the other one is fine?

Yes, if one earbud has a significantly lower battery level than the other, it may power off or disconnect, leading to sound only coming from the charged earbud. Ensure both earbuds are fully charged for consistent performance.

How can I tell if my earbud issue is a hardware problem or a software problem?

To determine if the issue is hardware or software-related, connect your earbuds to a different device. If the problem persists, it’s likely a hardware issue. If the earbuds work fine with another device, the issue may be with the original device’s software or Bluetooth settings.

Is there a way to manually reset Bluetooth earbuds if they don’t have a reset button?

For earbuds without a dedicated reset button, you can often reset them by placing them in their charging case and leaving them for a few minutes. Alternatively, you can try disconnecting them from your device’s Bluetooth settings and then reconnecting. Consult the user manual for model-specific instructions.

Can using third-party charging cables affect the functionality of Bluetooth earbuds?

Using third-party charging cables that are not approved by the earbud manufacturer can sometimes lead to charging issues, which may affect the earbuds’ functionality. It’s recommended to use the charging cable that came with your earbuds or a replacement from the manufacturer to ensure proper charging and functionality.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, having one side of your Bluetooth earbuds stop working is a common issue, but it’s often one that can be resolved with a few simple steps. Through my own experience, I’ve learned that the key is to approach the problem methodically: check the source device, inspect the earbuds for damage, and proceed with basic troubleshooting methods.

If those don’t work, you may need to delve into more advanced solutions like firmware updates or professional support. Remember to also adopt preventative measures to minimize the chances of the problem recurring. While it can be a nuisance when your earbuds don’t function correctly, with a little patience and the right approach, you can usually get both sides playing in harmony once again.