One AirPod Is Louder Than the Other? (Try THIS First!)

It’s frustrating when one AirPod is louder than the other as it will affect your music listening. There are a couple of reasons why this may happen—and fortunately, this can be a relatively easy problem to fix.

This guide walks you through several troubleshooting steps you can try where one AirPod is louder than the other.

Before we get into the fixes, let’s quickly find out why one AirPod is louder than the other.

Why is One AirPod Louder Than the Other?

One AirPod is louder than the other because of earwax and dirt that is stuck over the speaker grill preventing the airflow and causing the audio imbalance.

Try cleaning the quiet one with a cotton bud and toothpick and then blowing in the holes. You’d be surprised how your AirPods will sound louder right away.

Sometimes software issues like a weak Bluetooth connection and hardware issues can cause one AirPod to sound louder than the other.

Now that you know why one AirPod is louder than the other, it should make it easier for you to pinpoint the problem and find the appropriate fix. Let’s get to it.

Clean AirPods and Charging Ports

AirPods are not resistant to water, dust, or grime, which is one of their few downsides. But don’t worry, they are easy to clean.

Earwax in AirPods
Earwax in AirPods. Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

So over the time of use, even if you are trying really hard to keep them in your ears or the charging case only, they are bound to collect some level of debris.

Whether it’s dust, dirt, or earwax, its accumulation can cause the speaker to yield a diminished sound output. 

The best thing to use to gently clear the debris off is a toothbrush with soft bristles. Start by bruising the speaker grills gently. Then use a microfiber cloth, such as one used for cleaning glasses, to wipe the loosened debris off right after the toothbrush operation.

You can alternatively use a cotton swab, but be wary that this can leave fibers behind that you didn’t intend to.

Adjust AirPods Audio Balance

The simplest solution is to check the volume settings for the AirPods through your iPhone device. After all, you wouldn’t want to buy a new pair just for a settings issue, right?

Many users have found that when they checked their settings, their balance was shifted to one bud more than the other. Centering the balance fixed their issue.

To access your AirPod volume balance settings you will need to do the following on your iPhone or iPad device:

  • Enter your iPhone’s Settings menu
  • Tap on the Accessibility tab
  • Tap Audio/Visual under the Hearing section
  • You will find a Balance spectrum. Look at it closely to verify that the center dot is exactly in the center. If it is closer to either the L or the R, shift it to the centermost position.
Adjust AirPod Audio balance
Make sure the audio balance slider is right in the middle. Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

Try your AirPods again to see if that fixed the problem. If one AirPod still sounds louder than the other, move on to the next step.

Reset AirPods

Finally, you can try resetting your AirPods if all else has failed. With the AirPods in their charging case, hold the case’s Setup button down until the status light flashes amber, then white.

  1. Put your AirPods in their charging case, and close the lid.
  2. Wait 30 seconds and open the lid of your charging case.
  3. Go to Settings 
  4. Then select Bluetooth
  5. Tap the More info button next to your AirPods
  6. Tap “Forget This Device”
Reset AirPods from iOS settings
Reset AirPods from iOS settings. Herby Jasmin/Gotechtor

That’s all! Your AirPods are reset, so you will need to re-pair them with your device. If one AirPod being louder than the other was the result of software issues, resetting your AirPods should have fixed the problem.

Pair AirPods With Another Device

If the above did not do the trick, try to figure out if the issue is really with your AirPod or with your device.

You can do this by pairing your AirPods with another phone or tablet. Then, play anything with sound on that device and check if one AirPod is louder than the other.

If the AirPods do not experience the issue on another device, the problem is likely with your original device. In that case, you will want to reset it using the following steps:

  • Go to your Settings menu
  • Tap the General tab
  • Select Reset from the bottom of the menu and choose Reset All Settings

This action will not delete any of your media or data, but it will reset all of your preferences for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Do No Disturb, and Notifications, as well as remove any credit cards from Apple Pay as a security measure.

Restart iPhone

One of the most common ways to fix minor issues with mobile devices or their peripheries is to simply restart the device.

It’s quick, easy, and takes care of so many small problems, yet is an action always taken for granted. To restart an iPhone, follow the steps below:

  • Navigate to the Settings menu
  • Tap the General tab
  • Scroll down until you see the Shut Down option and tap it
  • When the slider appears, slide it to the right to shut the phone off
  • You can then either hold the power button down until the Apple logo appears or simply plug your phone into a charger, to automatically turn it on.

You can also use the quick method of simply holding the power button down on your iPhone until the slider appears, then pulling it to the right to power the device down. Give it about 30 seconds before restarting.

Charge Your AirPods

Your AirPods will often have connection and sound problems when they’re low in battery. As with other electronic devices, this can shorten your AirPods battery life and affect their microphone functionality.

That’s why it’s important to keep your AirPods fully charged or never let them die because it’s not easy to find AirPods when they’re dead.

It only takes about an hour to fully charge your AirPods charging case and holds three or four charges for your AirPods. The AirPods themselves, when placed inside the AirPods case, take about 20 minutes to fully charge.

Conclusion

If none of the above methods work, perhaps your issue is more technical and localized. At that point, you’d need to contact Apple support for help.

In case you’re out of warranty, you’d have to buy a new pair. You can check Amazon for the latest price of the 3rd generation AirPods. They’re always running sweet deals.

If you have any other ideas or suggestions, we encourage you to suggest them in the comments below.

Herby has a healthy obsession with all things technology, especially with smartphones. He loves to rip things apart to see how they work.

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