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One AirPod Is Louder Than the Other (Causes and How to Fix)

As an owner of AirPods, I know firsthand how frustrating it can be when one of your AirPods is significantly louder than the other. I’ve been there and done the research, so I’m here to share what I’ve learned about the causes of this issue and how to fix it. In this blog post, I’ll provide a breakdown of the most common causes of unbalanced volume in AirPods, as well as the steps you can take to rectify the situation.

The reason could be an uneven sound profile, outdated firmware, audio settings issue, or hardware issues. Solutions you can try include adjusting the sound profile, restarting your audio source, updating the firmware, resetting the earbuds, or cleaning the earbuds.

Keep reading to learn more about what causes one AirPod to be louder than the other and the multiple ways you can fix it.

1. An uneven sound profileEngage Mono audio to send the same audio signal to both earbuds
2. Outdated firmwareCheck the AirPods’ current firmware version and update it if necessary
3. Audio settings issueConnect a different pair of AirPods to the same audio source and adjust the device’s settings
4. Hardware issuesClean the AirPods or contact Apple’s technical support team
Adjusting the sound profileMove the slider to redistribute the audio output between the earbuds
Restarting your audio sourceTurn the device off and then back on after 15 seconds
Updating the firmwareConnect the AirPods to your iPhone and leave them for about half an hour without usage
Resetting the AirPodsPut the AirPods in the charging case, forget the AirPods from your iPhone, open the lid and hold the button for 15 seconds until the light flashes orange
Cleaning the AirPodsUse a microfiber cloth and isopropyl alcohol, a toothpick, and a soft toothbrush

Why Is One AirPod Louder Than the Other?

Here are the most common culprits behind the louder sound output in one AirPod but not the other:

1. An Uneven Sound Profile

Most tracks nowadays are stereo audio, which means that the left and right channels receive different audio signals.

This allows sound engineers and producers to create more immersive listening experiences by manipulating how you perceive sound from each speaker.

This can result in one AirPod giving a louder sound than its twin. In this case, it’s a normal occurrence.

To make sure, however, you should engage Mono audio to send the same audio signal to both earbuds and check each of their volumes. Here’s how:

  • On your iPhone, open “Settings” and choose “Accessibility”.
  • Under the “Hearing” category, select “Audio/Visual”.
  • Turn on “Mono audio” and try the AirPods.

2. Outdated Firmware

Read more: one AirPod loses charge faster

Apple devices operate using firmware and AirPods are no exception. Firmware updates roll out regularly to improve the features of the device and enhance its performance.

Additionally, newer versions of firmware are often designed to resolve bugs and errors that may pop up in your Apple device and hinder its function or your experience.

As such, if the firmware on your AirPods is out of date, its output may suffer causing one earbud to sound louder than the other.

You can check whether or not your AirPods are running the latest firmware by following the steps below:

  • On your iPhone (or connected device), open “Settings”.
  • Choose “General” then tap “About”.
  • Tap on your AirPods’ name.
  • You should be able to see their current firmware version.

3. Audio Settings Issue

Another reason why one of your AirPods sounds louder than the other could be a technical error with the settings on your audio device. For example, you’re using the wrong sound enhancement settings.

To find out if this is really the problem,  connect a different pair of AirPods to the same audio source. If one side has a louder output, chances are the device needs readjustment.

4. Hardware Issues

A hardware issue with your AirPods could be the culprit behind one side sounding louder than the other.

It may be something wrong with the internal components of the earbuds or a buildup of dirt or earwax that prevents the production of full sound and muffles the volume.


How to Fix AirPods When One Is Louder Than the Other

Here are some common solutions to help you get a similar sound level from both AirPods:

1. Adjusting the Sound Profile

To tweak the balance of the volume in your AirPods, you can try adjusting their sound profile by following the steps below:

  • On your iOS device, open “Settings”.
  • Choose “Accessibility” then tap “Audio/Visual”.
  • You’ll see a slider that you can move left and right to redistribute the audio output between the earbuds.

2. Restarting Your Audio Source

Whatever the device you’re playing audio from, restarting it can resolve bugs and glitches that may be causing the lopsided volume.

Simply turn the device off and then back on after 15 seconds and see if the problem is fixed.

3. Updating the Firmware

You can’t manually update the firmware on your AirPods and you can’t use your iOS device to do it either — not yet at least.

If you want the latest AirPod firmware version, you need to let the earbuds do the job automatically as follows:

  • Connect the AirPods to your iPhone.
  • Leave the earbuds for about half an hour without usage.

4. Resetting the AirPods

A reset will return your AirPods to their default settings, effectively resolving most bugs and glitches that may cause lopsided volume issues. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Return the earbuds to the charging case and leave them inside the closed case for around 30 seconds.
  • On your iPhone, open “Settings” and choose “Bluetooth”.
  • Next to your AirPods’ name, tap the “i”.
  • Select “Forget This Device” and tap “Forget This Device” to confirm.
  • On the back of the charging case, hold down the setup button for 15 seconds.

5. Cleaning the AirPods

Use a microfiber cloth and some isopropyl alcohol to clean your AirPods, especially the speaker grills and the area around them.

Use a toothpick to gently remove dirt from the edges. Finish up with a soft toothbrush.

Final Thoughts

Read more: How to connect AirPods to Xbox Series X

When one AirPod is louder than the other, the solution can be as easy as restarting or resetting a device.

After you try all the fix-ups mentioned above, your last resort is to contact Apple and ask their technical support team for help.