How to fix earphones when only one side is working

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2021-06-25
Jide Mbaka

How to fix earphones when only one side is working

In a world that is becoming super noisy, some consider earphones as godsent. Listening to your favourite beats can help block off noise while you work, and sometimes you just want to watch a movie without worrying about distractions. For this reason, a faulty earphone can be a day spoiler.  It is not always convenient to run to the store in search of a new earphone when this happens, so we want to show you how to fix earphones when only one side is working.

Just in case you are asking ‘why can i only hear out of one headphone on my computer or phone, One of the most common causes is a broken wire, usually the one connected to the now-mute earbuds. If you are not in a hurry to replace the earphone, read up some easy ways to troubleshoot and how to fix earphones with one side silent. 

Straighten out the earphone cord

If you are the kind of person who would regularly wrap or tie up your earphone cords, perhaps to fit it into your pockets, then this could cause any or both earbuds to stop working. To know the exact part of the cord that might be affected, you need to troubleshoot.

  • Connect your earphones to your device and play a music.
  • While listening to it, gradually feel the cord and straighten it out one spot at a time.
  • Observe and know the exact spot you touch that gets both earbuds working. Since the cord around the spot may have weakened, you should wrap a paper tape around the spot (at least three times) to keep it straight.

Try another pair of earphones

If you try to fix earbuds that work on one side, you need to first find out if it is a bug with your phone or a fault with your earphones, then you can bother about how to fix earphones with one side not working.

To do this, you should try another pair of earphones. If the second pair of earphones works properly, then the fault is from your earphone. But if not, then you will need to fix some bugs in your android phone to get it working again. 

If you find out that it is a phone problem (the second pair is also playing with one ear), you should clean the headphone jack. Refer to the next solution on how to do this.

Clean the headphone jack

One reason your earphones might not be working properly could be the presence of debris in your headphone jack. You know how you sometimes leave the phone unattended, and in dust-prone environments sometimes in your pockets and bags? Well, some debris can get into the headphone jack and affect either one or both ears from working properly.

There are different ways to clean the headphone jack.

  • If you have a can of compressed air available, you can point the nozzle at the port and take about four sprays to blow out the dirt. This is unlikely to cause any damage in your headphone jack, but it may not take out tough dirt stuck into the corners of the jack.
  • Another is to use a cotton swab (or cotton buds used for cleaning the ear). To use this option, ensure that the buds are not fluffy so that you do not have some of the cotton stuck in the earphone jacks. Once you are sure the cotton swab fits perfectly into the hold, gently push it in until it touches the end and spin it gradually to brush all the sides of the earphone jack. When you remove the jack, the dirt will come out.
  • Some recommend using the cotton swab lightly coated in alcohol. If you do this, ensure that you squeeze out the excess moisture so it is not soaked. However you should note that the earphone jack is made of metal, and can be corroded by alcohol. For this reason, this is not an option you should adopt unless you really have to.

After a couple of minutes, you can fix in your earphones and give it a try.

Restart the device

Some updates in your device can affect your audio functions of your device. You can also mistakenly alter settings in your phone in the course of browsing or operating your device. Before going further, first restart the device. To do this,

  • Press and hold down the Power button on the side of your android phone.
  • Select restart and give the phone a couple of minutes to shut down and restart itself.

Check the device audio settings

Weird as it sounds, your device audio settings may be responsible for the problem if the mono option is active. To remedy this, you should go to your audio settings and turn it off.

  • Connect your earphones to the device and start playing a music.
  • Press the volume button on the sides (either to increase or decrease the volume). The volume bar should appear on the side of your screen. Tap the three vertical dots at the base of the bar to give your more options.
  • Select Levels > select Balance
  • Listen to the music and keep modifying the balance until the voice levels on both sides of your headset are the same.

If this does not solve the problem, then some part of the earphone cords might be damaged.

Check for the earphone damaged wires

If you have earbuds that work on one side only, a wire might be damaged or broken inside. Before you ask how to fix earphone wires, you should know what caused it.

Some phone users yank their earphones from the device by the cord, instead of gently pulling it from the plastic base. Over time, this could lead to damaged or disconnected wired or a bent earphone plug.

The damaged wire could be anywhere around the cord or around the plastic base. If the damage is around the cord, and you are able to locate the exact spot, you could tape it together as explained earlier. If it is damaged around the plastic base, you will find that the music starts to play in both earphones when you hold down the plug or apply some pressure there temporarily.  To fix this, you need to see a technician as the process is a bit herculean.