How do I change the left and right volume on my phone?

What it Means to Adjust Volume on Left and Right

Stereo audio refers to audio that contains two independent audio channels – a left channel and a right channel. This allows stereo audio to produce a multidimensional sound experience. Adjusting the left and right volume refers to controlling the volume levels of each individual channel.

There are a few reasons why someone may want to adjust the left/right volume balance on their phone:

  • If you are experiencing hearing loss or impairment in one ear, adjusting the volume can help compensate so audio is audible in both ears.
  • Some people prefer having vocals or certain instruments louder on one side when listening to music. Adjusting left/right volume allows you to tweak the balance.
  • When using only one earbud or headphone, increasing the volume on that side can help the audio sound more balanced.
  • If audio seems imbalanced due to hardware issues, adjusting the channels can help compensate.

Overall, independent left and right volume control provides more flexibility and customization for your listening experience.

Checking if Your Phone Supports Left/Right Volume

Note that not all phones have the feature to adjust left and right volume. Whether or not your phone supports separate left/right volume controls depends on the model and manufacturer. There are a couple ways you can check if your smartphone allows adjusting the stereo audio balance:

  • Do a search for your specific phone model and “left right volume” or “stereo audio balance.” For example, search for “Galaxy S10 left right volume” to find results and discussions about whether that phone supports the feature.
  • Go into the Settings app on your phone and look for an “Accessibility” or “Hearing enhancements” menu where there may be options to adjust left/right volume.
  • Try using your phone’s volume buttons while playing audio to see if holding one side decreases that side’s volume specifically.
  • Check if there is a left/right audio balance setting within certain media apps like music players or video players.

If you cannot find any settings on your phone to control the balance, then likely your model does not support independent left and right volume adjustment. You may need to use a third-party app or consider upgrading to a newer phone model if this is an important accessibility feature for you.

Adjusting Volume in Your Phone’s Settings

Most smartphones allow you to adjust the left/right audio balance directly in the Settings menu. Here’s how to find it:

On an iPhone, open the Settings app and go to Accessibility > Audio/Visual. There you’ll find a “Balance” slider you can adjust to change the left/right volume levels [1].

On Android, go to Settings > Accessibility > Audio & on-screen text > Audio balance. Use the slider to adjust the left/right balance [2].

On both platforms, moving the slider left will increase the left channel volume, while moving right increases the right channel. Center the slider for equal left/right output.

This is the easiest way to adjust headphone balance on your phone. The changes apply system-wide so all audio is balanced the same way.

Using Volume Buttons to Control Left/Right

Many smartphones allow you to control the left/right audio balance using the physical volume buttons on the side of the phone. This feature may need to be enabled in your phone’s settings first.

On an iPhone, go to Settings > Accessibility > Audio/Visual and turn on “Balance.” This will allow you to press the upper or lower volume button to shift audio left or right when headphones are connected. For example, pressing the upper volume button will shift sound to the right channel, while the lower button shifts to the left [1].

For Android devices, go to Settings > Accessibility > Hearing and enable “Volume balance.” You can then press the volume buttons to control left/right balance when using wired headphones. The upper button increases the right channel while the lower button increases the left. Some manufacturers may use a different implementation, so check your phone’s user guide if needed.

On Windows 10 PCs and tablets, holding the Shift key while pressing volume up/down will control left/right balance. Enable “Change left-right balance” under Ease of Access settings first [2].

Using your device’s hardware volume buttons to control balance provides a convenient way to adjust stereo audio on the go without having to dig into software menus.

Adjusting in Media Apps

Some specific media apps, like music players and video players, may have their own built-in settings to adjust the left/right audio balance. This allows you to change the stereo mixing just for content played in that particular app.

For example, the Google Play Music app has a left/right balance slider in the settings. The VLC media player app also includes balance controls you can adjust. Even some video streaming apps like Netflix allow changing the audio track balance while watching movies and shows.

Check the settings of your favorite media apps to see if they have options to set the left/right volume levels. This is an easy way to tweak the audio balance on a per-app basis without affecting your whole device.

Here are some popular Android apps known to include left/right volume controls:

  • Google Play Music – Settings > Audio effects > Balance
  • Spotify – Settings > Playback > Audio balance
  • YouTube Music – Settings > Equalizer
  • VLC Media Player – Audio > Audio Track > Stereo audio mode
  • Poweramp – Settings > Audio > Balance

Using Accessibility Settings

Most smartphones include accessibility settings to help hearing impaired users adjust audio for their specific needs. These allow you to control the left/right balance and volume independently. Here are the steps to enable and adjust the accessibility audio settings on Android and iOS:

On Android 10 or newer:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap Accessibility.
  3. Under Audio, tap Audio Adjustment.
  4. Move the slider for Left/Right Audio Balance to adjust volume on each channel.1

On iOS:

  1. Go to Settings > Accessibility > Audio/Visual.
  2. Adjust the Balance slider to change left/right volume.2

The accessibility settings allow precise control over left/right balance for headphones or speakers. This helps compensate for hearing loss in one ear.

Troubleshooting Tips

If you are having issues getting the left/right volume controls to work properly on your phone, here are some troubleshooting tips:

Check that your headphones are fully plugged in. Sometimes if the headphone jack is not fully inserted, it will default to mono audio instead of stereo. Unplug your headphones and plug them back in to get a secure connection.

Make sure your headphones are compatible with stereo audio output. Some older headphones may only support mono audio. Try testing with a different newer pair of headphones or earbuds to see if that fixes the issue.

Toggle your phone’s settings off and back on again. Go into your phone’s audio settings, turn off any enhancements or stereo widening effects, apply the changes, then turn them back on again. This resets the audio systems and will reenable stereo sound.

Try adjusting the balance in a media app instead. Open an app like YouTube, find a video, and look for balance/stereo controls in the app. Adjusting here may work better than the system settings.

Update your phone software and apps. Having the latest firmware and app versions can resolve incompatibility issues causing left/right imbalance.

As a last resort, you can backup your data and perform a factory reset on your phone to restore all settings to their defaults.

If you still can’t get left/right volume working properly after trying these tips, you may need to contact your device manufacturer or mobile carrier for further troubleshooting assistance.


Additional Stereo Audio Tips

Adjusting the balance between the left and right channels can provide more than just adjusting volume. Here are some other uses for stereo balance controls:

  • Create a different listening experience when using headphones vs speakers. Since headphones have left and right channels directly in each ear, you may want to adjust balance compared to listening on speakers, where both channels blend in the room.
  • Emphasize certain instruments or vocals by panning them more to one side.
  • Simulate spatial or 3D audio effects by adjusting balance. For example, you can make it seem like sounds are coming towards you or moving around the stereo field.
  • Fix audio balance issues on recordings that were not properly centered.

When adjusting balance, be careful not to overdo it. Subtle changes can be more effective and natural sounding. Also, beware of extreme panning which can cause ear fatigue over time.

Third-Party Apps

While most Android phones have built-in settings to adjust left/right volume balance, some users may want more granular control. There are a few recommended third-party apps that provide enhanced left/right volume adjustments:

Left Right Ear & Speaker Test – This app allows you to test and adjust left/right volume balance with sliders. It also has hearing tests to check for mismatch between ears.

Stereo Test – Left and Right – Simple app to identify left/right channels and adjust balance. Easy to use interface.

Compared to built-in options, third-party apps provide more granular control and additional testing features. However, built-in settings are simpler to access and use. Third-party apps may have ads and may require more permissions. Overall, third-party apps are recommended for those needing precise left/right audio adjustments.


There are several ways to adjust the left and right volume on your phone. The main ways include adjusting the stereo balance in your phone’s accessibility settings, using your phone’s volume buttons while playing audio, and adjusting left/right levels in certain media apps.

Being able to control the left and right volume on your phone has many benefits. It allows you to compensate for hearing loss or imbalances in one ear. You can also adjust the audio for a better experience when using stereo headphones or external speakers. Overall, it gives you more customizable control over your audio output.

With the various methods covered in this guide, you should now feel confident adjusting the left and right volume balance on your Android or iPhone. Take some time to find the options that work best for your phone and audio needs. Having independent control over stereo channels can make listening to music, videos, games and other audio more immersive and enjoyable.

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