Why Do My Bluetooth Headphones Only Work in One Ear?
- 13 Dec, 2018
It can be quite annoying and frustrating to have a pair of headphones that do not work properly, especially when they’re relatively new. It is even worse if you bought them expensively. One of the most common issues that headphones have is hearing sound from only one ear when you’ve connected them to a Bluetooth source.
This is often the case with multiple headphones even when their firmware is up-to-date. Here are some characteristics of faulty headsets that only work on either the left or right ear:
- The headphones work properly when you connect them to the player through an audio cable. However, they only work in one ear when you do so via Bluetooth.
- The sound on one side is okay but the other is either too low
- When you pause music and play again, sound comes from only one side
If your headphones cost $50 and above, buying new ones isn’t always the best option since it’s expensive. You may want to ask for a refund if possible. Since most of these high-end pieces come with a warranty that covers, you could also ask for a replacement. Disassembling the headphones and trying to repair is risky and you’ll lose your cover by doing that.
However, if you have a cheaper pair of headphones or ones which are older (with an expired warranty), trying to fix them could be the best solution. Otherwise, you may have to replace them by purchasing new ones.
Since replacing headphones that only work in one ear or fixing their issues can be quite expensive and time-consuming, it’s best to avoid this problem. Fortunately, troubleshooting can help you identify why these devices fail and how you can stay free from such defects.
Why Bluetooth Headphones Only Work in One Ear
There’s no single reason as to why your Bluetooth headphones could be working only in one ear. Figuring out what could be wrong with them sometimes take time and a lot of searching because it’s more of troubleshooting. At times, the solution can be quite simple and permanent. If you’re unfortunate, it can be complex and only temporary.
The most likely reason for your headphones working in only one ear is that your Bluetooth transceiver is not properly connected. Check this connection first before trying anything else. The transceiver connects to your music player directly, allowing your headsets to communicate wirelessly with it.
To fix this issue, begin by disconnecting the devices before pairing them again using your headphones’ “on” button. Once you see the LED light flashing, connect the transceiver to your music player. When the transceiver stops blinking, it shows that device pairing is successful.
Another common reason for Bluetooth headphone defect is related with the signal range within which the transceiver can function properly. If you’re out-of-range, then you may only hear from one ear. You can solve this by moving as close to your transceiver and music player as possible.
It is difficult for your Bluetooth headphones to connect to the transceiver through obstacles such as walls and objects. Eliminate such obstructions to get a quality connection. If you’ve entirely lost the connection, reconnecting is easy. Just press the “Play/Pause” button on your headsets.
Sometimes, the setting on your music player’s source might be hindering one of your headphone’s speakers from producing sound. If the preferences are in mono instead of stereo or the volume balance isn’t in between the left and right, then you’ll only hear from one side. Changing this setting restores the full function of your headsets.
Connecting your headphones to a music player via Bluetooth quickly drains the headset’s battery power. With a low charge, the LED blinks blue or red depending on the type of headsets you have. Your headphones also give a low battery warning tone, prompting you to charge the battery.
Headphones with low batteries do not work properly. To minimize power usage, they let sound to come through either the left or right sides only until the charge completely runs out. The good thing is that Bluetooth headphones come with their AC adapter which can take three hours to refill the batteries.
If you connect too many devices such as cordless phones and baby monitors to your PC on the same frequency, they might interfere with your headphone’s connection. Keep them at a minimum or change their frequency.
The same problem can happen when you’re using a mobile connection. Reducing the number of connections to your phone can help restore your headphone’s proper function.
Cache is a secondary copy of data that makes connections on networks faster on PCs and mobile devices. However, it may become outdated or corrupt with time, causing Bluetooth connection problems. Deleting or clearing cache can restore your headphone’s full function.
A less serious issue that you can solve easily is when the software on your wireless headphones is out-of-date. Depending on the type of Bluetooth device that you have, the gadget’s company can release updates from time to time. Costlier headsets such as PTron and Sennheiser do not seem to have this issue often.
If your headphone’s auxiliary socket is dirty or faulty, it may cause one speaker or both to fail to play. This may require some technical know-how to fix it.
What If this Doesn’t Work?
Sometimes, the aforementioned fixes may not work for your wireless headsets. This may call for some more technical approaches to ensure that you hear stereo quality sound. Here are some things you might want to do to get better results:
- Get an aluminum foil, make a small roll, the size of the auxiliary tip, and insert it inside the headphones. While playing music, turn and twist it to just hit the right spot so both speakers can start producing sound.
- Try resetting your headphones. Google on how to do it with your specific headset since each type has its own method. Most of these methods involve clearing the headset’s pairing list.
If none of these solutions appears to solve your problem, try checking online to see if there are people who are having similar cases to yours. If no answer seems to solve the problem, it might be time to seek professional assistance or purchase a new headphone pair.
What Measures Can You Take to Avoid Losing Sound in One Ear?
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to predict the problems you’re likely to face in the future with your wireless headphones. However, there are measures you can put in place to ensure that your headsets produce that quality stereo sound for longer periods of time. Here are some of them:
- If you’re considering buying new Bluetooth headphones, make sure you read consumer reviews. This helps you identify the gadgets that people commonly report to have sound issues and avoid purchasing them. Also, consider the manufacturer’s customer service, update, and support records before making your purchase decision.
- Check the headset company’s website often to find out if they have released any updates. You can do this once or even twice a year. Also, keep the software of your computer or mobile device up-to-date all the time. New operating system and firmware releases come with support for new profiles or Bluetooth versions.
- Ensure that you establish a good Bluetooth connection all the time. Also, always make sure that the headphones are within the signal range and remove obstacles out of the way.
- Always make sure that your headphone’s batteries are fully charged before using them. You should have an AC adapter that came with your headset available all the time. If you lost it or it got damaged, purchase a new one. If you don’t have rechargeable batteries, get them right away.
- Ensure that the volume setting on your tablet, smartphone, or computer is in stereo. Keep the control knob in the middle between the left and right.
- Avoid connecting too many devices such as baby monitors, cordless phones, and others onto your Bluetooth source. They can jam the wireless system and cause it to malfunction. If you can’t avoid this, then try setting the connected devices at different frequencies to see whether that can help.
- There are devices that support multiple Bluetooth connection modes such as phone, music, address book, and messages. Trying to drop some of the functions on your device could help keep your connections flawless. For instance, disabling the text-message option in Ford Sync stereo makes its connection with Android Wear watch smooth.
- Take good care of your headsets. Don’t just throw them around as someone might step on them, causing damage. Get a dedicated pocket or bag to carry them when traveling to avoid wear and tear as this may affect its functionality.
- Avoid buying cheap headphones as they are prone to breaking down shortly after their purchase. You can look for an affordable option that is more resilient and has good online reviews. High-end options are the best since they are durable and not require updates often.
It is possible to avoid the frustrations of having a pair of Bluetooth headsets that only work in one ear. By purchasing the correct headset, keeping it up-to-date, ensuring that its batteries are fully charged, and having healthy connections, you can get a good stereo quality sound.