One Earbud Louder Than the Other? 11 Easy Fixes & Guide

You are taking a business call and are not able to hear the other person properly and you wonder why is one earbud louder than the other? Sounds like what you are facing?

What do you do in such cases? How do you fix your headphones with one earbud louder than the other? You need not worry, we are here to help you!

So, How to Fix One Earbud Louder Than the Other?

To solve the one earphone louder than the other issue, open device Settings, select Audio options, and check if the balance settings are proper or not. Under the Balance settings, you will see a slider. This needs to be in the center and if it isn’t then this is why one earbud is louder than the other. Move the slider and center align it.

However, there may be instances that adjusting the Audio Balance doesn’t fix the issue of an earbud being louder than the other. In such cases, you can follow the below-mentioned troubleshooting methods.

1. Test the headphones on another device

Whenever you face challenges with the sound quality of a pair of headphones, you should always test them on a different device. Often there are software glitches that take place in mobiles/laptops that can affect the performance of connected parts.

fix earbud

So, if you are facing an issue with your headphones, connect them to a different audio device and see if the problem persists. If it doesn’t, then that means that there is some problem with your device that needs to be fixed. If the problem persists, then your headphones need to be fixed.

Even for Bluetooth devices, you need to follow the above steps. If your Bluetooth device can function properly with another device, then it could be a device issue. If one side is not working at all, here is how to fix one earbud not working!

2. Clean your headphones

Any piece of hardware suffers wear and tear over some time and our headphones can get dirty if not maintained properly. Accumulated dirt/dust in the earbuds or the mesh covering them can cause One Earbud Louder Than the Other issue.

Take lukewarm water, 1 cotton swab, and a clean cloth. Dip the cotton swab in the warm water and then drain out the water completely. Gently start cleaning the headphone speakers in a circular motion. Make sure you cover the edges as well. Once you are done cleaning, wipe off the headphones with a dry cloth.

clean headphones

If your headphones or earbuds have a removable cover on them, then take them out, dip them into the lukewarm water for a while to cleanse them. Keep them out for drying, then gently pat them to remove dust and put them back on.

If you are not sure or not well versed in cleaning such equipment then it is recommended that you take it to a service center that provides such services. You might end up shelling out some money but at least you don’t have to worry about damaging the headphones.

3. Untangle the headphone wires

Don’t we all face the issue of tangled headphone wires all the time? Well, if you wind the wires up too much then the internal wiring can get damaged resulting in performance issues. Always ensure that your headphone wires are free of knotting and keep safe when they are not being used.

Also, the wire that goes into the headphone jack should not be bent too much. If you stretch it out a lot or bend it while using it, then this can result in issues like an earbud sounding louder than the other one. One small stretch at a time, start bending the wires gently. See if the performance changes. If it does, then it means that there is internal damage then needs to be repaired.

Whenever the headphones are not in use, put them in their case or a protective bag. Do not fold the wires too tightly or bend the headphone jack wires too much. If you take care of the wires, then they should not develop any audio issues.

4. Check for water damage

Even though most of the phones we use come with a good IP rating, our headphones unfortunately are not always waterproof/resistant. They are often subject to rain, sweat, and exposure to water which can damage them. If your headphones are not functioning properly, this could be one of the reasons.

Under bright light, closely inspect the headphones for water damage. Jerk them a little bit to throw off excess water inside them. If your headphones or earbuds have been exposed to water, then you can put them inside rice for a while. That helps absorb water from the device. Dry them off with a cloth and then check if the issue persists.

5. Check for damaged wires

damaged wires e1636263440688

Wires that have cracks or cuts in them are often subject to issues with the audio. If you are using a wired headset, then you can face such problems. Inspect the entire wire length for any cracks or cuts. If you find one, seal them off with electrical tape. Do this for all the affected portions. Straighten the wire and check if the problem has been fixed or not.

6. Adjust Audio Settings on Windows PC

Let’s first open the Control Panel and then check all audio-related settings to see if there are any problems with your Windows volume and device preferences settings.

  • Click on the Start Menu and then open the Settings menu
  • Click on Sound and under the Output section, see if the volume levels are fine
  • Click on Speaker and adjust the settings for Volume, Left Channel and Right Channel
  • Under Spatial Sound, you can also select Windows Sonic for Headphones for improved audio quality
  • Now go to the Windows Updates page and see if you have pending updates. Sometimes outdated software can cause glitches in audio performance. If there are pending updates, install them immediately
  • Once you are done making changes, restart your computer, connect the headphones and see how it goes

7. Adjust Audio Settings on MAC

If you are using an Apple Macbook or an iMac, then here is how you can check the Sound Settings.

  • On the top left corner of the screen, click on the Apple logo and then select System Preferences
  • Click on the Sound option to open up the sound/audio settings window
  • Under the Output tab, you will see your headphones if they are connected
  • Adjust the Balance and bring the slider to the center. You can also adjust the volume output from this screen
  • Exit the window and check if this resolves your headphone louder in one ear issue

8. Adjust Audio Balance setting on Android & iPhone

This is the first solution we mentioned in this article but if you are looking for the detailed steps to fix one side is louder, here is what you can do. On your phone (Android or iPhone), open the Volume Settings menu and navigate to the Sound option. Here you should get an option to adjust the audio Balance.

app volume and device

If you do not find the Balance option under Sound, then you can also check the Accessibility options. It should be under there. Once you are done making the changes, connect your headphones and see if the one ear bud louder issue got fixed or not.

9. Clean the headphone slot

The first thing to do when you face audio issues on your phone is to check if there are any blockages in the headphone jack slot or not. Disconnect your headphones and inspect the jack hole. If there is dirt or debris inside, you will need to remove it carefully.

Take a cotton swab and gently insert it into the slot. Make sure it is much thinner than the hole otherwise you will push the dirt in further. You can also use a thin brush to remove the dirt from the slot. Alternatively, you can also use a mild-powered vacuum cleaner to suck out anything that might be lodged inside the headphone slot.

However, under any circumstance, do not insert anything wet. Some people tend to dip the cotton swab in water or alcohol-based liquids and then clean the jack. This might work but even if a small droplet goes inside the phone, it can permanently damage the device.

10. Reconnect Bluetooth

If you are facing the issue of an earbud being louder than the other on Bluetooth headphones, then follow the below steps.

  • Switch off your headphones and then disable the Bluetooth on your phone
  • Restart the phone and then enable the Bluetooth settings
  • Switch on your headphones and put them in audio pairing mode
  • Once the connection is established, play any audio file to see the audio performance in one ear

If your phone has a pending OS update, then it is recommended that you install it through settings. Outdated software sometimes has issues with newer headphones and this can cause performance problems. Update the OS, follow the steps above, and then check if the problem persists or not.

More Solutions

Let’s say you tried everything listed above and the headphones still don’t work properly. Then what options do you have?

11. Headphone servicing or replacement under warranty

There may be instances where you will not be able to fix the headphones no matter what you do. But before you take them to the service center or think of buying new ones, check their warranty. Most headphones come with a default one-year warranty unless you purchased additional ones.

If they are under warranty, then you should be able to get a free replacement or get them serviced free of cost. This solution is highly recommended in case you bought an expensive pair of headphones!

12. Junking them and buying new ones

If you did not purchase a warranty or if the warranty has expired then there are hardly any options left for you. Call the nearest service center and find out the cost of repair. Usually, the repair cost is as high as buying a new pair of headphones. If you are in a position to repair them, go for it. Otherwise, you will have to invest in a new pair of headphones.

13. Changing the audio device

Audio signal problems can be due to the headphones or the audio device you are connecting them to. If you have figured out that the challenge is with the audio device/headphone, then you should use all the methods listed above to troubleshoot. However, if the problem persists then you will need to get that device fixed.

If that is not viable, then try using a different device with your headphones to avoid facing the issue of one earbud sounding louder than the other.


In a connected world, we all rely heavily on good technology to keep our life going on smoothly. Our phones and their accessories are a vital part of our lives, facilitating good communication and providing much-needed entertainment as well. And one of the most used accessories is the headphone.

It can be a nerve-wracking time when something goes wrong with our headphones. We cant listen to music properly or take that business call without interruptions. Gamers cant enjoy talking to their peers in multi-player gaming scenarios. We all have faced such issues at least once!

But if you are facing issues with one earbud louder than the other, try the solutions we have listed in this article. And you should be able to get rid of the problem and enjoy a hassle-free audio experience!