6 Reason Why And How To Fix One Headphone Not Working 2024? Top Full Guide

6 Reason Why And How To Fix One Headphone Not Working 2024 Top Full Guide
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Nothing can be more frustrating than putting on your headphones and hearing silence. If you have ever encountered a malfunctioning headphone, you know the importance of fixing the issue quickly and easily. 

Whether you’re dealing with a wired or wireless pair, the guide How to Fix One Headphone Not Working will help you. With the help of a few simple techniques, you’ll be back to rocking out in no time.

What Are the Common Headphone Problems?

What Are the Common Headphone Problems

Headphones are essential for many people, whether listening to music, taking phone calls, or even gaming. However, like any electronic device, headphones are prone to various performance and usability problems. Here are some common headphone problems that users may encounter:

Connectivity issues

One of the most common headphone problems is connectivity issues, especially for wireless headphones. Bluetooth headphones can experience pairing issues, causing the device not to connect to other devices, and the connection can be unstable, causing the sound to cut out frequently.

Poor sound quality

Headphones can also suffer from poor sound quality due to damaged drivers or low-quality materials. The sound can become distorted, muffled, or lack bass, making it difficult to hear music or communicate with others.

Broken wires

Wired headphones are prone to wire breakage, leading to sound issues, including sound from one earbud or no sound. The wires can become tangled or frayed, causing a complete failure of the headphones.

Uncomfortable fit

Headphones that do not fit well can cause discomfort or pain after extended periods of use. Over-ear headphones can become too tight, causing pressure on the ears, while in-ear headphones can cause pain or fall out of the ears easily.

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Battery life issues

Wireless headphones rely on batteries to function and can experience battery life issues. The batteries can drain quickly, requiring frequent recharging, and the battery life may decrease over time.

Microphone issues

Headphones with built-in microphones can suffer from microphone issues, including a poor-quality microphone, a microphone not working, or a microphone picking up the background noise.

How To Fix Headphones With One Headphone Not Working Without Taking Them Apart?

How to fix headphones with one headphone not working without taking them apart?

Let’s first look at the possible causes of your left earphone not functioning before we get into how to fix the issue.

1. Cable Bending

Your earphone may have stopped working because you bend the cables casually to fit your bag or pocket. It would help if you took extra care when handling the earphone as it is a delicate and tiny cable. When not in use, these cables should be kept in your pocket or bag.

2. Damaged Cable

A cable cut will automatically stop the transmission of sounds from the plug to your earphone jack. Overstretching an earphone can cause this. You may need to connect the cables to continue using them. Sometimes, this may not be possible.

3. Shortage In Wire (Shorted In Wire)

A damaged cable can cause this. Your left earphone may stop functioning abruptly in the shorted wire. You can then trace the feeling of a slight break in your touch and adjust.

Expose the wires, and separate the copper wires (ground wires), insulation (white wires), and colored wire. (The colored wire will be red if you are repairing the headset’s right portion, or green or blue if you’re working on the left section.)

4. Damaged or disconnected wire near the jack

  • You should first check that the headphone jack is inserted adequately if you have a wired headset. Once the headphone jack is in place, you should hear a click.
  • You might have problems with your earbuds not working if the jack isn’t inserted correctly. Sometimes you may hear one earphone more than the other.
  • Disconnect your headphone and insert the jack again.
  • You can also inspect your jack while you’re at it to check for dirt. Take a cotton swab and dip it in some water. Then squeeze out any excess water.
  • Use the cotton swab and clean the headphone jack to remove dirt and dust near the jack.
  • After you have done this, use a dry cloth to remove any moisture from the jack. Connect it again and test the performance.

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5. Check your sound balance in device audio settings

  • A bad audio balance setting can cause one ear of the earbud to stop working. Go to the Settings on your computer or mobile device to confirm that this is the problem. You will see the Sound or Audio option. Click on these to open the Audio Balance section.
  • The Balance setting should be in the middle. If the balance is not appropriately aligned, drag the slider to move it to the middle position. Once you’re done, adjust the audio settings. Connect your wireless headphones again and verify that the problem is solved.
  • After making changes to your settings, you can also try restarting your device.
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6. Mono sound setting

Mono sound refers to a setting where the same sound is sent on both the left and right sides of the headphones. Sometimes we don’t even realize that mono tracks are available, and only one side of the wireless headphones plays the sound.

  • This could indicate a potential problem. Go to Settings on your device and look for Sound or Audio settings.
  • You will find an option to choose Mono Sound or Mono Audio.
  • After you have disabled it, recheck your headphones’ audio. Mono Audio may be available on some devices under the Ease-of-Access options.

7. Dirty Earbuds

Your earbuds can become clogged after prolonged use. To check for dirt, dust, or accumulation of ear wax, inspect the affected side. If you find the defect, please follow these steps.

  • To clean the earbuds, use a narrow-opening vacuum cleaner. Use a cotton swab to clean the earbuds after vacuuming.
  • You might want to remove removable headphones covers and wash them with warm water.
  • If your wireless headphones do not have a mesh, you can use lukewarm water to warm up the bowl and dip cotton swabs into it.
  • Clean your earbuds and remove any excess water. You should then remove any obstructions.
  • Dry dust your headphones if there is any ear wax. Use a soft brush such as a hairbrush or paintbrush to remove the ear wax from the headphones. You can then clean your wireless headphones using the same steps as before.

8. Examine the wires for any damage (broken wire)

  • First, untangle the wires from your headphones. Tangled wires can cause performance problems and decrease durability.
  • After you have straightened it, see if that helps solve your problem. It should not then twist a small portion of the wire from one side to the other.
  • Play some audio by connecting your earbuds to the device.
  • Sometimes tangled inner wires can be untangled by twisting. To determine if your headphones’ wires are damaged, inspect them closely.
  • Tangled wires and ones that have been cut can often cause problems.
  • Use electrical tape around to cover any cut wires. Cover the whole area with the wire, and then you can check if the problem has been resolved.
  • If it does, make sure the wire is not removed from the headphones/pairs of earbuds to ensure a permanent fix.
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9. Problem with the headphone slot

If one earbud fails to work, it could be that the headphones are the problem. If the problem persists, try another pair of earphones to confirm.

If it happens, you should get your device’s audio slot serviced.

  • Dust accumulation can cause problems in a pair of earbuds. Take your earbuds out of the slot to check for dirt.
  • Take a cotton swab if you find some and roll it into a thin shape.
  • This can be used to clean the inside of your jack by dipping it in lukewarm warm water.
  • Next, dry the headphone slots with a cotton swab. Any liquid that remains can cause permanent damage to your device.

Relevant posts:

10. Check for signs of water damage

Even though they claim to be water-resistant or waterproof, all electronic devices are susceptible to water damage. Earbuds can be damaged by rain, sweat, and precipitation.

  • If you are unsure if the damage has been done recently, put your Bluetooth headphones/ pair in a container of rice.
  • Rice can absorb moisture, and your headphones will do the same. Let them sit in the rice for about two hours to see if they work.
  • What if you don’t have rice? You can substitute rice with dry oatmeal, synthetic desiccant packs, couscous pearls, and other options.

11. Re-pairing wireless headphones

There are a few different troubleshooting steps to help you diagnose Bluetooth headphones. The first step to resolving one earbud not functioning on Bluetooth headphones is to unpair it.

Keep the power button of your headphones pressed for a few seconds until the power indicator flashes red or blue.

This will usually reset the factory reset on the headphones. Pair the Bluetooth headphones with your device again after you have restarted them. This should resolve the problem.

12. Resolve the issue at half-point

Half-point issues occur when audio is not transmitted correctly. You should first remove the wireless jack from a wireless headset that has a wireless jack.

If the audio is still playing, you can reinsert your jack port into the audio slot. It was only a half-point problem if the audio played in both earbuds.

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13. Resetting your device

If the problem persists, connect another pair of earphones to your device. For resolution, follow the steps above.

If the problem persists after all of this, you may need to reset your device or restore it to its factory settings.

Reset your device and take a backup of your data. Software glitches and viruses can sometimes cause problems with Bluetooth earbuds or accessories. These problems can be fixed by resetting your device.

What Should You Do If Headphones Are Still Not Working?

If you’ve tried everything and failed to solve your Bluetooth earbuds/headphone problem on one side, then there are only a few options.

  • Make sure to have your earbuds serviced
  • Buy a new pair of headphones

You have no choice but to replace your headphones if they are damaged. This can be very painful, especially if you have expensive headphones. Buy a pair of headphones from a trusted manufacturer next time you need them.

Reasons Why one Your Headphone Does Not Work

How To Fix Headphones Where One Side Is Not Working

How to Fix Bluetooth Earbuds when Only One Side Works

If the above steps didn’t resolve your problem of Why only one of my headphones is working? This could be due to a hardware problem in your side speaker.

The following items might be helpful during troubleshooting:

  • Screwdriver
  • Aux cable and its jack port
  • Slicer or power cable cutter
  • Solder gun (solder the wires)

Note: If you use wireless headphones with a transmitting base and are connected to your computer via an audio cable, the issue could also be in your audio jack/plunger case.

How to Fix Bluetooth Earbuds when Only One Side Works

Step 1: Find out if it’s a speaker problem

This step involves opening the speaker that isn’t working. If you are familiar with how to use a soldering iron, then follow these steps step-by-step:

If the aux cable is attached to the socket, you will need to remove the batteries from the headphone.

You can remove the foam pads from your headphone speaker by twisting them clockwise. For some models, you can also use a flat screwdriver to pry open the clips-type foam pad.

Most likely, you’ll encounter screws. Use the screwdriver to remove those screws and access the wires inside the speaker.

You can do it! Attention: Make sure you have removed all batteries from the wireless headphones to avoid any short circuits.

You will need an additional aux cable with a jack at one end. You can find out how to replace the headphone jack in my tutorial.

Use the slicer tool on the other end to cut the cable. You will have approximately 2 cm of metal cable.

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Temporarily, twist each end of one speaker cable tightly (temporarily sans soldering).

Note: You will need to remove the solder from where the original cables were soldered to the speaker. Next, solder the new cable to the same points. However, remember to take out the temporary cable by using the soldering tools.

The other end of your cable (the Jack plug) should be plugged into a socket for a media player.

Play a song, then turn the media device on and check if it works.


  • If your speaker is not working, you can go to Step 3. However, if it works well, you can go to Step 2.
  • If the wireless headphones are working fine, you will need to turn off the media player, then take out the jack plug. Next, solder the original cables back in their correct places and then cover it back.

Step 2: If step 1 is true, verify that the headphone socket port works well

If the wireless headphones play music through one speaker, and you’ve checked that it has no technical issues or isn’t the problem, then the problem most likely lies with the socket port.

As shown below, the socket port is connected directly to an electrical circuit board that connects to the speakers either indirectly or directly. If the socket suffers from a mechanical problem (just as I mentioned above about the triggers) or an electrical issue on the board, you will need to replace it.

If the wireless headphones play music through one speaker, and you’ve checked that it has no technical issues or isn’t the problem, then the problem most likely lies with the socket port.

As shown below, the socket port is connected directly to an electrical circuit board that connects to the speakers either indirectly or directly. If the socket suffers from a mechanical problem (just as I mentioned above about the triggers) or an electrical problem on its board, you will need to replace it.

To see the cables, remove the screws from the base of the headphones.

We will use the soldering tools to remove the four cables shown below.

The new four cables are soldered back using the same method as the old speaker. We then attach all the parts back together using the same procedure.

Step 3: If step 2 is true, replace the defective jack socket.

To replace the headphone’s socket, you will need to use the soldering instrument to remove it from the board. (See the image below to see how the socket looks on the other side of the board that has been soldered).

Soldering the socket at the same locations on the board. You should order the same socket beforehand or use an older socket from the same model of headphones.

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Reverse all parts of your headphone to get them back to their original state.

One side Doesn’t Work on the Computer

  • Sometimes, one side will not connect to a computer via the front panel connector. Many things could cause the problem. This input might not be connected at the software level.
  • You can do this by activating the information in the sound settings. The headset will then immediately begin to work.
  • You can also change the audio device or audio source. This setting is found in the section Sound. It is possible that the connector has not been connected to the motherboard. You will need to remove the SB cover and insert your plug into the socket.

One Headphone Doesn't Work on the Computer

  • The drivers should be reinstalled if all actions have been completed and no module is not playing. These drivers should be reinstalled. You can do this in the device manager by selecting the inactive item and then specifying the Update drivers command.
  • Also, you should check the sound level of the system. It may be set at the minimum setting. This will solve the problem completely if it is set up via the control panel or the system tray.

Tips For Taking Care Of Your Earbuds

The steps above should have resolved the problem of the one-sided earbud not functioning correctly within one year.

It is essential to take good care of your wireless or wired headphones so that you do not face these problems in the future.

These are some tips to help keep your Bluetooth earbuds/headphones protected from damage.

  • When not in use, keep your headphones/earphones covered or in a box.
  • Use wired headphones to ensure that the wires are not tangled.
  • Do not fold the wires too tight.
  • Clean the earbuds, mesh, and covers periodically to remove dust and earwax.
  • When not in use, take the earbuds out of the device.
  • Keep your headphones clear of water and precipitation.
  • Do not overcharge your headphones.
  • Use only genuine chargers, wires, or accessories.
  • They shouldn’t be thrown around too often.
  • Regularly clean the device’s audio slot and your headphones jack.


Independent intervention will eliminate the possibility for free maintenance, and no one can guarantee successful fix the issue working properly. We believe that if you know how to fix one headphone not working beats is an easy mistake that you can fix at home. Hooke Audio hopes this article is helpful for you. If you have any questions, please comment below.

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