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Why Is One Headphone Louder Than The Other: Top Full Guide 2023

Why Is One Headphone Louder Than The Other Top Full Guide 2023

When using headphones, have you ever noticed that one side is louder than the other? Without success, you’ve tried turning the audio jack, unplugging it, and adjusting it. So, why is one headphone louder than the other?

Why is One Headphone Louder Than the Other

Why is One Headphone Louder Than the Other

Dirt Build Up in Headphone

Due to the near proximity of headphones to your ears, earwax, dirt, and other debris occasionally clog the speaker grid. The sound won’t entirely exit the headphone when the grid is covered in wax and debris, which results in an unbalanced sound.

Before you fix your device or audio source, examine the condition of the headphones if you discover that one of them is louder or quieter than the other. Use a cotton tip applicator or cotton buds to properly clean the headphones.

Clean the grid with care after dampening the tip with a little alcohol. Additionally, this is the ideal time to check your gadget for rips, cracks, and frays.

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Dirty Headphone Jack

One side of the headphones may become quieter or louder due to a dirty headphone jack. Because you can’t see damage when a headphone jack is unclean, you won’t know if there is an issue with the jack or your smartphone.

A dirty jack typically only requires a light cleaning. The loudness of your headphones can also be impacted by a very small amount of debris, such as your fingerprint on the jack’s tip.

Use a soft cloth and a small bit of alcohol to clean the jack. After cleaning the tip, use a dry, clean towel to follow up.

Moisture on Headphones

Because of this, you must never wet your earphones or headphones! While using them, avoid getting your earphones wet as this could lead to electrical circuit damage in your device.

This typically occurs if you wear headphones while working out, jogging, or exercising. Choose headphones with an appropriate IP rating, such as IP7 or IP6, if you want waterproof headphones because these indicate that your gadget is water-resistant.

Physical Damage

In the worst event, physical damage to the cables, plug, or socket could result in one of your headphones being louder than the other.

If you use a different set of headphones and they function properly, the problem is probably with the audio cord. However, the plug or socket can be harmed if you plug in multiple other headphones and none of them provide balanced audio.

However, it’s advised that you look into software-related problems before presuming that something is broken.

Poor Audio Balance Adjustment

You can change the audio balance while listening to music on almost all desktop and mobile operating systems. In other words, you can adjust the volume of each headphone independently.

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If you have a hearing problem in one of your ears, this can be quite useful. You might, however, mistakenly alter these settings and increase the volume of one of your headphones.

Verify that your device’s audio balance settings have the volume distributed equally between the two earpieces.

Incorrect Output Device

why is one headphone louder than the other Incorrect Output Device

Because not all output devices are built for stereo output, your headphones may have audio balance problems.

Check to see if the audio source can play stereo outputs. If it’s mono, you’ll encounter a number of audio output problems, which will make the sound of one of your headphones weaker.

Connectivity Issues

If you have wireless headphones, it’s possible that one of them lost power before the other. In that instance, the volume will start to decrease before going away entirely. Verify that the wireless earpiece is fully charged, then reconnect it to check whether the issue is resolved.

Another issue you might be having is Bluetooth connectivity. Try resetting your wireless headphones, removing them from the linked connections on your device, and starting over.

It’s also important to keep in mind that one of your headphones may have hardware issues that prevent it from charging or holding a charge. You might need to obtain a replacement if you plug it in but it won’t charge.

You might be entitled to a free replacement if you still have your warranty. You’ll need to switch it for a cost if you want anything else.

How to Fix the Headphone that Is Louder Than The Other

How to Fix the Headphone that Is Louder Than The Other

Clean the Headphone

Cleaning them is the first step in solving the one headphone louder problem. Dip cotton swabs in lukewarm water that has been placed in a dish. Clean your headphones by wringing out any extra water from the cotton.

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Any loose soil or other impediments should be eliminated as a result.

As an alternative, you can clean the headphones by applying an alcohol-based liquid to a cotton swab. Be aware that such liquids may cause the paint on the headphones to come off. Do it cautiously, then.

Under no circumstances should you submerge your headphones in any liquid as this could result in long-term harm. You should first dry dust your headphones to remove any ear wax that may be present.

To accomplish this, wipe the ear wax from the headphones using a soft brush, such as a paintbrush or a hairbrush. Once this is finished, you can clean the headphones by using the methods described above.

Adjust the Sound Balance Setting

Check your sound balance by selecting the Settings tab on your smartphone, going to the volume or sound controls, and adjusting the one earbud that is louder than the other.

An option for Audio Balance should be included there, sometimes hidden beneath the Settings option for Accessibility.

Check to see if the balance is centered or not. If not, drag it and move it in that direction. After completing this, connect your headphones and check to see if the issue has been resolved.

You can tell if a side is harmed or not by entirely shifting the balance in that direction.

Check Damage in the Wire

Start by untangling any tangled headphone wires. When you’re finished, thoroughly examine the wire to look for any tears or breaks.

You can use electrical tape to cover the damaged area and repair wire cracks. Straighten the wire, wrap the tape tightly around the broken portion, and test the solution.

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If it occurs, you must make sure the tape is kept on the wire for the entire time you want to use the headphones.

Wires frequently short out, which causes audio issues. Slowly begin to bend the headphone wire, one little portion at a time, to determine if this is the root of the problem.

Check to see whether the sound icon modifies. As you proceed along the wire, mark each opportunity you come across. Sometimes, simply carefully turning it a few times resolves the problem. However, you might not be able to fix the problem if the internal wire is destroyed.

Clean the Headphone Jack

A cotton swab should be taken and rolled into a thin shape. Try cleaning the inside of the headphone jack by dipping this into an alcohol-based liquid or lukewarm water, squeezing out the excess water, and then re-dipping it.

After that, dry the headphone slot with a dry cotton swab. Any liquid left behind could harm your device irreparably. Avoid blowing air into the slot because doing so could force more dirt inside and severely degrade the sound.

How to Fix Headphones Issues on a Computer

How to Fix Headphones Issues on a Computer


You must first navigate to System Preferences if you are a Mac user. You can repeat the next steps once you get there.

  • Click the Sound option in System Preferences.
  • In the Sound Effects tab, double-check all settings. Check to see if anything appears to be out of place. Repair any flaws you discover.
  • Go to the output tab and check to see if the audio balance is in the center. If it isn’t, make the necessary changes.
  • Under the Balance controls, you’ll find Output Sound Volume. This should be close to the maximum level.
  • Restart the Mac once to see if the problem has been resolved.
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Windows users can troubleshoot the headphone issue by following the methods below.

  • Go to your Start Menu or My Computer and select Control Panel.
  • There will be a Hardware & Sound option. Alternatively, type ‘Sound’ into the search bar.
  • When the Sound window appears, select the Playback tab. If your earbuds are plugged in, they should be shown there.
  • Right-click the headphone’s name and select Properties.
  • Then, on the Levels menu, select Balance and position it in the center.
  • Reboot the machine and double-check your headphones.

FAQs about Why is One Headphone Louder Than the Other

FAQs about Why is One Headphone Louder Than the Other

Why is one of my headphones quieter than the other?

Dirt and filth can collect on earbuds over time since they are placed directly within the ears. If you do not clean your headphones on a regular basis, debris can sometimes produce a physical obstruction or find its way into the audio driver, making the volume appear lower.

Is it better to be balanced or unbalanced?

In general, balanced audio will provide a better, stronger audio stream with no unwanted noises. Unbalanced audio, on the other hand, is vulnerable to noise and interference across extended distances.


The answer to why one headphone is louder than the other is complex, as there are multiple potential causes. The most common explanation is that your audio device’s balance settings have been shifted over time, or it’s a hardware issue with the headphones itself.

Whatever the cause, you don’t have to live with lopsided audio output in your headphones. If you’re having difficulty addressing the issue yourself, contact a professional technician for help to get your audio balance back to normal.

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