How To Fix Bluetooth Earbuds When Only One Side Works? (Try These Fixes)

Bluetooth earbuds usually come in pairs. You can choose to use one or both at once, depending on the audio experience you are looking for. If you want to immerse yourself into your own world while watching a movie or listening to music, you shouldn’t think twice about putting on both earbuds.

But like other wireless headphones, Bluetooth earbuds are not exempt from issues. For some reason, one side of the earbuds might produce sound while the other remains silent, leaving you almost helpless. Troubleshooting this problem can be frustrating if you don’t know what to do.

Fortunately, I discovered different ways to fix my Bluetooth earbuds when only one side works. These tips will help restore your malfunctioning earbud within no time

How To Fix Bluetooth Earbuds When Only One Side Works


Key Takeaways

  • Bluetooth earbuds use built-in batteries to operate. Low battery power on one earbud can cause it to stop working unless you recharge it.
  • Pairing issues can cause one side of Bluetooth earbuds to stop working. You only need to unpair and re-pair both earbuds to restore their functionality.
  • A single Bluetooth earbud might fail to produce sound because of dust and grime. Always clean your earbuds regularly to remove gunk, wax, dirt, and debris.
  • Bluetooth earbuds automatically connect and work together when you set them up for the first time. Resetting the earbuds can help restore the connection and fix the problematic earbud.
  • One side of your Bluetooth earbuds might not work because of an audio imbalance on the source device. Go to audio settings to balance and adjust the volume level of each earbud.

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Fixing Bluetooth Earbuds When Only One Side Works

One moment your Bluetooth earbuds were working fine. The next, a single earbud has started acting up for no apparent reason. Understanding the causes can help you troubleshoot the problem.

Here are the possible reasons your left or right earbud is not working and how to fix it.

1. Pairing Issues

Your earbuds must pair with each other first before pairing with your phone or audio device. The connection between the two earbuds is typically automatic, but one earbud can, for some reason, unpair itself and stop working.

The quickest way to fix this issue is to unpair the earbuds, then pair them again before connecting the earphones to the audio device. Pairing instructions might vary, depending on the model but in most cases, you only need to insert the earbuds into their charging case briefly before re-pairing.

Here are the steps:

  • Insert the Bluetooth earbuds into their charging case.
  • Briefly close the lid (about 5-10 seconds).
  • Open the charging case and remove the earbuds.
  • The left and right earbuds will automatically pair with each other as they reboot.
  • Pair the earbuds with your audio device and verify if these steps resolve the problem.
Note: Turn off all Bluetooth connections on third-party devices when unpairing and re-pairing your earbuds.

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2. Dirty Earbuds

Even though the earbuds have a protective mesh material, dust, and other elements might still find their way through, causing one side not to work. Gunk and earwax can also block one earbud, leading to temporary malfunctions.

As such, ensure you clean your earbuds regularly using a cotton swab or soft fabric to keep them in top condition

Keep the charging contacts clean

Keep the charging contacts clean

3. Audio Imbalance

Sometimes, one side of your Bluetooth speakers might stop working because of an audio imbalance. The slider in your phone’s, PC’s, or tablet’s audio settings must be positioned in the middle if you want to hear sound on both earbuds. 

The balance slider has to be in the middle

The balance slider has to be in the middle

Some devices have volume settings for each earbud. Depending on your preferences, you can mute or decrease the volume of each earbud. If one earbud has no sound, you can adjust the volume accordingly.

Fixing an audio imbalance is easy. Go to your device’s audio settings and search for the accessibility menu to find this option. Adjust the volume level between the right and left earbuds to restore sound on both sides. If your earbuds support it, you can use an accompanying smartphone app to balance the audio.

4. Stereo/Mono Audio Settings

Even though Bluetooth earbuds come in pairs, you don’t have to use them together at once. The latest models allow you to extract one earbud and leave the other in the case. The buds automatically detect how many Bluetooth earbuds are in use and switch between stereo and mono sound modes. 

Some devices allow you to switch between stereo and mono manually. If your earbuds are in mono audio mode, only one earbud will produce sound. You must disable mono or change the setting to stereo to hear sound on both earbuds.

  • Go to your device’s audio settings.
  • Select Accessibility.
  • Tap sound balance.
  • Toggle the switch next to mono to disable it or select stereo mode.

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5. Low Battery Power

One side of your Bluetooth earbuds might stop working because of low charge. Like all wireless earphones, your Bluetooth earbuds use built-in batteries to operate. These batteries require regular charging.

Although both earbuds share one charging case, each bud might have a different charge level. After all, each earbud has a charging slot in the case, and you can recharge one earbud separately while using the other if it has sufficient power. 

If one earbud has no battery power left, it won’t work until you boost it. You can check the battery status on the accompanying earbud app or via the indicator light on the charging case.

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The quickest way to solve low battery power is to charge your earbuds. Insert the problematic earbud into the charging case and recharge it for a few hours. Ensure the charging slot is clean before inserting the earbud to avoid charging issues.

6. Damaged Earbud

If you’ve tried all these tips to fix your Bluetooth earbud, but nothing seems to work, the earbud could be damaged. Wireless earbuds are highly delicate and vulnerable to damage when exposed to excess moisture and extreme temperatures.

Your Bluetooth earbuds also have a life expectancy. Depending on how you care for them, they should last 2 to 3 years. The batteries have an even shorter lifespan, not exceeding two years. And since most companies use non-replaceable batteries for their earbuds, the only solution is to replace the damaged earbud.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Question: Why are my earbuds not working on one side?
  • Answer: Your earbuds might not work on one side because of several reasons. The malfunctioning earbud might be dirty and requires cleaning. It is also possible that the battery on one side has run low and needs charging. An audio output imbalance on the source device might also cause one earbud not to work. Check the audio settings and balance the volume level between the left and right earbuds. 
  • Question: How do you fix earbuds when only one works?
  • Answer: Check if the malfunctioning earbud has sufficient charge. The battery level of the problematic wireless earphone might be low, leading to issues. If the problem persists, unpair and then re-pair both earbuds with your audio device. You can restart the earbuds to see if this fixes the issue. A reboot will restore the connection between the earbuds and possibly solve the problem.
  • Question: How do you get both wireless earbuds to work at the same time?
  • Answer: Some wireless earbud models allow you to pair single buds with your device, leaving the other earbud unpaired. You can get both earbuds to work simultaneously by unpairing and re-pairing them. Place the earbuds in the charging case and close the lid briefly before opening it again. The earbuds should automatically connect and work together.
  • Question: How do you fix earbuds not connecting to each other?
  • Answer: If your earbuds appear on your smart device as two separate devices, they are disconnected. You can fix this issue by unpairing both earbuds and placing them in their charging case. Close the lid for 5 seconds before taking them both out. Press the touchpads for a few seconds until you hear a series of beeps or a chiming sound. The indicator light on the case will also blink as the earbuds synchronize.
  • Question: How do I reset my Bluetooth earbuds?
  • Answer: Resetting Bluetooth earbuds depends on the model. Some Bluetooth earbuds have a reset button, while others require several steps to reset them. 
  • To reset your earbuds manually, locate the power button and press it until the LED indicator turns blue or green. Alternatively, place their earbuds in their case and close the lid for 5-6 seconds before removing them. You can also use an accompanying smartphone app to reset your earbuds.

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Conclusion

Dealing with Bluetooth earbuds that only work on one side can be frustrating if you don’t know what to do. The earbuds could be dirty and need cleaning, or the battery power could be low, requiring a recharge. Fortunately, I have highlighted several tips you can use to fix your wireless earphones. Try them out and fix the malfunctioning earbud.

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