Skullcandy Left Earbud Not Working? This Is Why

skullcandy left earbud not working

Skullcandy has a well-deserved reputation for being one of the best in the biz when it comes to cranking out quality audio accessories, thanks to their superb sound quality, long-lasting durability, and ease of use offered by their products.

Their wireless earbuds are an especially hot commodity, having been spotted on a host of high-profile celebrities, including Reese Witherspoon, James Harden, Charlize Theron, and Snoop Dogg.

Alas, even the most acclaimed gadgets are prone to occasional defects. One of the most common conundrums Skullcandy users encounter is that one of their earbuds (generally the left one) suddenly ceases functioning or responding to commands.

Any number of technological hiccups might account for this sort of snafu. Fortunately, each of them has a quick and painless solution that should have you back to jamming out in no time flat.

Why Is Only One of My Earbuds Working?

As mentioned, there are several possible explanations for why one earbud is not working. Occam’s Razor dictates that we consider the simplest explanation first: namely, that your earbuds have accidentally ended up in Solo Mode.

Solo Mode and Single-Earbud Listening

Skullcandy was one of the first big-name headphone companies to give users the option of listening in mono as well as stereo. Their aptly-named Solo Mode format allows the listener to tune in to a single earbud at a time in case they want to be able to have a conversation without removing a bud or remain aware of what’s going on around them.

With standard Indy wireless earbuds, it’s only possible to enter Solo Mode using the right earbud, as Skullcandy has designated it the “primary” bud. The updated Indy Evo and other newer models improved on this feature by enabling listeners to choose which bud they want to receive signals and to switch back and forth between the two at will.

How to Turn off Solo Mode?

You can only access Solo Mode if your non-primary earbud is safely nestled in its charging case. If you’ve been listening with both buds but stashed one of them back in the case so as not to misplace it, the unit might have automatically initiated Solo Mode. This may be why your left earbud isn’t working.

No sweat—exiting Solo Mode is no more complicated than popping the other earbud back in. As soon as it leaves the charging case, the two buds will re-pair, and you’ll be back to blasting your favorite songs or podcasts in glorious stereo.

Easy enough. If you have both earbuds in but only one of them is emitting sound, however, it means the hangup lies elsewhere.

On that note, it’s time to familiarize yourself with some of the more helpful strategies for how to fix earbuds that only work on one side.

Why Is Only One of My Earbuds Working

How to Reset Skullcandy Earbuds?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty details of addressing specific issues, here’s a speedy primer on how to reset your Skullcandy Indy earbuds. Nine out of ten times, resetting your earbuds will be enough to solve whatever problem you’re experiencing.

1. Tap the First of Your Two Earbuds 4x

Start with both earbuds in their respective ports inside their charging case. Take one of the buds out of its cradle and tap the skull icon on the back exactly four times. Doing so will power off the earbud, prompting it to reset itself. You’ll know you’ve been successful when you see the display light turn red.

2. Repeat With the Remaining Bud

Place the deactivated earbud back into the charging case and grab the other bud. Do the same thing you just did to the first bud, tapping the backside four times and watching for the indicator light to turn red. When it does, put the second bud back in the case alongside the first. Wait a few moments to confirm that both buds are off and actively charging.

3. Remove Both Earbuds From Their Case

Now, simply take both buds out of the charging case. This will cause them to power back on automatically. With any luck, the original malfunction will have sorted itself out in the process.

How to Fix Earbuds Without Sound in One Ear?

Once you’ve ruled out Solo Mode and random glitches, you can begin taking more concrete steps to correct the problem.

Of course, the precise steps you take will depend on the underlying cause of the disruption. To help you figure out just what that is, we’ve provided descriptions of three of the usual suspects known for causing playback-related issues, along with instructions for clearing them up after you’ve made the appropriate diagnosis.

Ready to get into it? Let’s go!

How to Fix Earbuds Without Sound in One Ear

Possibility One – Your Earbuds Have Come Partially Unpaired

“Pairing” is what it’s called when one wireless device syncs up with another via Bluetooth.

In rare instances, your Skullcandy earbuds may pair successfully with your smartphone, speaker, or other listening device but fail to pair with one another. You’ll only get sound out of a single bud when this happens.

This is probably the most involved of all the remedies we’ll be covering here, but it’s still a piece of cake.

How to Pair Skullcandy Wireless Earbuds?

The following instructions cover how to pair Skullcandy Indy earbuds, one of the company’s best-selling models.

  1. Place both of your earbuds in their charging case.
  2. Pull up the list of previously-paired devices on your listening device. Find your Skullcandy earbuds (their default name should appear as “Indy”), then select “Forget This Device” to remove them from the paired list.
  3. Disable the Bluetooth on your listening device.
  4. Take your right (primary) earbud out of its case to power it on. It will still be inactive.
  5. Reset the bud by tapping the skull icon on the back exactly four times.
  6. Return your right earbud to the charging case and repeat steps 4 and 5 with your left earbud.
  7. Remove both newly-reset earbuds from the case to power them on. You should hear a beep indicating that the earbuds have successfully paired with one another, followed by a voice saying “Pairing,” alerting you that your earbuds are discoverable to other devices.
  8. Re-enable Bluetooth on your listening device and wait for your earbuds to appear in the suggested pairing list. Select the earbuds to pair them with your listening device.

Note: You’ll use this same procedure if your Skullcandy Indy Evos are not pairing together correctly. The only difference is that you’ll need to touch and hold the skull icon on each of your Evo earbuds for six seconds to power them off, then repeat this action for ten full seconds to reset them.

Possibility Two - One Earbud Isn’t Charging

Possibility Two – One Earbud Isn’t Charging

Another reason why you might not be hearing anything coming out of one of your earbuds is that it’s dead.

That’s right, the situation could be as straightforward as one of your buds charging the way it’s supposed to and the other—well, not.

How to Get the Juice Flowing Again?

Start by checking to see if there’s debris clogging the bud’s charging port or clinging to its connector pins. Over time, dirt, lint, and other materials can accumulate in these areas as a result of extensive use and inadequate care, preventing the earbuds from making contact with the charger.

If necessary, you can use a toothpick, cotton swab, or can of compressed air to gently remove debris from your earbuds’ charging elements. Afterward, put them back in their ports and see if both buds resume charging. If so, you’re good to go.

Assuming the charging ports and pins look A-OK, examine the problematic earbud for signs of loose connections or structural damage. If one of your earbuds has become broken, you may have no choice but to purchase a replacement set.

Possibility Three – There’s Been a Drivers Failure

Drivers are basically bits of code written into a device’s programming that tell it how to function.

In this case, your earbuds have drivers that execute key tasks, help them link up with other devices, and perform other crucial actions. When these fail, one outcome can be an unresponsive bud.

How to Reset Skullcandy Earbuds

How to Update Your Device’s Drivers?

If you’re rocking Indy ANCs, Grind Fuels, Push Actives, or another more recent model, scheduling a firmware update might help you resolve a lopsided signal.

Pull up your Skullcandy App to see if there’s an update available. If so, an update notification will appear at the top of the screen. Tap this notification and select the “Download” option to install the update. The kind of firmware patches that most tech companies put out periodically often include bug fixes that serve to enhance driver performance.

Sadly, there’s not much you can do about bad drivers on older models other than perhaps to take them to a licensed Skullcandy technician for repairs (or spring for an upgrade—a decision we guarantee you won’t regret).


Don’t let technical difficulties kill your vibe. By learning to identify common issues with your Skullcandy wireless earbuds and deal with them when they occur, you stand to get more out of your listening devices and stay immersed in the music you love no matter where you happen to be or what you happen to be doing.