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Help, My Home Theater Speakers Don't Work

Speakers don't often break, really, they don't. But when they do you're sitting there hurting without the music. Fortunately speakers are pretty simple things, there just isn't much to them. As often as not  if you're not hearing the music it's another link in the audio chain that's causing the problem. Let's examine the flow of the audio and music in a typical home theater system first.

Banana plugs

  1. We're going to assume that all the electronics are plugged in and receiving electricity. Right? Is your surge protector plugged in?
  2. In most cases the example above where the cable, blu ray player and TV all feed into (and out of in the case of the TV) AV Receiver via an HDMI port. Check these first.
  3. If any of your connections are via a RCA or Digital Optical Cable then you should check these next. 
  4. After securing all the cables check the to be sure all your speaker cables are plugged in, and not touching each other. If you wear glasses, use them please. It's easy to miss one strand of speaker wire hitting an adjacent terminal and shorting out you sound. Using banana plugs helps eliminate this problem. 
  5. If some of your speakers are working and others are not and the wires are correct then try swapping out the speaker from one side to the other to eliminate that it's the receiver that is malfunctioning. 
  6. If the speaker sounds muffled, or tinny then one of the drivers might be out. Here's where it gets tricky. It's generally easy to replace a speaker in a cabinet but unless you purchase it from the manufacturer you risk having distinctly different sound from that speaker.

This all assumes that we're looking at an all wired system. If your surround sound speakers are wireless surrounds or you're feeding the audio or audio and video via bluetooth from a phone or tablet, you'll need to check that source as well.

I know the check list above sounds basic but you cannot imagine the number of times someone has called me and one of the above was the culprit. 

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