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Today, I decided to test an old in-ear headphones that has been gathering dust in my table to see if it’s still working. Unfortunately, I found that left speaker is not as loud as the right speaker. Using it to listen any music will give me a disorienting effect. I was half-way from throwing this headphones into the rubbish bin. Suddenly, I remember that we can actually adjust the volume balance in Windows.

Here’s how I did it in my Windows 10 Professional:

  • STEP 1: Right click on the Volume Icon in the System Tray. It will pop up something like below, then click Sounds

    But if you you have something like below, click “Open Sound Settings”. A new page will open, on the right side of that page, click “Sound Control Panel”. Skip step 2, go straight to step 3.

  • STEP 2: A new window will pop up like below


  • STEP 3:Click Playback tab.


    Once above window show up, select the active device, then click Properties.

  • STEP 4:Now the Speaker’s window will pop like below.


    Click the Levels tab.

  • STEP 5:In the Levels tab, click the Balance button, as shown below.


  • STEP 6:Now the Balance window will pop up.
    With this we can now adjust the balance between left and right speaker. The best way to adjust is while listening to music. This way we know immediately the best balance setting for the headphones.

** Update 20 July 2020

Based on Melanie’s suggestion:

  • FIRST: Right-click Volume Icon in the System Tray. Click Volume Mixer.
  • THEN: Click the speaker
  • Now you’re at Step 4 of the original steps

That’s all. I hope it helps.

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How To Adjust Audio Balance (Left - Right) In Windows 10, 4.5 out of 5 based on 224 ratings

About Hardono

Hi, I'm Hardono. I am working as a Software Developer. I am working mostly in Windows, dealing with .NET, conversing in C#. But I know a bit of Linux, mainly because I need to keep this blog operational. I've been working in Logistics/Transport industry for more than 11 years.

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31 comments so far

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  1. Windows 10 Drivers overrode AMD drivers and erased both headphone jacks, rolled back and uninstalled and reinstalled and everything…still troubleshooting, but anyway, more importantly I had a quick and easy workaround using application-specific balance to play music out of one set of speakers while using the other set as an amp for my playing along…but we TOOK OUT application-specific balance in the volume mixer, you either balance everything or nothing…that’s like not putting a sleep feature on tv remotes anymore- this is a great feature, but this is the future! Let’s take out all the useful well thought-out helpful shit and dumb it down so it looks sleek but doesn’t do the cool useful shit it used to…progress? Hardly…oversight and ignorance, new tech pandering to the lowest common denominator. Doesn’t get any better than Windows XP and Office 2003…everything since just varying degrees of terrible.

  2. Bless you. You’re the only person out of the first 50 google results to actually state HOW to do this. All I got was “It’s in the control panel somewhere” or “I know you can change it” before you. I’ve been dealing with this for months and finally got fed up… turns out my sound was automatically making the right ear have less sound and it was making me slightly motion sick while playing games because the sound didn’t match where the enemy actually was. I won’t feel nauseous during game sessions now!

  3. Thanks, very useful as Im almost deaf on one year. The only google result to actually help

  4. Thanks man, I can only hear like 10% on my left ear right now so I turned down the right side to 10% while keeping the left at 100% to make it sound the same on both ears.

  5. All went well till I got to the last window, all I have is a volume slider, no balance sliders 🙁

    • there is a button that says balance on the window you were on

  6. This is almost a great solution. I’m really glad that it works for some of you.

    Unfortunately, it’s not a technically correct solution for panning ALL sounds to either the left or right. Adjusting the balance in the method shown here simply adjusts the volume balance for whatever would come out of the left or right channels.

    In other words, if sound is solely coming from the left channel, adjusting the left channel to ‘0’ does not redirect those sounds to the right channel.

    I think the correct solution might be using something like Voicemeeter Virtual Audio Mixer (link: ). I haven’t tried this one yet, but the idea is that you can take all your system sounds, override the native Windows audio mixer, and Pan Left/Right to your heart’s desire (depending on which ear is still good at hearin’). It seems with that specific software, you can hit a button to turn the output to Mono. I’m not sure without installing

    That is, of course, if the software (which is free!) works as it seems to after my cursory inspection. I’m sure there’s other applications out there that achieve the same result. I’m still looking for free solutions. If I find one that works and is easy to use I’ll update!

    TL;DR: This solution doesn’t actually pan all the audio to the other side. Need something else. =(


      1) Follow the solution listed in this guide! =)
      2) Press WindowsKey + U. (This opens up Ease of Access settings menu)
      3) Click “Other Options” from the Ease of Access menu
      4) Scroll down to Audio Options
      5) Turn “Mono audio” to “On”

      Voila! Now, all left and right sounds will be played in mono, so using the solution in this guide won’t mean those that are hard of hearing, deaf in one ear, etc. will miss anything intended to go into the other audio channel.

      TL;DR: The author’s original solution helps for one headphone/speaker performing at a different volume than the other, but didn’t address problems for people that are deaf in one ear, or otherwise want all their sound to come out of one stereo channel, whether left or right.

      Hope this helps any folks hard of hearing!

      p.s. It’s also a nifty solution for putting on one headphone and being able to hear everything else in your environment (colleagues at work, significant other at home, TV at home, whatever)

  7. This is weird, i just noticed one of my earbuds was suddenly much quieter, i had never had to do this before on PC so i needed help lol, except when i opened the window to adjust each earbud one was already at 8 and the other at 22, i have never messed around in my audio settings before and this started litterally in the middle of watching a youtube video…
    Im just glad my headphones arent broken, but my computer seems to have a drinking problem now………..

  8. Thanks, I recently had hearing or ear damage and have been hearing things at like 50% in my Right ear so I needed this info to rebalance the audio to where I hear things at an equal level for music and gaming purposes.

  9. Thanks! Why does windoze make this so freaking hard??

  10. Thanks Hardono and your method worked fine on the Line Input. I was doing this because I had a bunch of old cassettes which had been recorded with a very weak Left channel. I adjusted the Line Input balance to improve the balance of the input and it allowed the recording software (NCH Golden Records) to record the music properly. However when I stop the cassette player and turnover to the other side, something somewhere resets the Balance back to 56% on each channel. It’s as though Windows is only allowing the setting to be temporary. Or is could be Golden Records I suppose.

    • You’re welcome, Michael!

      Have you ever used Audacity? It’s a free software to edit audio. Perhaps it could help you analyze the volume of each channel.

  11. When I try this, both left and right volumes automatically match each other, making it just a more complicated way of changing the device volume. any ideas?

    • I have quite literally the same problem, whenever i move the left side only the right follows it with a very slight delay, I tried messing with the drivers uninstalling them and doing all kinds of things but all it does is change the master volume in the end. if it helps im using zihnic over the ear (orange ear muff inner plastic model) headphones.

  12. Windows 10 will not be able to save the difference configured between left and right Speaker.
    If you set Volume Level below the difference, Windows will either arrange the left or the right slider to the new minimum.

    For Example if you set a Balance Level of 34 to the Left Speaker and 46 to right Speaker.
    The configured difference between left and right speaker will mismatch/vanish, when you set the Volume Control below 12.

    Further Example: If you set a Balance Level of 34 to the Left Speaker and 46 to right Speaker. Then you set Volume Level to 0.
    The Balance isn’t saved anymore and when you’ll raise your volume Level again. There is no difference Level of Volume Control at all

    So this isn’t a very clever and satisfying solution built for ages.
    It is just for this moment at all.

    A more long lasting solution would be installing the native software for your SoundCard/Device.
    Because their software should be able to workaround problems like this.

    • You’re absolutely correct. I was scouring the comments specifically looking for this, before I commented.

  13. Dude, I’ve had a blown speaker on a perfectly fine laptop that I am not using to listen to music, but the average male voice in a youtube video for school buzzes and pops like crazy.

    A quick way to get to the speaker properties on Windows 10 home– right click the volume icon in the system tray, then choose Open Volume Mixer. Click the “Speakers” icon, and it will open up the window in step 4 above. (my options in windows home are different than the pro version apparently.)
    Life saver though. I just replaced the battery yesterday to try to stretch another year or two out of this otherwise fine laptop and now I’m set. Much appreciated.

    • Thanks Melanie. I’ve updated the steps as your suggestion

  14. Thanks Hardono for the detailed pictures. I think windows options have changed a little since you posted this. I hit a dead end when there was no “balance” button, but then found it though Melanie’s shortcuts. Not sure why MS likes to hide useful features like this. Thanks Hardono and Melanie! Exactly what I needed.

    • Hi John,

      I’ve updated the steps. Hopefully it helps. Cheers!

  15. Thanks mate. Helped me very much.

  16. Thanks for these clear instructions. However, it didn’t work! The right channel is missing in playback on my machine, and adjusting the balance doesn’t help. I’ve found no reason for the channel to be absent.

    However, I did, years ago, purposefully load all the sound into one channel because I only had one earbud at the time. Maybe this change is persisting somehow beyond all the settings I can see?


    This helped me I have had this problem for 6 months I just assumed that it was a hardware problem and I finally decided to try to see if it was just my settings and so I searched up “How to fix volume distribution windows 10”

    Long story short thank you

  18. This totally fixed my problem!! Thank you SO much!

  19. It seems like this works for most people but when I do it it just adjusts them both and I can’t do one at a time

    • yeah ok so i scrape searched for the answer and you gotta use the registry to turn off absolute volume on them which makes the two channels work independently.

  20. dont work for me

    • which step failed?