How To Fix Sound Problems With Chromecast
Google’s Chromecast is a powerful little device that enables users to stream movies, TV shows, and other audio and video content straight from your phone, tablet, laptop, Chromebook or desktop straight to your smart TV. Rather than interfacing your devices individually to the TV, the Chromecast is a wireless receiver with an HDMI output that connects to the TV directly. This allows you to beam content directly from your device through the WiFi network from nearly any Android (and some iOS) applications, including Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and Google Play Movies. Since everything you play is straight from your phone or other device, you don’t have to worry about dealing with menus and navigation. All you have to do is hit Cast and turn the TV to the the appropriate source. In addition, the current model Chromecasts are very inexpensive, clocking in at just $35 for the latest model.
One common problem encountered by some Chromecast users is disruptions in the audio stream out of the TV. If you’ve started casting a movie only to find that the sound never starts or cuts out, this is obviously a very frustrating experience. Luckily, troubleshooting and fixing audio problems with your Chromecast is relatively simple. In this article I will show you several techniques for getting your audio back on track.
Checking Your Television’s Settings
The first thing to look at is your TV’s audio. Ensure that your TV isn’t the source of the sound issue by checking your volume level and testing a different device for sound output (such as a game console or a cable box). Check the settings of your television to make sure your speakers are enabled, and that your audio output is set to “fixed.” Most modern televisions have a built-in option to disable the television speakers in order to use a home theater or surround sound system. You can also try turning off and unplugging your television for a few minutes, as well as factory resetting your television inside the settings menu of your monitor. Check the HDMI audio settings for your TV to make sure they are set to “Digital”, not “Analog”. Finally, if you’re using a stereo system to power the audio side of your home theater, ensure that your audio system isn’t malfunctioning.
Check Chromecast Connections
Next, if your TV set has multiple HDMI ports, try switching your Chromecast to a different port. Your Chromecast is powered by a microUSB cable; make sure the cable is connected to a power outlet rather than one of the USB ports on your TV. TV-based USB ports may not generate sufficient power to give the Chromecast the electrical power it requires. The 4K-supported Chromecast Ultra uses a dedicated AC adapter, which means you might want to try a different outlet.
Reboot Your Chromecast
If the connections are properly made and your Chromecast has power, the next step is to reset the Chromecast. (Someday, we will reach a tech utopia where “reboot it” is not the first best option for technical support, but that happy day has not yet arrived.) To reboot your Chromecast, open (or install) the Google Home application on your mobile device and tap the Devices button in the top-right corner of your display to view your currently available Chromecast devices on your network. Select your device, and tap the gear icon in the top-right corner.
Tap the three-dot icon in the upper-right of the display, and then tap “Reboot” from the menu. This will begin the reboot process for your Chromecast. If you prefer a more hands-on approach, you can just unplug the Chromecast’s power supply, wait a few seconds, then plug it back in – that also will reboot the device.
Adjust the Sound on the Casting Device
If the sound still isn’t working, then adjust the sound on the casting device. Though you can control the volume of your Chromecast streams with your standard volume control on your TV remote, Google also allows you to change the volume of the Chromecast device by using the volume buttons on your phone. Just make sure that you have some kind of content playing from your phone or tablet on your Chromecast, and use the volume rocker on your device to increase the volume as you normally would.
Restart the Cast
The next step is to stop the stream from your phone or device to the Chromecast and then restart it. This will force Chromecast to reload the URL from which it’s accessing the video or audio feed. You can also try force closing the application on your device to see if the problem is coming from the app itself, instead of the Chromecast device. Finally, if you’re streaming from Chrome on your Chromebook or other computer, you can use the built-in Chromecast extension to ensure audio is optimized for sound. Tap on the extension in Chrome, select your Chromecast device, and select “Cast this tab (optimize for audio).”
Factory Reset Your Chromecast
As a final option, you may want to attempt to factory reset your device. We have a full article on all the methods for this here, including how to factory reset a Chromecast even if the device isn’t connected to your home network, but the main method for resetting the device uses the Google Home app we already discussed. To reset your device using the app on your phone, tap on the Device icon inside the app and select the Chromecast device in your app. After selecting your device’s settings menu, you’ll want to click on the triple-dotted icon inside the settings to select the factory reset option. Google Home will prompt you to ensure that you want to reset your device; once you confirm your selection, you’ll be able to completely reset your device with preferences to test the audio again.
If you’re still experiencing problems with your Chromecast’s audio even after you’ve tested all these solutions, and you’ve ensured it isn’t another piece of A/V equipment in your setup, the last resort is to contact Google for a warranty replacement.
Fixing Chromecast Audio Devices
If you have Google’s older Chromecast Audio casting solution, then you are able to use it to cast audio streams (only) to compatible speaker setups. Having audio issues on a device made specifically for audio can be a real pain, but you aren’t out of luck if your Chromecast Audio device is giving you a headache. In addition to the tips above, here are a few Chromecast Audio-specific tips you may find helpful.
First, we need to dive back into the settings menu of your device in Google Home. Open up your Chromecast Audio settings as described in our previous section and find the Sounds section. Unlike a traditional Chromecast device, the Chromecast Audio provides you with a new, never-before-seen setting here: full dynamic range. If you’re unsure about whether or not you want to enable this setting, you should leave it off. Full dynamic range is designed for premium audio hardware, like Hi-Fi audio systems and AV receivers. If you’re trying to pump sound through a $30 pair of computer speakers from Amazon, this setting can actually cause distortion and improper volume increases on your device, and therefore, you should leave it off. If you’re having difficulty listening to your music, ensure this setting is disabled.
If you’re still having issues with sound on your Chromecast Audio, you’ll also want to ensure there’s no problem with the 3.5mm cable used by the device. Unlike typical Chromecasts, the Chromecast Audio uses a modular analog 3.5mm jack and cable. These cables can become damaged, but are easy and cheap to replace. Ensure the cable is pushed into both your receiver or speaker and the Chromecast Audio unit, and also try testing the unit with a different aux cable. If you can’t get any sound out of the device, you may need to consider replacing the unit, as the 3.5mm jack may be dead or damaged.
No device is perfect, but the Chromecast is a very effective little gadget. It’s no surprise that glitches can arise, and there’s nothing quite as infuriating as the sound on your entertainment cutting out. Typically, this issue can be fixed simply by turning your television off and on, or by rebooting your Chromecast. You can do a lot with your Chromecast once you get it working properly, so let us know which fixes worked for you in the comments below.
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