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OnePlus users are facing a strange audio problem when using wired headphones

The issue isn't widespread, but a nuisance for those facing it.

Published onMay 8, 2020

OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2: The old Bullets Wireless on the left and new on the right. They're sitting on the red carrying pouch.

Some OnePlus users are reporting a strange audio problem on their older OnePlus flagships. According to complaints compiled by Android Police, OnePlus phones are weirdly swapping right and left audio channels on wired headphones. These complaints have been spotted on OnePlus’ own forums, Reddit, and XDA’s forums.

So how does the issue affect OnePlus users? Well, swapped audio channels means that audio that’s meant to be heard through the right ear is actually playing out in the left ear. The problem might not be very apparent when listening to music, but could be a nuisance while watching videos or playing games, where channel separation is essential for a good experience.

The problem seems to primarily affect the OnePlus 7 series, but it has also been reported on phones dating as far back as the OnePlus 5. Strangely, the stereo separation seems to work just fine while using wireless earphones.

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OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro in front of box

Some users have been able to get around the problem by installing media players such as VLC that help reverse audio channels, or by listening with mono audio. However, there’s no official fix out for it just yet. It also doesn’t seem to affect a lot of OnePlus users, but the company told Android Police that it’s looking into the matter.

If it’s a software issue, OnePlus could easily address it with an update. You can keep a track of all the latest OnePlus 7 updates here. We’ll also update this article if and when a fix is rolled out for the problem.

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