TV Sound Distortion: The One Fix That Actually Worked For Me

After 2 hectic weeks at work, I was finally able to manage some time off for a solo movie night on my Smart TV.

A few minutes after the movie started, I suddenly heard some distorted sounds from the TV speakers instead of clear dialogues. 

Determined not to let my movie night get ruined, I instantly hit Google and searched for some troubleshooting methods to fix the issue.

After spending some time on the websites and reading discussion threads, I was finally able to fix the issue with ease. 

Here’s how I could hear the movie dialogues clearly again:

Distorted sound on your TV is usually caused due to audio imbalance. Go to the ‘Sound’ section in the ‘Settings’ menu of your Smart TV and reset the Equalizer setting.  

Change TV Audio Settings

Almost all Smart TVs are equipped with built-in audio Settings to correct any kind of audio imbalance.

The most likely cause of this imbalance is incorrect equalizer settings. 

In this case, try resetting the equalizer settings on your TV.

If you have a Samsung Smart TV, follow these instructions to do it:

  • Press the Home button on your TV remote
  • Go to Settings and select Sound 
  • Navigate to Expert Settings and select Equalizer
  • Now, click on Reset, and all Equalizer bars should come back in the middle
  • Try playing a movie or show and check if the distortion is gone

Note: The Equalizer settings are similar for almost all TV brands. If you own a different TV, check your TV manual or search online about how to reset Equalizer settings for your TV. 

In case you’re using external speakers or a soundbar, read through the device manual for ideal sound settings. 

Check for Interference and Signal Issues

Most electronic devices emit radio waves, electromagnetic waves, sonic waves, etc.

Thus, when two or more devices are in a very close range, there’s a possibility of interference or signal interruptions due to the crisscross of produced waves. 

Turn off any nearby electronic devices in close proximity to your TV to rule out any signal disruptions or interference.

Once the devices are turned off, try playing something on your TV and check if the sound is clear now. 

This simple action will resolve any distorted audio issues if it’s caused by interference or signal issues. 

Inspect Cable Connections

If you’re using a cable box or external device, make sure that the cable connections aren’t loose or broken.

Disconnect all cables including the power cable, input cables (HDMI/AV/Composite) from the TV, and input source. 

Inspect all the cables for any defects.

Now plug them back into your TV and input source ensuring that all the cables are tightly connected from both ends. 

Check if the distorted sound is fixed after all the cables are connected.

Perform Sound Test on Your TV

To verify if there are any hardware issues related to your TV, perform the built-in Sound Test on it. 

The Sound Test option may be at different locations in Settings based on your TV manufacturer and model.

You can refer to the TV manual for its exact location. 

Here’s how to perform Sound Test on a Samsung Smart TV:

  • Press the Home Button on your TV Remote
  • Go to Settings and navigate to Support
  • Select the Self Diagnosis option
  • Now click on Sound Test 

Your TV will start playing its default tune via in-built speakers.

Listen to it carefully and analyze the sound for any type of distortion or other issues. 

If you can hear the sound clearly without any distortions, then the problem isn’t related to any of your TV components.

The culprit might be your input source or external speakers. 

During the Sound Test, if you hear a distorted sound, then it’s likely that your built-in speakers are damaged or there’s some other hardware issue. 

You may need to go for replacement or repair service from an authorized repair person based on the TV manufacturer in this case. 

Power Cycle Your TV

If none of the above solutions worked for you, try the traditional power cycle method.

A power cycle will close all applications and stop background processes before restarting the TV.

This solves minor bugs or technical glitches that may be causing audio distortions on your TV. 

Follow this guide to power cycle your TV:

  • Plug the TV out of the power outlet
  • Wait for at least 60 seconds
  • Meanwhile, press and hold the power button on your TV for 30 seconds (if you can’t find a power button, skip this step)
  • Plug the TV back in & check if the audio distortions have been resolved

Check for TV Software Update

It’s possible that your TV might be facing sound distortions due to a minor bug in its current software version.

Ensure that your TV is running on the latest software version.

To check or update your TV:

  • Press Menu or Home button on your TV remote
  • Go to Settings and select Support
  • Now select Software Update
  • Click on Update Now if a new update is available
  • Finally, press OK to confirm and install the update 

After the update is installed, restart your TV and try playing any audio to check if the distortion issue is fixed.

Factory Reset Your TV 

 I’d recommend going for a factory reset only if none of the above solutions worked.

Note that a factory reset would remove all applications, accounts and reset all settings to their default.

You’ll need to install all applications again and sign into them.

Here’s how to factory reset the Samsung TV: 

  • Go to the Samsung Home Screen
  • Click on Settings and choose General 
  • Now, select the Reset option
  • When asked for a PIN, enter 0000 as the default 
  • Once the factory reset is complete, try using the TV again

The factory reset procedure may vary based on your TV model and manufacturer, refer to your TV’s manual for exact steps to reset your  TV. 

Get in Touch With Customer Support

If none of the above solutions have helped solve the audio distortion issue on your TV, try getting in touch with customer support to get professional help.

Based on your TV manufacturer and model, search online support pages for TV brands like Samsung, LG, TCL, etc. 

The support team will diagnose your issue and try to provide the best possible solution available.

In case of any repair service to resolve hardware problems, the cost may vary based on product warranty and type of issue. 

Sound On!

Sound distortions on your TV can be annoying while you’re enjoying your favorite movie or TV show.

Instead of getting worried about hardware replacement, trying some simple troubleshooting methods can fix any audio distortion issues on TV. 

As a quick fix, resetting the equalizer settings on your TV can help fix audio distortion if it’s caused due to audio imbalance. 

Check your TV audio after turning off any nearby electronic devices to rule out any interference with the signal leading to sound distortion on the TV. 

Verify if there’s any issue with the TV’s hardware or built-in speakers by performing a Sound Test on your TV.

The test would play a default tune that you need to listen carefully to check for distortions or any other audio issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes distorted sound on TV?

Sound distortion can occur on TV due for various reasons.

These include incorrect audio settings, interference with signals, hardware problems, minor bugs, component failure, etc.

In some cases, these distortion issues are caused due to faulty or broken cable connections and audio wires. 

What does it mean when sound is distorted?

A distorted sound means an uneven or deviated form of sound coming from a source such as your TV speakers.

The deviation may vary based on a TV or device model but it highly degraded the quality of sound produced by a device.

This interrupts the viewing experience and can be very annoying if you’re watching a movie or TV show. 

How do I fix my distorted TV sound?

Based on the cause of sound distortion on TV, there are several troubleshooting methods that can help fix the issue.

Incorrect audio settings causing sound distortion can be solved by resetting equalizer settings.

Replacing or reconnecting faulty cables can also resolve the distortion. 

In case the audio distortion is caused due to interference with signals, turning off nearby electronic devices will rid the TV of distortion issues.

Moreover, it’s essential to stay up to date with the software and firmware of the TV to fix any minor bugs causing sound distortion.

Though less likely, performing a simple power cycle can also rid your TV of audio issues such as distorted sound. 

Why does the audio on my TV seem a bit muffled? 

Almost every Smart TV allows users to control audio settings.

If you notice the audio on your TV to be a bit muffled and you’re not able to hear anything clearly, try getting the bass levels down and turning up the treble.

There is a set of controls with sound frequencies such as 100Hz, 1kHz, etc.

The lower numbers (in Hz) are responsible for handling bass on the TV while higher numbers (in kHz) manage the treble levels.  

About the author

Maria Chan, or MC, as we call her, is the genius girl-boss who gave up on her cushy silicon-valley job to grind it out with us. Her undying pursuit of wanting Zeebox to the best makes it very clear that she has no interest in running a generic tech-site.