How to Fix AirPods Pro Only Playing in One Ear

AirPods Pro Only Playing in One Ear

Are you disappointed because only one of your AirPods Pro is working? 

You may have been using it to watch a movie or listen to music on your Apple device, and suddenly, one of the AirPods Pro in your ear stops working.

This kind of situation can be very frustrating, especially if you don’t know the cause of the issue.

With that being said, it’s essential to identify and understand the various points of failure with the AirPods Pro — from physical status, charging setup, configuration, settings, connectivity, and all other factors are needed to consider. By doing that, you will be able to debug the issue better and fix it. 🙂

If you are not a technical person, then this guide is perfect for you. We will try to explain the problem as simple as possible, step-by-step as well as layout the troubleshooting solutions according to their complexity from the simplest to tedious.

Without further ado, let’s get started!


  1. Clean your AirPods Pro
  2. Forget Device and Pair Again
  3. Check Stereo Settings
  4. Disable Audio Transparency Feature
  5. Check Settings for Noise Cancellation Feature
  6. Reset AirPods Pro
  7. Update to the Latest Software Version
  8. Test Device using Other Bluetooth Headphones
  9. Contact Apple Support


How to Fix AirPods Pro Only Playing in One Ear: 9 Ways


1. Clean your AirPods Pro.

One of the most common reasons why only one of your AirPods Pro works is the fact that dirt is preventing the AirPod to be successfully charged.

This debris which accumulates can hinder your AirPod to have proper contact with the casing for the charging process. Thus, only one of the AirPod will work to get charged. To prevent this from happening, make sure you always clean your AirPods Pro after using it and placing it back to the case for charging and safekeeping. Additionally, you will not just want to clean the AirPods themselves but also the fact that they come with it.

One of the ways you can clean your AirPods Pro is to use a microfiber cloth. With this, you will be able to remove liquid and visible dirt without leaving a scratch on your AirPods Pro. You can also use this to dry the case to make sure that it will not cause short circuits while on the charging process.


Microfiber Cloth


Another way to clean it is by using a clean cotton bud. You may be able to clean the parts of your earbud that could not be reached by a microfiber cloth. But if cotton buds cannot remove tiny debris, you may need to suck on the AirPods the correct way and then proceed to blow it to remove even the tiniest debris gently.

The reason why the “sucking” method has been so effective is due to the fact the AirPods Pro accumulates ear wax, which causes any outgoing sound to be blocked. Thanks also go out to Marie-Claude Leblanc for pointing out this trick in our earlier guide on a similar guide we’d written relating to the AirPods and not AirPods Pro.

Here’s a great video on how to do this:


Just make sure you keep a thin cloth between as you suck on it. You may also use the cloth to wipe the AirPod each time as you blow. Try once again to see if the AirPods Pro is only playing in one ear issue has been fixed.



2. Forget Device and Pair Again.

The Bluetooth connection settings between your AirPods Pro and Apple device may have been corrupted. This usually happens when the connection between them is interrupted. This can happen in many ways — if you tried to connect your AirPods Pro to another device such as your Windows PC or Mac or the AirPods Pro, get disconnected from the device because of an empty battery.

The good news is that you can fix it by rebuilding the connection preferences and settings.

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. First, go to the Settings of your iPhone or iPad and then tap on the Bluetooth option.
  2. Next, tap the ( i ) icon next to your AirPods Pro, tap Forget This Device and then Confirm.


AirPods Pro Only Playing in One Ear


  1. Go back to your AirPods Pro case, place in the earbuds properly into the slot and leave the lid open.
  2. Then check your iPhone or iPad home screen as you bring your AirPods Pro case near your device until a setup animation appears on the screen. If you are having trouble, know more about what to do.

AirPods Pro Only Playing in One Ear


  1. Finally, tap on the Connect option on your iPhone or iPad and follow the rest of the instructions to finish the setup process.

Now that you have repaired the Bluetooth connection settings on both devices, it should work properly now on both AirPods. Make sure before you do this, the battery on both AirPods Pro is full. This is to avoid one of the earbuds to die down before the other.



3. Check Stereo Settings.

The stereo feature of any device splits the audio into the left and right audio speakers. Sometimes, if this feature is not set up correctly, it will cause unbalanced sounds between the two AirPods Pro speakers.

To fix it, you need to make sure you adjusted the volume balance properly:

Here’s how you do it using iPhone or iPad

  1. Go ahead and open the Settings on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Then tap the General option, and then tap on Accessibility.
  3. Now, scroll down to the Hearing section and make sure that the indicator of L and R speakers is in the center.

AirPods Pro Only Playing in One Ear


  1. Finally, switch off the Mono Audio settings by toggling the button. Leave it as it is if already disabled.



Here’s how you do it using Mac

  1. Go ahead and open the System Preferences on your Mac, then click on the Sound option, and then click Output option.
  2. Then click the AirPods Pro from the Sound Output menu.
  3. Now make sure the slider is in the center of the “Left” and “Right” speaker option.
  4. Go back to the System Preferences and then click Accessibility.
  5. Finally, scroll down to the Audio section and then uncheck the Mono Audio feature.

By doing this process, both of your AirPods Pro volumes will be balanced, and you should be able to hear on both ears now. Turning off the Mono audio makes sure that you have the Stereo settings enabled.



4. Disable Audio Transparency Feature.

Another feature that you need to consider is the “Noise Control” of your iPhone or iPad.

Take note that this feature is available on devices running on iOS/iPadOS 13.2 and later versions. Hence,  you will have to make sure that your iPhone or iPad is running on the right version before proceeding.

One of the choices for “Noise Control” is called “Audio Transparency” which enables you to hear your surroundings. But this will confuse you with the sound that comes out from your device.

Here’s how you can avoid it:

  1. Go ahead and tap on the Settings of your iPhone.
  2. Then, tap on the Bluetooth option and look for your AirPods Pro on the list of devices.
  3. Next, tap on the ( i ) icon next to the AirPods Pro, then tap on Noise Control.
  4. Finally, tap on the Noise Cancellation option to enable it.

AirPods Pro Only Playing in One Ear


One of the disadvantages of audio transparency is that you may not be able to hear properly because of the surrounding noise. To make sure that you have an accurate hearing on your earbuds, you must disable this feature and choose Noise Cancellation instead.



5. Check Settings for Noise Cancellation Feature.

It is possible that your “Noise Cancellation” feature is not working correctly. This was a common occurrence and often reported cause amongst users in the Apple Support Communities thread for this topic.

The most likely cause for this to happen is if whenever the device is corrupted. It is unclear what may cause the corruption of the file settings, but there is a solution. One way you can quickly try and repair is to rebuild “Noise Cancellation” settings on your iPhone or iPad.

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Go ahead and go to the Settings of your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.
  2. Then, tap on the Accessibility option and scroll down to the Physical and Motor section. Tap on AirPods or AirPods Pro.
  3. Next, find the Noise Control section and tap on Noise Cancellation with One AirPod option.
  4. Finally, test this with one of your earbuds if the feature is functioning properly. Disable the feature once the test is done.

By doing this process, you were able to reset the Noise Cancellation feature on both of your earbuds. As a result, you will be able to hear accurately the sound coming from your device without the confusion of noise around you.



6. Reset AirPods Pro.

There is a possibility that your AirPods Pro has been corrupted. It usually happens when you use it for a very long time and can sometimes hang.

But not to worry, you will be able to fix it by resetting your device. By doing this, you will be able to use new and fresh connection settings.

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Go ahead and place your earbuds securely in the case and close the lid. Wait for about 30 seconds and open the lid of the case.

AirPods Pro Only Playing in One Ear


  1. Now press and hold the Setup button on the back of the case until the LED light inside the case flashes amber momentarily and then white continuously.
  2. Then close the lid of the Airpods case to finalize the restoration process.
  3. After a few seconds, open the lid of the case fo AirPods Pro again to begin the pairing process.
  4. Go back to the home screen of your iPhone or iPad and bring your AirPods Pro case near it until a setup animation appears on the screen. If you are having trouble, know more about what to do.
  5. Finally, tap the Connect option on your iPhone or iPad and follow the instructions to finish the setup process.

Having refreshed the connection settings between your devices and AirPods Pro, it should work correctly now. That includes both earbuds, which should perform evenly on both ears.



7. Update to the Latest Software Version.

Your AirPods Pro will not function if they are on an outdated firmware version. This is even stated by Apple themselves, which we aforementioned that the AirPods Pro is only compatible with devices running iOS 13.2/iPadOS 13.2 and later versions.

It could be a bug that is incompatible with the new models because the older iOS/iPadOS versions are not introduced to them, which subsequently causes several syncing and Bluetooth issues with the AirPods.

Moreover, Bloomberg has stated that Apple will work more the iOS 13 stability updates will be released over the coming months in order to combat (damn, what a word) and patch up stuff, which includes what causing AirPods Pro to act weird.

Here’s how you can update your iPad or iPhone (if you didn’t already know):

  1. Backup your Apple device using your iCloud or iTunes/Finder. Learn more about how to backup your device here.
  2. Plugin your device into power and connect to the Internet with Wi-Fi to avoid interruption.
  3. Tap Settings, then General
  4. Select Software Update.
  5. Tap Download and Install. You will be prompted to enter your device’s passcode before restarting the device.

iOS 13.2 Update


To be able to do that, you can update your iPhone or iPad to its latest operating system version. By doing that, If you are not sure, learn more on how to update your Apple devices. After the update process, connect your AirPods Pro to your iPhone or iPad, and it will update to the latest firmware version automatically.



8. Test Device using Other Bluetooth Headphones.

If you’re still unsure whether the issue originates from your AirPods Pro or Apple device, then try using other Bluetooth earphones to prove that your Apple device is working correctly.

Check with your family or friends if they have Bluetooth earphones or headphones you can test on your device.


Bose headphones


After that, you may also check that you have the correct stereo settings. You can refer to Method 3 (above) of this guide for that process.

If you find it challenging to connect the third-party Bluetooth device, check out our guide regarding that issue. In such a case where the problem is with the Apple device and not your AirPods Pro, try resetting your Apple device. This will NOT erase any of your data, information and contact but instead just the preset settings you may have set in the Settings app.

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Go ahead and tap the Settings on your iPhone or iPad, then General, and then Reset option.
  2. Then, find and tap the Reset All Settings option.
  3. Next, provide your device passcode if applicable.
  4. Finally, tap Confirm to finalize the process.

Try to reconnect your AirPods Pro to the device and see if the issue persists.



9. Contact Apple Support.

If you are still experiencing the same issues after all the methods above, you have done your part. Its time for the experts to come in and check on the product. App;e-certified technicians from your nearest Apple Store will need to verify if the device is defective. After that process, you can check your warranty option and ask for a replacement.


Apple feedback



But if you feel you need some assistance with doing the methods above, you can always call an Apple representative over the phone. You can suggest the methods you need to do as mentioned above so they can guide you every step of the way.

If you have suggestions to enhance the features of AirPods Pro, you can send feedback to the Apple Developers. That way, they’ll know what their users want more of the product. Before we close this article, we hope that we were able to help fix with your “AirPods Pro only playing in one ear” issue. If you have questions, please feel free to leave a comment below, and we will love to help you out. ❤


If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂


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