JBL Earbuds One Side Not Working (Left/Right)

JBL makes earbuds for every occasion. They have earbuds for active lifestyle, noise-canceling earbuds, sports earbuds, and even gaming earbuds. The number of features JBL packs into each model is impressive. The performance, battery life, sound quality, and ease of use (when everything is working fine) make JBL earbuds some of the best on the market. However, even the best can fall down. 

When you experience an issue with your JBL earbuds, you don’t care anymore about all the features they have or about the sound. You just want them fixed. The most common issue people have with their JBL earbuds is when one JBL earbud is not working, usually the left one. The earbud could refuse to connect to the main earbud, charge, or even turn on. Whatever the problem is, I’ve got you covered. 

Follow this guide to find out why one of your JBL earbuds is not working, and use the provided fixes to make the faulty earbud work again. 

JBL Earbuds One Side Not Working (Left/Right)


Key Takeaways

  • When one side of your JBL earbuds is not working, you should first try to restart the connection – forget the earbuds, initiate pairing, and pair them afresh. Then, if restarting doesn’t help, try re-syncing the left and right earbuds. If re-syncing doesn’t work, try updating the JBL earbuds and, finally, try resetting them
  • If none of the most common fixes work, check if the earbud has enough charge. If it doesn’t, charge the earbud
  • If the earbud won’t charge, cleaning the charging contacts and pins should fix the issue.
  • If one side of your JBL earbuds is much quieter than the other, you need to clean the earbuds and check your phone’s settings. Check the LEFT/RIGHT audio balance on your phone and disable Max Volume Limiter option in the JBL Headphones app. Also, try disabling Mono Audio on your phone.

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Ways to Fix JBL Earbuds One Side Not Working

I’ll start with fixes that worked for most people, and then move on to less likely causes and solutions.

Restart the Earbuds and Your Connection

Whenever an electronic device experiences an issue, the first thing we do is try to restart it. In this case, we will restart the entire connection.

You can turn off the earbuds through the app, although you don’t have to. Put them into the case and close the lid. According to JBL, this will turn off every JBL earbud model. There are also instructions for certain models on how to turn them off manually (consult your user manual for detailed instructions).

Forget the earbuds from the list of paired devices on your phone. Do the same thing for all devices used with the earbuds. 

Whenever you experience issues with your JBL earbuds, forgetting them from your device and trying to pair them afresh with your phone should be the first thing to try.

Whenever you experience issues with your JBL earbuds, forgetting them from your device and trying to pair them afresh with your phone should be the first thing to try.

Open the case and take the earbuds out. They should go to pairing mode automatically. Open your phone’s Bluetooth settings (Bluetooth has to be enabled), search for your earbuds, and tap on them. 

Pairing the earbuds afresh might fix the faulty JBL earbud.

Pairing the earbuds afresh might fix the faulty JBL earbud.

Note: If the earbuds don’t go to pairing mode automatically, there’s an option to put them in pairing mode manually. Most JBL earbuds can be put into pairing mode by pressing and holding the button (or touch control) on the right earbud for 5 seconds (older model) or by pressing once quickly and then pressing and holding for 3-5 seconds.

Left and Right Earbuds Are Not Synced with Each Other – Sync Them

TWS JBL earbuds have a specific working principle. There’s the master earbud (usually the right one) and the slave earbud (usually the left one). The master earbud connects to your device, while the slave earbud (left) connects to the master (right) earbud. The left JBL earbud is usually the one that’s not working.

Luckily, your JBL user manual provides quick instructions on how to sync your left earbud with the right one (how to reconnect them).

How to Sync Left and Right JBL Earbuds

The instructions are not the same for every JBL earbud model, but I will try to list syncing procedures for all the earbuds that support re-syncing. Let’s start with these models.

JBL Earbuds Model
JBL Tune 115TWSJBL Tune 125TWS
JBL Tune 225TWS GhostJBL Tune 225TWS
JBL Free IIJBL Tune 215TWS
JBL Tune 120TWSJBL Tune 220TWS

Disable Bluetooth on your phone and all other devices previously connected to the earbuds. You can even forget the earbuds from the list of paired devices (although it’s not necessary for this procedure). 

Disable Bluetooth on every device you used with the earbuds.

Disable Bluetooth on every device you used with the earbuds.

While the earbuds are TURNED ON and NOT CONNECTED TO ANY DEVICE, press the button on each earbud 3 times. 

Resyncing procedure for most JBL TWS earbuds

Resyncing procedure for most JBL TWS earbuds

The manual implies that you should do this on both earbuds simultaneously.

However, I’ve seen people doing it in a specific sequence. First, take the LEFT earbud (which is the slave earbud), and turn it on by pressing the button on the earbud for 2 seconds. While the earbud is turned on, press the button on the earbud 3 times quickly. The earbud LED should flash blue and white. Then, repeat the same procedure with the right earbud. The left earbud should start flashing blue slowly, indicating it’s paired with the right one.

Note: The same resync procedure applies to the following models: JBL Endurance Peak II, JBL Vibe 100TWS, JBL Vibe 200TWS, JBL Endurance Race TWS, JBL Free, JBL Free X, JBL Vibe 300TWS. However, turning these earbuds on or off is slightly different. Once turned on (and not connected to any device), press the control button 3 times quickly (either on both buds simultaneously or first on the left and then on the right).

JBL Free Earbuds – How to Re-Sync Earbuds When Left Side Is Not Working

FIXING JBL FREE - Left ear piece not working (how to)

While many JBL earbuds follow the same resync procedure, some models are different. The models listed below have a completely different syncing procedure. 

JBL Earbuds Model
JBL Live Free NC+ TWSJBL Reflect Mini NC
JBL Live 300TWSJBL Club Pro+ TWS
JBL Reflect Flow Pro

To sync these models, you have to put the earbuds into the charging case. You don’t have to close the lid, but you should disable Bluetooth on your phone

While the earbuds are inside the case, press the button located on the back (Live Free NC+ TWS, Reflect Mini NC, Reflect Flow Pro), inside the case (JBL Live 300TWS), or on the bottom of the case (JBL Club Pro+ TWS) twice. 

Once you press the button 2x, you should see a series of LEDs (orange, pink or some other color). In a few seconds, your earbuds will be synced together.  

On some models, you have to use the button on the charging case to sync your earbuds. Press it twice quickly while the earbuds are inside the case, and the earbuds should sync.

On some models, you have to use the button on the charging case to sync your earbuds. Press it twice quickly while the earbuds are inside the case, and the earbuds should sync.

 

JBL Live 300TWS Left Earbud Not Working – How to Sync Earbuds

FIXING JBL LIVE300tws - Left earbud not working (how to)

Update the Earbuds’ Firmware

If re-syncing your earbuds doesn’t fix the issue, there are plenty of other things you could try. Your earbuds might be experiencing a minor firmware glitch that can be fixed by updating them. For that, you need to download the JBL Headphones app (Android/iOS).

Once you open the app, it should automatically recognize your earbuds. If there’s an update available, you will see a notification right at the top and an orange icon with a downward pointing arrow. 

Just tap on the notification and follow the instructions. 

Updating your JBL earbuds might fix the malfunctioning JBL earbud.

Updating your JBL earbuds might fix the malfunctioning JBL earbud.

While you can use the earbuds while updating, it’s recommended to put them in the case with the lid open to make the update process quicker. 

JBL Reflect Flow Mini NC TWS – How to Update

FIRMWARE UPDATE JBL Reflect Flow Mini NC TWS earbuds (How to instructions)

Reset the Earbuds

Not all JBL earbuds can be synced together using the procedure explained above, but they can all be reset. However, resetting your earbuds is more invasive than syncing them. If your earbuds can be synced together, you should definitely try that first

Resetting your JBL earbuds to factory defaults will erase all saved pairing information, as well as all custom settings made within the app

Resetting JBL Earbuds Manually

Different JBL earbud models follow different reset procedures, and I will try to list instructions for all models. 

Note that even JBL’s official instructions for some models can be confusing. For example, I’ve seen two completely different sets of reset instructions for JBL Endurance Peak II on the same official page, while the user manual doesn’t explain the reset procedure at all.

JBL Earbuds Model
JBL Tune 115TWSJBL Tune 125TWS
JBL Tune 225TWS GhostJBL Tune 225TWS
JBL Free IIJBL Tune 215TWS
JBL Tune 120TWSJBL Tune 220TWS
JBL Free X

To reset the models listed above, follow this procedure:

Forget the earbuds from your phone and disable Bluetooth. Do this for all devices that were previously paired with the earbuds. 

Put the earbuds into the charging case. JBL recommends that you connect the charging case to the power source, but I’ve seen people doing this without connecting the USB cable to the charging case. What’s important here, I think, is that the case has enough juice to charge the earbuds. So, at least make sure the charging case has enough charge.

Open the lid and, without taking out the earbuds, press the button on the RIGHT earbud for 5 seconds. The earbud LED should turn off, and then back on. Congrats! Your earbuds have been reset. 

While both buds are inside the case and charging, press the button on the right bud for 5 seconds. The earbud LED will turn off and then turn back on.

While both buds are inside the case and charging, press the button on the right bud for 5 seconds. The earbud LED will turn off and then turn back on.

Note: If the earbuds don’t go to pairing mode automatically after resetting them and taking them out, you may have to manually initiate pairing by pressing the button on the right earbud for 5 seconds, while the earbud is off. This will turn it on and put it in pairing mode.

How to Reset JBL Tune 120TWS

JBL TUNE 120 TWS - FACTORY RESET
JBL Earbuds Model
JBL Tune FlexJBL Tune Buds GhostJBL Live Pro 2 TWS
JBL Live Free 2 TWSJBL Tune BudsJBL Tune Flex
JBL Endurance Peak 3JBL Vibe BeamJBL Vibe
JBL Vibe 100TWSJBL Vibe 200TWSJBL Tune 230NC TWS
JBL Quantum TWSJBL Reflect Aero TWSJBL Endurance Race TWS
JBL Tune 130NC TWSJBL Quantum TWS AirJBL Vibe 300TWS
JBL Tour Pro 2JBL Tour Pro+ TWS

To reset the models listed in the table above, follow this procedure:

Forget the earbuds from your phone and disable Bluetooth. Do this for all devices that were previously paired with the earbuds. 

Both earbuds should be taken out of the charging case and turned on. The instructions on the JBL website state the earbuds should be TWS connected, but since you are already having a problem with one of your earbuds, let’s just make sure both earbuds are turned on. 

Tap the button on the right earbud twice and then press and hold it for 5 seconds. The earbud should turn off. This should restore your JBL earbuds to factory default settings.

Note: The manual states you can press the button on either earbud, but the Support section on the JBL website recommends using the right earbud.
This reset procedure applies to numerous JBL earbuds

This reset procedure applies to numerous JBL earbuds

If you have one of those JBL earbud models with a button on the charging case, the reset procedure is different. 

JBL Earbuds Model
JBL Reflect Flow ProJBL Club Pro+ TWS
JBL Live 300TWSJBL Reflect Mini NC
JBL Live Free NC+ TWS

Forget the earbuds from your phone and disable Bluetooth. Do this for all devices that were previously paired with the earbuds. 

Both earbuds should be inside the case and charging. Locate the button on the charging case, and press and hold it for 5 seconds. Depending on the model, the button can be inside the case, on the back, or on the bottom of the case.

Note: On some models, the case should be closed while pressing the button. On others, the lid should stay open.
Press the button on the case for 5 seconds, while the earbuds are inside the case.

Press the button on the case for 5 seconds, while the earbuds are inside the case.

How to Factory Reset JBL Reflect Mini NC

How to Hard Reset JBL Reflect Mini NC? Factory Reset JBL Reflect Mini NC

Resetting JBL Live Pro+ TWS

JBL Live Pro+ TWS earbuds have a pinhole inside the case, not a button. Use a paperclip to press the hidden button inside the pinhole and hold it for 5 seconds. The LEDs on the front of the case should flash in sequence, indicating the earbuds are reset. 

JBL Live Pro+ TWS earbuds have a reset pinhole.

JBL Live Pro+ TWS earbuds have a reset pinhole.

Resetting JBL Live Pro+ TWS

How to Hard Reset JBL Live Pro+ TWS?

Resetting JBL Endurance PEAK

JBL Endurance Peak earbuds have a slightly different procedure than other earbuds. You need to put them into the case and make sure that both earbuds are charging (red LED indicators on the earbuds).

Then, you have to tap the JBL logo on the right earbud once, and then press and hold for about 10-20 seconds. The LED on the right earbud should start blinking. You can release the button, and give them a few seconds to finish resetting. 

JBL Endurance Peak – Reset Procedure

JBL Endurance Peak – Reset Procedure

Note: Similar procedure should apply to Endurance Peak II and Endurance Dive, but you don’t have to tap before pressing and holding the touchpad (the JBL logo) – you just have to press and hold until the LED on the right earbud starts blinking.

Reset JBL Earbuds Through the JBL Headphones App

If both earbuds are recognized by the JBL Headphones app, you can use the app to reset the earbuds. 

Just open the app, scroll down, and tap on Support. Then, tap on Reset to Factory Settings, and confirm your choice by tapping on Reset once again. 

To reset your earbuds through the app, go to Support – Reset to Factory Settings – Reset.

To reset your earbuds through the app, go to Support – Reset to Factory Settings – Reset.

Resetting JBL Tune Flex Using the JBL Headphones App

How to Factory Reset JBL Tune Flex - Restore Default Settings

After resetting your earbuds, the earbuds should go into pairing mode automatically. However, if that doesn’t happen, you may have to put them in pairing mode manually. Below, you have a list of user manuals for the most popular JBL earbud models. You will find your pairing instruction there.

JBL Earbuds – User Manuals

JBL Earbuds
JBL Tune 115TWSJBL Tune Flex Ghost EditionJBL Tune Buds Ghost Edition
JBL Live Pro 2 TWSJBL Live Free 2 TWSJBL Tune Buds
JBL Tune FlexJBL Endurance Peak 3JBL Vibe Beam
JBL Vibe 100TWSJBL Endurance Peak IIJBL Vibe 200TWS
JBL Tune 230NC TWSJBL Quantum TWSJBL Reflect Aero TWS
JBL Endurance Race TWSJBL Tune 125TWSJBL Tune 225TWS Ghost Edition
JBL Tune 130NC TWSJBL Free IIJBL Quantum TWS Air
JBL Live Free NC+ TWSJBL Reflect Mini NCJBL Live Pro+ TWS
JBL Tune 215TWSJBL Live 300TWSJBL Club Pro+ TWS
JBL Free XJBL Reflect Flow ProJBL Endurance PEAK
JBL Vibe 300TWSJBL TUNE 120TWSJBL Tour Pro 2
JBL Tune 220TWSJBL Tour Pro+ TWS

Dirt Might Be Blocking the Speaker Drivers – Clean The Earbuds

Cleaning your earbuds regularly should become your routine. Over time, ear wax, gunk, and dirt build up on ear tips and mesh that protects the speaker drivers. If you don’t clean your earbuds, the ear wax can even penetrate through the mesh, clogging the speaker drivers and making the sound much quieter. This might make you think that one of your earbuds is not working

If one of the earbuds is noticeably quieter than the other, remove the ear tip and clean the earbud.

If one of the earbuds is noticeably quieter than the other, remove the ear tip and clean the earbud.

So, you need to take the ear tips off and clean them. Then, you need to clean the mesh. You could even try removing the mesh and cleaning the space behind it – lots of dirt can penetrate through this mesh. However, reinstalling it back in place will be a difficult task. Some users simply gave up after a few unsuccessful attempts and kept using the earbuds without the mesh. 

JBL Earbuds – Cleaning Instructions

JBL | How to clean your JBL TWS Earbuds

Check if the Earbud Is Charging – Clean the Charging Contacts

If one of your JBL earbuds won’t turn on, it could be because the charging contacts on the earbud or the charging pins inside the case are dirty, and the earbud won’t charge

Taking care of this issue is relatively easy – you should take a cotton swab and try to clean the contacts and pins. You can also use tweezers or a paper clip to remove the accumulated dirt from the charging contacts. 

If the charging contacts and pins are dirty, the earbud won’t charge, and you won't be able to turn it on. So, it may seem that one or both JBL earbuds are not working, but you just need to clean the charging contacts, and the earbud will start charging.

If the charging contacts and pins are dirty, the earbud won’t charge, and you won’t be able to turn it on. So, it may seem that one or both JBL earbuds are not working, but you just need to clean the charging contacts, and the earbud will start charging.

Cleaning the Charging Contacts and Pins on JBL Earbuds

JBL TUNE120tws earbud not charging (how to - possible fix)

If the charging pins inside the case are stuck, you will have the same problem – the earbuds will not charge. So, make sure the pins are fully extended. You could even lubricate the pins with a drop of WD40 – I’ve seen people doing this, but I have never tried it. 

Note: Do not put the earbuds inside right after applying WD40. Let the case dry off, and wipe the pins and earbud slots with a dry cloth before putting the earbuds inside.
If the earbud is not charging, you could try using WD40 to lubricate the charging pins.

If the earbud is not charging, you could try using WD40 to lubricate the charging pins.

Stay Within the Bluetooth Range

Bluetooth is a wireless technology, and like other wireless technologies, it has a limited range. Depending on the model and Bluetooth version, the range of Bluetooth earbuds can extend well beyond 50ft, even 100ft. However, it’s best to keep your earbuds as close as possible to the Bluetooth audio source (your phone) to avoid connection issues

The max recommended distance for most Bluetooth devices is 10 meters or 30ft.

The max recommended distance for most Bluetooth devices is 10 meters or 30ft.

Also, when pairing your earbuds with the phone, keep them next to each other.

Check the Audio Balance on Your Phone

Modern phones have the Audio Balance feature that allows users to shift the balance between left and right channels. If the balance was somehow moved all the way to the left or right, you will get the impression that only one of your earbuds is working. 

To adjust balance on iPhones, go to Settings and then tap on Accessibility. Under Accessibility, select Audio/Visual. Look for Balance. If the toggle is moved all the way to one side, adjust it. 

Adjust the BALANCE and see if it helps.

Adjust the BALANCE and see if it helps.

While at it, you may also want to check whether Mono Audio is enabled. If it is, disable it.

Disable Mono Audio

Disable Mono Audio

To check the audio balance on Android devices, go to Settings and then tap on Accessibility. Under Accessibility, select Hearing Enhancements, and then scroll down until you get to Left/Right Sound Balance.

Settings - Accessibility - Hearing Enhancements – Connected Audio – Set Balance

Settings – Accessibility – Hearing Enhancements – Connected Audio – Set Balance

Adjusting Right/Left Sound Balance on Android Devices

How to Change Headphone & Sound Balance on Android Phone

Max Volume Limiter

If the volume is too low on one or both earbuds, you may want to check your JBL Headphones app and see if the Max Volume Limiter option is enabled

This feature is designed to protect your hearing by limiting the volume to 85dB. It should affect both earbuds simultaneously, but it might affect just one if there is some kind of firmware glitch.

Try disabling this feature, and see if it helps. 

Open your JBL Headphones app and Disable Max Volume Limiter.

Open your JBL Headphones app and Disable Max Volume Limiter.

Your Earbud Might Be Damaged or Dead – Contact JBL

If the JBL earbud is still not working after trying all the solutions above, your earbud might be dead. It could be a battery failure, a loose wire inside the earbud, a damaged earbud’s PCB, or something else. 

Taking the earbud apart and replacing damaged parts is a tricky business, and I don’t recommend doing this if your earbuds are under warranty. It’s much smarter to contact JBL and explain everything to JBL’s support agents. They may suggest some additional troubleshooting steps or send you a replacement unit.

If the earbuds are old, you could try opening the earbud, locating the damaged part, and replacing it. JBL doesn’t sell new parts for JBL earbuds, but you can find spare parts from used earbuds on eBay.

Opening JBL Free X Earbuds

Looking inside a JBL FREE X earbud (with the no audio issue)

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Question: Why has one of my JBL earbuds stopped working?
  • Answer: Most probably, it’s some kind of a firmware glitch that can be fixed by restarting the connection, updating the earbuds, syncing the left and right earbuds together, or resetting them
  • Other potential causes include charging issues (dirty charging contacts), sound issues (dirty or clogged earbud drivers), custom settings on your device (Mono Audio or Audio Balance), JBL Headphone app settings, or a dead earbud (dead battery, loose cables, damaged PCB, etc.).
  • Question: How do I reset my left JBL earbuds?
  • Answer: You can’t reset just your left – you can only reset both earbuds. In this article, I have listed reset instructions for every JBL earbud model, so you just have to find instructions for your model. 
  • Before resetting your earbuds, you may want to try to sync the left and right earbuds together or update your earbuds. If those fixes don’t help, you can reset them.
  • Question: Why is my left JBL earbud not charging?
  • Answer: Earbud charging issues are usually caused by dirty charging contacts or dirty charging pins inside the case. You will also experience charging issues if the charging pins inside the case are stuck. Luckily, all these issues are easily fixable. 
  • Furthermore, if one of your JBL earbuds is not charging, it could be because of a firmware glitch. In this case, you could try updating or resetting your earbuds.
  • Question: How do I force reset my JBL?
  • Answer: You can reset most JBL earbuds through the JBL Headphones app. If you don’t want to use the app, there’s a specific reset procedure for every JBL earbud model. 
  • For most models, you have to press the button on the right earbud twice and then press and hold for 5 seconds. 
  • For some models, you have to put the earbuds into the case and, while the earbuds are charging, press the button on the right earbud for 5-10 seconds (until the LED on it starts flashing).
  • If your JBL earbuds have a charging case with a button (either inside the case, on the bottom of the case, or on the back), you have to put the earbuds back into the case and press the button for 5 seconds. 
  • Question: Why is my left earbud silent?
  • Answer: The left earbud might be silent because the driver is clogged with ear wax and gunk. Remove the ear tip, and clean the earbud and the tip. You can even try to remove the mesh protecting the driver and clean the inside – lots of dirt can get through this protective mesh. However, have in mind that reinstalling the protective mesh is not an easy task. 
  • Furthermore, you should open the JBL Headphones app, and check whether the Max Volume Limiter feature is enabled. If it is, disable it. Also, check your phone’s audio balance settings. 
  • If the solutions above don’t help, try resetting your earbuds.
  • Question: How do you charge JBL earbuds without a case?
  • Answer: If the left JBL earbud keeps disconnecting, it’s most probably a Bluetooth or a syncing issue. You could try to re-sync the earbuds by following the instructions given in this article. Also, you should keep the earbuds close to your phone during pairing and always stay within the 33ft radius. 
  • Connection issues can also be caused by earbud firmware issues that can be fixed by restarting your connection or resetting the earbuds.
  • Finally, if the left earbud still keeps disconnecting, the problem might be the Bluetooth chip inside the earbuds.
  • Question: How do I manually turn off my JBL wireless earbuds?
  • Answer: It depends on the model. Most JBL earbuds will turn off when you put them into the case and close the lid. Some earbuds can be turned off by pressing the button on the earbud for 5 or 8 seconds.
  • Question: Do JBL earbuds charge while the case is charging?
  • Answer: Yes, the earbuds will charge while the case is charging.

Conclusion

JBL earbuds are some of the most feature-rich and best-performing true wireless earbuds on the market. No one can deny that. Unfortunately, everything is prone to malfunctions, even JBL earbuds. 

If one side of your JBL earbuds is not working, use this guide to diagnose the problem and fix the faulty JBL earbud.

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