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Common Soundbar Problems: Five Problems, Five Answers

We love our televisions, don’t we? Especially during the COVID era.  If you’re like us, your TV has been getting a major workout. One thing about most modern TVs is that they feature a slim profile. Unfortunately, in exchange for that skinny look, their speakers deliver poor sound. Luckily, an easy and relatively inexpensive solution is to add a soundbar, which allows for rich sound.  You’ll find that a soundbar not only enhances the loudness of sound from your TV, but the quality as well.  

After all, if you’re watching a badass show like Vikings, you need some quality sound! Skol!

vikings sound

Photo Credit: History Channel

You know there’s a downside coming, right? Like most man-made things, soundbars can have their problems. Once in a while, your soundbar may fail to work as expected, requiring you to engage in some soundbar problems troubleshooting. 

Most Common Soundbar Problems and Their Quick Fixes

Soundbar Problems #1: The Soundbar Doesn’t Power On

Many people face power issues with their speakers. Suddenly the sound bar stopped working and they ask themselves why isn’t my sound bar working? If you’re trying to power on your audio bar but it fails, then there’s something wrong with the power connection. Maybe it’s not receiving power or its internal power system has failed. The first thing you should do is check whether you’ve turned on the power socket. We know, duh. But trust us, it happens to everyone. If it’s happened to you, consider yourself lucky that your soundbar is this easy to fix!

soundbar power connection

Next, turn the speaker on using it is onboard power button or using the remote. If it fails to power on, try it out on another power socket. If this also fails, check whether the cable has any signs of damage and whether it’s plugged firmly into the socket and the soundbar. If it’s connected through another device like an extension cord, connect it directly to the main wall socket. In case it fails to power on, try another power cable.

If all these attempts fail, you might be beyond  DIY fix.

Soundbar Problems #2: Soundbar Goes To Sleep Mode on Its Own

Has this ever happened to you? You’re engrossed in a great movie or an intense dramatic television show when right at the most climactic moment, the soundbar goes to sleep on its own and your sound is gone and you are thinking why my soundbar is not working! Why is there no sound coming from my soundbar?

frustrated with soundbar

Fortunately, the most likely cause is an easy one to fix: you probably have an activated sleep timer. Check the settings and turn off the “sleep timer” to restore your media experience without interruptions. You also will want to ensure the soundbar is not set to automatically power off upon turning off your TV.

Soundbar Problems #3: Cable Connection Problems

If you’ve connected your television set to the soundbar using a cable but there’s no audio, the most likely cause of the problem is an improper cable connection or a malfunctioning cable.

If the speaker is turned on and there’s no audio, first check the connection. Start with disabling the internal TV speakers using the TV remote. Next, ensure the speaker option on the TV is set to external and check again whether you’re now getting sound.

Also, most soundbars can be easily connected to a TV and other components via HDMI, optical, and RCA cables. For instance, if you’ve connected your television set to the speaker using any of these cables, ensure the cable is firmly plugged in. You can unplug and plug in the cable firmly.

Still no sound?

Try a new cable and check whether it’ll work. In case you’re still unable to get sound, then you should try another connection method. For instance, if the HDMI connection is not working, try using an optical or RCA cable based on what your television and audio bar supports.

If the devices have multiple ports for each type of connection, try all the ports until you get a working one. While doing this, ensure the source input of the audio bar is set appropriately. For instance, set the source to optical when using an optical connection or AUX when using an AUX to RCA cable. If you’ve attached a component to your television, change the source of the television to component. In case you’ve connected the component device to the speaker, ensure the input source on your speaker is set to component. Also, ensure the volume on both devices is turned up while troubleshooting cable connections.

tv remote

In case you’ve tried all possible cable connections and soundbar won’t connect to tv, you’ll need to reset the soundbar. Press the reset button on your soundbar for some seconds to reset it. Then check whether you can now get sound. If all these options fail, contact your manufacturer for further assistance. If your warranty is expired (let’s face it, it probably is), you can have the unit checked by a local electronics repair expert.

Soundbar Problems #4: No Audio from the Subwoofer

Some soundbars have a separate subwoofer. In case there’s no sound from the subwoofer, first check whether it’s actually powered on. In case it’s not receiving power, ensure the power cord is connected firmly to the sub and the power outlet. Also, ensure you’ve connected the cable to a working power outlet. If it’s still not powering on, check the cable for signs of damage or try a new power cable.

In case the subwoofer is powering on but there is no sound, maybe you have not properly linked it to the audio bar. You can reboot the two units and try linking them again. If they still fail to link, try to reset them one by one by pressing the onboard “reset” button.

Still no power or sound? Contact your retail store or manufacturer for further advice.

Soundbar Problems #5: Wireless Devices Won’t Pair

Today, most speakers come with wireless connectivity options. For instance, the best options come with Bluetooth connectivity. This enables you to connect devices wirelessly. Wireless connections eliminate the use of cables and enhance portability. At times, you may have problems with pairing a device to the speaker via Bluetooth. In case your device is not pairing, first ensure no other devices are paired and try again. This may happen since some Bluetooth speakers only pair one device at a time.

Also, try pairing the devices when they’re close to each other since some devices are limited in terms of Bluetooth range. Another troubleshooting option is to reboot both devices and try to pair them again. While doing this, ensure Bluetooth connectivity is active on the soundbar. You can turn on Bluetooth on the audio bar using its remote. If you’re still unable to pair them and you’re connecting them according to the manufacturer’s instructions, you’ll need to reset the speaker. In case you reset it and Bluetooth connectivity problems persist, contact the manufacturer.

Bluetooth soundbar

Soundbar Troubleshooting

Regardless of the brand of your soundbar, we hope our troubleshooting tips help. Remember, always try each solution one at a time for easier isolation of the problem. 

If you’re unable to find a solution, first contact your retail store or manufacturer for further assistance before taking your speaker to a local repair shop. In case your speaker has malfunctioned and it’s still covered by a warranty, you might get a free replacement or free servicing from the retail store or manufacturer.

Last resort, take it to a local repair shop when nothing seems to work and its warranty has expired. One other tip, check out some audiophile resources such as groups on Facebook. Our fellow speaker champions are always willing to help!


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