How to Fix Bluetooth Headphones When Only One Side Works

Are you having difficulty getting both sides of your Bluetooth headphones to work? This is a common problem, and it is fixable.

It is usually a minor issue you can fix with a few simple steps. 

You need to understand the problem and the right tips to apply.

This post features possible reasons why one side of your Bluetooth headphone isn’t working and how you can fix the problem.

Why is One Side of A Bluetooth Headphone Not Working?

There are various reasons why one side of a Bluetooth headphone will fail to work. Some of the reasons include:

Pairing Problem

One reason why one side of your Bluetooth may not work is a pairing problem. There could be an error with the headphone while it pairs with your device.

A pairing problem can also come from Bluetooth interferences. This problem usually happens when you have multiple active Bluetooth devices at a time. 

It also happens if there is too much distance between the device playing the audio and the headphone.

File Error

Some audio or videos files with errors may not play well over your headphone. They can even cause your headphones to malfunction and make you think the headphone is damaged.

A corrupt file may also fail to play on both sides of your Bluetooth headphone. So, you have to be sure that the problem is from the audio file and not the headphones.

To confirm, try to play a few other audio files and see what happens. If they play without any hitch, then that music file is the problem.


Improper maintenance is dangerous for every electronic gadget, especially when you keep them in dirty and dusty places.

If you do not clean your Bluetooth headphones regularly, the accumulation of dirt and dust may be why one side of the headphone is not working.

Too much dust can block integrated circuits and may even cause both sides of a Bluetooth headphone not to work.

A Broken Headphone

Your headphones will deteriorate over time as you use them. When this happens, the gadget can break.

If one earcup of your headphone breaks, it will stop working.

It is important to note that a broken ear in an earphone is not only a result of long-time use of the headphones. A headphone can also break even when it hasn’t been used for a long time.

This early break can be caused by many other factors too. One of them is improper handling.

How to Fix Bluetooth Headphones When Only One Side Works

See the following ways to fix your Bluetooth headphones when only one side works:

Change the Audio File

If one side of your Bluetooth headset does not work when you play a particular audio or video file, you should try playing other files before taking further steps.

Trying this will help you know the cause of the malfunction. You will figure out if the problem is from a file error or not.

Disconnect the Headphone and Pair Again

Also, disconnect the headphone. Wait for a few seconds after the disconnection before connecting it again.

This troubleshooting option can correct any Bluetooth error. It will disconnect any interference and establish a new connection.

Restart the Headphone

Another approach to resolve this issue is to restart the headphone. Turn it off totally, and turn it back on after about 2-3 minutes.

Don’t Stay Too Far From The Paired Device

If you listen to audio from your phone, you will need to stay close enough for your Bluetooth headphone to pick the signal. The farther you are, the weaker the Bluetooth connection.

Staying close is even more crucial if there are obstacles between you and your phone. While you can afford to go farther away in an open space, you can’t do that inside a building.

Check the Audio Settings

One other way to fix a Bluetooth headphone with one working ear is to check the audio settings. Your phone may be set to play audio in one ear.

If this is the case, you need to change the settings on your device.

Follow the steps below to check and change audio settings.

Steps to Adjust Audio Settings on iOS devices:

  • Navigate to the Settings section on your mobile device.
  • Select accessibility.
  • Navigate to the auditory category.
  • Go to audio/visual.
  • Turn of the Mono audio button at the top of the page.
  • Keep the slider even between L and R.

Steps to Adjust Audio Settings on Mac devices:

  • Navigate to System Preferences.
  • Select the Sound option.
  • Click on the Output option.
  • Select the name of the headphone from the next page.
  • Set the control slider to be between L and R.

Reset the Headphone

Some headphones have a reset option. If your headphones have this option, you should try to reset them.

Performing a reset will return the headphone to their factory settings and will most likely get your headphones to function optimally again.

Consult A Technician

One side of a Bluetooth headphone not working can be caused by hardware damage. In this case, it is advisable to take the headphone to a technician for examination and repair.

Professionals trained in the field will help diagnose the problem and fix it.


Bluetooth headphones are electronic gadgets. As such, anything can go wrong at any time.

But when one side of the headphone is not working, you can try fixing it by following the guide in this post.

If none of the tips work for you, the issue may be permanent., and you may need to get a replacement.

Jude is a music and headphone lover. He has tested and reviewed several audio listening devices and enjoys writing helpful tips and information for readers like you.