Your finger is in your ear violently trying to dislodge whatever mystery object must be blocking your hearing. For the last few hours, your Apple TV has been almost silent, and, up until now, you were convinced your weak ears were the culprit.
Don’t worry. You’re not losing your hearing.
There are several reasons your Apple TV’s volume may be low, including:
- Low volume adjustment (of the source, sound output system, or the AV receiver)
- Faulty or improper HDMI connection
- Damaged HDMI cables
- Format conflict
- Some unnecessary audio features are enabled
- Buggy/Outdated firmware
Fortunately, we’ve compiled our nine most effective solutions to fix your Apple TV’s low volume in no time!
Let’s get started!
- 1. Adjust the Volume
- 2. Consider a Restart or a Soft Reset
- 3. Inspect the HDMI Cable Connections
- 4. Change the Audio Format
- 5. Disable Reduce Loud Sounds
- 6. Remove or Adjust Your AV Receiver
- 7. Try Other Audio Settings of Your Sound Output Device
- 8. Check for System Updates
- 9. Contact Apple Support
1. Adjust the Volume
Though it may seem simple, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re adjusting the Apple TV’s volume correctly.
If your Apple TV is plugged into a non-smart TV, you can increase its volume using the + and – buttons on its remote. However, if your Apple TV is connected to a smart TV, you may need to adjust the volume using the TV remote.
Then, try increasing the AV receiver’s volume. Finally, if you’re casting content to your Apple TV from your laptop or smartphone, you must increase the source device’s volume.
2. Consider a Restart or a Soft Reset
Apple products are known for their sleek hardware and seamless OSes, but they are still prone to glitches.
Restarting or soft resetting your Apple TV can resolve these minor glitches and only take a moment.
Step 1: Navigate to the Settings.
Step 2: Open System, and click on Restart, and wait for your Apple TV to turn off and reboot.
Step 1: Unplug your Apple TV from its power source.
Step 2: Leave it unplugged for at least 30 seconds.
Step 3: Plug it back into power, allow it to reboot, and see the results.
3. Inspect the HDMI Cable Connections
Faulty HDMI cables or ports can cause audio problems, such as extremely low volume.
So, it’s best to try the following HDMI troubleshooting tips to verify if the audio problems are a result of your Apple TV’s wired connection.
- Check the HDMI cable’s condition to see if it’s worn or torn in certain places. You may also check the cable’s pins to make sure they’re all in place and that none of them are bent.
- Check if all the cables are securely connected and that none of them are loose. Some old TVs may foster loose cable connections. Luckily, this issue can be mitigated by using an HDMI lock, such as the Blue Echo Solutions EZ Universal HDMI Lock .
- Try flipping the cable around and switching the two connectors. So, plug the connector that was previously connected to your TV into your Apple TV, and vice versa.
- Try another HDMI port on the TV as the one you’re currently using may be faulty.
- Try the current HDMI cable with another HDMI device (like a laptop) to see if the connection is stable. If it is, then there may be a problem with your Apple TV preventing it from sending signals via HDMI.
- Replace your HDMI cable if needed. We recommended the Amazon Basics High-Speed HDMI Cable as it’s durable and supports 4K.
4. Change the Audio Format
Apple TVs set to an incompatible audio format may struggle to deliver a smooth and loud sound. Adjusting your Apple TV audio format to Stereo should resolve this issue since it’s a 2.0 PCM format.
Let’s learn how to change your Apple TV’s audio format.
Step 1: Launch the Apple TV Menu.
Step 2: Head to Settings, followed by Video and Audio.
Step 3: Find and open the Audio Format tab.
Step 4: Click on Change Format.
Step 5: Select Stereo by cycling through the different available formats.
5. Disable Reduce Loud Sounds
If you live with others and frequently stay up late watching TV, you may have enabled the Reduce Loud Sounds function to avoid waking up your snoozing flatmates.
This handy feature lowers a video’s overall sound by decreasing the soundtrack and sound effects’ volume.
In turn, this makes the dialogue clearer so you can understand what your favorite characters are saying without subtitles.
So, if you find that your Apple TV’s volume is still very low the next day, you likely forgot to manually disable this function.
There are a few ways you can turn off Reduce Loud Sounds by following the steps below.
From the Settings
Step 1: Launch the Settings menu.
Step 2: Navigate to Video and Audio.
Step 3: Disable Reduce Loud Sounds.
From the Video Tab
If you have a video playing on-screen, you can disable this function using your Apple TV remote. This process will vary depending on which remote you have. If you’re not sure which generation your remote is, check out Apple’s guide Identify your Apple TV remote.
Siri Remote 1st Generation:
Step 1: Open the playback controls menu by pressing the remote’s touchpad.
Step 2: Go to Audio Options, marked by a sound wave symbol.
Step 3: Select Reduce Loud Sounds.
Siri Remote 2nd Generation and Later:
Step 1: Reveal the playback controls by clicking the clickpad or clicking the clickpad ring.
Step 2: Head to Audio Options, which looks like a small sound wave icon.
Step 3: Select Reduce Loud Sounds.
6. Remove or Adjust Your AV Receiver
If your Apple TV is connected to a smart TV via an AV receiver, you may need to adjust the AV receiver’s audio as it may be too low.
However, it’s best to remove the AV receiver from your setup altogether and connect your Apple TV device directly to your smart TV. Once your Apple TV is all set up, check if its content plays at a normal volume. If it does, then you’ll know the AV receiver was to blame.
7. Try Other Audio Settings of Your Sound Output Device
Your Apple TV’s volume may be working perfectly fine. Instead, your sound output device (i.e., TV) may be the culprit.
Carefully examine your TV manufacturer’s website or manual to verify which audio format(s) it supports. Then, head back to your Apple TV to adjust its audio format (see Solution 4) to match it.
Adjusting the TV’s audio output format to PCM should usually resolve the problem, but if it doesn’t, feel free to try different audio formats to see which one works best.
If your TV’s audio is playing from a soundbar, external speaker, or another external sound system, try adjusting their audio modes as well.
Soundbars, for instance, often have multiple sound modes (e.g. Bass, Movie, Music, etc.), some of which will sound better than others. So, try each one to see which one makes your Apple TV sounds the loudest and clearest.
8. Check for System Updates
Certain system bugs can affect your Apple TV’s sound. Several Apple TV users found this to be the case when they installed tvOS version 13.4.6 on their devices. While this tvOS version should have included bug fixes and new features, it made many people’s Apple TVs play audio too quietly.
This tvOS version came out a few years ago, so it’s probably not installed on your Apple TV. However, other software versions may also have similar bugs leading to discrepancies in the audio.
So, we recommend updating your TV’s software to ensure there aren’t any pesky bugs preventing it from playing content at a normal volume.
Step 1: Head to your Apple TV Settings.
Step 2: Open System and go to Software Updates.
Step 3: Click on Update Software.
9. Contact Apple Support
Apple products may be slightly more expensive than their competitors, but one upside of being a part of the Apple family is that you can take full advantage of Apple customer support and Genius Bar.
Simply head to Apple Support, and click on Show under the Devices tab. From here, select Apple TV, and choose Troubleshooting Apple TV, followed by Content not playing as expected. Then, log into your Apple account when prompted.
Now you can make an appointment with a nearby Genius Bar where one of Apple’s dedicated technicians will repair your Apple TV for you.
Yesenia Achlim is a technical copywriter and editor with a focus on AV equipment. She aims to break down complicated topics and make technology accessible, no matter your technical expertise. When she’s not teaching you how to replace a projector lamp, you can find her reading and baking.