Skip to Content

(11 Fixes) Why Is One AirPod Louder Than The Other? [2023]

Why Is One AirPod Louder Than The Other

I was listening to music with my AirPods the other day.

When, out of the blue, the music lowers…

But only for my left ear.

And you know what my first thought was?

“Am I going deaf?”

So…I’m not a very bright guy.

But, I can tell you how I fixed my broken AirPods.

Keep reading to discover:

  • How to fully reset your AirPods to get rid of audio bugs.
  • 11 easy ways to fix one AirPod that’s louder than the other.
  • Which settings you have to tweak to avoid unbalanced audio.
  • How to update your device and AirPods when it’s causing uneven volume.
  • And so much more…

Why is one AirPod louder than the other?

One AirPod is louder than the other because of outdated software, audio bugs, or water damage. Your Apple device could also be having issues with its spatial audio or stereo settings. Earwax buildup on your AirPods is also known to cause this problem.

One AirPod is louder than the other: 11 fixes

#1: Clean your AirPods

Do you want to hear a little secret?

Everybody has earwax–even you.

Admit it. There’s no shame in it.

It’s also the reason why your AirPods are so damn dirty. And a likely reason why one of your AirPods is louder than the other.

While you can’t control what goes on your AirPods…

I can tell you how you can properly clean it.

  1. Lightly wet a soft microfiber cloth with water.
  2. Use that cloth to clean around the outside of your AirPods.
  3. Dry your AirPods.
  4. Clear out the gunk using a dental floss stick.
  5. If you have an AirPods pro, rinse the tip with water overnight.

Pro tip: Suck on your AirPods.

“Wait, what?”

Trust me. It works.

Most users who were hesitant to try sucking were also surprised that it worked.

Seriously, try it. 

If you’re worried that you might accidentally ingest earwax, use a cloth over your mouth.

#2: Charge your AirPods

Charge Your AirPods

Sometimes, we tend to overlook the most obvious answers…

Even when it’s the right one.

In this case, have you tried charging your AirPods yet?

No? Time to grab your charging case.

Pro tip: Do you want to prolong your AirPods life?

Of course, you do. Who doesn’t?

Here’s my suggestion: never, and I mean never, fully charge your AirPods or let it completely drain.

You see, your AirPods run on Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries.

And Li-ion batteries at full or empty capacity will degrade.

Instead, use this rule of thumb:

Only charge your AirPods when it’s at 10% to 20%. And only charge up to 80% to 90%.

#3: Reset AirPods

Did your AirPods use to work properly until, one day, it didn’t?

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could turn back the clock?

Oh wait, we can’t do that…

But we can reset your AirPods back to their original state.

And here’s how you can do that in 8 easy steps:

  1. Place your AirPods back in their charging case with the lid closed.
  2. Stand by for 30 seconds, then open the lid.
  3. On a device connected to your AirPods, go to Settings.
  4. Select Bluetooth.
  5. Press the More Info button right next to your AirPods.
  6. Tap Forget This Device.
  7. With its lid open, long-press the button on your case for 15 seconds.
  8. Wait until the light flashes amber and then white.

#4: Check if your AirPods have the latest firmware

Like I said, your AirPods update themselves constantly.

However, errors do happen.

Now, you might ask: 

“How will I know if my AirPods are up to date?”

And, for that, I got you:

  1. Go to your Settings menu.
  2. Head to Bluetooth settings.
  3. Press the (i) button next to your AirPods.

The text under Version should tell you which firmware your AirPods have.

Note: Unfortunately, there’s no way to update your AirPods manually.

But some users have successfully triggered an update. How?

By disconnecting and reconnecting their AirPods to an Apple device with Wi-Fi.

#5: Update your device

Update Your Device

What if the problem isn’t your AirPods…

But where do you connect them to?

See, your AirPods constantly update themselves. (More on this later.)

On the other hand, the device you’re connecting them to might not be.

Outdated software can sometimes make your device incompatible with updated AirPods.

And, when they’re incompatible, it could manifest in several different ways:

One of which is unbalanced audio.

To fix this, you simply have to update your Apple device manually.

iPhone or iPad

  1. Go to your Settings menu.
  2. Head to General.
  3. Select Software Update.
  4. Choose the update you want to be installed.
  5. Tap Install Now.

Note: AirPods connectivity only supports iOS 13 or later.


  1. Press the Apple logo at the top left corner of your screen.
  2. Go to System Preferences.
  3. Click Software Updates.
  4. Then, head to Advanced.
  5. Select Install macOS Updates.

#6: Balance audio settings

Next, if your problem is audio imbalance…

Why not balance the audio manually?

“Wait, I can do that?”

Yes. You can.

On one of their most recent updates, Apple has enabled adjusting audio settings.

To access it, all you need to do is:

Note: You’ll need to ensure that your Apple device is updated.

  1. Put your AirPods on its charging case with its lid open.
  2. Go to your Settings menu.
  3. Head to Accessibility.
  4. Select Audio/Visual.

Scroll down until you see a slider.

This slider allocates volume for each of your AirPods.

Tweak it until your AirPods have balanced audio.

#7: Enable Mono Audio

Now, let’s get a little bit technical.

Let’s talk about mono vs. stereo.

If you’ve ever bought speakers or a pair of headphones in your life…

Chances are, you’ve encountered those 2 words.

But do you know what they mean?

Okay, I see some of you are raising hands. But most aren’t.

So, let’s discuss.


Stereo audio is the standard nowadays–and for a good reason. Why?

Because this type of audio imitates real life. Here’s how…

Have you ever played a song on your earphones and noticed something odd?

For example, is the audio coming from the left isn’t the same as the audio from the right?

Don’t worry. That’s perfectly normal.

See, stereo separates the audio into 2 channels: the left and the right.

In doing so, they simulate a natural environment. After all, you don’t hear the drum and the guitar equally in a concert, do you?

Pretty cool, if you ask me.

But we have to get rid of stereo if you have uneven volumes on your AirPods.

Why? Because…


Producers make music made for stereo.

However, the quality of stereo sound still relies on your hardware and software.

And the thing is:

Bugs happen.

No, not the mosquito type. The digital ones.

When software bugs happen, it could ruin the stereo listening experience for you.

So, you need to enable Mono Audio to prevent that. Here’s how to do so:

  1. Put your AirPods on its charging case with its lid open.
  2. Go to your Settings menu.
  3. Head to Accessibility.
  4. Select Audio/Visual.
  5. Toggle on Mono Audio.

#8: Disable Head Tracking

If you’re an AirPods user…

You’ve probably heard of the Spatial Audio setting.

If not, that’s okay. I’ll tell you.

Spatial Audio allows you to have a theater-like experience while watching movies.

And they do this by, among other things, enabling Head Tracking.

Head Tracking, well, tracks your head.

For example, when you look to the right of your paired device, the sound on the left AirPod grows louder.

It’s a great application of technology…when it works.

You see, the volume level can get stuck. Sometimes, on only one AirPod.

When that happens, what can you do?

Note: You can only do this on iPhone or iPad devices that are iOS version 15.1 or upwards.

  1. Wear your AirPods.
  2. On an iPhone or iPad, open your Control Center.
  3. Long press the Volume tab until a menu pops up.
  4. Tap Spatial Audio.
  5. Select either Off or Fixed.

#9: Repair water damage

Here’s the thing about your AirPods:

It’s water-resistant, not waterproof.

That means your AirPods can still get water damage–but it’s unlikely.

The latest generation of AirPods has a water resistance rating of IPX4.

Which means they can withstand repeated splashes of water.

But that doesn’t mean that water can’t enter your AirPods.

Wait, hold on. Don’t throw your AirPods away just yet…

First, try this:

  1. Install Siri Shortcuts on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Ensure that your AirPods are dry with a microfiber cloth.
  3. Grab your AirPods and cover all openings with your finger.
  4. Tap Water Eject on Siri Shortcuts.
  5. Brush away all liquid coming out of your AirPods.
  6. Repeat these steps until no water comes out.

Do you want to see someone do this procedure? I got you:

#10: AppleCare+

Do you have AppleCare+?

If so, the best course may be to take your AirPods and have them replaced.

Allow me to elaborate…

Sometimes, your AirPods are just broken and there’s nothing you can do about it.

But, with AppleCare, it’s cheaper to bring your AirPods to the closest Apple Store.

How cheap, you ask?

DeviceRetail PriceAppleCare+
AirPods Pro$249$29
AirPods Max$549$59

In my opinion, that’s a great deal.

Warning: AppleCare+ is sometimes given to you along with the warranty agreement.

What does that mean, you ask?

It means you can’t avail AppleCare if you damaged your AirPods after trying to repair them.

So, if you have AppleCare, think twice before you break out the screwdriver.

You may also be interested in: Right AirPod Not Working [Updated Guide]

#11: Contact your Apple representative

When nothing seems to work…

Who you gonna call?

Ghostbus–oh wait, not them.

You can contact Apple through their website.

Or go to your nearest Apple Store.