What To Do if Your Amazon Fire Tablet Has No Sound
Amazon has sold tens of millions of Kindle Fire tablets and nobody can doubt the popularity of these entry-level but powerful tablet computers. The Fire continues to dominate this market segment, and for the price they are very solid little machines. However, like all hardware that ends up in consumer hands, the Fire is not perfect and problems do develop. One common problem reported by Kindle Fire users is that their Amazon Fire tablet has no sound.
There are two categories of potential problems that can cause a Fire tablet to not produce any audio. There can be something physically wrong with the machine’s hardware, or there can be an issue with the software. In this article, I will show you how to troubleshoot both types of problems so that you can get the sound working again on your Kindle Fire.
Check volume level
It sounds incredibly obvious but you would be amazed at how many people overlook this most basic of checks. The volume buttons are on the outside of the Fire and it is easy to accidentally press them. Test the volume by pressing the volume up button a few times. You should see the volume slider on screen reflect the change.
Try headphones/the built-in speaker
The Fire has two separate ways to physically generate sound: via the headphone jack, and via the onboard speaker. Plug a pair of headphones into the jack and see if there is sound through that channel, or unplug the headphones and see if the onboard speaker works. If one works but not the other, then the problem is either with the onboard speaker itself, the headphone jack, or possibly the pair of headphones you are using (so try another pair to be sure).
Check the seating of the headphones
Headphone jacks are notoriously weak so make sure when you connect your headphones that they are seated securely within the socket. The specific shape of both means the jack plug should snick securely into place and it should be obvious when they are properly connected. This isn’t always the case so perform a visual check and try to push the jack plug in further without going overboard.
Try different headphones
If you have more than one set of headphones, swap them out to test them. Alternatively, try your headphones out in a different device to prove they are working. Any device will do as long as you know the audio works.
Clean the jack
Headphone jack sockets are like bellybuttons: they collect dust and dirt. Unlike bellybuttons, you really can’t rinse them out in the shower. The only safe way to clean a headphone jack is to use compressed air. If you have some around, use the precision nozzle to squirt it into the headphone jack and push out any dirt. You can also perform a visual check using a flashlight to make sure there is nothing blocking the jack. If your headphone fits into place this shouldn’t be an issue but it is better to check.
If it isn’t a hardware issue, then the problem is in software. There are a few things to try in the software area.
Try different media
Most media files have separate codecs for audio and video, and it’s possible that you might be playing a file for which your Kindle has the appropriate video playback software, but not the right audio software. Try a different file format – if you’re watching a movie, try a song, if you’re on YouTube, try Pandora. Try a couple of different media types; if the Fire has sound for some types but not for others, then it’s a software issue and you should update your player.
Reboot the Fire tablet
Forcing a soft reboot may fix a temporary software conflict.
- Hold down the power button for 20 seconds until the screen goes black.
- Wait a couple of seconds to make sure it is fully powered down.
- Press and hold the power button again to start.
Turn off Bluetooth
The Bluetooth service can cause problems with audio on your Fire tablet. Try turning the Bluetooth service off and see if that resolves the issue.
- Swipe down from the top of your home screen
- Tap Wireless
- Next to Enable Bluetooth, tap Off
Update your operating system
Normally the Kindle Fire automatically updates the operating system, but if your operating system has gotten out of date somehow, this could conceivably cause a problem with your audio. Check the official list of available updates here and see if your Kindle needs to be updated.
Factory reset your Kindle Fire
The second-most drastic thing you can do is a factory reset. This puts your Kindle Fire back to the state it was in, in terms of software, on the day it came off the factory floor. If everything else has failed, first do a backup of your data because a factory reset is going to wipe everything.
Backing up your data is easy:
- Swipe down from the home screen and tap Settings
- Tap Device Options
- Tap Backup & Restore
- Turn on the Device Backup
- Tap Back Up Now
Once your Kindle Fire is safely backed up, follow the steps in this guide to factory resetting your Kindle Fire.
It Still Doesn’t Work
If you have tried all of the suggestions in this article and your Kindle Fire still has no working audio, then unfortunately the problem is probably one that you cannot fix yourself. If your Fire is still under warranty, you can get a new one from Amazon. Otherwise you will have to get it repaired or find a replacement.
Do you have any suggestions for getting the audio working properly on an Amazon Kindle Fire tablet? Share them with us in the comments!