5 Best Solutions To Fix Headphones That Only Work In One Ear

Last Updated:
Photo of author
Written By Miley






Wanted to fix headphones that only work in one ear?

No problem! You have come to the right place. I was like you in the past.

One of the worst things that happened to me was that my headphones suddenly stopped working on one side when I was attending an important meeting last year. I became so frustrated at that point that I snatched my headphones and threw them into a dustbin.

My headphones aren’t at all old and are from a well-known company, which is why it’s more disheartening for me. Since then, I have bought various new headphones instead of fixing the old ones. Fortunately, now I know that it is possible to diagnose this issue and fix it with some patience and luck.

To fix headphones that only work on one side, we must first determine if the problem is caused by software or hardware and then apply the proper solution. So, here are some ways to fix them:

The Best Solutions To Fix Headphones That Only Work In One Ear

1- Restart the device

A simple and quick remedy if our headphones stop working on one side following software or audio app update is to just restart our phone or computer. Often, a small act like this is enough to address the problem and will definitely fix the headphones.

If restarting the audio source does not resolve the problem, go to the next remedy.

2- Consider using a different set of headphones

To fix headphones, you must check whether the problem lies in your headphones or not. So, check your smartphone with another pair of headphones (headphones that has better sound quality such as AKG K361) to verify whether both earpieces function. If you hear sound in both ears, the issue is most likely with your first headset.

If the problem remains after using a second headset, look into the audio settings on the device you’re using.

3- Check the audio settings

The audio output of our headphones might be affected by the audio settings of our phone or PC. If the problem just affects the PC, follow the procedures below:

  • Step 1: In the Windows Search Bar, type Control Panel and press Enter.
  • Step 2: From the drop-down menu, select Hardware and Sound > Sound.
  • Step 3: Scroll down to the default sound output device and double-click it or pick it and click properties under the Playback tab.
  • Step 4: Go to the Levels tab and choose the default sound output device’s ‘Balance’ option. Then, make sure the volume on both the left and right channels is the same.

If the issue only occurs on your smartphone, go to your music app or sound settings and see if there is a setting for audio balance, and make sure both channels are set to the same loudness.

4- Clean The Headphone Audio Jack

The mortal enemy of gadgets is dirt. It can directly impede electrical signals as it accumulates. This is frequent with mobile devices, as years of slipping into pockets pull dirt and dust into apertures such as headphone ports.

To clean them, get a torch and a needle or a small razor blade to examine whether dust is the problem. Shine a light into the jack and use your pick to carefully dislodge dust and dirt. You can also clear the dust with a cotton swab or by blowing it out yourself. This will definitely fix headphones.

5- Fix The Broken Internal Wiring

As we all know, headphones come in two different types, which are wired and wireless. So, to fix both kinds of headphones, they need different approaches to fix their physical problems, such as faults in internal and internal wiring.

For fixing the internal and external wiring of both wired and wireless headphones, we need a screwdriver, knife, and tape.

  • Wired Headphones

To fix headphones that employ wires, disassemble the earpiece that isn’t working. Look for a crack in the plastic and pry it out with your blade or screwdriver for smaller earphones. Remove the padding from the bigger, ear-covering earpieces and check for screws keeping the device together.

Check online for precise instructions on how to disassemble your model’s earpieces.

  • Wireless Headphones

To fix headphones that work wirelessly, first, disassemble the wireless headset’s case. You might be able to scoop it apart with a screwdriver, or you could notice screws keeping it together. Look for precise instructions for disassembling your model online.

Remove the case and look for any inside wiring. If any loose wires or soldiers are discovered, just connect them back in place.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why do my headphones only work on one side?

Fixing shorted headphone cables, reconnecting detached wires, cleaning the aux socket, and resolving connection difficulties are all common problems that we have faced at least once in our lives. If you are facing other problems, consider expert help or the idea to buy a new headphone that has sturdy construction such as TASCAM TH-300X.

  • What to do if one side of the headphones won’t work?

Start looking for broken or misplaced wires in the hardware if one side of your earbuds still won’t operate after being completely charged.

  • How do I clean the inside of my headphones?

Remove the earpads and use a small towel moistened with soap and warm water to clean the outside of the headphones. Allow it to dry naturally and thoroughly after wiping it with dry paper towels. Wipe clean the exterior of the earpads with a tiny cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer.


Hopefully, if you did everything perfectly, you will fix your beloved headphones properly and they will be back in working order after doing the above-mentioned remedies. If you’ve gotten this far and can still only hear in one ear, don’t give up. After all, authorized repair specialists are many these days, and locating one with experience may save you time and money.

Aside from that, you might go out and acquire some sturdy headphones that will last a long time. I hope you now have a better understanding of how to fix headphones that have this “only work in one ear” problem.

Have a wonderful day!