Why is One AirPod Louder than the Other?

It’s a common problem, but it is also a very annoying one. For some reason, it seems that one of your AirPods is louder than the other. While it is possible that one of them is defective or has malfunctioned, most likely this is not the case and there is a simple fix available for it.

Understandably you may be concerned when this happens but there’s no need to panic right away. If the AirPod is still getting some kind of audio through it, then you know that it is still working and most likely there is a simple solution available to fix the issue.

My name is Eric and I have been fixing problems with technology devices for many years. With a degree in engineering, I love to troubleshoot issues like this to help find answers and pass the information on to others when I can.

If one of your AirPods seems much louder than the other, there are really only a few things that can cause this. Luckily most of them have simple fixes and I can show you what they are.

To find out how to possibly fix this, keep reading and I will provide you with some quick fixes that may have your AirPods back to normal in no time.

Problems and Solutions

Let’s get right to it and get this issue resolved. We will first need to figure out what the cause is and then we can implement a solution.

When I am troubleshooting things similar to this, I like to look at the simplest causes first because they are the most common and usually have the easiest solutions. Below we will go through each of them and hopefully, this will help to figure out your problem.

Possible Cause 1: Audio Balance

This is the most common cause and thankfully it is the easiest to fix. It’s hard to determine how it may have happened. You may have inadvertently changed the setting or possibly an app has changed it. 

This issue is that the audio balance setting has been adjusted so that one side, the left or the right is louder. You can easily see if this is the cause by going to your phone’s settings and then checking to see if it is unbalanced. Just follow the steps below to check and then fix this.

These steps are for an iPhone so they may not be the exact steps you would use for other devices but it will be a very similar process.

Step 1: Go to your phone’s Settings and select Accessibility.

Step 2: Look for the Hearing section and then select Audio Visual.

Step 3: Look for the Audio Volume Balance slider, it should be set to the center. If it is not, then you have found your problem. If it is set to the center, this is not the issue and you can move on to the next section.

Step 4: If the slider in step 3 was not set to the center, move it to the center of the adjustment and this should correct the problem.

Step 5: Play some music or other audio and check to see if the issue has been resolved. If the sound seems to be even from both AirPods, you have solved this and you should be good to go.

Possible Cause 2: Dirty AirPod

If you have found that the audio balance is set properly, then you will want to take a look at the next possible cause which is also extremely common. It could be that your AirPod is dirty. The good news is that this is also easy to fix.

If your AirPod is dirty, there’s a good chance they are both dirty but one may be quite a bit dirtier so it could be causing the volume difference. Don’t feel bad if they are dirty. It happens to all of us. Constantly putting them in our ears provides an opportunity for wax build-up on them.

The wax then in turn helps dirt and other debris to stick to them. Most likely a good cleaning will return your pods to normal operating condition. I have seen some articles where they recommend putting them in your mouth and sucking on them. I would not go this route.

Sucking on them seems very unsanitary and who knows if this could cause permanent damage to them. The moisture from your mouth could very likely cause more damage. I would advise giving them a good cleaning with some of the traditional methods out there.

There are a few different ways to clean them and I won’t detail them here. I don’t want to give you advice that would cause more damage to them, so I would suggest following Apple’s official advice on how to clean them.

Possible Cause 3: AirPod Glitch

If neither of the first two fixes described above work, it’s possible that there is a glitch or malfunction with either the AirPods or the device. I know these are high-tech devices that we often expect to work seamlessly, but no device has a perfect design, and glitches do happen.

One of the first things you can investigate to try to solve this is to restart your device and also reset your AirPods. Restarting your device is very simple and resetting your AirPods is not that difficult either. You can learn how to reset and pair them.

This can often clear many difficulties with these devices. After running for long periods of time they often benefit from a reset. 

If this does not seem to help, your next step would be to try connecting the AirPods to a different device. You can connect to a Macbook, an IPad, or even a friend or family member’s device.

If they work on another device, that will tell you there is something wrong with your phone or whatever you were originally connected to. If you are still seeing the problem, then you will know it is an issue with the AirPods themselves.

Possible Cause 4: Defective or Damaged AirPod

There is a possibility that they have been damaged or are defective. Try to think back to determine if anything has happened with them that could have damaged them. Did they get wet? Go through the washer or dryer? Anything else that could have caused damage?

If you can’t think of anything, it could just be that they are defective. Check with Apple to see if yours are still under warranty. If they are, you may be able to get them repaired or replaced. Otherwise, you may need to purchase a replacement.

Final Words

Having one AirPod significantly louder than the other can be a really irritating problem, but thankfully there are quite a few solutions that may work for you. I hope the information I have provided above can help you to solve your issue.

Let us know if you have found other solutions that we have not listed here. We would love to have your input.

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