How do I change the left right sound balance on my Android 9?

The left/right sound balance refers to the volume levels between the left and right audio channels when listening with headphones or earbuds. Adjusting this balance allows you to customize the audio output to suit your hearing needs and preferences.

There are a few key reasons why adjusting the left/right balance can be useful:

  • If you have hearing loss in one ear, you can increase the volume in just that side to improve clarity.
  • You may want to create a different listening experience by emphasizing certain instruments more on one side.
  • It can help compensate for poorly balanced audio recordings.
  • Some people perceive audio differently between their left and right ears, so customizing the balance helps them hear the audio properly.

Overall, having the option to control the left/right levels allows you to optimize and personalize your listening experience with headphones for comfort, clarity, and enjoyment.

Locate Sound Settings

To adjust sound balance on your Android 9 device, you will first need to open the Settings app. According to Google support, you can access your sound and vibration settings by:

  1. Opening your phone’s Settings app.
  2. Tapping Sound & vibration.

This will open your device’s sound settings where you can locate options for adjusting balance.

Find Channel Balance

In your phone’s Sound Settings menu, find an option called “Channel Balance”
“Audio Balance”
“Left/Right Balance”.
The exact name of this setting may vary slightly depending on your Android version and phone manufacturer, but it will be in the Sound Settings menu and allow you to adjust the balance between the left and right channels.

Use Slider or Buttons

To adjust the left/right balance, use the slider or left/right buttons in the “Audio adjustment” or “Channel balance” section of your Android’s sound settings. You can “Tap and drag the dot left or right to increase the volume in the left or right ear” using the slider. Some devices also have distinct left and right buttons to shift the balance.

Continue adjusting the slider or tapping the left/right buttons until you reach your desired balance. Most Android devices allow you to fully shift the audio to one side or set it evenly between left and right. Test your adjustment with a variety of audio sources, like music or video, to find your preferred setting.

Test with Audio

Once you have used the slider or buttons to change the sound balance, it is important to test the new settings with audio playing. Only by listening can you determine if the sound balance is optimal. Ideally you will want the sound to come equally out of both earphones or speakers.

Play a piece of music or audio through your Android device that you are familiar with. Generally you’ll want to listen for as even a balance as possible:

  • Number one source for balance testing is this reddit headphone balance test post, it provides various audio files for testing left-right sound balance
  • You can also play a track where you know instruments, vocals, etc should come equally out of both sides
  • Listen for one side being louder or certain parts of the audio only coming through on one side
  • Pay attention using high quality wired headphones or external speakers

Adjust the balance slider or left/right buttons further as needed based on what you notice during the audio test. It may take multiple adjustment attempts to achieve the optimal left right balance for your ears and audio setup.

Adjust Further

Once you have set the initial left/right balance using the slider or buttons in the Sound Settings, you’ll want to test it out with various audio sources, like music or a phone call. You may need to make small further adjustments until you reach the desired balance between the left and right channels.

Play some audio you’re familiar with and listen closely, checking if certain instruments or vocals seem louder in one ear versus the other. If needed, go back to Sound Settings and tweak the balance slider a little more left or right. Make small changes then re-test, as even 5% shifts can significantly impact a headphone’s stereo image.

Keep adjusting in incremental amounts until left-to-right balance sounds correctly balanced to your ears with your chosen audio samples. What you perceive as a centered image can depend on the shape of your ear canals and headphones, so take your time finding that sweet spot.

Cite: (Adjust Left and Right Audio Balance of Sound Devices in Windows 10)

Consider Accessibility

Adjusting the left-right balance can help those with hearing loss or issues. For example, someone with more hearing loss in their left ear can shift the balance towards the right side to better hear audio (Accessibility audio settings on Apple Watch). The Android accessibility settings allow you to customize audio for your specific needs.

Changing headphone balance is also useful if you only have hearing in one ear. You can adjust settings so all audio plays in the ear you can hear out of. This makes devices more accessible for those with certain disabilities or medical conditions.

Overall, don’t forget accessibility when adjusting headphone balance. Optimizing settings based on your hearing can make using phones, headphones and apps much easier on a daily basis.

Check Other Apps

Some apps have their own balance controls. For example, many music and video player apps allow you to adjust the left/right balance specifically within that app. So after adjusting the overall system balance, check the settings in your favorite media apps as well.

Two popular Android apps that provide granular left/right audio balance controls are MX Player and Another Music Player. In the app settings, look for options like “Audio balance” or “Left/right control.”

Adjusting balance on a per-app basis means you can customize your listening experience for different use cases. For example, balance tuned for music listening may be slightly different from balance optimized for podcasts or audiobooks.

Reset Balance

After you have adjusted the left/right balance and tested it with audio playback to your liking, you may want to reset the balance back to default center at some point. To do this in Android 9:

  1. Open the Settings app and go to Accessibility > Audio Adjustment.
  2. Tap “Left/right balance.” This will return the slider back to the centered/default position.
  3. You can test audio playback again to confirm the balance is now reset and centered.

Resetting the left/right balance will set it back to the default centered equal balance between left and right audio channels. This can be helpful when you want to undo any adjustments you made previously and start fresh again with a balanced stereo field.


In summary, you can adjust the left/right channel balance on Android 9 devices through the Sound settings menu. Using the balance slider or left/right adjustment buttons allows you to customize the audio output to suit your hearing or listening preferences.

Setting your own left/right balance can make audio clearer if you have hearing loss in one ear. It also lets you tweak the stereo field to put more emphasis on certain instruments in music. Finding the right setting for your ears can simply make listening via headphones or speakers more enjoyable.

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