I'm sure you have had this problem at some point. Music coming out one side sounding louder than the other or an earbud that's always silent no matter how many times you push it back in your ear. This is a very frustrating issue but luckily, it can be fixed with a little bit of tinkering on both hardware and software level. I will focus on solutions for Windows users since most of us are on Windows OS. However, these solutions are universal so if you are using Linux or Mac OS, you should also be able to implement them easily.
##What you will get after reading this article:
We will discuss the causes of headphones with imbalanced volume levels and how to fix them.
Why is one ear louder than the other: Top reason
##The problem of imbalanced volume levels:
There are several reasons for this issue. The most common is that the speaker inside the headphones, where the sound comes from, has just broken internally and no longer produces sound. Some users have also reported unplugging the headphone jack and re-entering it to fix this issue temporarily which implies that it could be a hardware or software glitch rather than a simply broken module. However, there are other possible causes as well so let's look at these first before diagnosing your specific case.
##Causes of unbalanced earbuds:
It's usually one side of the headphones but sometimes both sides aren't working equally. Here are some potential causes for this: - You damaged the headphone jack by constantly plugging and unplugging it. Don't do this! You will wear out the connection between your phone or player and the headphones. - You have dirt, dust or lint in the headphone jacks that are interfering with sound transmission. A pencil eraser can sometimes fix this temporarily but eventually you will have to open up your device and clean inside of the jacks themselves. - The headphone speakers are broken. If this is your problem, see below for how to fix it. - One side might be muted on a software level which you can solve using 3rd party apps.
##Solution: Fixing broken earbuds
If one headphone speaker has stopped working, there are several solutions to try before you replace the entire unit. Here are some of them:
Solution A - Disassembly
The first option is to disassemble your headphones completely and then clean all components inside using a Q-tip with alcohol or water. Make sure that you don't leave any dirt or junk in place since it can cause short circuits, etc. Also check for any loose wires around the damaged speaker which might have come off.
##Notes on Solution A - Disassembly:
As I said above, this is not recommended unless absolutely necessary since it will void your warranty and risk damaging other more delicate parts of your headphones if done improperly. Only try this method if the previous one fails to fix it permanently. It's also good to get replacement parts/drivers if you don't feel like disassembling your headphones.
After cleaning put it back together and adjust all connections inside the headphone jack (headphone jack may be different in different devices). You can maybe unscrew one side of the broken speaker or separate them completely, clean everything again including both sides of the speakers using vacuum cleaner with brush attachment, reconnect them and see if they work.
Solution B - 3rd party software
This is a very helpful trick that I use sometimes when my headphones start to act weird on Windows. There are several apps out there that let you control audio streams separately on each device / earbud which means that you can play audio from the left speaker only through the right earbud and vice versa.
Solution C - Replacement drivers
If you aren't handy, don't like the idea of disassembling your headphones or they are too old to justify that or you simply can't bear doing it anymore for whatever reason, then getting replacement parts with new drivers is an option. However, most times all you need is cleaning with Q-TIP like Solution A above which is much easier than replacing parts entirely. I recommend this option only when other solutions fail to work permanently. You can replace either one side (left or right) or both sides depending on what needs fixing. It's not difficult at all since almost every part inside headphones are screwable together so finding parts will be easy if you're able to follow instructions in the article above.
This is usually caused by broken drivers inside your headphones which you can replace with new ones or clean completely and put it back together. If one of these solutions worked for you, please share in the comments! Otherwise if none of them worked feel free to post questions in the comment tab. I'm happy to help.
Believe me when I say that this works since my friend's headphone jack was damaged because he kept on plugging/unplugging his headphones all the time. We took out its driver part and cleaned everything but then decided to simply get replacement parts since it wasn't easy to take everything apart without damaging other things within it. With this method we don't have to fiddle around with wires inside the headphone jack which might cause more damage. Also it is much easier to buy parts for this instead of having to disassemble everything and clean every component detached from its place.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between left and right earbuds?
The only difference is that one of them will be connected directly to your phone while the other will go through a 3.5mm audio port such as headphone jack or USB port on your laptop. If you're really curious, their sound quality should be the same since they both come from the manufacturer's factory and use similar components on board.
Will I lose warranty by doing these tabs above?
No, you won't lose any warranty since you're simply cleaning and putting things back together. It's also not difficult to do so unless you don't know how to use a Q-Tip or screwdriver properly.
My headphones are broken, they make weird sounds when I connect them with my phone/laptop etc.?
In most cases this is caused by broken driver(s) inside your headphone jack which you can replace with new ones or clean completely and put it back together using the methods above. Please contact me if none of these work for you since they worked for my friend's headphone jack that was damaged because he kept on plugging/unplugging his headphones all the time.
Sabir Ali is a freelance writer and a gamer. He is a tech enthusiast who loves to explore upcoming trends in technology and write about them. When he is not writing, sabir spends most of his time with books. He is a passionate writer for no reason, and you can visit him at https://sabirjutt.com/
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