You’re at the gym wearing your AirPods, and you think it might be all in your head. But as your song comes to your favorite part, it’s official: the left AirPod is definitely quieter than its right counterpart. The big question is why?
The left AirPod might be quieter because of a balance issue; this is a relatively easy problem to fix. Users should go into the “settings” portion of their phone to fix it. If this doesn’t work, there might be earwax in the earbud’s speaker; this can be resolved with compressed air.
AirPods come with a one-year limited warranty. If there is a manufacturing defect impeding your AirPods’ audio quality, Apple may replace the defective earbud at little or no cost to you. Read on to learn more about how you can address this problem and get the most out of your device.
Get the latest AirPods, the over-the-ear AirPods Max here.
Your AirPods’ Balance Could Be Off
You can check your AirPods’ balance by going into your phone’s settings. The instructions will vary slightly depending on what kind of smartphone you have.
Fixing the Balance on an iPhone
If you have an iPhone, the following steps could address your problem:
- Open your iPhone’s settings.
- Go down until you see “Accessibility.”
- Under “Hearing,” tap “Audio/Visual.”
From here, you will see a sliding scale under the word “Balance.” Make sure that the white dot is right in the middle.
Fixing the Balance if You Have an Android
If you have an Android, you will need to follow a similar set of instructions, which include:
- Tapping on “Settings.”
- Going to “Accessibility.”
Here, just like with the iPhone, you will see the slider. Place the white dot in the middle and test out your AirPods.
There Could Be Something Blocking the Sound
AirPods go into your ear canal, meaning that for even the most hygienic of people, they will inevitably get earwax on them. Your AirPods are very sensitive, and even the tiniest bit of earwax can make it sound as though your left AirPod is quieter.
There are two ways that you can fix this, such as:
Using Compressed Air
The first solution involves taking compressed air (like the Dust-Off Disposable Compressed Gas Duster) and clearing any debris. Be sure to point the nozzle sideways as you attempt to clear the small speaker, as you do not want to drive the blockage into the earbud itself.
Sucking Out the Blockage
Alternatively, people on Apple’s Community Board have said that “sucking” the AirPod works. While Apple does not support this, users have said that if you stick the speaker part of the AirPod into your mouth and gently suck on it, you can dislodge any dirt under the speaker.
It Could Be a Software Issue
Sometimes, if you use your AirPods for long periods without letting them “die,” you might experience some sound imbalances. While there is no clear explanation for why this happens, you can remedy this issue by turning your AirPods off and re-pairing them to your phone.
The following instructions provide clarity into how you can do this:
- First, turn the AirPods off. You can do this by inserting the AirPods back into the charging case.
- Then, go into your Bluetooth settings and unpair your AirPods. Do not press “Forget This Device,” as this will only complicate things.
- Now, take your AirPods out of their case and re-pair them to your phone.
If this does not work, then you can try restoring the AirPods to their factory settings. You can do this by inserting your AirPods into their case and pressing the reset button on the back of the case. Hold down on the button for at least 15 seconds and stop when the button flashes amber.
Average Wear and Tear
Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever. After a few years of use, your AirPods simply may not work the same way they did when you first unboxed them.
However, you do not have to buy a new set of AirPods just because the left one is slightly quieter than the right. Depending on how long ago you purchased your AirPods, they still may be under warranty. If not, you can buy just one replacement AirPod.
You can learn more about your replacement options by clicking here.
Contacting Apple for Customer Support
If none of the above solutions fixed your problem, consult your AirPods’ user manual. Here, you can gain more insight into troubleshooting your device.
Still, if you are unable to reach a resolution, you can:
- Visit an Apple Store near you
- Submit an online query here
You can also call Apple’s customer support hotline at (800) APL-CARE.
Truthfully, there is no “one-size-fits-all” answer as to why your left AirPod is quieter. It could be the result of many different issues, all of which come with their own solutions.
However, many of these issues are fixable. For more information about what solutions could restore balance to your AirPods, you can visit Apple’s Official Online Support Community. Here, you can read about users’ problems similar to yours and view the answers written by Apple representatives.