JLab Earbuds, One Side Not Working: Every Possible Fix!

Over the last decade, the JLab brand has exploded in popularity. In fact, it is hard to find a single retailer that sells earbuds that doesn’t carry a JLab earbud model.

Whether you picked up your JLab earbuds from a truck stop for fifteen bucks or you dropped close to a hundred dollars on a premium noise canceling pair, one problem plagues many versions of JLab products – one earbud works, but the other side doesn’t.

If you are having issues with one of your JLab earbuds not working, we have prepared the most comprehensive guide that can be found anywhere.

Continue reading – if this list can’t solve your problem, you are probably due for a new set of earbuds!

General Tips for One JLab Earbud Not Working

First, many users seem to have problems with the left earbud specifically. This makes sense, because most JLab earbuds use the right side to pair via bluetooth. The left earbud, then, is simply “along for the ride.”

Whether you are struggling with a left or right earbud that isn’t working, here are some things to keep in mind as you troubleshoot.

  • JLab earbuds have in-ear voice prompts which should help you when troubleshooting. Different models have slightly different prompts, but generally speaking, the “Hello” prompt means the earbud is powered on, “Ready to Pair” means the earbud is in pairing mode, and “Connected” or “Bluetooth connected” means that the earbud is successfully paired to your device.
  • It is possible to use one JLab earbud without the other – you simply leave the earbud that you don’t want to use inside of the charging case. There is nothing wrong with using only one earbud, in fact it is recommended if you are jogging, working out, or operating a vehicle. This guide assumes that you want to be using both earbuds, but one of the two isn’t cooperating.
  • JLab earbuds have a great fit with their charging case. With many other brands of earbuds, it is hard to tell which earbud belongs in which slot, and it is hard to tell when the earbud is fully seated in the charging case. Although JLabs fit properly in the charging case, it is still possible to incorrectly insert the earbuds in the case. So before you spend too much time troubleshooting, make sure that you are charging the earbuds properly.
  • Remember that, in addition to the earbuds themselves running out of battery, the charging case can also run empty.
  • JLab is fairly generous when it comes to customer support, offering a 2 year warranty on most models. If you are within the 2 year window, remember that you can always contact JLab customer service (via email at support@jlab.com or online at jlab.com/contact). If you have tried every fix listed in this guide and the earbud still isn’t working, it’s probably time to look into a free replacement.
  • JLab also has better technical support than many budget headphone companies. You can find the manual for your particular model of earbuds at https://www.jlab.com/pages/manuals

JLab Earbuds, One Side Not Working – Common Causes

(1) Incorrect Bluetooth Setup

If your earbuds are brand new, you need to pull and discard the plastic tab in order to “activate” the earbuds. The charging case should start pulsing blue light at this point.

Setting Up JLab Go Air Earbuds

  • Pull tab and remove the earbuds from the case.
  • One earbud should be blinking white and blue. This means that it is ready to pair to a device.
  • Now, access your device’s (phone, computer, etc.) bluetooth list and select “JLab GO Air.”
  • In the future, whenever you try to connect, all you need to do is take the earbuds out of the charging case and they should automatically pair to this device.

Setting Up JLab JBuds Air v3

  • Remove earbuds from the charging case.
  • Next, press and hold each earbud for 3 or more seconds. This powers the earbuds on.
  • Lastly, access your device’s bluetooth list and select “JLab JBuds Air.”
  • As above, to connect in the future, just remove your earbuds from the charging case and power them on. They should automatically pair to your device

Setting Up Other JLab Earbuds

Regardless of what model of JLab earbuds you have, you can find the manual at the JLab website. From there, you can follow the specific steps to setup and pair your earbuds. 

Although most earbuds follow similar steps to setup, each model is slightly different from the next.

We have also prepared a more thorough guide on how to pair JLab earbuds.

(2) Pairing Issues with Other Device

Oftentimes, the problem isn’t with your earbuds. Instead, the problem may be your phone, or your phone’s connection to the JLab earbuds.

First, access the bluetooth list on your phone, computer, MP3 player, or whatever you are using as an audio source.

Now, “Forget” or disconnect the JLabs earbuds from the connected device.

Next, pair the earbuds to your device once again. Sometimes this can “reset” the connection between your phone and earbuds. With any luck, this can resolve the issue.

If you still have one earbud that won’t work, I would recommend pairing the earbuds to a different device. This way, you can determine whether there is a problem with your earbuds or a problem with your phone. 

If the earbud still doesn’t work, even when connected to another device, continue with the troubleshooting steps below.

If both of your earbuds work when connected to a new device, then you know the issue is being caused by your audio device. You will then want to try turning bluetooth off, resetting the device, or otherwise troubleshooting the bluetooth issues on your phone/MP3 player.

(3) One Earbud is Powered Off

This may seem obvious, but often the problem is simply that one earbud isn’t powered on. 

For JLab GO Air earbuds, both earbuds power on/off independently. So, it is entirely possible that you could be listening to music on your right earbud even though the left earbud is powered off. To rectify, press and hold the button for 3 seconds.

Do we feel a little bit silly listing this as a “fix” for an earbud not working? Yes, absolutely. But you would be surprised how many tech problems are caused by a gadget that simply isn’t turned on.

(4) You Need to Manually Reset the Earbuds

Again, you can find the owner’s manual for any pair of JLab earbuds at the JLab website. 

Resetting JLab GO Air

Put both earbuds in the case, then “forget” the earbuds from your connected bluetooth device.

Next, quickly tap on one earbud 7 times (while it is still in the case). The earbud should blink blue 3 times.

Then, quickly tap on the other earbud 7 times (while it is still in the case). The earbud should blink blue 3 times.

Now, take both earbuds out of the case. One should be showing a solid white light, while the other should be blinking blue and white. This indicates that the earbud is ready to pair.

Resetting JLab JBuds Air

Put both earbuds in the case, then “forget” the earbuds from your connected bluetooth device.

Next, quickly tap on one earbud 7 times (while it is still in the case). The earbud should blink blue 4 times.

Then, quickly tap on the other earbud 7 times (while it is still in the case). The earbud should blink blue 4 times.

Now, take both earbuds out of the case. One should be showing a solid white light, while the other should be blinking blue and white. This indicates that the earbud is ready to pair.

(5) One Earbud is Out of Battery

Again, this seems obvious, but we are listing it anyway because it is a fairly common cause of problems.

Before spending too much time troubleshooting, be sure that both earbuds are fully charged. Voice prompts usually warn you that an earbud is running low on battery, but it is possible that you have missed the prompt. 

On the JLab GO Air, the “Low battery” prompt means the earbud is under 25% battery, and the “Goodbye” prompt means the battery has reached 0%. 

If you place both earbuds in the case and the case has solid green lights, the earbud has at least 25% battery life. Then, a pulsing blue light should show, which means the earbuds are charging. Once fully charged, the light will turn solid blue.

When you remove the now-fully charged earbuds, they should automatically power on and connect.

On JBuds Air v3, blue lights while in the charging case means they are charging. Once fully charged, the light will turn off.

One last point to remember – the charging case can also run out of battery. So be sure that your charging case has enough charge to power your earbuds.

(6) Faulty or Damaged Earbuds

For budget earbuds, JLabs usually rate pretty well for durability. However, they still aren’t perfect.

Extreme heat and cold can damage earbuds, as can drops and tumbles. Water can also be devastating to earbuds, especially if it comes into contact with the terminals on the charging case.

If your earbuds are less than 2 years old, take advantage of the 2 year manufacturer’s warranty offered by JLab.

(7) One Earbud Has Lost All Battery Capacity

Diminishing battery life is a reality of earbuds. Based on the design of earbuds, the battery is tiny. And especially with budget earbuds, the battery is often low quality.

The constant charging cycle that earbuds are exposed to in the charging case also causes damage to the longevity of the battery. There are a few manufacturers that are working to rectify this problem, but at this point it is still a necessary evil when using charging cases.

Over time, battery life will shorten and shorten. Eventually, the earbud won’t hold a charge at all. At this point, there is no choice but to replace your earbuds. If the device is still under warranty, obviously you should contact the manufacturer for replacement.

(8) Debris Buildup Needs to Be Cleaned

This isn’t likely to be the cause of your earbuds malfunctioning. But if you have made it to this point in the guide, it is worth considering.

Try cleaning your earbuds, especially the one that isn’t working, and especially if there is heavy buildup.

More importantly, be sure that there is no debris interfering with the charging process. Gently clean the port where the earbud plugs into the adapter. Then, place the earbud in the adaptor and check whether or not the device charges properly.

Final thoughts

JLab earbuds aren’t perfect, but they are pretty solid considering the budget price tag.

Another benefit of JLab earbuds is that JLab has a good (2 year) warranty, along with pretty decent help videos that can be found online. JLab also posts owner’s manuals online, so you can find the manual for your particular earbud model on the JLab website.

And lastly, if you have made it through this entire article without finding a fix, I will just go ahead and say it – it’s probably time to buy a new pair of earbuds. If you still aren’t ready to part with your beloved earbuds, see here or here for methods to fix this issue on other earbuds — you might just stumble across a solution that applies to JLab as well.