You’re enjoying your favorite tunes or engaging in an important phone call when suddenly, the sound only comes from one side of your Apple earbuds. We’ve all been there! Frustrating, isn’t it? As an avid user of Apple earbuds, you’ve probably experienced that maybe your right earbud or the left earbud is not working properly. Have you contemplated “Why are my Apple earpods not working properly?”. This problem can disrupt your music listening or phone call experience.  So how to fix Apple earbuds that work on one side? 

Before you rush to the nearest Apple service center, let’s explore some troubleshooting steps to help you fix this issue on your own. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into why the left/right earbud is not working and provide practical solutions to get your earbuds working perfectly again.

Why Are My Apple Earpods Not Working Properly? Software Solutions

Before jumping into the solutions of how to fix Apple earbuds that work on one side, you need to assert why your Apple earbuds are not working. We’ve listed a few software-side problems and solutions. 

Audio Settings

One potential culprit for why my left/right earbud is not working is misconfigured audio settings. Here’s how to fix Apple earbuds that work on one side. To ensure that your software is set up correctly, follow these steps.

  • On your iPhone, go to the Settings app.
  • Scroll down and tap on Accessibility.
  • Under the Audio/Visual menu, seek the Phone Noise Cancellation slider.
  • Make sure the slider is positioned in the middle, ensuring a balanced audio volume between the left and right channels.
  • Additionally, check that the Mono Audio setting is turned off. Enabling Mono Audio can cause sound to play in only one ear.

Once you’ve adjusted the audio settings, test your earbuds by playing some music or a video. If the sound is now clear and balanced, congratulations – you’ve resolved the software-related issue! If your Apple earbuds are not working after this, read on to find another solution.

How to fix apple earbuds that work on one side

How to fix apple earbuds that work on one side? (Image Courtesy – Apple)

Reset Your AirPods

If you’re using AirPods or AirPods Pro and experiencing connectivity issues along with the left earbud not working/ right earbud not working, a simple reset may do the trick. Follow these steps to reset your Apple iPhone earbuds.

  • Unpair your Apple earbuds from your device

For iOS devices

Go to Settings → Bluetooth and locate your AirPods in the list of devices.
Tap the ‘i’ button next to your AirPods and select Forget this device.

For macOS devices

Open System Preferences → Bluetooth.
Click on your AirPods in the list of devices and click the ‘x’ button.
Confirm the action by clicking Forget Device in the pop-up window.

  • Reset your AirPods

Place your AirPods in the charging case and close the lid.
Open the lid and keep it open.
Press and hold the setup button on the back of the case until the status light flashes white.
Open the Bluetooth settings on your iOS or macOS device and pair your AirPods as you normally would.

By resetting your AirPods, you can resolve any underlying connectivity concerns on why your Apple earpods are not working properly. 

Why Are My Apple Earpods Not Working Properly? Hardware Issues

If software troubleshooting didn’t solve the issue of your Apple earbuds not working, it’s time to examine the hardware of your Apple earbuds. 

Inspect the Earbud Wires

Often, why your left/right earbud is not working stems from damaged or disconnected wires. Follow these steps to diagnose and potentially fix the issue.

  • Connect your earbuds to your device and play a song or video.
  • Gently manipulate the cord from the malfunctioning earbud towards the plug, fiddling with it along the way.
  • Listen carefully to see if the sound comes back to the malfunctioning earpiece at any point.
  • The location where the sound returns indicates the likely location of a damaged or disconnected wire.

If you’ve pinpointed the problematic area, you may attempt to repair the wires yourself or consider getting a replacement for your earbuds if the damage is severe. However, exercise caution when attempting repairs, as it may void any warranties or cause further damage. 

Try Another Pair of Headphones

Further on “Why are my Apple earpods not working properly”, determine if the issue lies with your Apple earbuds or your device by trying to use a different pair of headphones or earbuds with your device. If the new pair of headphones also only plays sound in one ear, the problem may be related to your device’s audio output or settings. However, if the new pair of headphones functions correctly, it’s likely that your Apple earbuds are not working and require cleaning or replacement.

why are my apple earpods not working properly

Why are my Apple earpods not working properly? (Image Courtesy – Apple)

Check the Device’s Headphone Jack

Next up on how to fix Apple earbuds that work on one side, if both your Apple earbuds and a different pair of headphones exhibit one-sided sound problems, it’s worth inspecting the headphone jack of your device. Dust or debris may obstruct the connection between the earphone plug and the device’s port, causing sound to play in only one ear. Follow these steps to clean the headphone jack. 

  • Use an air can to blow out any accumulated dust or lint in the headphone jack.
  • Alternatively, gently clean the headphone jack with a cotton swab.
  • Once cleaned, plug in your earbuds and check if the sound is now balanced in both ears.

Cleaning the headphone jack may restore proper communication between your device and your earbuds, resolving the one-sided sound issue.

How To Extend The Lifespan Of My Apple Earbuds?

To extend the lifespan of your Apple earbuds and prevent future sound issues, consider implementing these tips. 

Keep Your Earphone Wires Untangled

One of the common causes of wire damage in earphones is tangling. To prevent unnecessary stress on the wires, make an effort to keep your earphone cords untangled. You can use cable wraps or organizers to keep the cords neatly coiled and less prone to entanglement.

Tie Your Earphone Wires

Another method to protect your earphone wires is by securely tying them. You can wrap the cord around your fingers to reduce its length and then wrap a small section around the shortened wire to create a knot. This technique reduces the chances of tangling and makes it easier to untie when you need to use your earphones.

Alternatively, you can use elastic bands or Velcro ties to secure your earphones. 

Always Pull the Plug and Not the Cable

To avoid unnecessary strain on the cord, make it a habit to disconnect your earphones by pulling the plug instead of tugging on the cable. Frequent pulling of the cable can stress the wires and potentially cause them to break over time.

Avoid Sleeping with Your Earphones On

Sleeping with your wired earphones can lead to wire damage due to the changing positions of your body during sleep. Additionally, the weight of your body on the wires can cause them to bend in extreme ways. It’s best to remove your earphones before bed to ensure their longevity.

Apple earbuds are renowned for their audio quality and sleek design, but like any electronic device, they may encounter issues over time. If you’re facing the frustrating problem of “why is my left/right earbud not working” with your Apple earbuds, this troubleshooting guide has provided you with practical solutions. 

By checking audio settings, resetting your AirPods, inspecting the hardware, and implementing additional tips, you can often resolve the issue on your own. However, if the problem persists, it may be necessary to seek professional assistance or consider replacing your earbuds. Remember to take care of your earbuds and follow the additional tips to prolong their lifespan and enjoy uninterrupted audio experiences.