One earbud louder than the other

When listening to music on your earbuds, have you ever felt that one of the earbuds is louder than the other? This is a pretty common issue that arises with some audio devices and is easy to fix in most cases.

In this article, we shall discuss the cases where a simple change in software settings can fix unbalance in headphones first. Of course, it is not possible to fix everything just by changing some settings all the time. We have explained about such cases in the end.

The guide is written keeping earbuds in mind but can be used to fix any other audio device where one side of it sounds quieter than the other.

Causes of one earbud being louder than the other (and ways to fix them!)

Let’s check out what can be the possible reasons why one earbud might be sounding louder than the other.

Accumulation of earwax and dirt

Something very common with the earphones and earbuds with small audio drivers is an accumulation of earwax and dirt. 

Earwax is the waxy substance that is produced in our ears that can get deposited on earbuds/earphones if they are not cleaned regularly. This blocks the sound coming out from the audio drivers and makes one earphone/earbud sound less loud than the other.

As we have mentioned already, to avoid earwax from getting deposited, you have to clean your earbuds/earphones regularly. We have already covered How to clean earbuds? And How to clean headphone pads? in a lot of detail, so make sure you check these articles out to find out what things you need to (and how you can) clean your earbuds at your home.

Poor design of the audio device

Cheap audio devices can suffer from major audio imbalance issues. Due to the poor design of their audio drivers, these devices tend to play music at different volumes from the left and the right-hand drivers. 

While it is not possible to make the quieter earbud louder, it is definitely possible to reduce the volume of the other earbud. This way you can match the volumes of both earbuds. Check out the next section of this article to understand how you can use audio balancing techniques to fix the volume of your earbuds.

Issues with software audio balancing

Issues with volume balancing need not always be due to the improper design of the audio devices. It is sometimes related to software settings too. But what exactly do we mean by software settings? Let’s find out.

How to fix unbalanced headphones on Windows?

If you are using a Windows based computer, you need to follow these steps to adjust the audio balance of your earbuds. Skip to the next section if you are an Android/iOS user.

Step 1: Open the desktop of your PC.

Step 2: Right-click on the speaker icon present in the taskbar right next to the date and time.

Step 3: Now click on Sounds to open sound properties.

Step 4: Switch to the first tab in this window which is Playback devices.

Step 5: Now, locate your earbuds from the list of connected playback devices.

Step 6: Right-click on the device for which you wish to fix the audio balancing.

Step 7: Open its properties.

Step 8: Switch to the levels tab in the window that pops up. Most probably, this will be the second window from the left.

Step 9: Press the speaker icon next to the volume slider to understand the present volume levels of the right and the left earbud. Remember which earbud sounds louder.

Step 10: Next up, click on the balance button that is right next to the speaker icon.

Step 11: You will see two volume sliders that let you adjust the volumes of the left and the right earbud individually. Increase the volume of the side that was sounding low or decrease the volume of the side that was sounding high. 

We prefer decreasing the sound of the louder earbud as that is a bit safer option. Recommending you do the same.

Step 12: Check out the audio volume now by pressing the speaker button back in the earbud properties tab. Alternatively, you can play some music videos from your web browser. Re-adjust the levels if you still feel the imbalance.

Step 13: Once you are delighted with the result, save the settings and close all the open windows.

That’s all you have to do to rebalance the audio levels on your Windows PC.

How to fix unbalanced headphones on Android?

Fixing wireless headphones on Android (and iOS too for that matter) is simpler than most other platforms. The opening system comes with an inbuilt accessibility feature that lets you fix the audio balance. Follow these steps to access the setting.

Step 1: Open the Android Settings.

Step 2: Locate accessibility settings here.

Depending on the Android version and custom skin, the location of this menu can be different. For some devices, the accessibility menu is visible from the main setting screen, and for some other devices, the menu is available under additional settings.

Step 3: In the accessibility menu, open the hearing tab.

Step 4: You will find a slider that will let you adjust the right-left balance of the speakers. 

Once you are done adjusting, play something on your Android to confirm that the unbalance in volume is fixed.

How to fix unbalanced headphones on iOS?

The process of adjusting unbalanced audio on iOS is very similar to that of Android devices.

Step 1: Launch the Settings app.

Step 2: Open Accessibility settings.

Step 3: Locate the Audio & Visual settings.

Step 4: Adjust the balance to change the volume levels of right-left side audio drivers.

Source: satyenhacks

That’s it. You are now ready to test out the new settings. Open a music video to see how good your new balance is. If it is not proper, return to the Accessibility settings and adjust the audio again.

Causes of one earbud being louder than the other (that are tough to fix or can not be fixed!)

In this section, we are going to take a look at the cases in which you have no option but to get your earbuds replaced. If the methods mentioned above don’t work for you, then the reason behind the one earbud being louder than the other could be one of the following:

Damaged audio wire/jack

Damaged audio wire and the headphone jack is a problem that occurs with wired earphones. If you too notice any signs of cuts on your earphones wires, then you need to fix it immediately.

Source: Reddit

Fixing the broken audio wires can be quite simple if you have the right tools. You can check out our other article on How to fix broken headphones to read in-depth about the techniques that can be used to fix broken audio devices.

Physical damage to the audio driver

Magnets make up all the speakers. They are known to be among the most durable tech devices. Still, there is one delicate component present inside the audio driver that can get damaged due to a physical shock. That component is a membrane. It is a semi-right diaphragm that vibrates to produce sound.

Due to physical shock, it may get torn up and once that happens, the audio output will diminish or be turned off completely. Some earphones come with dual drivers. These earphones can still work at a lower volume in case one of the membranes gets damaged, but if you are using a single audio driver earphone, then the volume may fall to zero.

Final words

There is nothing that you can do to fix the last two issues that we have mentioned above apart from getting a new pair of audio devices. You can check out our list of _insert a link to best earphones/earbuds article_ to narrow down your choices and pick the right headphone that suits your needs.

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