How To Fix: One Earbud Not Working – No Sound [Left Or Right Side]

One of the most common issues we face with headphones is when one side stops working. It’s a really tough and unwanted situation to be in. No matter how advanced our technology becomes there are always issues that we continue to face.

But you need not worry, we are here with an easy to implement fix to get your headphones working properly again!

So, How To Fix One Earbud Not Working?

To fix Earbuds that work on one side, check the sound balance settings on your device. If the slider has moved towards one side, then the other side of the headphone won’t have an audio output. Make sure the balance slider is in the center and then you should get audio on both earbuds.

earbud fe

But this is one simple solution that might not always work. An audio device like headphones or bluetooth earbuds can develop numerous software glitches and hardware issues that can lead to them not working properly.

Here is a list of other solutions you can try to fix the one earphone not working issue:

  1. Disable Mono audio on Android phones
  2. Disable Mono Audio on iPhones
  3. Restart your device
  4. Check the cables
  5. Pair Bluetooth devices again
  6. Check the audio jack
  7. Inspect the earbuds
  8. Try different devices
  9. Fix Range Issues
  10. Charge your wireless headphones
  11. Check for compatibility issues
  12. Reset Bluetooth headphones
  13. The Last Resort – Replacement or Service

Disable Mono audio on Android phones

Did you know that, unlike stereo sound, mono sound plays back audio using only one audio channel? Every audio device nowadays has the capability of playing mono and stereo audio. However, sometimes you might face the issue of one earphone louder than the other, which can be solved with our guide.

In order to Disable Mono audio on Android phones:

  • Open the Settings option
  • You will see an option for Accessibility or Ease of Use
  • Inside that, there should be an option for Mono Audio settings
  • Switch it off and then see if your earbuds work properly

Disable Mono Audio on iPhones

In order to Disable Mono audio on iPhone:

  • Click on Settings
  • Go to the General settings and open it
  • Scroll down to find the Accessibility option
  • Open that, scroll down and you will see Accessibility
  • The Accessibility screen has a mono audio settings button and make sure that it is not checked

Restart your device

This seems to be the go-to trick for solving all problems, right? Well, you know what, it does work in a lot of cases! So, if your wireless headphones have the issue of sound coming in only one ear, then another simple solution could be to restart the device.

If there is any software bug, then a reboot of the audio device should help fix this issue. Disconnect your earbuds while you reboot, and the phone is powered on, connect the wireless headphones and check if the issue persists. Sometimes it is possible that your airpods fell in water – here is how to save them!

Pair Bluetooth devices again

No matter how advanced our tech gets, there will also be glitches. If you are using Bluetooth headphones, then there are chances that the pairing wasn’t completed successfully. In such cases, you can face problems with the audio output.

Switch off your Bluetooth headphones and turn off Bluetooth on your audio device. Now turn on your earbud, switch on Bluetooth on your device and then start the pairing process again. Check if this fixes your issues.

Check the cables

Wired headphones are prone to their wires getting tangled, cut, or even shortcut situations. If you are using wired headphones, then first untangle all the wires properly. Do not use force as this can damage the internal wiring. Once untangled, reconnect and see if the problem persists.

broken cables

If there are cuts in the wire, or if the internal wiring is exposed, then it could also result in audio issues. Check the entire length of the cable and find the places that need to be fixed. Tape an electrical tape and cover all the affected areas properly. This should help resolve your issue.

Check the audio jack

This is a two-part solution. First, let us check if the 3.5 mm jack slot on your audio device is free of any blockage. If there is loose dirt or any foreign material inside, the jack won’t be able to produce proper output. Take a thin cotton swab and gently clean the jack slot. Once that is done, you can connect your earbud and test them out.

The second solution is to ensure that you connect the headphone jack properly. When you push the headphone jack into the device, you should hear a faint click. This confirms that the jack has been connected properly. If you do not push it in completely, then this is known as a half-point issue resulting in connectivity problems.

Inspect the earbuds

Whether you are using wired headphones or Bluetooth ones, the earbuds can get dirty sometimes. Continuous usage and exposure to the elements can cause the earbuds to accumulate dirt, dust, and ear wax. If any of these have accumulated in the speaker front, then it can possibly block audio.

Regular maintenance will ensure that this doesn’t happen. Take a cotton swab and gently clean the earbud speaker and the mesh protecting it. If you use headphones with removable covers, then take them out and dry wash them.

Try different devices

Another way of figuring out the root cause of the issue is to use different devices. First, connect them to another audio device and see if it works or not. If this doesn’t result in a positive outcome, then connect a different pair of headphones to the original device.

If switching the devices works then it will help you narrow down on the exact problem. Try it out and see if it works for you.

Fix Range Issues

All Bluetooth devices have a fixed range within which they will be operational. For the best possible performance, it is always recommended that you stay within the connectivity radius for the best results. Whenever you use Bluetooth headphones and face the issue of one side not working, try improving the range.

bluetooth range

Move closer to the audio device and see if the connectivity improves or not. If you are far off, then it can lead to issues like one side earbud not working properly.

Charge your headphones

Wireless headphones use batteries and they have to be constantly charged to ensure good performance and standby time. Check the battery levels on the earbud and if they are running low, then charge them to a high percentage. If you are using brand new headphones, then you should always charge them to a 100% battery level before putting them to use.

earbuds charging

Check for compatibility issues

Compatibility issues crop up when you use wireless devices. If there is a mismatch in the Bluetooth technology that your audio device and the bluetooth earbuds use, then due to compatibility issues the audio output can suffer issues. Check if there are pending updates for your device and bluetooth earbuds. However, if you can fix the compatibility then you will have to make a device replacement.

Reset Bluetooth headphones

If you have tried the steps mentioned above and are still not able to fix the problem then you can try resetting the Bluetooth connection.

To Reset Bluetooth headphones

  • On your smartphone, go to the Setting option
  • Navigate to the Bluetooth menu and then find the connected devices
  • Click on them to open the menu
  • You should see a Forget this Device option
  • Once the device has been removed, you can pair them for the beginning

reset bluetooth

The same process can be followed even if you are using a tablet, laptop, or another Bluetooth audio device. You can even reset Apple AirPods and Samsung Galaxy Buds by placing them inside their case.

The Last Resort – Replacement or Service

Let’s say your try everything listed above and nothing seems to be working for you? Then what do you do? Well, if all fails then your last resort is to either service or replace your headphones. Check if your headphones are covered under warranty. If they are, then you should be able to get a free repair service or even replacement.

Visit an authorized service center and check if the headphones/bluetooth earbuds are serviceable or not. Minor issues can get fixed easily and at a minimal cost. But if the cost of repair is too high, then it would make sense to buy new headphones.

How to fix apple earbuds that work on one side

In order to to fix apple earbuds that work on one side:

  • Ensure that the Airpods charging case is completely charged. If it is not, then charge the case to 100%
  • Once charged, put both the pair of earbuds inside the case and close the lid
  • The AirPods are now charging and you can let them stay inside for a couple of minutes, depending on how much charge they held earlier
  • After some time, open the AirPods case. If your phone and case are synced, then the phone will display if the charging is happening or not along with the percentage of charge in the pods and the case
  • Now if your AirPods have sufficient charge, take them out of the case and play a music file

How to fix Left or right galaxy bud not working

In order to to fix Samsung galaxy earbuds that work on one side:

  • Switch off the buds and place them inside the Samsung Galaxy Buds case
  • Make sure they fit properly and then close the case. This will start the charging process for the Buds
  • If your case didn’t have enough charge, then you would first need to charge the case completely before placing the Buds inside
  • Once the Galaxy Buds are completely charged, start the pairing process with the device
  • Re-pair the Galaxy Buds with your smartphone and check to see if both bluetooth earbuds work or not

How to take proper care of headphones or earbuds?

In order to take proper care of headphones or pair of earbuds:

  • Service/clean your headphones at frequent intervals. This involves wiping down the wires to remove accumulated dust. Along with this, use a cotton swab to remove dirt and wax from the headphone speakers
  • Use genuine products to go along with the headphones. If you use cheap quality chargers or charging cases, then they can damage your headphones or pair of earbuds. Don’t compromise on quality
  • If you use wireless earbuds, then always store them in the case when they are not in use. Even the charging case can get dirty or greasy with ear wax. Clean the case occasionally with a soft cloth or brush
  • If you use wired headphones, then keep the wires untangled at all times. When you tangle or bend the wires too much the internal wiring can get damaged or you can have a broken wire.
  • Charge your earbuds only when the battery is less than about 20%-30%. Some people suffer from battery anxiety and keep charging their wireless pair of earbuds. Did you know that constant charging can damage the batteries?
  • Do not expose headphones or earbuds to rain. Some brands do claim that their products are waterproof or water-resistant, but it is better not to take any chances

If you have bought a pair of high-quality headphones, then you will know that they don’t come cheap! Take good care of them and they will last a lifetime.


Frustrating! That’s the exact emotion we all go through when one of our daily use devices faces a malfunction. Phones, tablets, laptops, audio devices – all are an important part of our lives now and most of us can’t make do without them. In this article, we have addressed the challenge of one side earbud not working properly.

Through the many solutions mentioned above, you can use a well-defined troubleshooting process to fix the bluetooth earbuds issue. Whether it’s a hardware problem or a software one, our solutions should address all issues in the best possible way. Follow them as we have mentioned here and hopefully your problem is now resolved.