How To Fix Earphones When One Side Is Quieter?

Advancements in the technological sector in recent decades have led to the simplification of many devices that were once considered a luxury.

Laptops and smartphones have become cheaper. Besides, newer devices like virtual assistants and smart appliances have become more accessible.

Similarly, portable audio has come a long way too. There are cheaper, and better-sounding headphones on the market and most of them use neodymium drivers.

Neodymium drivers provide excellent audio clarity and bass in a much smaller size package. This helps keep the size of your headphones pocketable while ensuring excellent sound quality.

Over time, daily wear and tear might lead to some issues with your headphones. The most common problem that users face with modern-day earphones is inconsistent volume levels between earpieces.

For example, one earpiece working well and the other a lot quieter. This issue can arise due to many reasons, and we will take a brief look at each one of them in this detailed guide.

Each step will offer solutions to different issues that might be causing inconsistent volume in one of your earpieces.

This way, you will easily be able to identify the cause of your problem, which in turn will make it much easier for you to solve the issue. Let’s get started.

1 – File/Format Issue

One of the main reasons for inconsistent volume in individual earpieces is due to the file/audio source. Whenever a song or a recording is made, it is packed and compressed into audio signals.

These signals are then transcoded to save space on your device.

During this process, if the technician has forgotten to set the optimum gain level or volume level, then there could be an issue with the final volume of the audio file.

Furthermore, there are many types of audio formats currently floating around on the internet.

If you have converted your audio file from one format to the other, then there is a high chance that the conversion process did not go well.


If you have converted the audio file yourself from a different source, then you should try carrying out the process again.

This time you should opt for a different format, and if your software allows it, then you should try increasing the gain levels.

If you are still facing volume issues, then you could try using an audio mixing software.

Although this will introduce a lot of noise and static, you will be able to increase the volume of your audio file considerably.

This is great for voice recordings where you need to transcribe the audio.

2 – Ear Wax Issue

Ear Wax is another common issue for inconsistent volume in one of the earpieces on your headphones.

Over time, earwax gets built up on the small speaker grill of your earpiece, which is difficult to remove using regular cleaning.

This can cause the volume to block out, resulting in a much lower and muffled audio feedback.


Mix some isopropyl alcohol in water and clean the grill of your earpiece using a cloth dipped in the same solution. You can also use an earbud to clean the speaker grill of your earphones.

This will help you get all the residual wax off of your earphones which will increase in volume.

3 – Bluetooth Connectivity Issue

This issue occurs in Bluetooth headsets that use two separate earpieces. Having two different earpieces means each one with its own wireless connectivity module, which doubles the risk of pairing issues.

It could very well be that one of your earpieces is failing to connect to your source as desired wirelessly.



Bluetooth connectivity issues are mainly caused due to hardware failures which leave very little room for self-troubleshooting.

But you can start by checking the web for a software update. The inconsistent volume could be a software bug that your manufacturer might have fixed with a newer software update.

Additionally, you can also reset your earphones to their default factory settings to fix your issue.

4 – Issue with 3.5 mm Jack

The 3.5 mm jack on most devices does not feature a dust cover. This often causes dust and debris to get into the slot which can interfere with your audio.

You can identify dust in your 3.5mm jack if you experience static and noise regularly.

Additionally, if you use a smartphone to play your sound, there is a high chance that there might be some lint stuck in the headphone jack.


We do not advise cleaning the audio jack by yourself as it could easily damage the internal hardware. This could significantly hike your repair costs.

People who are willing to take the risk should start by taking a good look inside using a flashlight. If there is no visible debris in your headphone jack, then it is probably not the cause of your problem.

But if you spot lint or dust inside, you should carefully take it out using a thin cotton swab. This should fix your inconsistent volume issue.

5 – EQ Issue

EQ or equalizer is a more detailed way of having control over your audio output. It uses various filters and sound effects that give you control over the multiple frequencies of your audio.

This allows you to increase treble and bass according to your liking, creating a more personalized audio experience.

If none of the above-stated solutions has worked for you, then there is a high chance that the EQ settings of your device could be wrong.

Wrong EQ settings will often result in muffled audio with missing sounds.

Several modern-day EQ software even allows for audio panning and surround sound, which could be another reason for inconsistent volume in your headphones.


Start by heading to the settings page of your device and finding the headphone options.

If you use a proprietary app like Spotify or Soundcloud, then you will find that they have their own built-in EQ which can be found in the settings.

Once located, make sure that surround sound and other such features are turned off.

Additionally, make sure the crossfader between the right and left audio balance lies strictly in the middle.

Lastly, switch your EQ settings to ‘Flat’ which is the default setting every EQ uses.

If your audio was being affected by your devices equalizer, then it should have been fixed by now.

The above-stated issues and solutions are some of the most common reasons why headphones produce inconsistent volumes in their earpieces.

If you are unable to fix your headphones despite trying every solution, then there’s a high chance that your headphones might have a hardware defect.

It is a good idea to visit your service center for a detailed diagnosis of the issue at hand. This will save you time and costs if a problem is detected early.

What did you think of our guide? Did we miss out on any potential solution? Let us know in the comments section below.








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