Fix: iPhone EarPhones Playing One Side Only

Some users report problems while using Apple earphones on their iDevices. More specifically, they complained that while one earphone works, the other doesn’t make any sound. Here is what you can do to fix this problem.

The Cause of The Problem

Before jumping in the solution, make sure you test your earphones on other devices.

  1. Plug them into your iPad, computer, or any other device with a 3.5mm port and check if they are working properly. (If you have a lightning-port headphones, you can connect them to your iPad or another device with a lightning port. OR you can use a lightning-port-to-3.5mm dongle and connect them to your computer)
  2. Now, try bending the earphones cable on both ends (the connector’s end and earphones’ ends).
    1. If they are working just fine while you perform the bending, the earphones’ hardware is likely functional, and your problem can be solved with the solution explained below.
    2. If you are experiencing occasional interruptions or no sound at all while bending, the problem is likely located in the hardware of your earphones. And, you may need to get a new pair of earphones.

Plug Contactors Problem Fix

There is a little switch in the 3.5mm headphone port that disconnects the device’s built-in speaker when the headphones are inserted. When it doesn’t work properly, you may experience problems with your headphones.

If the headphones are OK when connected to other devices, try the following.

  1. Clean out (by blowing or using compressed air blown) the headphones (or lightning) port on your iDevice. For more detailed instructions how to clean the lightning port of your iDevice, you can check this iphone x charging issues article.
  2. Insert and remove the plug a dozen times or so.

Now connect your earphones and test them again.

Software Problem Fix

To rule out a software problem, try the following.

  1. Get your iDevice (the one which you are experiencing the problem on), and go to Settings.
  2. Navigate to General and tap on Accessibility.
  3. Now, scroll down to Phone Noise Cancellation.
  4. Right under this section, you can see a slider. It adjusts the audio volume balance between the left and right channels. Make sure it is set in the middle.

Force Restart Your iDevice

If you are still experiencing the same problem as before, perform the Force Restart procedure. If you are not familiar how to do it, check the Forced Restart section in this iphone dead article. There you can find how to force-restart your particular iDevice.

Now, plug your headphones and check if this method fixed the problem for you. And, if it didn’t, reset the iDevice. (Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings)

Note: This procedure will not delete your personal information (contacts, messages, and calendars) and media (pictures, songs, and videos). However, you will lose your device’s remembered Wi-Fi passwords.

If this doesn’t help you, try restoring your iDevice to factory settings (choose Set  Up as a New Device).

Note: Setting up your iDevice as a new one will delete all the data from your device’s memory. So, consider backing up first.

Final Words

If nothing helps, it seems like you have a bad headphone (or lightning) port on your iDevice. The next thing you can do is to make an appointment at the Genius Bar of an Apple store. They will examine the problem and give the possible solutions for it.

I hope this article helped you in solving, or at least, locating the problem with your Apple earphones. So, what was the cause for your earphone’s issue, and did you managed to fix it? Make sure you drop us a line in the comment section below.


Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.