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How to listen with a lossless wired headset on your iPhone or iPad

With wireless earbuds, you can place one in its charging case and use the other on its own when you want to keep one ear occupied. How can you simulate the same effect with wired earphones? Easy: Use an accessibility feature in iOS and iPadOS. Here’s how to make it work.

At first sight

Time to complete: 2 minutes Required tools: iOS 16 or iPadOS 16 Required materials: Earphones or wired headphones


iOS 16 settings

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Go to Settings > Accessibility > Audiovisual (in the Hearing section).


Mono audio

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To enable Mono audio.


Sound balance

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Under Equilibriumdrag the slider far left (for left only) or far right (for right only).

There’s no way to set it as an audio profile or any other method you can tap in and out. When and if you want to resume balanced stereo sound, drag the slider to the center (it will read 0.00) and disable mono audio.

It also works with wired and wireless headphones, if you want to have one “cup” on and one off, and have all the sound in one ear and no sound leaking out.

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