Apple TVs are highly durable and have superb technology. However, like other gadgets, they’re not impervious to developing issues. The most commonly reported issue by Apple TV users is the no sound issue. This issue usually comes up when playing movies and videos due to incorrect configuration and settings.
There are several reasons for audio output not working from Apple TV, ranging from wrong configuration, improper audio settings, faulty cables to software bugs. The first solution should be to unplug and reconnect all the cables and wiring and ensure the cables have no damages and the connections are secure.
If that doesn’t work, continue reading our detailed troubleshooting guide to help you resolve your Apple TV audio issue.
Why is there no sound on Apple TV?
When your Apple TV stops playing sound, it’s likely because the audio format is on Dolby Digital 5.1, and your older TV can’t process it. Another possible reason could be the external speaker system connected to your Apple TV, or your TV audio has an error. Fortunately, there are several ways you can troubleshoot the issue to get your Apple TV fixed.
How do you fix no sound on Apple TV?
There are several solutions to help fix a no-sound issue on your Apple TV. It’s best to follow a systematic approach while eliminating solutions that don’t work.
Ensure your Apple TV is not on mute.
The first solution is to check if your Apple TV is in mute mode. All Apple TV remotes have a mute button, and you likely pressed it accidentally. If your Apple TV is not mute, check if the volume is on a lower level.
Change your Apple TV audio format to Stereo.
The no sound issue from your Apple TV could be due to the TV not receiving an adequate signal to broadcast the audio. Apple TV automatically plays the highest quality audio format which is Dolby Digital. But if your audio system or TV doesn’t support this format, it may cause sound issues. Manually changing the audio format should fix this problem:
- Press Menu on your Apple TV
- Go to Settings > Audio & Video > Audio format
- Click on Change Format twice
- Select Stereo
Change your TV audio output to PCM
If the issue doesn’t resolve even after changing the audio format on your Apple TV, then the issue could be the audio format on the actual TV. The ideal audio setting should be PCM( Pulse Code Modification), the technical term for Stereo mode. Here’s how to set the Stereo mode on your TV.
- Press Settings on your TV remote control
- Select to Sound Settings > Audio > Audio Format
- Scroll and select PCM
This procedure may vary depending on the TV brand and model, but the instructions above are a general guide.
Set the audio mode to auto
If your Apple TV connects to speakers, you have to select the correct speakers to ensure there is sound coming out. This is common if you’re facing an issue with no sound on Apple TV 4K. Here’s how to set the audio mode of your Apple TV:
- Go to Settings > Audio & Video
- Ensure you set the corresponding speakers for audio output.
- Set the Audio Mode to Auto
Check the HDMI cable.
When there is no sound through HDMI on Apple TV, the issue could be the HDMI cable itself or the connection to the TV. Here’s how to fix the cable issues:
- Inspect the HDMI cable and look for kinks, bends, or damages. If it’s kinked, straightening it should fix the issue. But you’ll need to replace it if it is broken or cracked.
- If the cable looks physically fine, check if the connection is loose. Loose cable connections are the reason Apple TV loses sound randomly. So, unplug it and reinsert it.
- If that doesn’t fix the issue, disconnect the HDMI cable from both devices and reverse the HDMI port connections.
- If none of the above fixes work, replace the HDMI cable with a new one.
Restart your Apple TV
Rebooting your Apple TV could clear glitches, usually due to a recent audio driver installation or firmware updates. When these updates don’t process correctly, rebooting the system should help. Go to the System menu and click on Restart. This will restart the device and refresh its systems.
Alternatively, you can unplug the Apple TV from its power supply, wait for about one minute, then plug the power cable back into its electrical outlet.
Restart the actual TV
If power cycling the Apple TV doesn’t d the trick, try restarting your TV. Sometimes the error could be in the TV system. First, unplug the TV power cable from the power outlet, wait for at least 60 seconds and then press and hold the power button on the TV for 10 seconds. This will drain all the residual power in the TV capacitor, thus fully resetting it. After this, reconnect your TV to power and turn it on.
Reset other devices connected to your TV
Perform a reset on the audio hardware if your Apple TV is connected to a soundbar and other types of speakers or stereo systems. The sound issue could come from one device, not your Apple TV. Unplug all the devices from power, and wait for 60 seconds before plugging them back in. Give all the devices some time to establish a connection, and then play a movie to see if the issue resolves.
Hard reset your Apple TV
Sometimes a soft reset might not clear out the errors and glitches causing the no sound issue. Note that a hard reset will revert your Apple TV to its factory settings. You must reconfigure all the settings and log into all your streaming service accounts. Here’s how to reset your Apple TV.
- Keep your Apple TV powered and maintain an internet connection until the reset is complete.
- Press Menu on the Apple TV remote.
- Select Settings
- Scroll to System
- Press Reset
- Select Reset and Update
Your Apple TV device will return to its original settings and also install any available software updates. Once the reset is complete, check if your sound is working again. If it isn’t, ensure the audio format is on Stereo.
No sound on Apple TV trailers
Currently, movie previews or trailers on Apple TV are video-only. Therefore there is no solution to enable sound for them.
No sound on Apple TV Netflix
If the no sound issue on your Apple TV is specific to only the Netflix app, then there is an issue with the show or your speaker connection. If you’re having this problem, check the solutions below.
Play a different show
Sometimes a broken or corrupt title in the library may be why Netflix has no audio output. Try playing another movie to see if the issue is specific to that show or the Netflix app itself. If the show is the issue, you can notify Netflix customer support.
Change audio settings on the device.
Try adjusting the audio settings on your Apple TV to see if the issue resolves.
- 2nd and 3rd gen Apple TV: Go to Settings > Video and Audio > Audio Format > Dolby > Select Auto, then check your Netflix app.
- 4th and 4K Apple TV: Go to Settings > Video and Audio > Audio Format > Change format> Use best available.
Check hardware connection issues.
Shows on Netflix can also lose sound if your Apple TV has a cable connection issue. Here’s how to troubleshoot the issue;
- Check the HDMI cable for damages and replace it if necessary.
- Unplug the HDMI cable and reconnect it. If that doesn’t help, continue with the next step.
- Unplug the HDMI cable from the Apple TV and TV itself, reverse the ends and see if it helps.
- If nothing works, get a new HDMI cable.
No sound on Apple TV when screen mirroring
Here’s what to do when there is no sound when you use AirPlay from your iOS device to your Apple TV:
- First, you have to ensure your TV is AirPlay compatible.
- Then, try turning up the volume on both devices. Ensure the Ring/Silent switch on the side of your iPad or iPhone is on the ringer. You’ll see an orange line if it’s on silent.
- Change the audio format on your Apple TV to PCM.
- Reboot your Apple TV. Do any of the following procedures:
- Press and hold the Back(2nd generation Apple TV remote) button or Menu(1st generation Apple TV remote) and TV button on the Apple TV remote until the status light on the Apple TV device blinks rapidly.
- Unplug your Apple TV from power, wait five seconds, and then reconnect it.
- Go to Settings > System > Restart.
- If the issue persists, reboot any of the connected audio devices.
- Update your Apple TV. Using outdated firmware on your Apple TV makes it susceptible to bugs and incompatibility issues. To check if you have any Apple TV updates:
- Press and hold the menu button on the Apple TV remote.
- Then, go to Settings > Software Updates > Update Software.
- If a software update is available, click Download and Install on the pop-up window.
- Then wait for the download.
- If the Apple TV app has no sound, try updating the app.
No sound on Apple TV movie rental
There have been several complaints from Apple TV users have movies bought and rented via the Apple TV app have no audio output. Some speculate that Apple TV may not be decoding the audio track correctly due to issues with Digital Management Rights. Apple hasn’t offered a solution to the problems, but the company has issued refunds for some users. Others claim that changing your Apple TV’s audio format to Stereo might help.
No surround sound on Apple TV
Apple TV supports both stereo sound and surrounds sound (Dolby Atmos). Surround sound allows the audio to come from all the speakers in the room, making it sound more spatial. Ideally, Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K automatically set sound in the highest quality that your home entertainment system has and is available with the content you’re watching.
If your entertainment system doesn’t support your Apple TV’s audio format automatically chooses, you can manually change the audio format. Here’s what to do if there to surround sound on Apple TV:
- Go to Settings > Video and Audio > Audio Format > Change Format and then select Surround Sound or Dolby Digital 5.1
- Ensure your speaker or soundbar has the correct audio setting. You can check for the ideal audio setting from your receiver’s user manual. But if you don’t have one, look for ‘Auto,’ ‘Straight,’ or ‘Direct’ settings on the receiver’s remote control. These modes offer automatic processing of the Dolby Digital signal.
- Check the physical state of your HDMI cable and speaker connections. Ensure there is no damage on all your HDMI cables and the connection and snug. You can also dust your devices to prevent them from overheating. If nothing works, try swapping your HDMI cables to identify a bad cable.
- Confirm your content is sending surround sound audio. Sometimes, your Apple TV may not be playing surround sound because of an issue with the streaming media app rather than the Apple TV itself. If you’re playing content from streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, try playing surround content on other apps to rule out software issues. If the app is the issue, try updating its software.
Apple TVs are not without flaws. But hopefully, the troubleshooting guide above will help solve your Apple TV no sound issue. Whatever the cause of the problem, most of these solutions do not require any technical skills or expensive purchases. If nothing works, you should contact Apple TV customer support to help with troubleshooting.