You might be wondering, "why does sound only come from one side of my headphones". Well, there can be many factors for the "one side of the earphones not working" issue. That's a global problem. No matter how many headphones you end up buying, you might hear audio from one side after using it for some time, and the other one can be a bummer.

The most common reason for this problem might be due to the wires present near the audio jack. These wires could have bent back and forth numerous times resulting in a short in the wiring system.

why does sound only come from one side of my headphones

So, what's the solution? Is there a solution that can help solve this problem, or is it all just wishful thinking?

Fortunately, there are several ways you can fix this problem. But it all depends on the type of headphones you use. Repair techniques vary from pair to pair, so you need specific instructions. For finding the most appropriate solution to repair your tampered earphone, you must identify the reason for the problem first.

If you are not much familiar with this techie stuffs, I am here to help you out. But even if things aren't working out, I would suggest you get some professional help or get yourself brand new wireless headphones.

common reasons for one side HEADPHONES issue 

You will find a list of the most common reasons for the audio playing from only one ear in your headphones here.

1) A mild rupture in the audio cable

Sometimes when you twist or stretch the headphones wires, the vibration tend to work very shortly. This indicates where the wire has shortened.

For a quick fix, apply electrical tape to the wire where it is bent.

2) Earwax blocking the audio output

Earwax and dust that gets accumulated on your earbuds can cause this problem.  

If your headphones have dried earwax present in the mesh screen, then you must wet the mesh screen for 2-3 minutes with less than 3 percent hydrogen peroxide. By doing this, the wax becomes soft and cleaning becomes much more effective. Once, the cleaning is done, chances are there for the problem to get solved. 

3) A broken jack

One of the most common causes of a non-working side of the earphone is a broken jack. People who tend to handle their earphones roughly are likely to come across this issue.

The wiring near the jack is very sensitive in most of the earphones. If you connect/disconnect them by pulling the cord instead of the connector, the wiring near the jack is very likely to break. 

Another reason could be exposing earphones to too much moisture. If this is the case, it's better to send it to a repair professional.

Things to do before proceeding with the repairing part

Before you proceed with the repairing part, first you need to check certain things in your headphone to confirm whether the problem is entirely present in the headphone or in the audio device.

  • Check whether your headphones are plugged into the headphone jack of your phone or laptop or any source device.
  • Increase the volume of your source device(smartphone or laptop) to a high level, and if your headphones have a separate volume control, then adjust it to the desired listening level. It may fix the problem.
  • If you are using an extension cable to connect your headphones, then disconnect the extension cable and connect your headphones directly. This might sought the problem.
  • A mono device will tend to produce sound only on the left side. So if you hear sound only on the headphone's left side, this is the problem.
  • Plugin different headphones to your audio device or plug your headphones into a different audio device for testing and find out whether the problem lies in your headphone or audio device.

If you don't find any problem with the audio device to which you connect your headphones, then it proves that your headphones has some problem.

HOW TO Fix One Side Sound Headphones Issue

The main problem for one side sound headphone issue might be due to wire shortening. To fix this, follow the below given steps.

why does sound only come from one side of my headphones
  • To find out where the problem actually exists, check the cable and bend it every 1⁄2 inch. This helps you locate the shorted wire
  • It's important to connect the headphones to an audio source so you can hear if the audio returns. If the problem is in the cable, you can hear some sound from the faulty earbud once you tweak the wire around. The sound can come and go, but it will help you find the key problem and where the defective wire is
  • You must mark that area, so use some masking tape on either side of the wire to isolate the problem area. Leave at least an inch or two between the two ends so you have ample workspace. Cut the designated wire area out and make sure you have an inch on each leg. This gives you enough margin to repair the wire and rejoin the working wire. 
  • Strip off the shielding for clear access to the wire below. Three wires — red, black, and white — can be found. Often, the wires can vary in your headphone package, but that doesn't make a difference. 
  • Sometimes the wires are small and you may need sandpaper to expose them. Once you spot the wires, strip the exposed wires and connect them to their partner on the other side. For example: Connect the red wire on the other side. Connect them and use a solder gun to make sure they are properly bound together. You can use other splicing methods, but a solder gun is a better option as it does permanent work.
  • Now it's time to check whether one side of the earphones not working is working correctly or not. Connect and listen to an audio source. If you can detect sound from both earbuds, it's fair to say you've learned how to repair headphones. Use a shrink tube to seal the exposed wires so that they pose no threat.


With this article, you now know how to fix headphones with one side not working. Follow the steps correctly and carefully read the instructions.

Now that you have an answer to the question, "Why Does Sound Only Come From One Side Of My Headphones."  You can apply the appropriate solution to resolve the issue once and for all!


I am Rachel, passionate about helping people with all the aspects of the latest technology and gadgets through this blog. Also, I’m an engineer and love to research tech tools. With my own experience, I’ve provided a great list of tools for you in this blog. Are you seeking for the best quality products? Read my blog and grab the best.

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