AirPods Only Playing In One Ear? See How To Fix It

Timothy Mark
Timothy Mark - Writer & Editor
17 Min Read

Do you have AirPods that you use to listen to music more interesting but you realize the AirPod is only playing in one ear?

AirPods these days have been very simple and reliable due to their convenient design, but they are sometimes prone to issues.

It may be that the AirPods are not connecting while in case or the AirPod is only playing in one ear. This issue is most common among users and it can be annoying.

In this article, you’ll learn why AirPod is only playing in one ear when listening to music or podcast. You’ll also know how you can fix the AirPod problem.

ALSO READ: AirPods Connecting While In Case? Top 12 Ways To Fix (SOLVED)

Why Is My AirPod Only Playing in One Ear?

Users with the Apple AirPods have been complaining about their tiny headphones not being able to play in one ear.

Well, if you’re experiencing this issue on your AirPod, this may be due to several reasons why your AirPod is only playing in one ear.

If you’re not able to use your AirPods on your two ears, it may be because of a software issue. Having outdated software may cause your AirPod from playing on one year

It may also be that the AirPod battery has a problem or it’s low. So if one of the AirPod batteries is low or it’s faulty you’ll not be able to use it.

This can also be because of the connectivity issue, or there’s dirt on the AirPod. If you have the stereo balance shift to one side, you’ll only hear sound in one ear. One of the AirPod may be damaged.

ALSO READ: Why Is My iPhone Charger Hot? See How To Fix It

How To Fix AirPods Only Playing In One Ear

AirPod not playing in one ear can be problematic, and this may be due to several reasons. But depending on the cause, you’ll easily be able to fix it.

Since you’ve seen some of the reasons that may have caused it here’s what you need to do to fix your AirPods when only one works

Fix 1: Check AirPods Battery Percentage

You shouldn’t hesitate to check the battery percentage of the AirPods to know if you have charged it or not. This is the first thing you need to do if you find your AirPod playing in one ear.

The issue may be about one of the AirPods not being charged and as a result, it is not playing due to low battery percentage.

If this happens, one of the AirPods s will not continue to play. But sometimes it may be that the battery is dead, but if it isn’t here’s what to do.

To check if your AirPods are charged enough to play, place the AirPods in the charging case and open the lid case and place it near your iPhone.

The battery percentage of the AirPods will show on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac computer.

You can alternatively check the Bluetooth settings of your iPhone connected to the AirPods and the battery percentage of the AirPods will show there.

Fix 2: Clean Your AirPods

There are times that the issue with your AirPods not working has to do with the dirt that has filled up a particular place in the AirPods.

Therefore you have to work a simple exercise on the AirPods by cleaning both ears of the AirPods thoroughly. This might just fix the issue with the headphone.

If there is dust and debris which have clogged the tiny holes in your AirPods, it can cause your Airpods to be lowered completely and that will stop your AirPods from working.

The usage of a cotton bud, a moist cleaning wipe, or a q-tip can aid you in cleaning your AirPods by scrubbing them until they look new again.

If there is the need to apply liquid, use a little alcohol because it will dry quickly and it should be minimal as possible.

Cleaning of the charging case is also necessary, especially where the AirPods connect to the charger.

This will enable both the AirPods and charger to be clean enough to get the two AirPods to charge well to play as expected.

NB: Do not use water in cleaning either the AirPods or the case as it can damage the AirPods or ruin them completely.

ALSO READ: Phone Battery Decreasing While Charging? Why & How To Fix It

Fix 3: Turn Off & On Your Bluetooth

If your device is having connectivity issues with your device Bluetooth, that may cause the AirPods to misbehave and not work as expected.

Therefore, you should turn off and on your Bluetooth in other to fix your AirPods not working properly on one ear.

To do this, go to your iPhone’s or iPad Bluetooth settings, turn off the Bluetooth and wait for a while to turn it back on.

Fix 4: Forget & Reconnect AirPods

If you’ve tried to turn off and on the Bluetooth but it’s still not working, here is what you must do.

There may be an issue with the connection of the AirPods with your phone, and you should reconnect it to your iPhone and check if it will work perfectly.

To reset your AirPods, you’ll need to remove it from your device first. Put the AirPods in your ear.

Open your iPhone Settings > Select Bluetooth > Near your Airpods, tap on the i button > And tap Forget This Device > Forget Device. This will remove the AirPods from your device.

After removed the AirPods from your phone wait a while before reconnecting the AirPods with your device again.

Fix 5: Check Stereo Balance Between L/R

Another fix is to check the stereo balance on your device to know the distribution of sound between the left and right ear of the AirPods.

You have to make sure the sound distribution is balanced so that you do not face issues with one of the AirPods being louder than one, or there’s no sound in one ear.

Go to your iPhone Settings > Tap on Accessibility > Select Audio/Visual > Move the slider between the L and R to the middle > Turn off the Mono audio option.

This will allow the sound to be balanced between both ears on your AirPods, so when you’re playing music you’ll ear at equal distribution.

ALSO READ: iPhone Photos Not Loading? 13 Ways To Fix It (Solved)

Fix 6: Check Your Device

It may not be the fault of your AirPods that only one is playing. Therefore you should also check if the issue is a result of a fault on your phone which is hindering one AirPod from playing.

So you’ll need to disconnect the AirPods from your device and check it out on another device. You can use your Mac computer or iPad device to check out the AirPod.

If you connect the AirPods to other devices and it works, it’ll be that your device is the one with the problem, if it doesn’t the AirPods is the issue.

As you’re doing this also check if you can connect with another AirPod and see if the two ears will play well, if it does it means the other AirPods have a problem.

But if the problem continues, your iPhone or iPad is the one with the problem. See what you can do about it below.

Fix 7: Update Your OS

It may be that your iOS version is not compatible with the AirPods and due to the outdated software you may be using, you are prone to some issues that you need to update your OS to fix.

Therefore you should update your OS version to the latest as it may fix this issue. Go to iPhone Settings > Tap on General Settings > Tap on Software Update> Tap Download and Install.

Fix 8: Reset AirPods

If you have tried out different devices with the AirPods and it still isn’t working as expected, you should reset the AirPods.

To reset your AirPods, you’ll need to remove it from your device first. Put the AirPods in your ear, then open your iPhone Settings > Select Bluetooth > Near your Airpods, tap on the i button > And tap Forget This Device > Forget Device.

Put the AirPods on the case and keep the lid open, then hold down the button on the AirPods case for about 15 seconds until the status light on the front of the case flashes amber, then white.

Reconnect the AirPods with your iPhone. Since the charging case and the lid are open, place the AirPods close to your iPhone or iPad and follow the instructions on your device’s screen.

ALSO READ: Videos Not Playing on iPhone? 16 Ways To Fix It (Solved)

Fix 9: Reset Network Settings

AirPods and other Apple devices can be having issues due to connectivity issues, but you don’t know where it’s from.

It may be a Setting that has caused that and since you do not know where exactly, you should reset your iPhone settings to resolve the issue.

To reset Network Settings, go to your iPhone or iPad Settings > Tap General Settings > Scroll down to Reset > And tap Reset All Settings.

Once you reset your iPhone network settings, you’ll have to reconnect the AirPods with your device again.

Fix 10: AirPods Is Damaged

One of the most reasons why your AirPods aren’t working in one ear is because it had been damaged. You may not know this because you see that isn’t still charging.

The speaker may have been damaged, the battery spoiled, or some internal issue that you know nothing about. And this may be because it falls, or something.

If the AirPod one ear is damaged you won’t notice it, and the best way to fix a damaged AirPod is to take it to an Apple repair store in other for them to solve the issue.

If you don’t want a new one you can get a new one from Amazon, and see to it that the portable headphone isn’t falling every day.

ALSO READ: Random Photos Appearing On My Phone? See How To Fix It

Fix 11: Contact Apple Support

The final fix you can apply to fix all the issues you have with your AirPods only playing in one ear is by contacting Apple Support via their official website and making a report in the AirPods section.

They provide options to fix the issue as well but if none of the options work for you, you can call them for further explanations.


In as much as using your AirPods can be very interesting, you can have very annoying issues that the AirPods come with, and that does not exclude your AirPods only playing in one ear.

That is why we have included in this article all the guidelines to teach you how to fix your AirPods if it’s ok working.

The fixes will save you from the issue regarding the AirPod playing in one ear. And remember if these fixes aren’t working it means the AirPod is damaged.

You can try testing the AirPods on another device, and test your phone or another AirPod just to be sure where the problem is coming from.

ALSO READ: One AirPod Is Louder Than The Other? See How To Fix It

Frequently Asked Questions

Will my AirPods work with only one AirPod?

You can use one AirPod, that’s not a problem. Most times I do it, I see many other people doing it. You can just have one AirPod in your ear and keep the other. If the other is damaged or lost you’ll still be able to use one ear.

Why is my left AirPod not working when talking on my phone?

If one of your AirPod microphones isn’t working, like the left side this is due to the microphone settings on your phone. To fix it, you’ll need to change it to Automatic. Go to your iPhone Settings > Bluetooth > Microphone > Choose from Automatic, Always Left AirPod, or Always Right AirPod.

What do I do if one of my AirPods is missing?

If one of your AirPods is missing you can use Find My Device to locate the AirPod. But you’ll need to be close to where the AirPod is located and it must be connected to your device. All you have to do is open Find My Device, tap the AirPod you want to find, and play sound.

How do I fix one AirPod that’s not working with my Android phone?

If you’re having the same problem on your Android device, you can use this guide to sort it out. Make sure it’s a charge before trying the fixes. And try it out with other phones too, also try another AirPod with your Android device too. You need to know where the problem is coming from.

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By Timothy Mark Writer & Editor
As a seasoned content writer with 4+ years of experience in consumer technology, Timothy has been a dedicated author and editor at since its inception. Specializing in addressing user concerns, his articles offer effective solutions for Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac-related issues. Timothy's expertise also extends to crafting content about social media and various applications. Through his daily articles, he consistently aids users in overcoming their technology challenges.
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