How To Fix Headphones Only Working in One Side? (Easy!)

Headphones working on one side only fix

Headphones working only on one side refer to when the audio is distributed in one channel (L/R) only. Why does this happen and how to fix it?

Headphones will play audio from one channel only if the mono audio is enabled, the sound balance is more in one side, there’s a software bug or glitch, or an internal hardware part is faulty.

To fix it, change the sound balance, clear the Bluetooth list, clean the Audio port, reset network settings or headphones, or disable mono audio.

How to Find Which Device is Faulty?

To find which device is faulty (headphones or the source device) is faulty, do the following.

1. Try a Different Device Source

Pair the headphones with another device source (e.g. smartphone, TV, or PC) and check if they work properly. If the headphones start working properly after changing the source device, the old source device was faulty.

If the headphones don’t work properly even after changing the device (audio source), they are faulty. This means you have to try and find the issue with your headphones and fix it rather than check for PC or phone problems.

2. Try Different Headphones

You can also pair different headphones to the same source device and check if they work properly. If the new headphones work properly while connected to the same source device, the old headphones were faulty.

How To Fix Headphones Only Working on One Side For Your Phone?

To fix headphones only working on one side for your phone, do the following.

1. Change the Sound Balance

Sound balance refers to the distribution of sound between the left and right audio channels. You can change or adjust the sound balance on your phone. The sound will come through one side of the headphones if the sound balance settings in your phone are right or left. Keep the sound balance in the middle, which means the distribution of the sound will be between two channels (left and right).

To adjust or change Sound Balance in iPhone, do the following.

  1. Go to Settings > Accessibility.
  2. Press Audio/Visual.
  3. Scroll down and find “Balance“.
  4. Adjust the slider (keep it in the middle).

To change Sound Balance in Android phone, do the following.

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Scroll down and press Accessibility.
  3. Under Audio press Audio Adjustments.
  4. Adjust the slider (keep it in the middle).

2. Clear Bluetooth List

If the headphones are playing music from one side only because of a software bug or glitch, clearing the Bluetooth list, resetting the headphones, or upgrading the firmware to the latest version will fix it.

Clearing the Bluetooth list refers to removing the headphones’ pairing information from your phone.

To clear the Bluetooth list in iPhones, do the following.

  1. Go to Settings > Bluetooth.
  2. Find the paired device and press next to its name.
  3. Press Forget This Device.
  4. Turn Bluetooth OFF/ON and re-pair both devices.

To clear the Bluetooth list in Android, do the following.

  1. Go to Settings > Connected Devices or Bluetooth.
  2. Find the paired device and press the gear icon next to its name.
  3. Press Remove this device.
  4. Re-connect both devices.

3. Clean the Audio Port

Dirt or dust can prevent wired headphones from making proper contact with the port’s internal connectors. This leads to a loose connection and can cause the headphones to work on one side only, among other things.

Dirt or debris can accumulate inside the phone audio (aux) port if you don’t regularly clean it.

To clean the audio (aux) port, do the following.

  1. Dampen a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol.
  2. If the cotton swab is too large for the port, remove some cotton from it.
  3. Put the cotton swab inside the audio port and move it around.
  4. Remove it, put the other side of the cotton swab (dry), and slide it inside the port.
  5. Wait a few minutes before using the port again.

4. Reset Network Settings

Reset network settings refers to resetting network-related settings back to their original or default configurations. It removes personalized or saved Wi-Fi networks, Bluetooth pairing, and other saved network settings.

If the Bluetooth connection between your phone and headphones isn’t working properly or headphones are playing music from one channel only, resetting network settings will fix it (if your phone is faulty).

Unfortunately, there isn’t an option to only reset the Bluetooth settings, so you have to reset all network settings. This will also remove the saved passwords for your Wi-fi settings.

iPhone:

  1. Go to Settings > General.
  2. Scroll down and press Reset.
  3. Press Reset Network Settings.
  4. Wait until the process is completed.

Android (9.0 or higher):

  1. Go to Settings > System.
  2. Press Advanced > Reset Options.
  3. Press Reset Wi-Fi, mobile & Bluetooth, or Reset network settings.
  4.  Press Reset Settings.

How To Fix Headphones Only Working on One Side For Windows?

To fix headphones only working on one side for Windows, do the following.

1. Change the Audio Balance

Windows also has Audio Balance settings that allow you to control the distribution of sounds between two audio channels (L/R). If the audio output balance is higher on one side (left or right), the other side will hear less sound or no sound at all.

To change the Audio Balance Settings in Windows, do the following,

  1. Type Control Panel in the search box.
  2. Click Sound or Hardware and Sound.
  3.  A new window will pop out, under Playback find and double-click the audio output device (headphones).
  4. Go to Levels.
  5. Click Balance.
  6. Keep the balance between 1 & 2 at the same number (level).

2. Restart Bluetooth Support Service

The Bluetooth Support Service is a Windows service that manages Bluetooth connections, pairing devices, and enables data transfer between the computer and Bluetooth devices.

The connection between two devices will be weak and can cause headphones to play music from one channel if this service isn’t working properly. Restarting it will fix bugs or glitches that are preventing the Bluetooth driver from working properly.

Note: This works only for Bluetooth headphones.

To restart the Bluetooth Support Service in Windows, do the following.

  1. Press Windows Key + R on your keyboard or type Run in the search box.
  2. Type services.msc
  3. Find and double-click Bluetooth Support Service.
  4. Change the Start-up type to Automatic.
  5. Click Stop and then press Apply.
  6. Click Start, change the Start-up type to Manual, and press Apply & OK.

3. Turn off Mono Audio

Mono audio, short for monaural audio, refers to an audio format or playback mode where sound is combined and delivered through a single channel (one side only). The headphones will play audio from one side only if Mono Audio is enabled in Windows settings. To fix it, disable it.

To disable Mono Audio on Windows, do the following.

  1. Write Mono in the search box.
  2. Click Turn mono audio on or off.
  3. If the Mono is turned ON, turn it off.

How To Fix Headphones Only Working on One Side?

If the headphones are faulty, there are a few things you can do to fix them.

1. Reset The Headphones

If a software bug or glitch in headphones is playing music from one channel only, a hard reset will fix it. A hard reset will restore the original factory settings, clear the internal memory, remove known devices, and fix software bugs.

The resetting process depends on the brand or model of your headphones. But, it includes pressing two or more buttons at the same time for a few seconds. Read your user manual or search only for it to know how to reset it.

2. Upgrade The Firmware Version

Outdated firmware versions contain different software bugs or glitches that can prevent the headphones from working properly. Upgrading the firmware version will improve the performance of the headphones and fix software bugs.

To upgrade the firmware version of your headphones, do the following.

  1. Pair your headphones with your phone.
  2. Download the official application of the headphones brand on your phone. (For instance, Bose Connect).
  3. Open the application and check if there’s an update available.
  4. Install the update.

3. Contact Support

If there’s a hardware problem with your headphones, send them for repair. A hardware problem usually happens if you have dropped them or placed weight over them.

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