Have you ever noticed that one of your AirPods sounds louder than the other? This frustrating issue can ruin your listening experience. As an AirPods user myself, I know how annoying it can be when you want to enjoy music or podcasts but one AirPod is quieter.
In this article, I’ll share the top reasons why one AirPod is louder and solutions to fix this problem once and for all. After reading, you’ll know exactly how to troubleshoot your AirPods to get both sides sounding equal again.
- Reason #1: Software Issues With Your AirPods
- Reason #2: Hardware Issues With Your AirPods
- Reason #3: Software Errors on Your Devices
- Reason #4: Issues Unrelated to Devices
- How to Prevent One AirPod from Being Louder
- Summary: Resolving Imbalanced AirPod Volume
Reason #1: Software Issues With Your AirPods
The first thing to check is whether there are any software issues causing the volume difference between your AirPods. There are a few quick things you can try to rule out software being the culprit:
- Reset the AirPods – Put both AirPods in the case, close the lid and wait 30 seconds before reconnecting to your iPhone or iPad. Then, go to Bluetooth settings, tap the “i” next to your AirPods and select “Forget Device”. Hold the setup button on the back of the AirPods case for 15 seconds until the light changes from amber to white to reset. Reconnect to your device and test if the issue is fixed.
- Update AirPods firmware – Your AirPods will automatically install the latest firmware when they are connected to an iPhone with internet access. Leave them connected for 30 minutes without using them to allow the update to complete. Check the firmware version in your Bluetooth settings under About.
- Try your AirPods with another device – Connect your AirPods to a different device like a Mac or Android phone and check if the volume difference persists. This helps determine if it’s an issue with your original device or the AirPods themselves.
- Check audio file issues – If you’re listening to a song or video that uses audio panning effects, it can make one AirPod quieter. Enable mono audio to force the same audio signal to both sides.
- Check audio source settings – Connect another pair of headphones or earbuds to your device and see if the same imbalance occurs. This points to a problem with the audio source rather than the AirPods.
- Adjust sound balance – Go into Accessibility settings on your iPhone or iPad and adjust the Left/Right balance slider back to the center.
- Recalibrate AirPods volume – This helps sync your AirPods back to your device for full volume control. Lower the volume on the AirPods to mute, disconnect Bluetooth, lower the iPhone volume to mute. Reconnect Bluetooth and select your AirPods again to recalibrate.
If you’ve tried all of the above software troubleshooting tips but the louder AirPod issue persists, it’s likely a hardware problem instead.
Reason #2: Hardware Issues With Your AirPods
Let’s look at a few hardware problems that could cause one AirPod to be louder:
- Clean your AirPods – Debris buildup in the speakers can affect volume. Carefully use a toothpick, soft-bristled toothbrush, rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs to remove any gunk or wax blocking the mesh grill. You can also try sucking out debris by placing a thin cloth over the speaker grill and gently sucking through it.
- Your ear tips may not fit – For AirPods Pro users, if the ear tips don’t seal properly in your ear it can make one side seem louder. Run the Ear Tip Fit Test in your Bluetooth settings to check the seal. You may need to adjust or replace the tips.
- Repair hardware issues – Any internal hardware problems like damage to the speakers will require professional repair. You’ll need to visit an Apple authorized service provider or Apple support.
If cleaning the AirPods and adjusting ear tips hasn’t helped, then there is likely internal damage causing the volume difference between sides that requires repair.
Reason #3: Software Errors on Your Devices
Issues with the software on your connected devices could also lead to one AirPod being louder. Here are some device troubleshooting tips:
- Restart audio source device – If you’re playing audio from a computer or phone, try restarting that device in case of software errors.
- Restart your iPhone – Press and hold the Power + Volume Up/Down buttons until you see the power off slider. Slide to turn off your iPhone, wait 30 seconds and then press the Power button again to restart it.
- Reset device settings – Go to Settings > General > Reset and select Reset All Settings. Enter your passcode if prompted and confirm the reset. This will wipe any problematic settings on your iPhone.
Rebooting your devices can clear out any software bugs that are causing Bluetooth connection issues with your AirPods and the imbalance.
Finally, there are a couple reasons for a louder AirPod that have nothing to do with the earbuds or your devices:
- Check your hearing – Use a hearing test app or get a friend to try out your AirPods and see if they also hear a difference. If it’s an issue with your hearing, consult an audiologist.
- Contact Apple Support – If you’ve tried all other troubleshooting steps, reach out to Apple. Go to Apple’s support site, select AirPods > Audio & Sound and start an online chat or call them for assistance.
How to Prevent One AirPod from Being Louder
Now that you know why one AirPod can be louder and how to fix it, here are some tips to prevent it from happening again:
- Keep your AirPods’ firmware updated to avoid software bugs.
- Clean your AirPods regularly to avoid buildup.
- Replace ear tips every 6-12 months for a proper in-ear seal.
- Avoid exposing AirPods to moisture or dropping them to prevent hardware damage.
- Restart your connected devices and keep software updated.
- Back up your AirPods so you can restore if needed.
- Use a case to protect AirPods when not in use.
Following these prevention tips will help keep both your AirPods sounding loud and clear.
Why is my right AirPod louder than the left?
It’s common for either the left or right AirPod to randomly become louder. Start by cleaning both AirPods and resetting them. Adjust audio balance to center and recalibrate. If still uneven, a hardware issue is likely causing one side to malfunction.
What should I do if one AirPod stopped working?
First try cleaning and resetting it. Check that it’s charged by placing in the case. If still not working, contact Apple Support to determine if professional repair or replacement is needed. Only use one working AirPod until the issue is fixed.
How can I increase volume on a quiet AirPod?
Start by cleaning debris blocking the speaker and mesh. Adjust sound balance slightly towards the quiet side. As a temporary fix, you can turn off Automatic Ear Detection so volume doesn’t change when removing AirPods. If hardware damage, repair is needed.
Why does one AirPod drain battery faster?
A faulty battery or hardware damage can cause faster battery drain. Try resetting the AirPods first. Observe battery levels for each AirPod to confirm uneven drain. If one keeps dying quicker, contact Apple Support for battery replacement.
How much does it cost to fix a louder AirPod issue?
It’s free to try troubleshooting steps yourself. If hardware repair or replacement is needed, out-of-warranty service fees apply. AirPods Pro repair costs ~$89, AirPods 2nd/3rd gen ~$69. Replacement AirPods cost $99-$249. AppleCare+ can reduce repair costs.
I hope these commonly asked questions about one AirPod louder than the other have helped clarify the problem and solutions for you.
Summary: Resolving Imbalanced AirPod Volume
Having one AirPod louder than the other can ruin your audio experience. After reading this guide, you now know the main reasons why this happens:
- Software glitches with your AirPods
- Hardware damage like debris buildup
- Software errors on connected devices
- Hearing issues or quality of audio files
I’ve also covered various troubleshooting tips you can try at home to fix a louder AirPod. Make sure to rule out software causes before taking it in for hardware repair.
Preventing debris buildup and hardware damage is key to avoiding uneven volume between AirPods in the future. But if issues reappear, use this guide to quickly identify the reason and solution.
With the right troubleshooting steps, you can get back to enjoying music, calls and more with perfectly balanced audio in both AirPods. No more frustration over why one AirPod is louder!