How to Switch Your Android Phone to “Mono” (So You Can Wear One Earbud)

When you listen to music as it’s intended, you generally hear two different things from each speaker—this is called “stereo” sound. However, there are legitimate reasons to want to hear everything combined in both speakers, which is called “mono.” On Android, this is easy.

For example, you may want to only wear one earbud if you’re a runner, cyclist, or other outdoorsy type. Or perhaps you’re hard of hearing in one ear and panning stereo sound effects just don’t work very well. In those cases, you can merge both audio tracks and send them both out of each ear. Here’s how to do it on Android.

Note: I’m using stock Android 8.1 on the Pixel 2 XL here, so this may look slightly different depending on your exact handset.

First, pull down the notification panel and tap the gear icon.

From there, find the “Accessibility” entry.

In this menu, find the “Mono Audio” option and toggle it on.

On Samsung Galaxy devices, you’ll have to tap into the “Hearing” menu before you’ll see the Mono Audio entry.

Boom: from now on, all audio will be directed to both earbuds, so you can wear one without losing anything. Or just hear everything in both ears. Whatever.

Cameron Summerson is a die-hard Android fan, Chicago Bulls fanatic, metalhead, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at HTG, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, spinning legs on the bike, chugging away on the 6-string, or being disappointed in the Bulls.