How to refer to one side of headphones? The word "headphones" is in only plural form, referring to two main components (speakers?) that are put in two ears.

Now my question is how to refer to each side of the headphones separately? (It is relevant for example in case that one of the sides doesn't work anymore.)

I know that I can say simply and generally "one side" doesn't work, but in my native language I can say "headphone" in singular form, then I'm looking for the accurate term for each one of them as a singular)

In addition, there is "headphones" that come/s just for one side only (see second picture), normally for people / host in TV shows, or security-men / policemen.

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • Update: I've look in Oxford and Cambridge dictionaries and only the plural form exist there. Anyway in Wiktionary there are TWO forms: Headphone and Headphones. en.wiktionary.org/wiki/headphone Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 11:05

1 Answer 1


I think you're referring to a Speaker. i.e, "The left speaker on my headphones are broken, do you think it could be repaired?" Here's a definition from Dictionary;

speaker - Computer Definition. A device containing a transducer that converts electrical signals (electric current) into sound waves (acoustic energy) for the production of sound.

  • 1
    Thank you, then what is it (one speaker headphones) called? (see the picture here: i.sstatic.net/tXPbWm.jpg) Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 11:01
  • 2
    I believe they are called earpieces? Security usually have / wear earpieces to events to communicate with each other neatly whilst having hearing in the other ear also.
    – Tyler
    Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 11:05
  • 1
    For in-ear headphones, it's an earbud.
    – Kreiri
    Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 13:26
  • Both works, I assumed this would be said in an informal setting. Use the above if you're trying to be formal.
    – Tyler
    Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 13:33

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .