Why is One Earbud Not Working [Left Or Right] EASILY!

Why is one Earbud Not Working? Whether you are using wireless headphones or wired, anything going wrong with them can be highly frustrating.

Why is One Earbud Not Working. the frustration that comes with it.
Why is One Earbud Not Working

Imagine listening to your favorite tunes on your Galaxy Bud, Jabra elite, or talking to your friends/family over a video call, or playing the latest video game, and suddenly you lose audio in one side of the headphones! 

Frustrating right? We got the solution for you.

Here is a quick check before we begin.


So, What causes one Side earbuds not working on your headphone?

Tips: Summary of Earphone and headphone Issues

One side headphone not working is a common problem that most of us face and here is a list of possible issues to check.

1. Wiring is loose or cut

2. Earbuds are dirty

3. Water damage

4. Problem with the sound settings

5. Faulty sockets

6. Faulty jacks

Troubleshooting for One Earbut not working

Loose or cut wiringStraighten out the earphone cord, examine cables for damage
Dirty earbudsVacuum earbuds or wipe with a cotton swab and cleaner, remove ear wax or dirt accumulation
Water damagePlace earbuds in a container of raw rice or a synthetic desiccant packet to remove moisture, check for signs of water damage
Problem with device settingsCheck sound balance in device settings, disable Mono Sound or Mono Audio, reboot device
Faulty headphone socket or jackCheck headphone jack insertion and inspect for dirt or dust, use electrical tape to cover wire cuts, consider getting device serviced or buying new headphones.
Common Issues and Troubleshooting

Fix Apple Ipods/Airpods Not Working on Left/Right Side Video

Here is a quick fix for Apple Airpods Not Working on Left side and Right site, Watch this Video

Fix Apple Earpods/Airpods Not Working on Left/Right Side Video

As you can see there are a variety of issues that could result in an earbud not working and now we will look at each problem and give you a detailed solution. If none of the above is the cause, review the details in the article to fix one earbud not working

Also, just in case you are looking for a true wireless solution – we recommend Bose QuietComfort Noise Cancelling Earbuds. They are the Best in class earbuds and offer a great experience!

How To Fix Earbud Not Working
How To Fix: One Earbud Not Working

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Here are some quick fixes to try.

How To Fix One Earbud Not Working?

Well, to fix the issue of one earbud not working, there are several solutions.

  • Straighten the earphone cord out.
  • Try a different set of earphones.
  • Clear out the head phone jack.
  • Reboot the device by doing a power off and on.
  • Examine the audio settings of the device.
  • Examine the ear phone cables for damage.

If none of the above resolves your problem. Read on.

Simple Ways for Headphone Troubleshooting

Fixing Earbuds
Fixing Earbuds

Mentioned below is a list of possible problems with their resolutions. You should go through them one by one to see if the resolution helps fix your problem. If it doesn’t move on to the next one.

1. Jack not inserted properly

If you are using a wired head phone, the first thing you do in this troubleshooting process is to check whether the head phone jack has been inserted properly. When you insert the headphone jack into the headphone slot on your device, there should be a slight click once it is inserted completely.

If the jack hasn’t gone into the slot correctly, you might face issues with an earbud not working. Sometimes, you might even experience one headphone louder than the other issue.

Therefore, disconnect your headphones from the device and insert the jack properly once again. See if the problem got fixed or not. In case you have an xbox you can check our guide on can i use regular headphones with xbox one

disconnect your headphones
disconnect your headphones

While you are at it, inspect your jack to see if it is dirty. As a precaution, take a cotton swab, dip it in water, and squeeze out excess water.

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Clean the headphone jack with the cotton swab to remove any dirt or dust from it.

Once done, take a dry cloth and remove all moisture from the jack. Reconnect it and check the performance. In case of pairing issues, you may check out this guide.

2. Check your sound balance in device settings

Improper audio balance settings can also result in one side earbud not working. To confirm whether this is the issue, go into the Settings of your mobile or computer. There you will be able to see an option for Volume or Audio. Click on those and find the section for Audio Balance or Sound Balance.

Sound output manager
Volume output manager

The setting for the Balance should be in the center. If you see that it isn’t aligned correctly, drag the slider and move it to the center. Apply the settings once you are done. Reconnect your headphones and check to see if the problem has been resolved or not.

You could also restart your device once you make changes to the settings. This sometimes helps. Also, you should check out can i use iphone headphones as a mic on pc?

3. Mono sound Quality setting

Mono sound is a setting in which the same sound is sent to both sides of the headphones. Sometimes, without us knowing, we listen to mono tracks and the sound only plays on one side of the headphone.

This could be a problem you could be facing. On your device, go to Settings and looks for Volume or Audio settings.

There you will see an option for Mono Sound or Mono Audio.

Make sure you disable it and then recheck the audio on your headphones. In some devices, the option for Mono Audio could be under Ease of Access options. Do remember to check it there as well. Also, check out our guide on how to use lightning headphones on laptop!

4. Dirty Earbuds

After prolonged usage, it is quite possible that your earbuds have been dirty and have got clogged. Closely inspect the defective side to see any dirt, dust, or ear wax accumulation. In case you find it dirty, follow the next steps.

Broken Wire on Headphone
Broken Wire on Headphone

Use a vacuum cleaner with a narrow opening to suck the dirt out of the earbuds. After vacuuming, wipe off the earbuds with a cotton swab dipped in lukewarm water or an alcohol-based cleaner.

If you use headphones with removable covers then it might be a good idea to take them out and clean them with lukewarm water.

If your headphones don’t have a mesh, you can take some lukewarm water in a bowl and dip cotton swabs.

Remove excess water from the cotton and clean your earbuds. This should remove any substance that might be blocking them.

If there is ear wax on your headphones, you can first dry dust them. To do this, use a soft brush like a hairbrush or a paintbrush to wipe the ear wax off the headphone. Once this is done, you can follow the steps mentioned above to clean the headphones.

5. Inspect the wires for damage

The first thing you need to do is to straighten out the headphone wires. Tangled wires aren’t good for durability and lead to performance issues.

Once you straighten it out see if it help solve your problem. If it didn’t then twist a small section of the wire from one end to another.

Keep your earbuds connected to the device and play some audio.

While twisting, sometimes tangled internal wires are set free and the problems go away. Closely check every portion of your headphone wires to see if they are damaged.

Tangled wires or ones that are cut often result in some issue.

Black Earbuds wireless
Black Earbuds wireless

If you find a wire cut, use electrical tape to cover it. Wrap the affected section tightly with the wire and check to see if the problem went away.

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If it did, then make sure that the wire never comes off from the headphones/pair of earbuds for a permanent fix.

6. Problem with the device headphone slot

When you face the issue of one side earbud not working, there could be a possibility that the device has a problem and not the headphone. To confirm, use another new pair of headphones on the device to see if the problem persists.

If it does, then it means that you need to get the device audio slot serviced.

Sometimes, dust accumulation leads to issues in pair of earbuds. Disconnect your earbuds from the slot and then see if there is any dirt inside the slot.

If you see some, take a cotton swab and then roll it into a thin shape.

Dip this into lukewarm water, squeeze out excess water from the new pair of earbuds and clean the inside of the jack.

Then, take a dry cotton swab and dry the headphone slot. Any liquid left behind can permanently damage your device.

7. Check for signs of water damage

All our electronic devices are prone to water damage even if they claim to be waterproof or water-resistant. Headphones are exposed to sweat, rain, and precipitation so it’s likely such a thing could have damaged the earbuds on one side.

Check for signs of water damage
Check for signs of water damage

If the damage was done very recently, then without doing anything put your headphones/ pair of earbuds inside a container of raw rice.

Rice has the ability to suck out moisture and do the same with your headphones. Keep them in the rice for a couple of hours and then see if they work or not.

In case, you don’t have rice at home, what do you do? There are some replacements to rice such as dry oatmeal, synthetic desiccant packets, couscous pearls, etc.

8. Re-pairing wireless headphones

Diagnosing Bluetooth speakers requires a different set of troubleshooting steps. If you face the issue of one side earbud not working on a wireless headphone, you first need to unpair them.

Keep the power button on your headphone pressed for a few seconds until the power indicator flashes blue or red.

This usually helps the factory reset the headphones. After you restart the headphones, pair them with your device once again. This should help fix your problem.

9. Half point issue

A half-point issue happens when the audio gets stuck during transmission. If you are using a wireless headphone with a wireless jack, first take it out from the device.

While the audio is still playing, reinsert the jack into the audio slot. If the audio plays in both earbuds, it was a half-point issue that is now rectified.

10. Resetting your device

Connect another pair of headphones into your device, and if the problem persists, there is a problem with the device, not the headphones. Follow steps 2, 3, 6, and 9 for resolution.

Even after doing this, if the problem doesn’t go away then you might need to reset your device/restore it to factory settings.

Take a data backup and reset your device. Software glitches or viruses sometimes cause issues with connected bluetooth earbuds and accessories. Resetting your device can help fix these problems.

Resetting your earbud device
Resetting your earbud device

How to repair damaged wires at home?

In step 4, we explained how you could inspect your wired headphones for any wire damage. If you find it, here are some steps you can follow to repair them at home.

  1. Identify the part that seems damaged
  2. Mark both ends of the damaged portion with a marker or tape
  3. Take a pair of wire cutters and slowly make an incision to remove the outer covering. Be careful not to cut the entire wire
  4. Once the inside wires are exposed, you need to find the section that is shorted out or cut
  5. Usually, there are red, black/white and copper wires inside
  6. If you find any wire that appears to have been cut, you will need to reconnect them
  7. Take a solder gun to fix the break. You can also use also splice them together
  8. Once you have fixed the broken wire, reconnect your earbuds to check if the problem is resolved
  9. When you are satisfied, you will now need to place to outer covering on the wire and tape is tightly
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What to do if nothing works?

Well, if you have tried all the troubleshooting steps mentioned above and still failed to rectify your Bluetooth headphone/earbuds issue in one ear, then there are only a few other options left.

  1. Get your earbuds serviced (check if they are under warranty)
  2. Buy new headphone

If your headphones have gone kaput, then there is no option but to get them replaced. It is quite painful, especially if you purchase expensive ones. So, next time when you go in for a new set of headphones, buy a good pair from a trusted manufacturer.

Tips to take care of your earbuds

Hopefully, the steps listed above helped resolve the issue of one side earbud of Bluetooth earbuds not working properly in one year.

To ensure that you don’t face such problems in the future, it is essential to take care of your wired or wireless earbuds.

Here are some measures you can follow to keep your bluetooth headphones/earbuds safe and away from damage.

  1. Keep your headphones/earphones in a clean cover or box when not in use
  2. If you use wired headphones, always keep the wires untangled
  3. Don’t fold the wires too tightly
  4. Periodically, clean the earbuds, mesh, and any covers to remove dust and earwax.
  5. Remove the earbuds from the device when not in use
  6. Keep your headphone away from water or precipitation
  7. Don’t overcharge your headphones
  8. Always use genuine chargers, wires, and accessories
  9. Don’t throw them around too much
  10. Clean the device audio slot and your headphone jack periodically

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Left Earbud Not Working Samsung Galaxy Buds Video

Conclusion: How To Fix Earbud Not Working

Wired or wireless headphones, all are prone to malfunction and damage due to daily use. When you face issues, don’t panic.

Follow all the steps mentioned in the order that is written here.

Sometimes, the issue could be with a device setting, loose jack, or tangled wires. Using simple methods, you should be able to resolve the problem of one side earbud not working.

Throwing away faulty earbuds always seems to be the easy way out. But it can cost you a lot of money if you keep discarding them every time your earbuds go bad. Fixing them yourself is always more economical, saving you the hassle of buying new ones or repairing them. Before you go, check out Windows sonic for headphones – a special feature that makes listening to music a treat!

If you can’t Fix it.  Buy a new One.  Here are Top 5 Best Selling Deals for you.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why is only one of my earbuds working?

Depending on your audio device settings, headsets may play only in one ear. Check your audio properties to ensure that the mono option is not enabled. Furthermore, ensure that the voice levels on both earbuds are balanced.

How do you fix one side of wireless earbuds not working?

Here is how to Repair Wireless Headphones when Only Work On One Side works.
1. Examine the side balance.
2. Check to see if your track is mono or stereo.
3. Turn off and on your headphones.
4. Restart Bluetooth Device.
5. While the audio is playing, insert the sound cable plug.
6. While playing audio, pull the sound cord back.
7. Reset your wireless earbud.

How do you get both earbuds to play at the same time?

Place one earbud on the desk in front of you and press and hold both for 8 seconds until they switch off. Place for a few seconds in the cradle. Remove them from the cradle. Hold down on both until they turn on and start flashing.

Why can’t I hear out of my left Earbud/Earphone?

If you only hear audio from the left side of your headphones, check to see if the audio source supports stereo output. IMPORTANT: A mono device will only produce sound on the left earbud. In general, a device with an output jack labeled EARPHONE will be mono, whereas a device with an output socket labeled HEADPHONE will be stereo.

Evan Grant

A Musician, headphones lover, boyfriend and also the lead Editor of ElectricFieldsFestival, Evan Grant is the guy who runs this site. He's a great Roger Federer fan and is always up for a game of Tennis.


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