Issues and Solutions for AirPods That Are Quieter on One Side

Discover the cause of the difference in volume between your AirPods and the solution to the problem.

When your AirPods have been performing flawlessly, and then one day, one of them just sounds louder than the other, it can be unsettling.

It can be annoying to listen to music or have a conversation over the phone because the sound isn't balanced. When this begins to eat away at your productivity, it's even more irritating.

Do not suffer any longer Find out why one of your AirPods might be quieter than the other and what you can do about it with this helpful guide. Learn more about this method in the following paragraphs.

Which AirPod is Louder, and Why?

One of your AirPods might be louder than the other for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to hardware malfunction, software issues with firmware, files, or audio settings.

To solve a problem, one must first identify the source of the issue. By doing so, you can gain a deeper comprehension of the associated solutions and hopefully avoid ever having to deal with it again.

Let's take a look at some of these potential reasons:

Issues with the firmware

Apple occasionally updates the AirPods' firmware to enhance their functionality and performance.

If your AirPods aren't working as intended, an update may be able to fix some of the niggling problems you've been having with them. You may still experience these problems, as well as unbalanced sound, if you haven't updated the firmware on your AirPods.

Here's how you can use an iOS device to see if the firmware in your AirPods has been updated:

  1. To view your device's unique identifier, launch the "Settings" menu, select "General," and finally "About." ’

    On an iOS device, go to Settings > General.

  2. Next, check your 'Airpods' firmware version by tapping on them.

    AirPods' firmware version verification

Malfunctioning audio files

It's easy to blame external factors like headphones or speakers when an audio file's sound quality is inconsistent.

The vast majority of the music we listen to is recorded in stereo, which uses two channels (left and right) to transmit sound. These audio files are commonly manipulated in software by sound engineers and artists to create more immersive soundscapes.

One such method is audio panning, which allows for the left and right channels of a stereo track to have a different soundstage width. Producers can, for instance, reduce the volume of one speaker in order to amplify the other, giving listeners a more focused focus on a particular instrument.

Switching your AirPods to Mono Mode is one way to determine if the shaky audio is a result of your file or the earbuds themselves.

When you turn on mono audio, both speakers will receive the same signal and the stereo output will be turned off. This function is useful for disabling stereo panning and quickly determining if your audio file has a problem with one or both speakers.

This is how to change your AirPods to mono:

  1. Choose Accessibility in Settings.

    When using an iOS device, it's important to adjust the system's accessibility settings.

  2. Tap the Audio/Video button under the Hearing heading.

    Activating the video and audio accessibility options

  3. Turn on/off monophonic sound

    Fixing AirPods' Audio to Work in Monophonic Mode

Trouble with the hardware

In the event that neither of these things is the case, it may be a hardware issue with your AirPods rather than a software one.

An example of this is how dirt buildup inside your AirPods can disrupt the internal circuitry and dampen the sound quality. When earwax builds up on the AirPods' speaker grill mesh, it can prevent sound from escaping.

Having trouble with the audio source settings?

If the problems you're having cannot be attributed to the aforementioned factors, your audio input may be at fault. There could be technical issues with the sound output on your phone or computer.

Improper audio enhancement settings is another potential cause. Although they're intended to help you achieve a more unique tone, the wrong adjustments can make your music sound muddy or unfocused.

Test this theory by hooking up a different set of wireless headphones or AirPods to your music player and seeing if the problem persists. Changing the settings of your audio source may correct the uneven volume, but if the problem persists, it may be your ears.

Why One AirPod Is Louder Than the Other and What You Can Do About It

In light of your analysis of potential issues with the hardware and software, let's look into how to fix them.

Check the AirPods' settings.

Most problems, glitches, and bugs can be fixed by performing a hardware reset.

Accordingly, if you're having problems with your AirPods' sound or connectivity, trying a reset will restore them to their factory settings.

To factory reset your AirPods or AirPods Pro, do as follows:

  1. Simply return your AirPods to their charging case, close the lid, and wait 30 seconds before opening it again.

    Case for charging AirPods

  2. Select Bluetooth from the iOS device's Settings menu.

    Accessing Bluetooth Preferences in iOS

  3. Select the 'i' button next to your AirPods.

    Changing more of your AirPods' preferences

  4. To delete all data from the device, click the Forget This Device button twice. When you do this, your AirPods will no longer be synced with any of your other Apple devices.

    Inability to recall AirPods in iOS

  5. The charging case's setup button is located on its back. Press and hold the setup button for 15 seconds. The amber status light should stop blinking and turn solid white.

    When you're ready to set up your AirPods, hold the button down.

  6. Bring the hood back over your head Completely resetting your AirPods

There is currently no known way to manually update the firmware on your AirPods or to do so without using an iOS device.

As long as your AirPods are synced with an iPhone over a secure internet connection, however, the most recent firmware update will be installed automatically. If you want to be sure everything is set up correctly, you should wait 30 minutes after connecting your AirPods to your iOS device before using them again.

Disinfect your AirPods

It's not just good hygiene to clean your AirPods, but it also prevents the buildup of dirt and other debris that can distort the sound quality.

Make sure you have the following cleaning materials on hand before you start:

  • Fluffy, dust-free fabric
  • Solution of 70% isopropyl alcohol
  • Toothpick
  • Hard-to-find, gentle, vintage toothbrush
  • A cotton swab or a q-tip

If you want to clean your AirPods, then do the following:

  1. Use the alcohol solution sparingly on the lint-free cloth and cotton swab. Get the dust and debris lodged in the AirPods' speaker grill and on its sides loose with the cotton swab/q-tip.

    A Q-tip for cleaning your AirPods

  2. To clean the edges of your AirPods, use a toothpick to lift them up gently.

    The AirPods are cleaned using a toothpick.

  3. Loosen the tinier particles by brushing the AirPods' speaker mesh and innards with a toothbrush.

    Cleaning AirPods' speaker mesh with a toothbrush

  4. With the lint-free cloth, remove any remaining dust or debris.

    Cleaning your AirPods with the various methods available

For any impacted earwax, simply suction it out.

Some debris, like earwax that has become stuck in your AirPods, remains there no matter how thoroughly you clean them.

In response, some AirPods owners have learned a tip that will help you remove earwax without disassembling your headphones.

Ingeniousness of their answer Eat it with your mouth.

You can begin by covering the speaker mesh of your AirPods with a clean cloth. Then, insert your AirPods into the cloth and suck through them, stopping occasionally to wipe them down.

The goal is to maintain a constant sucking motion until airflow is felt through your AirPods. That means there's no earwax blocking the speakers' mesh on the inside. At last, make sure that the volume on both AirPods is set the same.

You can find the best ear tip fit for your AirPods Pro with the help of the Ear Tip Fit Test.

When using AirPods Pro, the Ear Tip Fit Test can help improve noise cancellation.

This reduces the amount of outside noise that can be heard. This means you can hear more detail and it may even make your AirPods sound louder.

The ear tip test consists of the following steps:

  1. Put on your AirPods Pros.

    With the help of AirPods Pro

  2. The Bluetooth settings can be accessed by navigating to the Settings menu on an iOS device.

    Checking the Bluetooth preferences

  3. The AirPods Pro can be set up by tapping the "i" icon next to them.

    Setting up your AirPods

  4. Test for Ear Size by Tapping the End

    Choosing the Right Ear Piece

  5. Then, select the Continue button.

    Continue with the Ear Tip Fitting Process

  6. For more, hit the play button.

    Establishing the Proper Ear Tip Fit

To get the best fit and acoustic seal from your AirPods Pro, you may need to make some adjustments based on the results of your tests.

Normalize the volume level

Adjusting the sound's left/right balance gives you command over the volume of each AirPod individually. People who have trouble hearing out of one ear will find this a fantastically helpful function.

A softer-than-usual volume level may result from an accidental adjustment to these settings, however, on one of your AirPods.

You can easily correct this by adjusting your sound balance, as shown below.

  1. Accessibility > Audio/Visual can be found in the Settings menu of your iOS device.

    Preferences for audio and video accessibility

  2. Slide the button to rebalance the audio output between the left and right AirPods.

    Equalizing iOS audio

Adjust the volume on the AirPods.

Your AirPods might not be able to make use of the full audio or volume control available on your device if the two are out of sync.

Calibrate the volume on your AirPods with your iOS device to resolve this issue. This can make them more audible and better the mix overall.

Here are the measures to take:

  1. Get some tunes going by pairing your AirPods with a gadget.

    Listening to tunes on AirPods

  2. To silence your device, press and hold the Volume Down button until it stops blinking.

    IOS's built-in mute function

  3. If you want to access the iOS Control Center, swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen. If Bluetooth is already disabled, you can turn it off by tapping the Bluetooth icon. In other words, doing so will cut power to your AirPods.

    Connectivity via Bluetooth is being disabled.

  4. Swipe up to leave the Command Center. Continue listening to your playlist. Your iPhone's speakers will now play the audio.

    The Closing of the Control Room

  5. To completely silence the playback, press and hold the Volume Down button once more.

    We're going to have to mute the music again.

  6. Again, launch the Settings menu and tap the Bluetooth icon to turn it on.

    Bluetooth activation in iOS

  7. Keep pressing the Bluetooth icon. It should display a list of nearby Bluetooth devices. To re-establish communication with your AirPods, select them from the list of connected devices.

    Pairing my AirPods again

  8. Once you've finished calibrating your AirPods and iOS device, you should be able to use the full range of sound and volume available from your headphones.

The music needs to be restarted.

It is possible that restarting the computer or mobile device from which the music is being played will fix the issue.

It's important to remember that the restart procedure varies from device to device.

For those with iOS devices, for instance, holding down the power and volume-down buttons at the same time will do the trick. Pull the power plug to turn off the gadget. The recommended waiting time is 10 seconds before turning it back on.

Try resetting the settings on your gadget.

When an iOS device becomes unresponsive, slow, or otherwise malfunctioning, a reset may be in order.

Following these steps will initiate an iCloud backup:

  1. Open the "Settings" app on your iOS device, then select "Your Name."

    To access your Apple Account's Settings, click here.

  2. Choose iCloud, then iCloud Backup.

    Choosing to Back Up to iCloud

  3. In this moment, please tap back up. Be sure your device is charged and connected.

    Picking Things Back Up

The following procedures will allow you to reset your device after you have made a backup:

  1. Ensure that your Apple iOS device is charged. Then, go to the menu labeled "Settings."
  2. Find the Reset option under Settings. You should then select the option to Clear Data and Preferences.

    Deleting everything from an iOS device

  3. Simply enter your passcode and double-tap the Erase iPhone button to permanently delete all of your data. Start the reset and reboot process on your iOS device.

    Resetting the system with a passcode

If you find that one of your AirPods still sounds low after trying the aforementioned fixes, you may want to look into the following options.

Make sure your ears aren't bleeding

To rule out any potential hearing problems, you should check your ears before moving on to other possible causes.

You can do this by consulting an external app, enlisting a friend's aid, or visiting a doctor for a formal diagnosis.

The Mimi Hearing Test is an example of a third-party app that can quickly evaluate your hearing and make recommendations for optimal audio settings.

Accessed by means of the Mimi Hearing Test app download

If you don't have anyone to test your AirPods with, you can always borrow a pair from a friend or sync your device with theirs. Do you have a hearing problem if they don't pick up on anything strange in either situation?

If that's the case, it might be a good idea to see an ENT doctor who specializes in hearing issues; they can give you a thorough hearing test and help you figure out what's causing your difficulty with sound.

The results of the hearing test will help determine whether you need medical intervention in the form of hearing aids or implants. You can also safely remove earwax or other obstructive materials from your ear canal at home or, in more extreme cases, at a clinic.

If you've exhausted all of your resources and are at a loss, there's always Apple's online support.

The Apple Support Community serves as an online portal for users to get in touch with the company. So, here's what you do:

  1. Select See all products on the support page.

    Use Apple's "See all products" link for support.

  2. A selection of Apple products ought to appear. Access the Audio & Sound menu by clicking AirPods.

    Using Sound and Music Features

  3. The available support options can be viewed by clicking the Continue button. If your problem isn't addressed in the knowledge base, you can always start a live chat or give tech support a call.

    If you have a question for Apple Support, you can start a chat session and ask them directly.

To find out if you are eligible for a replacement, you may need to bring your AirPods to an Apple Authorized Service Provider in your area or send them in via the mail.

If your AirPods are within Apple's One Year Limited Warranty or AppleCare Replacement Period, you can have them repaired or replaced at no cost to you. Otherwise, a fee for service outside the warranty period will be charged.


Having one AirPod sound quieter than the other can be frustrating if you don't know how to detect and fix the issue, whether your AirPods are brand new or have been in use for some time.

You can now try a variety of approaches to resolving the issue of imbalanced sound. If your friends ever run into the same issue, you might be able to help them avoid the headaches you went through.

What solution from the ones listed above did you find most effective? Have you stumbled upon any supplementary suggestions that this manual fails to cover? Leave a comment and let us know what you think!

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