Just because your Airpods start to act up by either having uneven volume or sounding quieter, it is not necessarily a death sentence. There are often things that you can do to get your Airpods functioning normally.
That is why it is extremely important that you at least troubleshoot the problem before you go out and purchase a new pair of AirPods.
When you are troubleshooting your AirPods because one Airpod is louder than the other, there are two common solutions you should try first. First, you will want to reset your iPhone and reset your Airpods and then recalibrate them together. If that doesn’t work, then you should focus on cleaning your AirPods and charging case and removing any dirt, grime, or ear wax from those devices.
Let us take a closer look at all the different ways you can troubleshoot your AirPods if you experience uneven volume from one AirPod to the other.
Are My AirPods Broken?
Although the majority of the time, if you drop your AirPods, they most likely will not instantly break, however, it is still a risk. Dropping your AirPods is one of the most common ways that they can break. Also, although 3rd generation AirPods and AirPods Pro are technically water-resistant, excessive water exposure can deteriorate the seals, and eventually, moisture will get inside of your AirPods and break them.
So, how can you tell if your Airpods are broken instead of just heaving dead batteries?
Here are two clear signs that your Airpods may be on their way out:
- You constantly hear crackling or static which can increase when you are in loud environments, when you exercise, or when you are talking on the phone.
- If the built-in active noise cancellation starts to malfunction, the bass sound is fading, or your AirPods start to pick up on background noise from the environment you are in.
Troubleshooting Uneven AirPods
If when you are listening to music using your iPhone and AirPods you notice that one of the Airpods is louder in one ear and quieter in the other, you may become worried that your AirPods are starting to go out on you.
However, that is not always the case. Before you go out and buy some replacements, there are a few things you may want to try first.
Having one AirPod that is louder is actually a fairly common issue that many AirPod users encounter. The good news is that there may be an easy fix. Let us break down how to troubleshoot when one AirPod is louder than the other.
1. Check Audio Balance
The first thing you should do if you are experiencing one AirPod louder than the other is check the audio balance settings on your iPhone. Sometimes your iOS may alter these settings without your knowledge when you use certain applications.
To check your audio balance, go to your Settings menu, then click on Accessibility. In Accessibility, you should see an option for Audio/Visual. Click on that and you should see an audio balance slider. If it is not in the center, simply slide it to the center.
2. Wipe Down and Clean AirPods and Charging Case
Dirty AirPods and charging cases can cause hardware issues. Built-up dirt, dust, and grime can also prevent your AirPods from charging properly when they are placed in the charging case. Open your charging case and examine your AirPods. When was the last time they had a good cleaning?
To clean your AirPods and charging case you are going to need a cloth. The best type of cloth for cleaning electronic device are microfiber cloths. Do not use paper towels or tissue as they can break up when used and small pieces of the paper can get wedged into the small crevices in your charging case which could cause future problems.
Once you have your microfiber cloth, carefully wipe down your AirPods and then the charging case, removing all the dust and dirt you can see. If the cloth is not doing the job, then you could consider using a brand-new and unused toothbrush to get rid of the harder-to-remove grime.
3. Try Your AirPods With Another Device
Sometimes, the problem may not be with the AirPods or the charging case. It may be your iPhone that is having problems.
It could be that you need to update your iOS or you may have downloaded a corrupt application. Either way, to see if the problem is with your phone and not the AirPods or charging case, you may want to try them with a different device.
Ask a friend, roommate, or family member if you can try connecting your AirPods through their phone. AirPods will connect to both iPhone and Android devices. Otherwise, you should be able to connect to the Bluetooth of your laptop if you have one.
Connect to Bluetooth on a different device and see if the problem continues. If it does not, then you know you may have a software or operating system problem on your phone.
4. Restart iPhone
Just like computers, sometimes a phone just needs to be reset to allow it to start over and potentially fix any operating issues it was having before the reset.
To reset your iPhone, simply hold down the power button or the side button and volume button together for a few seconds until the Slide to Power off option comes up on the screen. Simply slide the slider button and the phone will shut down.
After about 30 seconds, go ahead and press and hold the power button until you see the phone start up again.
5. Reset AirPods
Just like computers and smartphones, AirPods could benefit from a quick reset as well. To reset your AirPods, find the setup button located on the charging case. Press the setup button until you see the light flash amber a few times and then it flashes white.
After your AirPods have been reset, go ahead and connect to Bluetooth on your iPhone and see if the problem has been corrected.
6. Reset to Factory Settings
If all else fails, you may be having problems with the settings on your iPhone. Sometimes iPhone settings could have been set up incorrectly or maybe there is a corrupted settings file that is wreaking havoc on your operating system.
The only fix for this is to reset your iPhone back to factory settings. Before you restore your iPhone to its factory settings, you may want to make sure you have all your photos, videos, and personal files uploaded to the cloud or onto your computer.
To restore your iPhone to its factory settings, first, go into your phone’s settings. Go to General, then go down and click on Transfer or Reset iPhone. Click on Reset and then confirm that you would like to reset your phone to factory settings.
At this point, your phone is most likely going to ask you for your password. Go ahead and enter your password and then confirm again that you would like to do a complete reset.
Now, your iPhone should shut down completely, reset completely, and then restart.
7. Remove the Earwax from Your AirPods
Although it sounds pretty disgusting, there has been a lot of chatter on the internet about AirPod users who have successfully cleaned the ear wax out of their AirPods by placing their mouth over the grill area where the sound comes out and sucking until the wax breaks free and is removed from the Airpod.
If you elect to try this method, you will want to make sure you have a cup or are near a sink where you can spit in and have a glass of water nearby so you can rinse out your mouth. It may sound odd, but it is actually a safe way to clean the ear wax from your AirPods with little to no risk of damaging them.
Other methods mentioned online may work as well, however, some of those methods include using liquids like hydrogen peroxide.
Although many people have used these methods successfully because you are applying a liquid, even a small amount to the speaker grill of your AirPod, there is still a chance it can seep deeper into the speaker and negatively interfere with the internal hardware.
8. Recalibrate Airpods
Sometimes, if your AirPods are not working properly and one is louder than the other, it may help to rest your phone and AirPods and then recalibrate the AirPods with your iPhone. To calibrate your AirPods to your iPhone, take the following steps.
- Place the Airpods in the charging case and close it.
- Wait between 30 and 60 seconds.
- Open up the charging case.
- Next, go to your iPhone and open the Setting menu.
- Click on Bluetooth and then More Info next to the AirPods listed in the menu.
- Click on Forget This Device.
- Locate the setup button on the charging case.
- Press and hold the setup button until you see the light flash amber a few times before flashing white.
- Reconnect the AirPods to Bluetooth on your iPhone.
9. Contact Apple
If you have tried everything and you still are having problems after you have tried all of the above potential fixes, then your only option may be to have Apple try to fix them for you. You have two options. You can make an appointment at your local Apple store or you can use the Apple repair by mail.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I fix one AirPod louder than the other?
There are several ways to fix your AirPods if the volume is uneven. You can check the audio balance, wipe and clean the AirPods and charging case, try your AirPods on another device, reset your phone and the AirPods, and possibly restore your phone to its factory settings. You may also want to recalibrate your AirPods with your iPhone.
Why is one AirPod quieter than another?
It could be that one of the Airpods had more dirt, grime, or earwax built up that is obstructing the speaker. You will want to properly clean your AirPods and charging case with a microfiber cloth and work to remove all the earwax that has built up in the Airpods over time.
How do I fix quiet AirPods?
Cleaning the AirPods is the best way to see if you can get more volume from them.
How do you clean wax out of AirPods?
There are a few different ways to remove ear wax. You can use your mouth to suck out the wax, you can use a mounting putty and see if the stickiness of the putty is enough to pull out the wax, and you can use a small drop of hydrogen peroxide to break up the wax before removing it with a Q-tip. Each method comes with its own risks, so proceed with caution.
The uneven volume between your left and right AirPods often is a common problem that has a simple solution.
Before you go out and buy a new pair of AirPods, you will want to make sure you have tried everything that we have just discussed to troubleshoot the issue and potentially save you a few hundred dollars.