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You bought your surround sound system, hopefully using our guide to surround sound formats, carefully followed instructions to set it up, and yet, the speakers aren’t working! Well, you’ve come to the right place because we are going to show you how to make all speakers work on surround sound. So, let’s make your speakers work!
Common speaker layouts in a surround sound system
Speakers aren’t producing any sound
If your system is new, it is highly unlikely that every speaker simply stopped working, especially if there was no sudden power surge in your household. Thus, don’t panic just yet. Simply unplug the system from the power source and check if all of the connections, including the A/V receiver, are properly plugged. Double-check the power cable as well as whether the speaker wires are pushed into banana plugs or, in case of a bare wire, bound into post screws.
In case you did a good job of setting them up, then the problem might be the receiver’s settings. You should check that by going to the setting menu and testing various settings of all of the speakers separately. That should solve the problem quickly.
If it doesn’t, then there’s a chance that you received a faulty system from the store. You can send it back to the store and wait for their feedback.
Surround speakers aren’t working
In case your surround speakers aren’t working, there are a few options you can try. First of all, make sure to turn up your volume when listening to music or watching a movie. Sometimes, speakers are set up to a lower volume, which can be interpreted as no sound. So, that may be your issue as well!
Furthermore, some songs or movies do not activate all of the speakers at once. Under DSP settings, you should see which channels are activated. Moreover, you can go to the individual settings of each speaker, and test them to see if they are capable of producing any noise at all. If you did that and there is still no sound, the next thing to is, again, check your connections!
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Contrarily, you may find that your speakers work, but the sound is poor. The answer to this problem is to play around with the settings of your speakers. By choosing the correct size, adjusting the crossover in the receiver settings, and playing with different frequencies (Hz), your speakers should be working just the way you want them to.
Adjusting some speaker settings manually may solve the problem
Height speakers sound poorly
The deal with height speakers is that you have to set them correctly so the sound bounces the right way. So many people place their speakers facing down, but that can be a mistake. If anything, it is better for them to bounce the sound off the ceiling. We recommend that you check your system’s manual to see if it proposes any solution or just move your speakers around until you find the perfect angle.
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Also, you can adjust the settings of the A/V receiver. Codec settings describe the way the software of your sound system encodes the sound. Thus, you’ll most likely find the resolution of the problem there.
Adjusting the height speaker settings and choosing the right codec could solve your problem (Source – Yamaha Aventage RX-A3080 user manual)
There is an issue with the front speakers
There is a chance that, while setting up your surround sound system, you set the front speakers to take up too much of the bass load. That could lead to the distorted sound that you hear while playing it. Thus, we recommend you to adjust the system to 80Hz and go from there.
Adjusting the crossover settings may solve the issue with the front speakers (Source – Denon)
Another solution is to, you’ve guessed it – go to the settings of the receiver. The weird sounds front speakers produce are likely the result of the wrong speaker size in the settings. If your front speakers are the satellite, you can pick small, whereas if they are on the floor, you should choose ‘large’.
The sound coming from the system is distorted
Almost everyone with a surround system has experienced humming or buzzing noises coming out of it. Here are three issues that can cause it.
- Is the system the cause?
Firstly, you should disconnect everything from the receiver and see if the noise stops. Then, connect them one by one to see what causes the weird sound. If you managed to find the culprit here, and you can’t fix it with the solutions mentioned above, it’s maybe best to call the electrician.
- Is cable the problem?
Sometimes, the issue might not even be the surround system, but in the TV cable line. You should disconnect the TV cable line while the rest is still attached to the system. If the noise stops, your issue is in the TV cable line ground.
- What about the outlet?
If nothing listed above works, your problem might be in the outlet. Power conditions can prevent this kind of issue by putting the device on a different outlet that is electrically isolated. They do that with the help of isolation transformers. However, this is a tricky job that will probably require the help of a professional since safety regulations need to be kept in mind.
It is easy to get frustrated with all of the wires and hubs. But, if you have followed our quick and easy guide, you can now enjoy your surround sound system with all of the speakers working properly!
Hello, my name is James Longman.
I’m a writer and editor at AudioReputation. I disassembled my first portable AM/FM radio when I was only 8. At the age of 11, I burned the circuit board on my old boombox cassette player. I’m not going to explain how but it was reckless and stupid.
Since then, I have become much more careful around radios, boomboxes, and other audio devices (at least, I like to think so) but I have never lost the passion for audio equipment. Throughout 20 years of my professional career, I’ve been working for various audio equipment manufacturers and even started building speakers on my own in my little workshop.
I love the work we do here at AudioReputation. Testing, comparing, and evaluating all kinds of audio devices (speakers, soundbars, headphones, home theater systems, etc.) is something I truly enjoy. I try to be unbiased and give you my honest opinion on every piece of equipment I test. Still, you should take my reviews with a pinch of salt and always be just a little bit skeptical. The fact that I liked some speaker or soundbar doesn’t mean that you are going to love it. If you have the opportunity, you should test it/hear it before buying it.