Sony Earbuds, One Side Not Working: How To Fix

Wireless headphones have changed the game when it comes to hands-free listening.

But they aren’t without problems.

The most common complaint about wireless headsets is that one earbud isn’t working. And Sony earbuds are unfortunately no exception.

If you’re experiencing this issue, don’t worry! You may not have to take your earbuds in for repairs or buy a new pair yet.

Our guide on how to fix your Sony earbuds when one side isn’t working will help you to troubleshoot the problem and – hopefully – avoid it in the future.

One Side Of Sony Earbuds Not Working: Helpful Hints

Unlike wired headphones, fixing a problem with Sony earbuds isn’t as simple as locating a broken wire or headphone jack. Your earbuds need to be set up and have an established Bluetooth connection.

So before you begin exploring why only one earbud is working, it’s worth taking note of some of our helpful hints.

  • Sony earbuds connect to other devices via Bluetooth. But like any other Bluetooth device, your earbuds may struggle to connect to your phone or laptop when the connection is interrupted. If you have any other Bluetooth devices active in the range of your buds, you may want to switch them off.
  • Your mobile device or laptop may be too far away from your earbuds. There may also be an obstruction that is affecting the connection between your earbuds and your device. In that case, you’ll want to ensure that you’re close enough to your audio source to avoid breaking the communication between them.
  • One of the most straightforward solutions for fixing one earbud that isn’t working is ensuring your Sony Headphones Connect app is up to date and has the latest firmware downloaded. You can check for a software update via the iOS or Android app stores.
  • When using a music app with your mobile device, you may need to check the settings menu to adjust or assign playback control to your earbuds. These settings may sometimes affect the sound quality and volume of your earbuds.
  • A good rule of thumb before trying to repair any device is to check the manufacturer’s manual. The manual should list common problems and a short troubleshooting guide. If you no longer have your manual, you can generally access them through Sony’s website.

Troubleshooting When One Side of Sony Earbuds Is Not Working

(1) Turn Off Google Assistant

One of the best things about Sony earbuds is that most models allow you to use your earbuds independently. So you can use either the left side or the right side, depending on what feels most comfortable for you. Yet, you may notice that only the right side allows you to hear sound.

If only one earbud plays audio, you may have Google Assistant assigned to that bud. To fix this, you’ll need to open the Sony Headphones Connect app on your mobile device and locate the System tab.

Under the System tab, you can disable Google Assistant. Once it’s disabled, your earbuds should work independently. You can also reassign Google Assistant to your preferred earbud. But it’s important to remember that only the earbud that you assign Playback Control to will play audio. You can change this under the Touch Sensor Function menu.

You can also set the voice assist function to work with your preferred earbud. You can only use one earbud to access the voice assist function and receive playback from your audio devices.

(2) Disconnect And Re-Pair Your Earbuds

A common complaint for almost every Bluetooth device is that they lose connection, have poor audio quality, or stop communicating with other devices after long periods. Although this can be frustrating, it’s a worthwhile fix to consider when troubleshooting a problem with one earbud not working.

When your Bluetooth connection is faulty, you may need to disconnect your earbuds and re-pair them with your audio device. To do this, you’ll need to search for your Sony earbuds on your PC, laptop, or phone. Make sure to turn off all other Bluetooth devices in range of your earphones to avoid interrupted connections.

Select your earbuds from your paired devices list to disconnect them and click ‘forget.’ Once they have been disconnected, you can place your earbuds into your ears and press and hold the touch sensors for around five seconds. Now, you should be able to easily re-pair them with your device.

It may be important to note that if you pair your buds with another Bluetooth device, you should disconnect them from other paired devices first. If you don’t, your earbuds may automatically connect with another device.

(3) Reset Your Earbuds

Sometimes the best solution to fixing this problem is to reset your earbuds. Alternatively, you can initialize your buds to restore their original factory settings.

Depending on your model, you may have to perform different steps to reset your earbuds successfully. We’ve listed the most common models and how to reset them to help you get started.

Resetting Sony LinkBuds and LinkBuds S

To reset your Sony LinkBuds or LinkBuds S, you’ll need to place one earbud into the charging case. Ensure that the bud is securely in place. You can close the lid of the charging case to ensure that the earbud is positioned correctly.

With the lid open, click and hold the reset button on the case. After a few seconds, the LED indicator light should turn on and begin flashing. Keep holding the button until the light turns off.

When the light has turned off, you can remove the bud from the case and repeat the process with the other earbud.

Resetting Sony XF-1000 XM4 Earbuds

Resetting your Sony XF-1000 XM4 headphones is simple. But you’ll need to repeat the steps for both earbuds individually. You can start by placing an earbud into the charging case and plugging the case in. This will ensure that the case stays powered on through the resetting process.

When the case is plugged in, you’ll need to open and close the lid of the case repeatedly. After around fifteen to twenty seconds, the LED indicator light should flash red. Leave the case lid closed and wait until the light turns green and stops flashing. The green light indicates a successful reset.

Once you have gone through the steps again with the other earbud, you should be able to hear sound from both your buds.

Resetting SONY XF-SP800N and WF-H800 Earbuds

To reset your Sony XF-SP800N and WF-H800 earbuds, you’ll need to place both the left and right buds into the charging case. It’s important to ensure that your earbuds are securely connected to the case.

Starting with the left earbud, touch and hold the touch sensor for around twenty seconds. For the WF-H800 model, you can click and hold the button on the top of the bud. The LED indicator light should turn red. Repeat this step on the right side until both LED indicators light up.

If the LED light turns blue, the earbuds may have shifted during resetting. You’ll need to move them back into position and restart the resetting process.

Once the earbuds have flashed red, leave them to charge before using them. While you wait, downloading and installing the latest firmware for your earbuds may be a good idea. You can do this using the Sony Headphones Connect app.

Resetting SONY WF-XB700 Earbuds

The Sony WF-XB700 earbuds are the easiest buds to reset. Holding your earbuds in your hand, hold and press on the back of the left earbud until the LED indicator light turns red before switching off. Then, repeat this step on the right side.

When you power your earbuds up, their full functionality should be restored.

(4) Test Your Earbuds With a Different App

If you’ve tried other troubleshooting methods and you’re still at a loss, the problem may not be with your earbuds at all! Instead, the problem may be with the audio app you’re using.

Some apps may not work well with wireless headsets. Similarly, the apps may not be optimized for stereo audio output.

Before you give up on your earbuds, you may want to try playing audio using another app on your device. That way, you can rule out any external issues that may interfere with your earbud’s playback.

(5) Check the Right/Left Balance on Your Source Device

The exact steps vary here, based on whether you are playing music from an iPhone, Android, or computer. Regardless, it is worth checking the sound settings on your phone or other source device.

It is possible that “mono” has been selected rather than “stereo.” Some devices also have a toggle scroll bar that balances sound between right and left. If your device has this bar, be sure that the sound is adjusted to the middle rather than favoring the right or left.

Maintaining Sony Earbuds: An Essential Guide

While it’s important to know how to troubleshoot when one side of your Sony earbuds isn’t working, regular maintenance can also go a long way in preventing common issues. Here are some general tips:

  • Keep your earbuds clean: Regularly clean your earbuds to remove any dirt or wax build-up, which can obstruct the sound path. Use a soft, dry cloth to gently clean the earbuds.
  • Protect from moisture: Although some models of Sony earbuds are water-resistant, it’s best to avoid excessive exposure to moisture. After use in the rain or a sweaty workout, dry your earbuds thoroughly before putting them back in the charging case.
  • Handle with care: Avoid dropping your earbuds or exposing them to severe shocks, as this can damage the internal components.
  • Store properly: Always store your earbuds in their case when not in use. This not only keeps them safe from damage but also ensures they’re charged for the next use.
  • Software updates: Make sure to regularly check for and install any software updates for your earbuds via the Sony Headphones Connect app. These updates often include improvements and fixes for known issues


When you’re using your Sony earbuds, you expect to hear sound. After all, that’s what they’re designed for!

But when only one earbud is playing audio, you may need to tinker with your earbud’s Google Assistant and Voice Assist functions. You can do this via the System tab in the Sony Headphones Connect app.

You can also try re-pairing your earbuds or resetting them if the problem persists.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is one side of my Sony earbuds not working?

One side of your Sony earbuds might not be working due to a variety of reasons, including a drained battery, a broken or damaged earbud, an issue with the device they’re paired with, or settings like mono audio or Google Assistant being enabled on just one side.

How do I reset my Sony earbuds?

The method to reset your Sony earbuds varies by model, but generally involves placing the earbuds back in the charging case and pressing and holding a specific button or area on the earbuds or case. You can find specific instructions for your model in your user manual or on Sony’s website.

Can I use my Sony earbuds with any device?

Yes, Sony earbuds use Bluetooth technology, which allows them to connect with any device that also has Bluetooth. This includes smartphones, tablets, computers, and some TVs and gaming consoles.