Fix iPhone Earphones playing one side only

How To Fix iPhone Earphones Playing One Side Only

It is a fact that iPhone’s built-in speaker is efficient enough to play the audio in high quality. However, most iPhone users still tend to use earphones or headsets to block off the surrounding noise that can otherwise affect the audio quality of music or calls.

Is one earbud not working on iPhone?

In connection to Apple earphones, many iPhone users reported a common issue: one side of their earphones has stopped working while connected to the iPhone. They can listen to audio from one side only; indeed, that seems quite unpleasant & frustrating.

Therefore, we investigated the problem in-depth and drew out the most likely causes of this particular issue. So, in this discussion, we will shed light on the erroring causes and comprehensively elaborate on the best possible solutions to fix the “left earbud not working” problem on the iPhone.

What causes iPhone 11 earbuds to malfunction?

What causes iPhone 11 earbuds to malfunction

The issue is relatively more common in the earbuds for iPhone 11, so we will narrow down our discussion to iPhone 11 devices mainly. In this regard, we have enlisted a few most common causes of this issue.

Software update

Most likely, a software-related factor might cause a problem with iPhone earbuds because many users have reported that this issue triggered right after updating their iPhone software.

Audio settings issue 

Improper audio settings are often considered a primary cause of the issue of “one earbud not working” on an iPhone because you might have wrongly configured the audio settings unknowingly.

Dirty earphones jack 

The earbuds jack might be dusty, and earbuds may be inserted in a dirty jack, but you won’t be able to get the proper audio, or even any earbuds might not work at all.

Damaged wire 

A damaged wire is a prominent factor that can affect the earbuds’ working majorly as the audio won’t pass through a broken or faulty wire of the earbud.

How to fix iPhone’s one earbud not working issue?

How to fix iPhone’s one earbud not working issue?

Here we have picked up a few most efficient & proven ways that can be opted for to fix the left earbud not working issue in iPhone earbuds. But before moving on to setting approaches, it is suggested to check the earphones & connected devices in the first place to figure out whether the problem is actually with the Apple earbuds or something is wrong with the connected iPhone.

So, to check the device at first, you can connect another pair of earbuds available at your place to your iPhone; if both sides of the earbuds work with your iPhone, that shows the issue isn’t with the device.

If you don’t have any extra pair of earphones, you can connect the same malfunctioning earphones with any device other than the respective iPhone to check the main issuing factor.

If your Apple earbuds work fine with the new device, your iPhone is causing the one earbud not working issue. So, in such a case, you can either need to adjust your device’s audio settings or restart the device to fix the encountered problem.

Adjust the audio settings 

You may have wrongly configured your audio settings, so it’s a good measure to check the audio settings; if there is something wrong in the configurations, you can readjust the settings correctly. Here we have elaborated on adjusting your improperly configured audio settings in your iDevice.

At first, access the Settings of your respective device(iPhone).

Navigate to the General settings in the iPhone Settings menu and select the Accessibility option.

Then in the Accessibility menu, navigate to the Phone Noise Cancellation option. (Here, you will be able to see a volume balancing slider located right below the Phone Noise Cancellation option.)

Now, balance the audio volume by adjusting it between the right & left channels. It would be best if you set it in the center. (as an optimum volume balancing approach)

Restart or reboot the device 

Whether the issue has been triggered as the result of a software update or any other system glitch become the root cause of the relative problem, rebooting or restarting the device often proves to be quite effective in fixing the issue with apple earbuds. Therefore, we recommend performing a reboot; restarting your iPhone will possibly sort out the problem instantly.

Note: The reboot process may vary with the Apple device you use, so here we will explain the rebooting process for two different devices.

In the case of an iPhone 8 & iPhone 8 Plus:

In the case of an iPhone 8 & iPhone 8 Plus:

In the first place, you need to press & hold the top (side) button and wait until a slider indicating Power off gets to appear on the iPhone screen.

Here simply drag the appeared slider in order to Power off your iPhone.

Wait for a few moments or almost 30 seconds and then press & hold the side button again to turn on the iPhone again.

In the case of an iPhone 11:

Press & hold the side button and Volume button (either volume up or volume down) simultaneously until a Power off slider appears on the screen.

Then drag this Power off slider to completely switch off your iPhone.

Wait for a few seconds, and then press & hold the side button to turn on the iPhone again. 

After restarting the iPhone, again connect your Apple headphones or earphones to the device and play audio to check whether the issue has resolved or you still can’t hear the audio from one side of the earbuds. If the problem persists, you need to move on to the following stated fixing approaches.

Clean the iPhone earbuds jack

Clean the iPhone earbuds jack

In the problematic causes section, it has already been stated that a dusty earbuds jack can cause the iPhone earphones to malfunction, so you might need to clean out the jack as a possible solution to the issue triggered as a result of dirt & dust in the jack. So, for this, you have to follow the few basic steps given below.

Clean out the jack either by blowing or using any other brush


Now, insert your Apple earbuds into the jack slot properly & firmly. 

Note: Make sure the earphones have been detected by the iPhone successfully; if it doesn’t happen, you may even need to reinsert the earphones 5 or 6 times until the device detects them.

Repair the damaged wires of earbuds 

All the fixes stated above are equally effective for both wired & wireless earphones. But in the case of Apple wired headphones specifically, firstly, you need to make sure that the earbuds are physically okay because, in some instances, an earbuds’ wire might be damaged. Subsequently, you can’t hear the sound from one side of your Apple earbuds.

So, such damaged wire requires to be repaired quickly in order to fix the triggered issue. For this:

Locate the broken or damaged edge of the earbuds’ wire and cut the outer plastic cord with a knife or cutter in the first place.

Then figure out the damaged section of wire internally.

Now you can use a lighter or match stick to burn the wire’s insulation.

Afterward, join the wires with the earbuds jack and cover this recently joined wire’s section with electrical tape to make it secure.

Replace your damaged earbuds 

If none of the fixing strategies worked in your case, not even you could repair the wire successfully, then replacing the malfunctioning iPhone earbuds is the last option you can choose. Therefore, you can get a new pair of Apple earbuds.

Note: If the warranty period of the damaged or broken earbuds is not over yet, then, of course, you can contact the earbuds’ manufacturer company to claim the earbuds warranty, and subsequently, you will either get a free repairing or replacement of your earphones.



iPhone users often encounter a common issue connecting the earbuds to their iPhone or any other Apple device; the one side of the earbud doesn’t work. In such a case, the users can only hear the sound or audio from one side of the earbud.

Either the earbuds may be damaged, or there might be some software-related issue. Therefore, you first need to figure out the exact error cause so that it can be fixed accordingly; in this comprehensive discussion, we have shed light on a few most likely erroring reasons.

Before attempting to repair your earbuds, it is suggested to restart your Apple device once and adjust the audio level in device settings; even in some cases, the users may need to clean out the earbuds carefully, too.

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