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JLab Earbuds, One Side Not Working – How to Fix?

JLab earbuds have become increasingly popular in recent years. Over the last decade, it’s grown from an unknown new brand trying to make its mark, to one that you can’t help seeing in every store you visit.

But despite their popularity, JLab wireless earbuds have been plagued by a strange issue that has reared its head on more than one online blog and forum where a large number of users have reported, “JLab earbuds, one side not working.” 

If you own a pair of JLab earbuds and would like to know why this happens and how to fix one JLab earbud not working, then let’s take a closer look at the issue.


Common Causes of One JLab Earbud Not Working

JLab Earbuds, One Side Not Working

The first thing you’ll note when you start looking into this problem is that most users report having trouble with the left earbud and not the right one. This should not be too surprising. Most wireless earphones on the market use the right earphone as the central paring device, and the left one is just “piggybacking,” so to speak.

 With that being said, let’s take a look at the most common reasons why one JLab earbud isn’t working.

Bluetooth is Not Setup Properly

When JLAB earbuds ship from the factory, there is a thin plastic strip inserted into a small opening on the charging case. This tab needs to be removed to activate the earbuds and the case for the first time. Once the tab is removed, a blue light will flash on the charging case. 

Here are the steps for how to set up JLab earbuds for the first time:

JLab Go

  1. Pull out the plastic tab, and remove the earbuds from the case. 
  2. One or both of the earbuds will be alternating between blue and white light. This indicates that they are ready to be paired to a source device. 
  3. Open the Bluetooth settings on your source device (phone, tablet, laptop) and search for your JLab earbuds among the available devices. Select them to pair.
  4. After you have done this setup, all you have to do to connect in the future is to remove the earbuds from the case, and they will automatically link to your device. 

JLab JBuds Air v3

  1. Open the case and remove both earbuds.
  2. Press and hold the buttons on each of the earbuds for three seconds or more. This will power the earbuds on and automatically place them in pairing mode. 
  3. Open the Bluetooth settings on your source device and select the JLab earbuds from the list of available devices. 
  4. When you wish to connect in the future, simply remove the earbuds from the case, and they will automatically sync with your device. 

Other JLab Earbuds

If you are using a model that is not one of the ones I’ve already covered, the setup process is very similar. 

That being said, you can still get a manual in PDF format for your model from the JLAB website. There are some models with slightly different setup procedures, so it is worth getting a hold of the right manual if you’ve lost your hard copy. 

Pairing Issues with the Source Device 

Connection problems with wireless devices are a process of elimination. First, you need to determine whether the problems are with the earbuds or the device that you are using as your audio source. 

Start by accessing the Bluetooth settings on the source device. If the JLab earbuds appear among the known devices, make your device “forget” the JLab earphones. This will erase the connection and settings from your source device’s memory. 

Once the earphones have been disconnected, power them up again and pair them to the device. This will have the effect of “resetting” the connection and removing any potential bugs that might be in the system. 

Hopefully, this will resolve your issues…

But, if you are still having trouble with your JLab earbuds, one side not working, you need to try pairing them to a different source device. This will be the final step in determining whether the problem lies with the earbuds or your source device. 

If the earbuds work fine when connected to another source device, then you know that your device is the issue. You can then restart the device and see if this solves the issue. If not, consult the device’s manual or troubleshooting guide for further help. 

However, if you connect your JLabs to a different source device and you still only get audio from one earbud, then we need to take a look at more troubleshooting options. 

One JLab Earbud is Powered Off

Powered Off

This might seem silly, but you would be surprised how often this turns out to be the cause of the problem. 

If you are using the JLab Go earbuds, then you need to make double sure that this is not the case. This is because both earbuds are powered on and off individually. 

Should you discover that one earbud is not turned on, hold down the power button for three seconds or more, and it will power on. If it does not, it might need charging. 

The Earbuds Need To Be Manually Reset

Performing a reset on the earbuds puts them back in the state they were in when they shipped from the factory. It’s a standard option programmed into tech to help solve inexplicable issues like one of your JLab earbuds is not working

Again, it is worth noting that you should take a look at your device’s manual on how to perform a reset. There might be slightly differing procedures for your model.

User manuals can easily be found on the JLab website. But, to save a little time, here’s how to reset popular JLab earbud models.

Resetting JLab Go Air

  1. Start by placing both earbuds in the case and closing the lid.
  2. Open the Bluetooth settings on your source device and forget the JLab earbuds.
  3. Open the lid of the charging case and then press one of the earbud buttons seven times. Do not remove the earbud from the case when you do this. The earbud’s light will blink blue three times. 
  4. Repeat the process with the other earbud. Make sure that it flashes blue three times after you press the button. 
  5. Remove both earbuds from the charging case. One of them will be solid blue, and the other will be blinking blue and white to indicate that they are in pairing mode. 
  6. Pair them with your source device and see if the problem has been fixed. 

Resetting JLabs JBuds Air

  1. Place both earbuds inside the charging case and close the lid.
  2. Open the Bluetooth settings on your source device and forget the JLab earbuds.
  3. Open the charging case lid and tap the button on one of the earbuds seven times. Do not remove the earbud from the case when you do this. The light will blink blue four times.
  4. Repeat the process with the other earbud. Remember to check that the light blinks blue four times.
  5. Remove both earbuds from the charging case. One of them will have a solid white light, and the other will be blinking between blue and white. This indicates that they are in pairing mode. 
  6. Pair the earbuds with your source device and check if the problem has been resolved. 

One JLab Earbud Has No Battery Life 

Once again, this might seem like a silly thing, but this can happen. When it comes to JLab earbuds, one side not working, it’s worth knowing why and how to fix it.

JLab earphones use voice prompts to tell you when the battery life on either one of the earbuds is getting below a certain level. It is possible that you missed the last prompt. Therefore, you’re under the impression that there ought to be more battery left than there is. 

On the JLab Go Air model… 

The “Low Battery” prompt will play when the battery life for either earbud has reached 25%. Then, a “Goodbye” prompt will play when the earbud’s battery life has reached 0%.

You can also check the battery life using the charging case. Simply place both earbuds inside the case. If the light on the case is solid green, it means that there is at least 25% battery left.  

Once the light on the case begins to pulse in a blue color, you know that the battery is getting charged. When it turns to a solid blue, the battery has been fully charged. 

JLab JBuds are charged in the same way… 

The indicators are the only difference. When the case and the buds are being charged, there will be light inside the case. When the light goes off, it means that the case has been fully charged. 

If you are having trouble charging your JLab earbuds, make sure to double-check that there is enough charge in the case, or it will not be able to charge the earbuds. 

JLab Earbuds Are Faulty or Damaged

JLab has been around for about a decade, and the company’s reputation for quality and durability is very good. That having been said, they are still not perfect, and sometimes faults or mishaps can occur.

It is possible that your earbuds were exposed to some undue cold or heat during manufacture or transportation. Maybe the damage occurred after you received them, but you may not be aren’t aware of it. 

A nasty fall or tumble could cause permanent damage to components that are necessary for proper functioning. So, if your earbuds still fall within the two-year warranty period, then taking advantage of this and getting a replacement is your safest bet. 

One Earbud Lost All Battery Capacity

Battery Capacity

Batteries have a life cycle. The batteries installed inside the earbuds are very small, and depending on the budget range, they can be very low quality as well. Furthermore, charging batteries affects their eventual life cycle.

So, earbuds subjected to constant charging, in varying intervals and from varying stages of capacity, will diminish the battery’s ability to hold a charge effectively. The cells can get worn out to the point where no amount of charging will help.

When you have reached this point, the best option is to get them replaced. Hopefully, your earbuds are still under warranty. 

Debris Buildup is Muffling the Sound

Along with wax from our ears, plenty of microscopic pieces of dust, fiber, and moisture can get inside the small openings of an earbud and cause a build-up. 

Eventually, this build-up will worsen to the point that the sound becomes muffled. It might get so bad that you are under the false impression that one JLab earbud has stopped working.

What should you do?

Clean your earbuds. Get some Cotton Swabs, a  Lint Free Microfibre Cloth (or a Paper Towel), and 70% Isopropyl Alcohol.

Gently dab the swaps in the alcohol and use them to loosen and clean away any debris built up inside the openings. Make sure that you also clean the contact points inside the charging case. Problems with the connection may also explain why one earbud is not functioning correctly. 

Wipe down the earbuds and the case after to ensure that the alcohol doesn’t build up and cause damage. After cleaning, place the earbuds inside the case and ensure that they are charging correctly. 

Looking to Get Some JLab Earbuds?

We can help with that. Take a look at our detailed JLab JBuds Air Icon Review, our JLab JBuds Air Sport Review, our JLab Epic Air Sport Review, our JLab JBuds Air Executive Review, and our JLab Jbuds Air Review for quality earbuds currently on the market.

Also, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best True Wireless Earbuds, the Most Comfortable Earbuds, the Best Earbuds for Running, the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, the Best iPhone Earbuds, and the Best Cheap Earbuds Under $100 you can buy in 2023.

JLab Earbuds, One Side Not Working – Final Thoughts

JLab has slowly but surely built a reputation for making decent-quality earbuds. They are popular, but they are not perfect. Luckily, they offer a two-year warranty on all their earbuds. Something you don’t often see with budget manufacturers. 

Not only that, there’s a great website with proper technical support resources. Plus, all the manuals are available for download. 

If you have made it to this point… 

And, if you are still having trouble with a pair of JLab earbuds, then you might need to get some new ones. If they are older than five years, then you should be proud of how long they have lasted, as their batteries have probably worn out, and there’s nothing you can do about that. 

However, if they are less than two years old, you need to take advantage of the warranty and get them replaced. 

Until next time, happy listening.

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About Joseph L. Hollen

Joseph is a session musician, writer, and filmmaker from south Florida. He has recorded a number of albums and made numerous short films, as well as contributing music to shorts and commercials. 

He doesn't get as much time to practice and play as he used to, but still manages (just about!) to fulfill all his session requests. According to Joseph, it just gets harder as you get older; you rely on what you learned decades ago and can play without thinking. Thankfully that's what most producers still want from him.

He is a devout gear heat and has been collecting musical instruments all his life. As his wife, Jill, keeps on saying, "You're very good at buying nice instruments, but terrible at selling them!".

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